Strategic Asset Management is sometimes seen as a tick box exercise, a way to outline what assets an organisation has at a point in time, with a policy or strategy overlay that sits on a shelf. However, this should be an interactive framework that enables the delivery of an organisational vision and objectives through the effective use of its property and land assets. It should mobilise an organisation to deliver results.
Last week, we had an opportunity to facilitate a knowledge share session at the ACES Heart of England Branch Event. We were able to share our learning around developing a strategic asset management framework that has demonstrable impact underpinned by developing a data-rich baseline through asset valuation.
A lot of our audience had been part of, or had recently delivered, a strategic asset management plan and what resonated with me were the number of consistent factors that need to be in place for these outputs to become embedded in organisational decision making and enable action to be taken:
- Ensuring robust engagement across a broad range (both internal and external) of stakeholder and Senior organisational buy-in is essential. This will not only ensure that you have a rich baseline of the future destination of the organisation but raises awareness of the potential of the portfolio by putting property on the top table.
- Data is key but don't let it hold-up progress. Having an accurate single point of truth is the utopian state for informed decision making. However, we all know collecting reliable and validated data can be a challenge, but it shouldn’t hold up progress. Where there are gaps, industry benchmarks, organisation memory or validated assumptions could be applied to avoid any long delays.
- Developing a strategic asset management framework doesn’t need to be a lengthy processes and once completed, they should stay live and be updated to demonstrate progress. This requires good governance and decision-making with the right stakeholders around the table to implement what has been agreed.
- Articulate the forward look and what you are going to do, but also focus on how you are going to do it. Any Strategic Asset Management Plan should be insightful and action-orientated to ensure that organisations do something with them to effect the changes. If you have a develop a 5 year plan, ensure you can plot the detailed steps of what can be achieved in year 1.
Although there are challenges in delivery, it is clear that an approach to strategic asset management can benefit any organisation through ensuring the portfolio underpins the delivery of quality services and effective portfolio management to create a cost effective & fit for purpose asset base.