Asset Knowledge Capture. The key to improvement in Asset Management.

Asset knowledge capture and Knowledge First Architectures (KFA); the hidden key to improvement in Asset Management.
April 21, 2022
Dane Boers
What's holding Asset Management back: The hidden problem.

Let me ask you a question. How much do you REALLY know about your assets?

Be honest.

Think about how likely they are to fail, how they perform, what interventions you could do to them, how different environments and different operating contexts affect their lives, how maintenance and capital are related, what events trigger what actions etc.

For most organisations there are holes all through the data, the thinking and the business processes when assessing what to do and why.

Usually when I ask how much do you know about your X assets, the answer is let's ask "Charlie".

Most businesses have a Charlie. The employee that has been with the company for the longest time. The employee that knows the ins and outs of "their" assets. If they don't know then no-one does.

Now Charlie isn't the problem, in-fact, the more Charlie's an organisation has, the greater their knowledge capital. This is a good thing.

The problem, and the point of this chat is to highlight Charlie is not a good long term solution for storing this information. Not only do Charlies' retire, get poached, or leave for other reasons, but they also have limited availability, and capacity to pass this knowledge onto the next generation.

Essentially they're a bottleneck, and you lose knowledge capital when they leave.

We like to think of it as "fighting against the conveyor belt of employment". A problem that is relatively well known, but is still not well addressed.

What if instead of trying to pass down Charlie's learnings, experience and thinking, it's captured in a knowledge base (system).

  • A knowledge base that can be used by the next generation to understand how Charlie saw it, and what was learned along the way.
  • A knowledge base that is structured logically, transparent in its reasoning, and can be continuously improved.
  • A knowledge base that is built collaboratively and can be shared with others.
  • A knowledge base that can be queried to inform Asset Management Plans, strategies and decision making.

In this knowledge base, Charlie lives on!

A knowledge base may not be glamourous, or flashy, or instantly increase revenue, but it IS foundational to the next generation of Asset Management improvements.

  • It's enables an organisations to "lock-in" its knowledge capital, and build upon it.
  • It creates efficiencies for every following process from risk profiling, to plan generation, and even budgeting.

This seems like a no-brainer, but the next question, and the key to unlocking the potential of an organisational knowledge base is "HOW do we capture it?".

We can't just use documents / whitepapers / or something else that takes time to consume. We need to structure the information in such a way that we can query it, and use it in an automated way.

A structure that's easy to understand for both machines and humans.

This is what we do. #modla