I write a lot about Asset Information Management (AIM). Not only because I find the issue interesting, but because there are so many land mines along the road to a good solution. Choosing the right path can lead to incredible benefits, but a single misstep can lead to disaster.
One land mine is lack of top management support for the AIM program. Asset information is hidden from top managers, so relating AIM to initiatives like product and customer information management is one way to develop the needed understanding. Establishing AIM’s role within the organization’s business plan is also critical as it ensures that everyone will appreciate the vision and goals you set for the AIM program.
A second land mine is focusing the AIM program on the wrong issues. AIM has to support a diverse set of functions and each has its own view of what is important. This will range from sustaining the quality of asset master information to enabling convenient access to asset information from individual workflows. So it is essential that the program is driven by an AIM council with representatives from all of the major areas who can share responsibility for AIM decisions and act as AIM evangelists within their respective groups.
Trying to do too much at one time is always a land mine for programs like AIM. Most organizations will need improvement in every area and the perfect AIM vision cannot be achieved overnight. But they can be organized into a roadmap of rational initiatives that lead to this ultimate goal. Such an approach will set reasonable expectations as to when everyone’s problems will be solved and facilitate confidence building which is fundamental to reaping all of the AIM benefits.
Still another land mine is assuming that AIM is a one-shot deal. Maintaining the quality of asset information is an ongoing challenge, stakeholder needs will vary with new practices and regulations, and technology will continue to evolve and present new possibilities and requirements. To deal with this, every AIM program should include a plan for continuous monitoring and improvement of asset information quality and AIM performance relative to the organization’s business objectives, stakeholder needs, peer and competitor performance, and technology opportunities.
We just completed an ARC Strategy report on this topic and I refer you to that report for more information and more detailed advice as to what you can do to avoid AIM land mines.
Poor selection of technology is obviously a major AIM land mine, but this is a topic unto itself. There are so many issues to consider that we are currently doing a separate report on this subject, and I will be discussing our findings in future blogs.