Why is Asset Management such a simple concept, but so difficult to deliver?

After six and a bit years I am stepping down as chair of Constructing Excellence’s Asset Management Theme Group. My day to day work commitments at LCMB are making it increasingly difficult to carve out the time and resource to manage and deliver a quality programme for CE’s members.

 What is Asset Management?

Asset Management defines and drives the value added by the construction industry for the public and private sector, society and us as individuals.

It may be relatively straightforward to define what we want to build, how it should operate now, and how it should flex and adapt for the future.

However, it’s devilishly complex to execute in our messy real world. Delivering buildings that work really well through the design and procurement process and construction supply chains takes careful thought, planning and execution expertise.

I believe that we have a duty to design, construct and operate workplaces, buildings and estates so people and organisations thrive – for example:

  • How can university campuses become more inspirational places to learn, research and teach, and deliver great student experience?
  • How should our hospitals improve their environments in order to heal patients, support their speedy recovery, and deliver world class patient experience and safety?
  • How can workplaces enable staff to operate at their peak creativity and cognitive ability? How can spaces promote more collaboration, peak performance, productivity and wellbeing?

Too often we see lost opportunities because there is no planned, structured approach to Asset Management in the design, construction and operation of our real estate.

This, in summary, is what we’ve tackled in our Asset Management Theme Group workshops and research at CE over the last few years.

 Our Achievements

I’m extremely proud of the world class research we’ve carried out, how we’ve captured truly innovative thinking and these concepts have gained exposure in the media.

In 2016 we published our report Delivering built asset operational excellence” summarising the lessons learnt from clients and their supply chain across retail, education, healthcare, industrial, infrastructure and commercial sectors. Reading this report will give you the collective experience, learning and insights from many clients who have procured built assets worth billions and billions.

And last November we published our report “Improving productivity in the workplace” the output of the £530,000 Whole Life Performance Plus (WLP+) project. The project brought together a consortium of world class experts in building performance, property development and facilities management. This report really matters to us all. People were taken aback by the findings that every single workspace in the study had conditions that measurably and significantly undermined people’s cognitive accuracy and speed. Surprisingly, the conditions that undermine people’s performance can be resolved relatively straightforwardly leading to a dramatically improved whole life performance and return on investment from our workplaces and built assets.

I’ve really enjoyed my time as chair, it has been an absolute blast, it has has allowed me to meet and work with some of the sharpest minds in our industry. Together we’ve extended and shared our Asset Management knowledge and learning with CE members and others. I am extremely proud that we’ve also been able to deliver the programme agreed with the members over the last two years and it’s great to have been able to publish our most recent report before bowing out.

My team at LCMB and I will continue to support the CE mission and objectives. I say farewell now as your chair, but please stay in touch with me and my team to discuss any of our work or earlier reports. My email address is john@lcmb.co.uk.

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