A framework for strategic infrastructure asset management

Too, Eric G. (2010) A framework for strategic infrastructure asset management. In Amadi-Echendu, Joe E. , Brown, Kerry A., Willet, Roger , & Mathew, Joseph (Eds.) Definitions, Concepts and Scope of Engineering Asset Management. Springer, pp. 31-60.

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The concept of asset management is not a new but an evolving idea that has been attracting attention of many organisations operating and/or owning some kind of infrastructure assets. The term asset management have been used widely with fundamental differences in interpretation and usage. Regardless of the context of the usage of the term, asset management implies the process of optimising return by scrutinising performance and making key strategic decisions throughout all phases of an assets lifecycle (Sarfi and Tao, 2004). Hence, asset management is a philosophy and discipline through which organisations are enabled to more effectively deploy their resources to provide higher levels of customer service and reliability while balancing financial objectives. In Australia, asset management made its way into the public works in 1993 when the Australian Accounting Standard Board issued the Australian Accounting Standard 27 – AAS27. Standard AAS27 required government agencies to capitalise and depreciate assets rather than expense them against earnings. This development has indirectly forced organisations managing infrastructure assets to consider the useful life and cost effectiveness of asset investments. The Australian State Treasuries and the Australian National Audit Office was the first organisation to formalise the concepts and principles of asset management in Australia in which they defined asset management as “ a systematic, structured process covering the whole life of an asset”(Australian National Audit Office, 1996). This initiative led other Government bodies and industry sectors to develop, refine and apply the concept of asset management in the management of their respective infrastructure assets. Hence, it can be argued that the concept of asset management has emerged as a separate and recognised field of management during the late 1990s. In comparison to other disciplines such as construction, facilities, maintenance, project management, economics, finance, to name a few, asset management is a relatively new discipline and is clearly a contemporary topic. The primary contributors to the literature in asset management are largely government organisations and industry practitioners. These contributions take the form of guidelines and reports on the best practice of asset management. More recently, some of these best practices have been made to become a standard such as the PAS 55 (IAM, 2004, IAM, 2008b) in UK. As such, current literature in this field tends to lack well-grounded theories. To-date, while receiving relatively more interest and attention from empirical researchers, the advancement of this field, particularly in terms of the volume of academic and theoretical development is at best moderate. A plausible reason for the lack of advancement is that many researchers and practitioners are still unaware of, or unimpressed by, the contribution that asset management can make to the performance of infrastructure asset. This paper seeks to explore the practices of organisations that manage infrastructure assets to develop a framework of strategic infrastructure asset management processes. It will begin by examining the development of asset management. This is followed by the discussion on the method to be adopted for this paper. Next, is the discussion of the result form case studies. It first describes the goals of infrastructure asset management and how they can support the broader business goals. Following this, a set of core processes that can support the achievement of business goals are provided. These core processes are synthesised based on the practices of asset managers in the case study organisations.

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ID Code: 38228
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Asset Management, Built Environment, Engineering Asset Management, Life Cycle Management, Physical Asset Management
ISBN: 9781849961776
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Springer
Deposited On: 11 Nov 2010 22:11
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2015 14:13

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