Communiqué on the 10th meeting of ISO/TC 251 Asset Management

Communiqué on the 10th meeting of ISO/TC 251 Asset Management

By Charles Corrie


ISO/TC 251 held its 10th meeting on Novemver 3rd by webinar, due to the COVID 19 pandemic.  The meeting was well attended by 72 delegates from 24 national standards bodies and 3 committees in liaison.

ISO/TC 251 had held its 9th meeting in May 2021 by webinar, due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Regrettably, due to the continuation of the pandemic, the 10th meeting also had to be held by webinar. The meeting was well attended by 72 delegates from 24 national standards bodies and 3 committees in liaison.

During the plenary meeting:

a)  The TC251 Chair, Rhys Davies, reported that:

  • The Chair’s Advisory Group (CAG) had met in September to review progress in the TC’s activities and to prepare for the plenary meeting
  • The ISO General Assembly had met during September and had adopted an intention to combat climate change
  • The ISO/TMB had established a new Advisory Group to examine Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, to which the TC had nominated Boudewijn Neijens (WG3 Convenor) as its representative, as this was primarily an issue concerning communications
  • He had a key concern about the language currently being used in the TC to describe e.g. physical versus non-physical, tangible versus intangible, or financial versus non-financial assets. This is only relevant to people in the TC’s discipline and has been discussed for many years without resolution. It not only hides the complexity of what the TC is trying to communicate, but more importantly means little to the TC’s user base. While there is agreement to provide stronger reference to ESG factors and the TC’s contribution to the UN’s SDGs, the TC does not currently provide the evidence that its standards are relevant to those discussions
  • He recognized that the 55000 and 55001 revisions are not intended to be wholesale revolutionary changes and stated that he was not asking for a change of deep thinking. Instead, across all the TC’s standards development activities, he recommended that the TC’s members should challenge themselves to avoid using the phrases they currently fall back on. In going forward, they should try to change their language to use phrases that will make the TC’s work more relevant to the sustainability community.
  • He considered that this would not take much effort. Indeed, it may deconflict old debates and it may make the TC’s work more relevant to a rapidly growing audience, and with the ear of leaders around the world.

b)  The TC251 Committee Manager, reported that:

  • The membership of the TC continues to grow and now stands at 36 P-members, 19 O-members and 33 Liaisons.
  • Since the May meeting, ballots had been conducted which approved the start of two projects, for the revision of ISO/TS 55010 and to continue the development of ISO 55011. These were assigned to WG5 and WG7 respectively.
  • The ISO/TMB has established a new Task Force on the topic of “Risk” as there is perceived resistance to the work of ISO/TC 262 both in ISO and the IEC. This was particularly manifested during the recent revision of ISO’s Annex SL “harmonized structure”, but had also occurred elsewhere. Once participation details are known, Tom Carpenter (Australia) would be nominated to represent the TC on this Task Force, following his close involvement in the work to revise Annex SL.

    c)  The TC251 Deputy Chair, Ashley Barratt, reported that:
  • The revision of the TC’s Strategic Business Plan (SBP) needed to be delayed. A draft had been circulated for a review by the CAG’s members, before being circulated out to the TC’s members. A large number of comments had been received on it, which required additional processing time, before a revised draft would be balloted for approval by the TC’s members.
  • He recognized the contribution of Ben Mogridge (UK) in the preparation of the drafts of the SBP.

    d)  The Convenor of WG3 Communications, Boudewijn Neijens, reported that:
  • While the TC’s website ( is still one of ISO’s most visited “committee” websites, there was a noticeable drop-off in the number of visits being made during 2021 when compared to 2020.
  • This is also reflected in a reduced number of applications for inclusion in the list of “Known Certified Organization”
  • While Newsletter #6 had been produced, additional new material needed to be posted on the website to encourage users to return to it
  • Case studies are the main reason for many users in coming to the website. The WG would be grateful for the assistance of the TC’s members and their national mirror committee members in producing new case studies
  • Once the work in revising ISO 55000 and ISO 55001 moves forward, this would be expected to generate additional interest and articles for the website; however, the other projects also need to provide information as they progress.
  • Jack Kelly (USA) had been appointed as Deputy Convenor for the WG.

In going forward, the WG intended:

  • Looking at how to increase usage of the website
  • Refining the Known Certified Organization process
  • Reviewing/expanding the website paper on “Achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”
  • Working with mirror committees on case studies
  • Awaiting information from the WGs on the development and revisions of their standards to create new website materials.

    e)  The Convenor of WG4 Product Improvement and Revision of ISO 55000, Jack Dempsey, reported that:
  • The WG had been continuing its activities in maintaining the TC’s Knowledge Base, Product Improvement Facilitation, Feedback collation and Liaison management, in addition to the work on the revision of ISO 55000.
  • It was noticeable that there had been no new product improvement proposals (PIPs) submitted since the last plenary, which is perhaps due to the revisions of ISO 55000 and ISO 55001 having been started. It would welcome the submission of new PIPs.
  • As part of the feedback process, the WG had established a team to assist the TC in conducting surveys. It would appreciate having people with knowledge of running surveys join that team.
  • The WG had been holding fortnightly meetings every other Tuesday and Wednesday to progress the revision of ISO 55000, which had been well attended.
  • It had been examining the development of asset management “Fundamentals” and “Principles”, as well as terminology, for inclusion in the revision of ISO 55000.
  • It had noted that there were some changes in terminology in the Annex SL “harmonized structure” that would also need to be incorporated.

In going forward the WG would:

  • Maintain its Knowledge Base, Product improvement, Feedback and Liaison Management activities, for which Jyrki Paavilainen, as Deputy Convenor, would take the lead.
  • Hold a joint meeting with WG6 to align the revisions of ISO 55000 and 55001 (Mr Dempsey made an open invitation to all members of the TC to join that meeting)
  • Work on the development of a Committee Draft for circulation to the TC’s members.  

    f)  The Convenor of WG5 Finance and asset management alignment, Johan Paulsson reported that:
  • The WG had been pleased to note that the recent ballot to revise ISO/TS 55010 had been approved.
  • The WG has been holding regular fortnightly meetings, with good participation
  • A draft had been completed for an annex to ISO/TS 55010 to provide tactical guidance related to the development, management and alignment of asset registers.

In going forward

  • The annex would be finalised as part of the pending revision of the TS
  • The WG would actively engage with WG4 and WG6 to examine the aspects of ISO/TS 55010 that could be taken forward into the revisions of ISO 55000 and ISO 55001
  • It would act as the focus point for the financial aspects of asset management within TC 251.

g)  The Convenor of WG6 Revision of ISO 55001, Martin Kerr, reported that:

  • The WG had established a number of teams to examine the themes of:
         - Leadership and people
         - Knowledge and information management
         - SAMP
         - Life cycle management
         - Risk
         - Value and decision making
  • The revised version of the Annex SL “harmonized structure” had been published in May.

In going forward:

  • The outputs from the work on the themes, along with the changes to Annex SL would be taken forward into a Working Draft for the WG’s members to review.
  • A coordination meeting would be held with WG4 to check on alignment between the revisions of
  • ISO 55000 and ISO 55001
  • A Committee Draft would then be prepared for circulation to the TC’s members

h)  The Convenor of WG7 Development of ISO 55011, Tiffany Batac, reported that:

  • The WG had been pleased to note that the ballot to approve the revised Design Specification for ISO 55011 and to restart the project had been approved
  • The WG had since been holding biweekly meetings, with additional task group meetings as necessary
  • The task groups had focused on the development of specific themes or deliverables, e.g.:
         - Terms and Definitions
         - An Annotated Outline / Key Themes for ISO 55011
         - The development of an article on AM and public policy with specific reference to the water sector
    Case studies
  • The WG had prepared a template for the inclusion of case studies into the standard

In going forward

  • The WG was on track to deliver a Committee Draft for review by the members of TC 251

    i)  The Convenor of WG8 Development of ISO 55012, Gao Ang, reported that:
  • Participation in the WG’s meetings had initially been inconsistent and a problem, but the situation had since improved
  • A Design Specification had been completed and been reviewed by the CAG.
  • A Working Draft had been circulated to the WG’s members and comments received against it.
  • Robert Radovanovic (Canada) had been appointed as Deputy Convenor for the WG

In going forward

  • The comments received on the Working Draft would be reviewed and a Committee Draft prepared for circulation to the TC’s members.

    j)  The Convenor of WG9 Development of ISO 55013, Yang Xiao-feng, reported that:
  • Since the approval of the project to develop ISO 55013 the WG had held numerous meetings and quite intense discussions to clarify the scope of the work
  • The original proposal had been for a standard on “Data asset value evaluation index system”, whereas there was now consensus on re-focussing this to something equivalent to “Guidance on the management of data assets in asset management” (there was discussion during the plenary on what the title would be, so the WG plans to revisit this)
  • A revised Design Specification based on this new direction had been produced and reviewed by the CAG.
  • A Working Draft had been produced for the future standard.

In going forward:

  • The WG would address the issue of the title for the work
  • The Working Draft would be revised into a Committee Draft for circulation to the TC’s members and a number of teams had been established to do this.
  • The guidance would focus on:
         - Definition of factors and the range of factors that can be generally applied to data across many types of assets in varied business contexts. 
         - Definition of usefulness and guidance on how data assets become useful to an organization in relation to its objectives and in aligning asset management objectives with stated or unstated organizational objectives.
         - Definition of the types of value that data assets could hold and the types of stakeholders relevant to each type of value.
         - Alignment with other bodies of knowledge in relation to definition of key terms such as data asset, asset data, data quality, data governance, etc. (for example the ISO 8000 series of standards on Data Quality or the standards on Buildings Information Modelling, or BIM).

    k)  The Convenor of the Spanish Translation Task Force, Maria-Aurora Agullo, reported that:
  • It had been active in translating all of the TC’s published standards, the website’s pages and website materials, as well as the Newsletters.

In going forward,

  • the STTF would continue to be active in providing translations, as and when the TC produced standards or new website materials.

The Chair thanked Ms Agullo for her report and the members of the STTF for their excellent work. He noted from the WG3 report that some of the most frequently visited pages on the website were now the Spanish language versions. This indicated that the greatest growth in the use of the TC’s standards was now in the Spanish speaking countries, and the importance of providing such translations.

l)  The Convenor of Ad Hoc Group 4 on Information Management in decision making, Shiv Iyer, reported that:

  • Two papers on Asset Management Digital Transformation and Managing Data and Information To Support Asset Management Decision-Making are currently in development and are on track for delivery before the end of the year

In going forward, and once the papers have been completed:

  • the papers will be sent to WG3 for posting on the TC’s website
  • the WG will be disbanded.

    m)  The TC’s Committee Manager reported on the recent meeting of the ISO/TMB/TAG13 “Joint Technical Coordination Group on Management System Standards (JTCG), and advised that:
  • The JTCG had met in October 2021
  • A key action arising from the meeting was the establishment of a new JTCG Task Force (TF15) to examine the development of a future strategy to improve the alignment of ISO management system standards.
  • Once its Terms of Reference and participation details are confirmed, TC251 would need to select representatives to participate in its activities

During discussions of the resolutions at the end of the meeting, some members indicated that being expected to respond to five Committee Drafts simultaneously would put too high a burden on their mirror committee resources, and that they needed to focus primarily on the drafts for ISO 55000 and ISO 55001 (which are expected to be circulated during December). The Chair recognised this point relating to workload but also reminded the committee of the benefits associated with parallel review in ensuring that our developed standards are coherent and aligned. The discussion continued and it was consequently agreed to delay the circulation of the drafts for ISO 55011, ISO 55012 and ISO 55013 until the New Year.

With six projects now in progress, there is increasing need to coordinate the activities of the WGs. In the hope that physical meetings might be able to be held again towards the end of 2022, which would facilitate this, the TC would be pleased to receive offers from members to host future meetings. In the meantime, the TC agreed to hold a future plenary, via webinar, around May 2022, to receive reports on progress from its WGs.

In closing the meeting, the Chair stated that he considered that the committee had made very good progress in all its activities, before thanking all the members for their contributions. He reiterated the need to bring-in more experts to increase the diversity of the membership of the committee and to support its growing work programme.

Following the meeting, an online social event was held using Wonder software and was well received by the participants. Our thanks to Boudewijn Neijens for setting this up and for managing the event.

In MemoriamBram Alkema

The TC noted with great sadness the passing of Bram Alkema (Netherlands) after a short illness.

Bram was a founding member of ISO/PC 251 (the predecessor of TC251) and was in attendance at the 2010 preliminary meeting as well as almost every meeting of the PC and the TC since.

He made a significant contribution to TC251’s work, and did so with a positive attitude and good humour. We shall definitely miss him.

Bram is succeeded by his wife, children and grandchildren.

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