Asset Management is Change Management

When I speak with clients or prospects about increasing their team’s focus on Facility and Infrastructure Asset Management, almost all of them want to sprint out of the gates.

“Who are the leaders in our space, and what are they doing?” are often mentioned early in the conversation.  Although this is an admirable goal, as we start to look at what it will take to become world class, most organizations are closer to the beginning of the journey.

Trying to go from an average, or below average, position to  world class will fail as you will exceed your organization’s and your team members’ capacity for change.  It doesn’t matter if you are focusing on Capital Planning Excellence, Operational Excellence or Performance Excellence, any improvement will require significant change to many existing processes, procedures and day-to-day activities.

Every organization, due to its history, culture and team members has an inherent capacity for change.  It is critical that the leaders of any Asset Management program or project has a clear understanding of their team’s capacity for change.

We always recommend that you build a plan that you feel slightly exceeds your team’s capacity for change.  You don’t want to aim to low and invest a lot of time and money and not have a real impact.  You also don’t want to aim too high and lose commitment and accountability if the goal is out of reach.

I always say, go a little beyond where you think your comfort zone is. The ability to change is like a muscle;  the more you use it, the stronger it gets.  Most asset management projects have longer schedules (beyond a few weeks or months) and as such, the early changes that you make or implement will “loosen the team up” and should allow you to get a little further than you think you will.

Besides, if you are going to do something, why not set a stretch goal that makes you slightly uncomfortable.  Growth only occurs when you stretch.

There are a lot of factors that go into a successful AM program or project roll-out.  As you begin to look at your organization’s journey, just don’t forget to clarify what your team’s ability and willingness to change is.  Doing so will bring you and your team one step closer to truly Integrated Asset Management.