12 November 2019
Two years ago, Steve Little, Director in our Asset Management team, volunteered to help the Institute of Asset Management (IAM) expand and enrich knowledge within his sector. After an intense collaborative process, he has helped develop one of the Subject Specific Guidelines (SSGs) designed to help asset management practitioners achieve excellence within Configuration Management.
With the documents now published, we caught up with Steve to reflect on the experience and what he learned.
Who did you work with on the publication
"I led a team of three other professionals co-authoring this publication with them. They all volunteered like me and none of us knew each other prior to working on this. They were Mark Knight (Burns and McDonnell - USA); Flori Mihai (Mainroads Western Australia - Australia) and John Iley (Nova Systems - Australia). I had the pleasure and responsibility to lead the group on behalf of the IAM.
Craig Hatch, Group Managing Director - Management & Surveying business, also played an important part as a peer reviewer."
What is this publication part of?
"The Configuration Management document (No 14) forms part of the IAM’s Subject Specific Guidelines (SSGs), a series of publications designed to cultivate asset management knowledge. They cover 39 subjects in Asset Management and are based on the asset management knowledge structure or ‘matrix’ from the Asset Management Landscape.
The SSGs are a core element within the IAM asset management knowledge base. Through peer review and IAM Expert Panel assessment, they fully align with the IAM’s values centred on supporting excellence through successful asset management.
Each SSG document covers anywhere from one to a group of topics from the 39 Subjects, with broader subjects meriting their own SSG, and closely related subjects being grouped together in a separate SSG."
What does this publication aim to do?
"Essentially, the publications we worked on provide a set of guidelines for achieving excellence in the Asset Management discipline of Configuration Management.
Throughout history, right up to present day, there are numerous examples where the application of configuration management would likely have made a huge difference in avoiding negative outcomes. Knowing how to identify issues and where they might arise is vital to ensuring those problems don’t later become catastrophic. Applied sensibly at the correct level of resolution, Configuration Management can provide an organisation with a level of control that instils it with the confidence in knowing that their assets will fulfil the functions they desire when they want them to."
How long does it take to produce the publication?
"From our first team meeting to publishing, it has taken two years to complete but the last nine months have involved reviewing, editing, and going through the publishing process."
How will it aid people in this industry?
"The SSG will provide guidance for practitioners in our profession on how to best utilise tools and techniques to manage and optimise the value of an asset, system, or product so that it is fit for a designated purpose. The guideline is also about educating people on maintaining the integrity and flexibility of that asset, system, or product so it performs whatever task or function you want, whenever you want, throughout its lifecycle."
What did you learn whilst developing the paper?
"Working on this publication provided the opportunity to develop team management and leadership skills, owed largely to the fabulous ability, knowledge, experience, input and conscientiousness of the rest of the assembled team.
Coordinating project delivery from a team based across three countries and four time zones was also a new challenge for me (amazingly, three of us have links to the Cumbria region, where I live, which shows what a small world we live in). As WYG is now part of the Tetra Tech group, headquartered in the US employing 20,000 people in over 450 global locations, working with experts all over the world is something I look forward to doing more of."
Is there anything else in the pipeline for you to work on?
"Yes, I am providing peer review support for SSG No13 on Systems Engineering having been asked for help by its lead Tim Ingram. Tim is a fellow member of the British Standards Institution’s Shadow committee (AMS 001) for ISO 55000 (the international standard for asset management) and Tim also provided peer review support for this SSG publication."