24 Jun 2019

Asset management objectives that make a difference

How can we get the most out of asset management, so that it provides the most value to an organisation?

The answer may involve finding ways to make assets last longer, and generally also requires that certain levels of service be met, which in turn drive works programmes for our buildings.

What are levels of service (LoS)?

A level of service generally relates to attributes such as quality, reliability, responsiveness, sustainability, timeliness, accessibility, and cost.

Determining these levels of service for buildings can be a challenging task for an Asset Manager. The secret is to define your standards in terms of targets and performance measures that can be easily measured, analysed and reported. It is these quantitative measures that will then drive the works programme, especially in terms of planned projects. And this planned approach to maintenance will help you extend the life of your assets.

The changing needs of an organisation

Taking a planned approach to maintenance is a good start, but in a world where technology and customer needs are continually evolving, you need to go further than simply maintaining existing assets.

The CEO, CFO, or Asset Director will be involved in higher level planning to drive the overall business processes, including data, systems, process and people. This needs to dovetail into the asset management plan and processes, and this is where the 80/80/20 approach comes in, to provide a balance between planned maintenance, reactive maintenance, and working towards higher-level strategic plans that’ll allow an organisation to thrive well into the future.  

Introducing the 80/80/20 approach to asset management

The 80/80/20 approach to asset management balances an organisation’s budget and resources to meet short-term and long-term needs:

  • 80% of maintenance is planned. If you only react to symptoms, the problems will build up over time to a level that could be too costly to address. Your investment will be more controllable when you plan and think long term. It is recognised that there will always be a level of reactive or ad-hoc works that can’t be planned for.
  • 80% of the works programme is driven by the planning framework. This involves making good decisions on evidence that's scientifically based - rather than making ad-hoc decisions that may only consider part of your organisation's strategies. Getting this right will provide a greater level of success when competing for annual budgets. Again, it is recognised that there will always be a level of projects identified outside of the planning process. But the goal to work towards is having all projects (100%) driven through the planning process, rather than just 80%.
  • 20% of your asset register is updated, maintained, improved and changed every year. Good decisions require good data. So it’s important to manage your information strategically by targeting efforts in areas that provide key information that feeds into the planning process. Whether this is from in-field inspections or streaming data from various sources or integrations, generating existing data from ‘business as usual’ daily activities is what should be aimed for.

How does your asset management planning stack up?

While many asset-intensive organisations may already have asset management objectives, are they effective, and are they being achieved?

We’ve found that adopting, measuring and reporting on 80/80/20 objectives is easy to achieve. And when the process is supported by the governing body and managed properly, they will drive the activities needed for successful asset management.

How an 80/80/20 approach is applied by your organisation will be shaped by the characteristics of your portfolio; what your organisation is trying to achieve; and how you measure success.

SPM Assets has been working with an Australian university to apply the 80/80/20 approach in a way that’s aligned with TEFMA guidelines. Here are the targets the university has set:


Implementing the 80/80/20 approach has allowed the university to consider funding priorities in an informed manner. Moreover, it now has a strategic asset management system and planning tool that will make a difference well into the future.

Next step

If you would like to find out more about applying an 80/80/20 approach to asset management in your organisation, please call your Account Manager or contact us.