ISO 55000: An insider’s perspective

With the upcoming release of the ISO 55000 series standards on asset management from the International Organization for Standardization, the world’s largest developer of international standards, there has been much discussion on what the standards are all about.


As a member of the ISO/PC 251 committee, I was part of the three-year effort to build the standard and can offer a glimpse into its status, future, and how it could improve the physical asset management industry.

We are currently waiting on the result of the vote from the ISO members to see if the ISO 55000 documents will be accepted. This has allowed time to reflect on how much the field of asset management has changed. The publication of PAS 55 in 2004 assisted large infrastructure organizations to optimize the management of physical assets, resulting in significant benefits to the organizations and their stakeholders.

With the anticipation that the ISO 55000 standards will be published within the next several months, what other organizations will benefit? Could the ISO standards help struggling organizations stabilize and prosper by ensuring their assets deliver maximum value? Will manufacturers see a competitive advantage by implementing an asset management philosophy? Will people in developing countries raise their standard of living due to having reliable infrastructure facilitated by asset management? Time will tell, but all members of the ISO/PC 251 committee feel we have made a significant contribution to the field of asset management that organizations can build on for years to come.

Since the completion of the FDIS documents, there have been conversations within the ISO/PC 251 committee on changing the committee from a project to technical committee. The reason for this is twofold. The first aspect is that members felt that added content may need to clarify concepts such as how do you link a technical to financial registers. The other aspect was working with a team as motivated and knowledgeable as ISO/PC 251. The exchange of information, insight into other industries, and perspective from different cultures was an elixir for anyone involved in asset management.

Many members feel by staying organized we can build on the momentum we have created, further promoting the needs of the asset management community. A final decision will need to be made by the publication of the ISO 55000 standards.

Scott Morris, CMRP, Associate Director, Global Engineering at Genzyme and Vice Chairman of the U.S. delegation for the development of the ISO 55000.

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