Got An Enterprise Asset Management Playbook?

If you’ve ever watched an analysis of National Football League (NFL) plays, you’ve probably seen examples of using a “playbook” to help a team achieve victory. Offensive coordinators select plays for the playbook to align with a winning game plan. Players execute the playbook, mentally rehearsing their roles repeatedly until they are comfortable and confident in their deliverables.

Success in a football game is like driving success in enterprise asset management (EAM). Executing running, passing plays, and moving the ball down the field can lead to scoring and victory. In EAM, following a playbook and executing processes to deliver milestones on a strategic path can help the organization achieve goals and objectives. In simple terms, EAM can help an organization win.

What is EAM?

Enterprise Asset Management involves the management of physical assets throughout their lifecycle. EAM canvasses the design, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance, and decommissioning or replacement of plant, equipment, and facilities. “Enterprise” refers to the scope of the assets in an organization across departments, locations, sites, and engaged business functions.

At its core, EAM is a process to plan, optimize, execute, and track all asset management (i.e., project management, maintenance, MRO supply chain, etc.) activities with the associated priorities, skills, materials, tools, cost, and other information.

EAM done right aims to:

  • Increase performance and uptime of the organization’s physical assets
  • Extend the useful life of the asset
  • Streamline maintenance and MRO supply chain activities
  • Minimize operational costs 
  • Comply with environment, health, and safety (EHS) initiatives
  • Standardize activities related to asset management  
EAM plays a critical role in the achievement of the organization’s goals. To that end, organizations serious about enterprise asset management have a concrete game plan for managing their assets effectively and efficiently. They have an EAM playbook.

What is an EAM playbook?

An EAM playbook is your game plan for managing the organization’s physical assets and how you want it communicated and performed, who does it, and when and where. An EAM playbook details how assets are commissioned, maintenance work is identified, maintenance planning and scheduling is performed, MRO inventories are managed and purchased, etc. An EAM playbook is the organization’s single source of truth for enterprise asset management roles, practices, processes, and procedures. 

An EAM playbook is also cross-functional. Asset management is not just about Maintenance. Many organizational functions (e.g., Project Management, Procurement, etc.) execute direct and related asset management activities. For example, Project Management is heavily involved in installing new equipment. MRO storeroom is heavily engaged in the management of spare parts for equipment. Having an EAM playbook helps these functions coordinate and communicate. Everyone knows who does what and when. This cross-functional relationship is visually expressed below.

See what is in an EAM playbook. 

An EAM playbook contributes to successful enterprise asset management in numerous ways:

An EAM playbook defines what needs to be done in asset management (i.e., Project Management, Maintenance, MRO Supply Chain, etc.) to help the organization accomplish its objectives. It breaks asset management into actionable processes and defines roles and responsibilities to succeed. It connects the execs to the techs.

Moving from a football team to other organizations is similar. The playbook helps the team visualize targets and know what is needed to achieve goals and be successful.

Asset management can be chaotic. Lots of processes are being executed by multiple roles (e.g., maintenance planner, storeroom attendant, buyer, etc.) and functions (e.g., maintenance, MRO supply chain, etc.) at different times. A glitch in one process, for example, ordering the wrong spare part, can cause bottlenecks downstream and extend equipment downtime. An EAM playbook brings order and discipline to the EAM universe. Like Darth Vader told Luke, “With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.” That is what an EAM playbook can do. It is your tool to bring order and stability to the asset management operation.

An EAM playbook defines the areas where performance will be measured and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used. The team uses these KPIs to determine a baseline, set goals, and define the actions needed to achieve milestones. For example, if emergency maintenance levels are too high, perhaps we should improve our failure analysis by implementing problem-failure codes. Actions driven by measures help to validate the action.

An EAM playbook articulates the critical elements for success. It clearly defines work and concepts and becomes an essential tool for communicating requirements to the whole organization. The EAM playbook is a training and auditing tool, with assessments helping team members understand what they don’t know to build their knowledge and move into improvement efforts.

An EAM playbook formalizes business processes. Business processes drive data quality. The more structured your process, the better the data and your reporting will be.

An EAM playbook contains standardized work. EAM playbooks are created with the best methods for achieving desired results. A team member can use the playbook of proven methods as a resource to follow a step-by-step process for continuous improvement in a given area like maintenance or the MRO supply chain.

The roles engaged in delivering asset management are identified within an EAM playbook. This involves the team directly doing asset management and all the cross-functional stakeholders contributing to providing outcomes. Defining roles and responsibilities helps assure critical actions won’t be overlooked and lays a framework to ensure team alignment and integration.

Like the ole saying, “if you can’t point to your process, you don’t have one.”

An EAM Playbook is something you can point to. It provides visible evidence that an auditable and disciplined process is in place to support the management of the organization’s physical assets.

An EAM playbook is living. Practices change, you implement new ones, and you improve others. EAM is all about continuous improvement. It is impossible to implement all best practices at once. A steady as-you-go approach with smaller wins will create more value in the long run. 

An EAM playbook guides EAM and CMMS software configurations. Software should never be configured by word of mouth. That leads to “configure as you go” and a bunch of implementation headaches—finally revealing itself in poor reporting and information. Having a documented EAM playbook provides the EAM technology with a blueprint to follow. An organization’s business process should always drive the configuration of supporting EAM/CMMS technologies.

How Can You Create an EAM Playbook?

Interestingly, EAM playbooks are not one-off inventions for each. Suppose you could view all these highly valued guides across different organizations. In that case, you’d see that they share a systematic approach and have a high level of commonality in specific competence areas.

The EAM playbooks for two manufacturing or facility management organizations can look very similar, customized for specific needs. The best EAM playbooks have evolved from years of industry experience, learning what works and doesn’t work in asset management and putting all that knowledge together to improve asset management. Aligning your EAM playbook with industry standards (i.e., ISO 55000 and PAS 55), the two internationally accepted asset management benchmarks prevent the organization from reinventing the wheel and ensure a rock-solid foundation of proven practices to build on. See what is in an ISO-compliant EAM playbook. 

The Importance of EAM

So, EAM success is best accomplished through a process. Like the other ole saying, “process makes perfect.” Why leave all-important enterprise asset management to anything else? Putting your practices to paper formalizes what you do, and it sends the message to other stakeholders that you are serious about the serious business of enterprise asset management. But don’t stop there. Placing your documented processes into a framework unites them into one cohesive management system, an EAM playbook. This will create an identity for your program initiative and improve coordination between the key players.

Human assets (i.e., people in project management, operations, maintenance, etc.) interact with physical assets (i.e., equipment, utilities, infrastructure, etc.) to create financial assets (i.e., revenue) and costs. This relationship is visually expressed below.

Physical assets significantly impact the bottom line and the achievement of goals. Properly managing the organization’s physical assets should be a top priority, and having a game plan is the first step. An EAM playbook, a disciplined and structured method (i.e., game plan) to effectively and efficiently manage your physical assets, can help the organization win.

SwainSmith, LLC builds ISO 55000 and PAS 55 compliant EAM playbooks for asset-intensive organizations. If we can help you design a better asset management process, contact us.