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Context of the Organization




Types of Context
The context of an organization can be analyzed in a variety of different ways - by function, by level, etc.


      Group A- Functional
      Group B - locational
  • Internal context
  • External context
  • Stakeholders



Methods/Process
Listed below are some of the methods to study the context of organizations:
. The context scan provides a current snapshot of the context of the organization, which is comprised of two facets:
  • External Scan – This is outward-facing and looks to issues and trends that are beyond the organization’s control. However, the organization will be able to leverage some positive trends and mitigate against negative impacts.
  • Internal Scan – This scan is inward-facing and looks to matters that are within the organization’s control.
There are two principal context scanning techniques: the PESTLE analysis and the SWOT analysis. Both of these analyses need to be conducted separately and then correlated.

A PESTLE analysis is a multi-dimensional analysis of the context of the organization for the purpose of identifying issues that may affect influence the design of the asset management system (AMS).




References in ISO 55001
  • 55001    4.1    The organization shall determine internal and external issues that are relevant to its purpose and that affect its ability to achieve the intended outcomes of its asset management system."
  • 55001    6.1    “When planning for the asset management system the organization shall consider the issues referred to in 4.1…”
  • 55001    6.2.1    “When establishing its asset management objectives, the organization shall consider the requirements of relevant stakeholders and of other financial, technical, legal, regulatory and organizational requirements in the asset management planning process”
  • 55002    4.1.2.1    “…the… external and internal contexts of the organization … can significantly influence the design and scope of the asset management system”
  • 55002    4.1.2.2    “Evaluating the organization’s external context can include, but is not limited to, the following issues: a) the social and cultural, political, legal, regulatory, financial, technological, economic, competitive and natural environment, whether international, national, regional or local; b) key drivers and trends…; relationships with, and perceptions and values of, external stakeholders”
  • 55002    4.2.4    “When engaging with stakeholders to determine their needs and expectations, the organization can use the list of contexts given in 4.1.2 to frame the discussions”
  • 55002    4.3    “Based on the outcomes of reviews of its context and stakeholders (see 4.1 and 4.2), the organization should define (or review) the boundaries of the asset management system, and establish its scope”
  • 55002    5.2    “There should be processes in place to review and update the asset management policy, and to ensure that if the organization’s external or internal context changes, the actions necessary to update the policy are also triggered”


Benefits of a Context Scan
  • Awareness of Issues & Trends – An understanding of its external and internal contexts will help the organization raise its awareness about issues and trends.
  • Effective Communications with Stakeholders – Information on the contexts can be used to effectively frame the discussions with the organization’s stakeholders.
  • Design of the Asset Management System -  An understanding of the nature and complexity of the context issues will help the organize establish an appropriate scope and boundaries for its asset management system.
  • Development of Policy and Strategy – An understanding of the various contexts (legal, political, social, technological, economic and environmental) will inform the organization in the development of appropriate policy, strategy and plans.
  • Appropriate Treatment of Risks – Awareness and analysis of issues will ensure that risks are identified and appropriate managed.



Every organization is influenced by a multi-faceted context. These facets should be recognized as landmarks that will orient the organization ast it navigates a path along the asset management journey
Fig.  Every organization is influenced by a multi-faceted context. These facets should be recognized as landmarks that will orient the organization ast it navigates a path along the asset management journey.


Legal "knots" are insidious and reveal themselves suddenly to the organization
Fig. Some examples of insidious legal "knots" in the context of the organization.


Leadership reflecting on the organization's culture
Fig. Leadership reflecting on the different manifestations of the organization's culture.


Top management establishes the structure of the organization
Fig. Top management establishes the structure of the organization.


Political "knots" trap negative energy in the organization
Fig. Some examples of political "knots" that trap negative energy in the organization and need to be untangled with finesse.


Financial "knots" must be addressed carefully or they may get even tighter
Fig. Financial "knots" must addressed carefully or they may get even tighter.


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Fig. Organizational "knots" (problems) require patience and finesse to untangle them -- or they will get even tighter.  Do you know how to untangle the knots in your organization?

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Fig. Sometimes even the tiniest knots are the most difficult to undo.


Before attempting to loosen the outer layers of a "knot", we should first look into its deeper structure
Fig. Before attempting to loosen the outer layers of a "knot", we should first look into its deeper structure.



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