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An organization is a "person or group of people that has its own functions with responsibilities, authorities and relationships to achieve its objectives" (ISO 55000)

Types of Organizations
The concept of organization includes, but is not limited to:
  • Sole-trader
  • Company
  • Corporation
  • Firm
  • Enterprise
  • Authority
  • Partnership
  • Charity
  • Institution
or part or combination thereof, whether incorporated or not, public or private.

Listed below are a few simple examples:
  • Sole-trader – Mrs. Smith and her family make arts and crafts in their basement that they sell at the market on the weekends.
  • Company - Microsoft is a large software company that sells Windows as an operating system to run computers.
  • Firm - Clark Wilson is a law firm providing legal services to various kinds of construction companies.
  •  Charity – The Kidney Foundation is a charitable organization that raises money for kidney research.
  • Institution – Simon Fraser University is an educational institution that offers a variety of degrees.
  • Association – BC Non-Profit Housing Association is an organization that provides leadership and support to its members in creating and supporting a high standard of affordable housing throughout British Columbia.
  • Society – Maple Leaf Meadows is a (fictitious) housing society that provides affordable housing to people living in and around the town of Maple Leaf.

Organizations operate within society -- they are therefore open systems that can have an affect upon and also be affected by their surrounding environment.

It can be helpful to think of an organization as having some similarities to an organic cell in biology. A cell is surrounded by a membrane (that defines the boundaries of the cell) but the membrane is porous and enables the cell to connect and communicate with other cells.  Organizations have relationships and communications with other organizations. Effective O&M requires the organization to have symbiotic relationships with other organizations.

Here are some examples:

  • A housing society (Organization #1) requires a maintenance contractor (Organization #2) to perform HVAC services.
  • The roof starts leaking on the building of housing society (Organization #1) so the board of directors engages a consulting engineering firm to investigate (Organization #2). Eventually a new roof is installed by a roofing contractor (Organization #3).

The manner in which an organization interacts with other organizations will depend on its internal structure and its culture. Every organization has both a structure and a culture -- they are like two sides of the same coin. An organization cannot have a structure without also having a culture and cannot have a culture without a structure.  

  • Structure of the Organization – This is a “formal” system of the functions and interrelations between the roles, responsibilities, authorities, communications, and rights of the members of the organization. 
  • Culture of the Organization – This is an “informal” system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which have a strong influence on how people behave inside the organization. Culture expresses itself in how people dress, act, and perform their jobs.

Understanding the Organization
  • Every organization has a structure and a culture.
  • Every organization exists for a purpose

Comparison of the LVP asset ratios at different organizations
Fig. Comparison of the L-V-P asset ratios at different organizations.

Comparing the Maintenance-Repair-Renewal (MRR) trade-offs at different organizations.
Fig. Comparing the Maintenance-Repair-Renewal (MRR) trade-offs at different organizations. As maintenance quality and effort increases so too does the frequency and scope of repairs decrease - however, there is a point of diminishing returns. Do you know where your balance is?

The various sectors of industry and real estate that are contemplating ISO 55001 conformity
Fig. All sectors of the economy are contemplating ISO 55001 conformity: primary sector (extraction), secondary sector (production), tertiary sector (service-based) and perhaps also the quaternary sector (knowledge-based).

See also:
  • m

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