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John Woodhouse, TWPL’s CEO, Fellow and Chair of the Panel of Experts for the Institute of Asset Management (IAM) has authored a new guidance document, Developing and Maintaining a Strategic Asset Management Plan, which takes you step-by-step through creating and using a SAMP in your own organisation. Here is a taster of the main messages.

The evolution of specialist departments and roles is an inevitable feature of managing increasingly large and complex systems. As a result, however, it can be hard for individuals to understand how they fit into the bigger picture and for departments to co-ordinate their priorities and contributions.

At the same time, corporate vision and mission statements are often expressed in such generic language of good intentions that they can be difficult for the workforce to intepret for their day-to-day activities. A translation is needed  and that’s why a Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) is useful. It gives a better understanding of what we should do (strategies), what we want to achieve (objectives), in what timescales.

A good SAMP can bring disparate parts of the business together, set a clear way forward, resolve priorities and make sure people work together with the same goals. But creating a worthwhile and successful SAMP is an art in itself.

So, what is an effective SAMP? And how do you make sure it contains the right stuff and actually helps deliver better business performance in the business?

What it is and why it is needed

A SAMP (or what BSI PAS 55 called an Asset Management Strategy), is a documented strategy for asset management that clarifies intended activities, desired outcomes and certain practices that will be used in their delivery. It takes a long-term view, and aligns the needs and expectations of the organisation and stakeholders with the realities of existing assets and asset management capabilities.

It also ensures everyone is on the same page about priorities, objectives and things that need to be done in a joined-up way. It translates top-down organisational expectations into practical implications (who should do what, why and when). And it helps to challenge and shape those expectations recognising practical realities (assets, capabilities, constraints, risks and opportunities) and translating them, from the bottom up, into business significance.

The SAMP therefore plays a key role in establishing coherence between senior management’s desires (where we want to go and why) and the day-to-day responsibilities of the workforce (what do we need to do and when).

Many organisations already have business plans and performance goals, of course, but these often split out into departmental responsibilities and budgets at a very high level in the organisation. So departmental peformance goals often compete, and it can be difficult to resolve conflicting priorities day-to day.

Furthermore, the assets’ true condition, capability, future risks and performance are often not adquately considered when determining what needs to be done, why and when. By forcing organisations to consider these issues in a joined-up way, the SAMP makes the adopted objectives and strategies clearer and more credible. It is an explanation of how asset management will help the organisation deliver its objectives, making it a key part of the management system.


In many ways, the process of developing a SAMP is as important as the resulting content. It can be an eye-opening experience for those involved, revealing different perspectives on what can and should be done. If the right people take part in the right way, the result can be more than just a document; the experience can be a catalyst for breaking down departmental walls, re-energising the workforce and enabling much better peformance.

Download the full article published in Assets Magazine (February 2018) ‘Developing your SAMP’


TWPL Asset Management Academy offers a 2-day course providing real practical insight into the development of effective strategies for Asset Management which is suitable for all levels of asset management experience. Explore this and other courses now. 

If you are new to asset management or involved in implementing the ISO 55000 standards, or if you are in senior management and need to understand how to turn business plans into more concrete strategies, contact us to discuss.

T: + 44(0) 1635 298800