3 key areas for communicating asset management
Internal communication is a critical area – if it’s handled badly, it will compromise your asset management system implementation. If perceptions about the programme become negative, it could make it more difficult to implement improvements now and also in the future.
1 Communications strategy and plan
The specification for the programme , whether handled internally or by outsourcing, should include:
- a communications strategy
- identification of the intended audiences
- objectives for what is going to be communicated
- development and updating of a detailed communications plan
- metrics and KPIs for outcomes from the communications activities
2 Who and what
The audiences should be all relevant personnel – not just top and middle management. Normally all functions/departments and all employees need to be involved. Don’t restrict asset management to the maintenance team!
Try to engage internal people in the communications processes and in delivering the messages. The communication will have more impact if it comes from “real” people who represent the organisation at relevant levels.
The objectives and content of the communications should include:
- all the requirements about communication and awareness that are in ISO 55001 – refer to the sub-clauses, these are a list of what has to be covered – (have a look at our other FAQs for guidance)
- information about what asset management is and what ISO 55001 is, but there is no need for technically confusing language
- what are we doing and why we are doing it
- what does it means for my job – how does my work “touch” asset management.
3 Control the communication campaign
You probably have three possible options:
1 Do it yourself
2 Use the internal communications team
3 Outsource all or part of the communications campaign
Whichever option is the one you end up with, the campaign must be controlled. Don’t assume that communications people are the experts and will know what to communicate about. They know how to communicate, but you have to help them identify what will be communicated and what the intended outcomes are.
You need to define exactly what you want from the service provider and then create a detailed specification for internal or outsourced services. You then need to manage the project with consistent oversight and reporting of outcomes against targets.
There is more detailed guidance in the article: 6 top tips for communicating asset management
ISO 55001 requirements for communication
This list is for guidance – please refer to the published standard for the exact wording.
5.1 Top management has to show leadership and commitment to the asset management system by … communicating how important effective asset management is, and how everyone has to comply with the asset management system requirements.
5.2 The asset management policy has to be communicated within the organisation.
5.3 Top management must ensure that the responsibilities and authorities for asset management-related roles are assigned and that information about this is communicated in the organisation.
6.2.1 The asset management objectives must be communicated to relevant stakeholders – this includes internal stakeholders but could also include relevant external stakeholders such as contracted service providers and interested parties.
The organisation has to work out what it needs to communicate internally and externally about assets, asset management and the asset management system, This must include:
- What is it going to communicate about
- When is it going to communicate
- Who is it going to communicate with
- How is it going to communicate.
There is clearly a link between “on what it will communicate” and the things that people have to be aware of. The requirements for awareness are listed next.
ISO 55001 requirements for awareness
Note: Awareness is raised by planned communication activities, but also by a number of other channels including training and induction, as well as the behaviour, informal direction and influence of managers. The requirements are:
Internal and external people who do work for the organisation can have an impact on the achievement of the asset management objectives. These people must be aware of:
- The asset management policy
- The contribution they make to the effectiveness of the asset management system – this includes the benefits that come from improved asset management performance
- How their work activities are related to relevant risks and opportunities
- What could happen if they don’t conform to the asset management system requirements.