Asset Management Landscape

Joint Paper by





Global Context

Global Forum for Maintenance and Asset Management

A Global Definition of Asset Management

Current Global Initiatives

Asset Management Landscape

Landscape Features

Conceptual Model

Asset Management Subjects

The Asset Management Matrix

Maturity Scale and Guidance on Assessing Maturity



The understanding of the principles of Asset Management has developed significantly over the last decade and a number of approaches, standards and models have been developed across the world.  It is becoming increasingly necessary to align these various approaches and to develop a global view, in particular for companies that operate Asset Management systems in many countries.

The Institute of Asset Management (UK) and the Asset Management Council ( Australia ) have individually developed various views on Asset Management.  With a common interest in the development of a landscape for Asset Management, both organisations have been working together on behalf of the Global Forum for Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM) to develop and recommend a global view. 


This paper sets out proposals for a common approach to the development of an Asset Management Landscape that provides an overview and perspective of Asset Management and its various features.  This landscape thus allows organisations and practitioners to see how and where their models and practices fit, and provides a basis of communication.


The Institute of Asset Management recently delivered three high-profile projects:

·           The BSI PAS 55:2008 update;

·           IAM Competences Framework 2008 version; and

·           The PAS55 Assessment Methodology.

Whilst this represents a significant achievement, a growing number of members and other interested parties are starting to ask what should be done once PAS55 certification has been achieved.  The Institute of Asset Management has therefore been developing guidance on ‘Beyond PAS55 Compliance’ (ie conformance with PAS55 minimum requirements) and as part of this work has developed a conceptual model and an Asset Management Landscape.

The Asset Management Council developed the Capabilities Assurance Model, a conceptual model describing the philosophies and principles of Asset Management.  The Asset Management Council has also developed a content model referred to as the Processes Model that identifies disciplines, elements and Standards that describe the scope of Asset Management. 

The Capability Assurance Model and Process Models are being used by the Asset Management Council to:

·           Identify current and requirement for new Standards that relate to Asset Management practice;

·           Develop and align competency sets for the purpose of the assessment and accreditation of individuals working in the Asset Management profession;

·           Formulate course material in the fundamentals of Asset Management; and

·           Define the framework and range of practices for annual Asset Management Awards presented to participating Organisations.

Global Context

Global Forum for Maintenance and Asset Management

The GFMAM has been established with a major objective of sharing collaboratively collected advancements, knowledge and standards in maintenance and Asset Management. 

The foundation members of GFMAM are:

·           Associação das Empresas Brasileiras de Manutenção, Brazil;

·           Asset Management Council , Australia ;

·           European Federation of National Maintenance Societies (EFNMS), Europe ;

·           Iberoamerican Federation on Maintenance, South America ;

·           Gulf Society of Maintenance Professional, Arabian Gulf Region; and

·           The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals, USA .

The Institute of Asset Management (representing EFNMS) and the Asset Management Council have been asked to lead the development of Asset Management guidance, on behalf of the GFMAM, that builds on the work done by both organisations and provides an integrated and common approach.  In particular, a proposal for a common approach to the development of an Asset Management Landscape has been requested.

A Global Definition of Asset Management

The European Federation for National Maintenance Societies (EFNMS) has agreed on a definition of Asset Management as follows:

‘Asset Management is the optimal lifecycle management of physical assets to sustainably achieve the stated business objectives’

This definition was derived from the definition used by the Asset Management Council of Australia and discussions are ongoing about proposals for a global definition.

Current Global Initiatives


The Institute of Asset Management has been supporting BSI in proposing to the International Standards Organisation the development of an ISO standard on Asset Management using PAS55 as a key input document.  This is an excellent opportunity to achieve international consensus on the requirements for an Asset Management specification.

The ISO project, if supported by sufficient countries, will deliver ‘internationalisation’ of PAS55, but the international community is also seeking guidance on how to develop improvements which require further development of their Asset Management capabilities over and above those required for conformance with PAS55 or the ISO in order to meet increasing challenges from customers and regulators.

PAS55 (and in time the new ISO) defines a set of requirements for what should be addressed by a good practice Asset Management system.  It deliberately contains nothing on “to what extent” or “how well” a business needs to develop its Asset Management capabilities.  An organisation therefore needs to decide for itself whether conformance to standards is sufficient or whether there is a case for developing its Asset Management capabilities beyond mere conformance to achieve higher levels of maturity. 

As well as the ISO initiative, there has been increased international activity over the last 12 months to try to align thinking and guidance on Asset Management practices to avoid every country in the world developing duplicate and potentially contradictory guidance.

Certification & Qualification

Based upon the Capability Assurance and Process Models, the Asset Management Council has developed a Certification Programme for Asset Management professionals.  Noting that the scheme has just “gone live”, applications are currently being processed for professionals from around the globe.

As part of its routine activities and again based upon the Assurance and Process Models, the Asset Management Council also offers Asset Management Awards for both enterprises (commercial and public) and individuals.  Apart from Australia , applications have been received from Africa, New Zealand and Asia

The Institute of Asset Management is also developing qualifications and professional development strategy to align training and qualifications in Asset Management around the IAM Competences Framework.  Part of this strategy is to develop an Asset Management Qualifications Framework which can be used to articulate equivalencies between vocational and academic qualifications in Asset Management in such a way as to dovetail with existing management standards. 

The Institute of Asset Management and the Asset Management Council have started to develop an international Accord to extend this framework to cover equivalency across international providers of Asset Management qualifications.

Landscape Features

Business Drivers

Many businesses are under pressure to deliver more for less.  Conformance with PAS55 (and in time the new ISO) is a good starting point for the Asset Management processes of these businesses as it provides the framework for identifying and improving its Asset Management processes, but alignment alone is unlikely to be sufficient.  Good Asset Management is not simply about conformance with the requirements of PAS55 but is also about developing Asset Management capabilities to deliver the required level of service for the available funding. 

It is also about knowing when to stop and to recognise that Asset Management capabilities are fit for purpose.  How good does an organisation need to be at Asset Management to meet its service and cost objectives?  The answer to this is likely to vary across different types of asset and across different Asset Management activities depending on the particular business drivers and priorities of an organisation.

If guidance on this is to be developed, it needs to be provided in the context of an overall decision-making framework that considers the range of likely good practices that may exist or require developing.  It also needs to acknowledge that this may be different for different organisations, different sectors and for different Asset Management processes.

Best Practices Framework

The Asset Management Landscape is proposed as guidance to achieve a unified overview of Asset Management and has the following key components:

1.      A conceptual model that describes, at the highest level, the key aspects of Asset Management and how these interact with each other how they link to the overall corporate objectives and business plan.

2.      A list of Asset Management Subjects that can be organised around the Conceptual Model and used to describe the scope of best practice Asset Management.

3.      An Asset Management Matrix that provides the framework for capturing different examples of best practices for each Subject and the operating context in which these best practices may be applicable.

4.      An Asset Management Maturity Scale that describes levels of maturity beyond PAS55 alignment and guidance on how to assess how well a particular organisation has applied best practices in the context of its own business drivers and priorities

These are discussed in more detail below.

Conceptual Model

In order to improve the understanding of the Asset Management Landscape, the list of Asset Management Subjects need to be described in the context of an overall conceptual model to show how the different Subjects interact at a high level. 

A conceptual model of Asset Management describes its essential philosophies and principles.  Conceptual models are valuable for communicating and agreeing foundation concepts in Asset Management.   

The Capability Assurance Model from the Asset Management Council, shown in Figure 1, is an example of a conceptual model for Asset Management. 

Figure 1: Capability Assurance Model
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The Capability Assurance Model describes effective Asset Management as a combination of principles, quality processes and people.  The emphasis of this model is on the comprehension and assurance of the capability of assets.  The four principles of Asset Management: Output Focus, Capabilities, Assurance and Learning Organisations, describe the fundamental assumptions of a capability assurance approach to Asset Management. 

The Plan Do Check Act feature acknowledges the need to continuously improve Asset Management capabilities.  The feature of Culture and Leadership emphasises the key contribution of people to the delivery of quality processes.

Asset Management can also be described as a series of interconnected quality processes and for the purposes of structuring the Asset Management Landscape, a more process-centric conceptual model for Asset Management has been used which has already been extensively used and tested with different industries.  This is shown in Figure 2 and again emphasises the importance of organisation and people in enabling Asset Management.

The IAM asserts and retains copyright of this diagram.  You may reproduce and use this image as you wish but please do not alter it in any way and please also acknowledge the source.  (The original may be downloaded from our website.)
Figure 2:  Asset Management Conceptual Model

Every member organisation of the GFMAM is likely to have a differing cultural and socio-economic environment and that environment must be acknowledged in the development of a global approach to Asset Management.  Many members of the GFMAM, including the Asset Management Council in Australia , were incorporated as maintenance focused organisations.  As a global approach to Asset Management is developed and implemented by the GFMAM, that heritage must be both acknowledged and built upon, if the approach is to be successful.

Everyone’s journey in the understanding and application of Asset Management is different, reflecting differing starting points, cultures, languages and objectives.  A common global approach needs to be able to reflect all of those journeys.  Other conceptual models than the ones shown above may therefore be helpful to present Asset Management in way that reflects more closely the background and current position of any member organisation, whilst still retaining a common approach and content. 

Asset Management Subjects

A list of Asset Management Subjects has been derived from an international review of an extensive list of Asset Management models and assessment methodologies.  This review identified 39 Asset Management Subjects that together describe the scope of Asset Management, which are shown in Table 1 below.

Subject Group

Asset Management Subject

Asset Management Strategy and Planning

Asset Management Policy

Asset Management Strategy

Demand Analysis

Strategic Planning

Asset Management Plans

Asset Management Decision-Making

Capital Investment Decision-Making

Operations and Maintenance Decision-Making

Life Cycle Cost and Value Optimisation

Resourcing Strategy and Optimisation

Shutdowns and Outage Strategy and Optimisation

Aging Assets Strategy

Lifecycle Delivery Activities

Technical Standards and Legislation

Asset Creation and Acquisition

Systems Engineering

Configuration Management

Maintenance Management

Reliability Engineering

Asset Operations

Resource Management

Shutdown/Outage Management

Incident Response

Asset Rationalisation and Disposal

Asset Knowledge Enablers

Asset Information Strategy

Asset Knowledge Standards

Asset Information Systems

Asset Data and Knowledge

Organisation and People Enablers

Contract and Supplier Management

Asset Management Leadership

Organisational Structure, Culture, Roles and Responsibilities

Competence and Behaviour

Risk Management

Criticality, Risk Assessment and Management

Contingency Planning and Resilience Analysis

Sustainable Development

Weather and Climate Change

Review and Continual Improvement

Assets and Systems Performance and Health Monitoring

Assets and Systems Change Management

Management Review, Audit and Assurance

Accounting Practices

Stakeholder Relations

Table 1: Asset Management Subjects

Currently many Standards Bodies have produced relevant standards, able to be used within the processes used by Asset Management.  Such bodies include but are not limited to, ISO, IEC, BS, AS/NZS, SAE , US Military and many others.  Other non-English standards should also be included.  The Asset Management Landscape should also reflect that knowledge and relevant standards will be mapped to the each of the above subjects.

Over time, these Subjects will also need be cross-referenced or mapped to:

·           Various Asset Management Body of Knowledge projects;

·           Current and related Asset Management competencies; and

·           Other organisations that provide existing guidance on sub-sets of the Asset Management landscape.

The Asset Management Matrix

It is important that complexity of approach to Asset Management and an organisation’s maturity in Asset Management are not confused.  A simple approach may well be appropriate, and represent a high level of maturity, where the context in which the assets are operating is straightforward. 

The Asset Management Matrix will provide examples of best practices for different operating environments that reflect these different levels of complexity.  It will also provide guidance on which of these best practices are appropriate for different sectors or operating contexts, taking into account existing levels of maturity.

For some Subjects, it will not be necessary to develop multiple levels of complexity of approach.  For example, best practice guidance on the development of an Asset Management Policy is unlikely to vary significantly for assets or asset systems of varying complexity.  By contrast, for a Subject such as Asset Information Systems, best practice is likely to vary significantly depending on the complexity of the asset portfolio and the criticality of the decisions being informed by the asset information.

Although the Asset Management Matrix will provide guidance on appropriate levels of sophistication for different operating contexts, each individual organisation will ultimately need to decide for itself what level of complexity or sophistication is appropriate based on a range of factors that may be particular to that enterprise. 

Maturity Scale and Guidance on Assessing Maturity

The final component of the Asset Management Landscape is the maturity scale and associated guidance.  This aspect of the work is to provide greater clarity on the difference between complexity and maturity to recognise that for simple assets, a simple approach can be assessed as a high level of maturity.

ISO/IEC 15504 on Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination provides a useful approach to defining and assessing process maturity.  This approach will need to be adapted for Asset Management to develop a method of defining and assessing an organisation’s maturity in Asset Management.

Figure 3 shows a maturity scale that is based on the scale from the International Infrastructure Management Manual.  This builds on the maturity scale used within the PAS55 Assessment Methodology recently produced by the Institute of Asset Management by including additional maturity states beyond PAS55 alignment.

Figure 3: The Asset Management Maturity Scale

The transitions between the processes for each maturity state as a business develops its capability towards its target can also be categorised by the behaviours typically necessary to enable each transition, Learning, Applying, Embedding, Integrating and Optimising.  These transitions are shown relative to the maturity which also shows where the “limit of known (or at least recognised) Asset Management best practice” is positioned. 

It is worthy of note that this limit of known best practice is not a fixed destination, but a relative position based upon where performance of the leaders in an industry currently are.  With the advent of new approaches, tools and techniques the continued evolution of Asset Management means that today’s acknowledged best practice may not be tomorrow’s.  

As mentioned earlier, a simple approach to a simple problem can be Excellent in maturity terms but the same approach to a complex problem is unlikely to be.  This guidance will need to consider aspects such as:

·           the extent to which the best practices are relevant;

·           the relative priority of the best practice to that particular organisation or sector;

·           how appropriate the complexity is for the criticality of the asset;

·           how well they are implemented; and

·           how well integrated they are with other aspects of Asset Management.


This paper has proposed an Asset Management Landscape as a means of developing and promoting a common global approach to Asset Management. 

This Asset Management Landscape will include a number of Asset Management conceptual models, a list of Asset Management Subjects and a framework for describing: best practices, maturity and standards. 

The Asset Management Landscape will also need to take account of the different cultures and the different perspectives that different countries or sectors may have on Asset Management.

This Asset Management Landscape can provide an overview and perspective of Asset Management for organisations and practitioners to see how and where their models and practices fit, and provide a basis for global conversation and alignment. 

It can also be used as the framework to develop an Asset Management Qualifications Framework which can be used to articulate equivalencies between various international vocational and academic qualifications in Asset Management.