top of page

5 Tips to Improve Facilitation of Asset Management Plans


Great facilitation produces great collaboration and great Strategic Asset Managment Plans.
Great facilitation produces great collaboration and great Strategic Asset Managment Plans.

This short article provides five tips to improve the facilitation of strategic asset management plans. The bottom line is you need a proven facilitation approach and the best facilitator you can afford. Like most technical specialists, few asset managers are trained facilitators, and even fewer are accomplished. Improve your facilitation skills if you are an asset manager; however, avoid assuming dual roles when developing your plan.

 

Why is a Strategic Asset Management Plan Needed?

A Strategic (i.e., long-term) Plan is needed for two reasons. First, assets have widely varying lifespans. Second, improvements in asset management usually involve changes to business processes, workforce competencies, behavior, and culture. Improving and integrating all parts will likely require significant time to become established and embedded. [IAM, 2021]

 

Why is Asset Management Complex?

The increased sophistication required to manage large and complex systems has made it harder for individuals within medium and large organizations to see the whole picture.

This lack of seeing the whole picture is combined with corporate vision and mission statements expressed in such generic, political language that the workforce cannot interpret the ‘so what?’


Asset management is complex because there are many interrelated parts, and communication is usually poor.

 

Why Developing Asset Management Plans Fail

 


The ten ways will pre-populate the risk register for any SAMP development.

This article takes a more positive route and discusses how great facilitation creates great plans.

 

Facilitating Asset Management Plans

Facilitation is a structured session(s) in which the meeting leader (the facilitator) guides the participants through a series of predefined steps to arrive at a result that is created, understood, and accepted by all participants. Not all asset managers are great facilitators.

 

5 Tips to Improve Facilitation of Asset Management Plans

These are my Top 5 tips.


5. Get The Right People Involved

Establishing the group of participants is a big part of any facilitation effort. With asset management plans, there is a particular need to focus both vertically and horizontally to make sure the entire organization has a voice.


SAMPS takes 6 to 12 months to complete. Transitions and turnover are inevitable. Great facilitators have approaches for off-boarding and on-boarding participants.

 

4. Don’t Overthink the Gap Analysis Tool

A long-term plan requires an evaluation of the gap between the current and future (desired) state of the organization. Current data is incomplete, and future needs are usually educated guesses. That means any gap analysis is more qualitative than quantitative.

 

Seasoned facilitators understand results are a function of survey design, analysis, and administration. Who designs the survey is not as important as the combined weight of proper analysis and administration (facilitation).

 

3. Create a Charter

A charter is an agreement between the members of the team. The charter includes deliverables, schedule, roles & responsibilities, success indicators, and areas of concern (risk register). Seasoned facilitators include decision-making and conflict-resolution processes in the charter, too.

 

You need a charter if you, as the facilitator, are "to guide participants through a series of predefined steps to arrive at a result that is created, understood, and accepted by all participants.”

 

2. Establish Organizational Context

Asset management experts and consultants often lose the perspective that the plan must be relevant to front-line staff and the organization. The SAMP must add meaningful value.


Doing a formal pre-session exchange with each participant helps frame the organizational context. I also like to add a half-day, interactive knowledge transfer session in the beginning as another technique for evaluating organization context.

 

1. Have a Formal Facilitation Approach

By now, you have probably figured out that facilitation is the common theme that runs through success and failure. There are several approaches for facilitating strategic plans, including strategic asset management plans.

 

The key point is to have a formal approach led by a seasoned facilitator. In fact, the best facilitator that you can afford.

 

CATER as an Approach

CATER is a proven approach for facilitating strategic asset management plans. Beyond a proven approach, carefully distinguish between asset manager and facilitator roles. The five tips for developing successful plans all touch on the quality of the facilitation.

 


 

Join CWF for the free webinar on being a better facilitator of asset management plans.
Join CWF for the free webinar on being a better facilitator of asset management plans.

Register now for this free webinar on becoming more effective at "Developing and Facilitating Strategic Asset Management Plans." (sponsored by Communicating with FINESSE).


Communicating with FINESSE is the not-for-profit community of technical professionals dedicated to being highly effective communicators and facilitators. Learn more about our publications, webinars, and workshops. Join the community for free.


JD Solomon Inc. provides solutions for facilitation, asset management, and program development at the nexus of facilities, infrastructure, and the environment. 



Comments


bottom of page