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In our previous article, John Woodhouse, TWPL’s CEO, talked about Asset Management’s integrated and holistic approach – taking the ‘total view’ and getting all the separate parts working together with a clear, shared purpose.

People and organisations explore and learn about Asset Management from many different starting points. The Woodhouse Partnership Ltd (TWPL) has, for over more than 20 years, developed the education and training that will enable you to learn at any level, and develop the skills to get to where you want to be, with the personal assistance of experienced guides.

Before we talk about what this can include, we want to show why it’s important to take a robust, structured and personalised approach:

  1. The Institute of Asset Management’s (IAM) Competences Framework.
  2. Understanding personal context and cultural attributes.
  3. How the individual learner’s journey aligns with the organisation’s maturity journey.

1. How we fit with the IAM’s Competences Framework

The IAM Competences Framework (v3.0 : 2014) is a comprehensive description of “what people involved in the management of physical assets should be able to do and the knowledge and understanding needed to underpin this”.  Part 1 describes the complete suite of competence requirements and an indication of the knowledge needed to meet them, and Part 2 gives guidance on how to use the Framework and how to customize it to an individual organization.  See the 7 roles identified in the IAM Competences Framework shown in figure 1 below.

                       Figure 1: The IAM Competences Framework –  the 7 Roles

We cross-reference our training proposals.  This Framework can be downloaded free from the IAM website if you are an Affiliate member (

2. Personal context and cultural attributes

We have observed a range of personal attitudes and attributes (the background success factors) that we’ve found make a big difference, both to people and organisations, wherever you are on your journey.  While some of these are fully covered by the Competences Framework and Guidance, we want to emphasize a few of them here:

  • Understand that everybody has a part to play in asset management. Whatever your technical or non-technical role – procurement, design, construction, training, operation, senior management, maintenance, logistics, financial management, information management etc – it’s everybody’s business.
  • A ‘silo-busting’ attitude – the ‘integrated and holistic’ aspect of asset management demands that functions, departments, business units – call them what you like – work together for the common goals of the organisation. This means that organisational barriers (silos) may get in the way. Silo busting can be difficult, but the rewards can be very high.
  • The ‘day Job’ – we often hear people say that they are too busy doing the ‘day Job’ to get involved. Actually, Asset Management is the ‘day Job’!
  • Willingness to learn – this is not just classroom or ‘on-job’ learning. It is also important to cross organisational boundaries and learn about other functions, reach common views of how the integrated asset management approach can achieve benefits on all sides.
  • Willingness to change – organisational culture and behaviour are possibly the hardest things to change, but changing inappropriate behaviour can be a rich source of benefits.
  • Completing and finishing – Plan/Do/Check/Act runs through the asset management approach. Plan what to do, then do it.  Review successes and areas to improve, then apply what you’ve learned. It sounds obvious, but it is frequently overlooked.
  • Energy and tenacity – you may be learning new ways yourself, or supporting colleagues or superiors to learn new ways. The ‘people’ part is usually the hardest!  Like with any project or change programme, there will be roadblocks and obstacles along the way that must be overcome.  Stick with it!

3. How the individual learner’s journey aligns with the organisation’s maturity journey

The asset management journey for individuals and organisations looks similar by design.  The Competences Framework sets out the multi-disciplinary nature of the skillsets that individuals need in order to help organisations to develop an asset management approach. The objective is to add a ‘generalist’ aspect to technical specialism to broaden understanding.

Just as the organisation’s Asset Management journey is described as moving from ‘Getting Started’ to ‘Integrating and Embedding’ and ‘Seeking Excellence’, so the individual’s journey may follow a similar trajectory, depending on the role requirements.  The Part 2: Guidance describes levels of responsibility (‘can direct’, ‘can guide and show’, ‘can do independently’, and ‘can contribute’) and develops these into examples of competence profiles.

The required levels of skills and responsibilities are clearly criticality-dependent within each organisation, and we have well-proven methods for ‘calibrating’ the needs to focus on the greatest personal- and business-value priorities. We provide both a rigorous ‘needs analysis’ and a revelation of underexploited strengths – very useful in targeting how to shape careers and enable internal coaching programmes. Most importantly, our methods develop a personalised and prioritised learning programme, linked directly to the desired competency outcomes.

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