|Alignment is one of the four core principles of ISO 55000, which is the international standard for asset management.
is defined in the dictionary as arrangement in a straight line, or in
correct or appropriate relative positions; a position of agreement or
It is also referred to as “line of sight”.
Listed below are some of the key attributes of alignment within the realm of asset management:
Types/Examples of Alignment
Listed below are some the many different types of alignment that are required within an organization:
- Between levels of the organization
- Between types of activities
- Across decision-making criteria
- Over the fiscal cycle
- Over time horizons
- From values to mission to vision
- From policy to goals to strategy to plans
- Across the triple-net bottom line of people, planet and profit
- Between short term, medium-term and long-range needs and forecasts
- From operational plan to tactical plan to strategic plan
- Between decision-making criteria, such as risk, cost and performance
- Between high-priority, medium-priority and low-priority
- From maintenance to repairs to renewals of assets
- From Capex to Opex
- Between levels of the organization, such as board room (Board) to plant floor (eg. City Council, City Departments and City Staff)
- From internal stakeholders to external stakeholders
- Between union staff and non union staff
- Between linear assets, vertical assets and portable assets
- Between the Organizational Corporate Plan (OCP), Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) and Asset Management Plans (AMPs)
- From estimating to budgeting to financing
- Between the different types of functional plans (risk management plan, sustainability plan, resourcing plan, etc)
- The eight W-s" of how, what, who, where, when, how much
Deeper examples of alignment
Included below is further information on a few examples of alignment.
- City Council - policies
- City Executives/departments - plans, decision-making
- City Staff - governance, operations
Management of Alignment
- Conduct a stakeholder needs analysis
- Understand the context of the organization
- Set clear goals and objectives
- Develop strategies and plans
- Continually communicatet the goals and objectives
"Don't wear rollerskates to a tug-of-war" -- Larry Wall.
I continue my journey through Asset Management I have come across a
number of organizational tensions that require mindfulness and critical
thinking to result in a win-win rather than a win-lose scenario.
- 1. PUSH or PULL on a Rope?
Is your department pushing on a rope or caught in a tug-of-war? All
kinds of rope wars are futile. Once we put the ropes away we can focus
on integration, collaboration and alignment.
- Play a Game of CHESS or CHECKERS?
A chess grandmaster is thinking ahead five moves and carefully
leveraging the value of each piece - and that's where the strategic
advantage lies. If we play asset management like checkers, we will not
overcome the powerful players on the other side of the board.
- Focus on MAINTENANCE or REPAIRS?
As maintenance quality and effort increases so does the frequency and
scope of repairs decrease -- however, there is a point of diminishing
returns. How do you know when you have found your optimal M-R-R
- Ask WHY or WHAT-IF?
It seems to me that all our challenges can be traced back to nine
questions --starting with the all-powerful "Why?" and ending with the
all-knowing "What if?"
- Be REACTIVE or PROACTIVE?
Asset replacement policies must align to asset risk profiles in order
to achieve optimization and satisfy ISO 55001 requirements. The
replacement mix that results across the asset portfolio is our risk
- Have CULTURE or STRATEGY for Breakfast?
Asset management is hard work and requires sustenance. Two essential
ingredients of a nutritious asset management recipe are strategy and
- 7. Look UPSTREAM or DOWNSTREAM?
Supply chains are a key factor in an organization's success. Failure to
manage the risks associated with some of these upstream processes may
result in procurement delays, downtime and business interruption. How
far upstream does your organization try to plan?
- 8. Rely on INSOURCING or OUTSOURCING?
organizations must find their optimal resource mix, which is the
appropriate balance between internal competency development of its
staff and contracting with external 3rd parties.
Plan for TODAY or TOMORROW? The "old fashioned" calendar view still
represents one of the best tools to visualize work distributions and to
manage the many tasks in the Asset Management Plan (AMP). We need our
history to inform our future, all of which takes place in decisions
that are occuring today.
- 10. Manage the
PROBABILITIES or the CONSEQUENCES of Failure Risk-based decision making
is at the heart of asset management and this requires mindful
consideration of the relationship between the probability of failure
(PoF) and the consequences of failure (CoF). The complexities of these
correlations can sometimes be captured on a risk matrix.
Fig. The four core principles of ISO 55000 (value, alignment, leadership and assurance) in action.
Functional silos will defeat the organization. Instead:
integration, collaboration and alignment are some of the critical
Fig. Alignment is required between all levels of the organization - such as, from top management to line staff.
Fig. Alignment between Maintenance, Repairs and Renewals will help the organization find the optimal MRR ratio.
Fig. Alignment across different decision-making criteria (such as risk, cost and performance) is required for ISO 55000 conformity.
Fig. The journey to asset management maturity may sometimes feel like a maze.
Fig. The journey to asset management maturity may sometimes feel like a knot that needs to be untied.
Fig. After years of careful planning and stewardship, I. Care and his facility are now aligned.
Fig. I. Care is aligning his assets to organizational goals and objectives.