What is ISO 55000? ISO 55000 is a collection of three standards with ISO 55001 – Asset Management – Management Systems – Requirements being the centerpiece for all of them. This standard defines what is required to operate a fully functional, disciplined asset management system. It is not a “how-to” guide. It is a “have you covered everything” checklist. This checklist defines requirements needed to effectively integrate managing assets, the organization’s asset management capabilities, and the management system that enables these capabilities covering risk management, resource decision making, and organizational performance measurement.

Also, in ISO 55000’s view, an Activity Management Plan (AMP) involves activities and artifacts supporting risk and resource decision making that direct the expenditure of resources within the asset management system. This spans from generating the capital improvement plan to establishing preventative maintenance strategies and prioritizing maintenance actions (e.g. work orders) inclusive of facility operations and services. Between the “asset portfolio” and “asset management” is the “asset management system”. The asset management system includes all the policy, doctrine, processes, systems, frameworks and technology to exercise asset management managing the life cycle and productive value generated by the asset portfolio. In this context, the asset management system also includes the tools, techniques, procedures, and documentation used to employ asset management in activities to manage assets.

The last important feature in this decision-making ecosystem is “managing the organization”. This recognizes there are activities that happen within the organization that are outside of the asset management system’s scope that also support achievement of organizational objectives. On this topic, ISO 55001 requirements stipulate the asset management system must recognize and be developed to interface with these other requirements and management systems.

Understanding how these terms and relationships manifest themselves across the standards is essential to understanding how ISO 55000 works. Specifically, evaluation of an organization’s conformance to ISO 55001 is predicated on its approach to managing assets and maintaining the asset management system as distinct entities, and then again as an integrated management system. This understanding is non-trivial and a point most organizations beginning their ISO 55000 asset management journey fail to fully appreciate. Therefore, it is recommended when organizations begin their ISO 55000 journey, they first become familiar with its terminology, especially topics covered in this section before venturing too far forward.