Is it the software that is not working or is the business process wrong?

A quick search of the internet for the top reasons that enterprise asset management system (EAMS) implementations fail, reveals a wide range of culprits such as insufficient training, vendor support, scalability, etc. However, you would seldom find the reason that the software does not support the business processes and yet this is one of the most commonly encountered problems, albeit hidden under different guises.

The definition of a business process is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer. It often can be visualised with a flowchart as a sequence of activities. The main point is that the activities are done in a way that supports a bigger purpose or goal. From an Asset Management point of view the most critical point from ISO55000 and its PAS55 predecessor is that there is alignment between the asset management goals or strategy and the organisational goals.

In the context then of an EAMS supporting the business processes, how is it that tenders and requirements for these systems normally contain a long exhaustive list of features and functionalities rather than a detailed explanation of the business processes and activities that it should support? This is typically because that it is not as easily defined as functionality, mostly not documented and not understood as the real value adding activity.

The real benefit from your EAMS selection materialises when the EAMS optimise your business processes in support of your asset management goals. The role of an EAMS can be defined in two primary benefits: automation of business processes for example work order scheduling and provision of feedback on how well the business process is working for example backlog management. Some other benefits from properly defined asset management business processes relating to your EAMS are:

  • Links the EAMS to the strategy and best practises
  • Defines the required EAMS outputs
  • Ensures data integrity
  • Ensures proper training of users
  • Ensure effective change management

How do you then go about selecting and implementing the correct EAMS for your organisation? For a start you have to find a vendor that understands asset management and the context of your organisation and industry. This vendor should be able to assist with assessing your current asset management environment and the development of an asset management plan in support of your asset management and information strategy. This plan should then define the business processes that must be in place and optimised.

The EAMS implementation and configuration is then done in support of business processes that supports this strategy and not in isolation. Change management must form a key part of this process and will then be supported with a clear line of sight between the implementation of the EAMS and the strategic goals of the organisation.

Do not purchase and install an EAMS, rather implement it as part of a comprehensive asset management improvement process.

Pragma has a suite of products and services including On Key EAMS software, asset management business processes, asset management assessment and roadmap consulting as well as extensive asset management training courses that is effectively integrated for delivering asset management services to your organisation.