HPAM - Holistic Physical Asset Management means applying the physical asset management discipline with a holistic approach. What does that really mean?
We all know that Physical Asset Management is the business discipline for managing physical assets over their entire lifecycle to achieve a desired level of service, while minimizing the lifecycle costs within an acceptable level of risk. In a next post we will elaborate further on this topic.
For now let's try to understand what “holistic” means in HPAM.
By definition holistic means “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole”*. In philosophy, the holistic principle emphasizes priority of a whole over its parts.
The discipline of managing physical assets over their entire lifecycle (from cradle to grave as it is more commonly described) actually corroborates with the holistic principle. However that argument begs the question of whether the full potential of HPAM is achieved by focusing only on the asset lifecycle. Is the holistic approach only applicable to the physical asset lifecycle? What about the management process of the lifecycle? Shouldn't it be holistic as well?
In organizations, physical assets are managed throughout their whole lifecycle by many different functions dealing with different portions of the lifecycle – operations operate, maintenance maintain, project management does the design, etc. How interconnected are these functions when it comes to a holistic approach and what are their priorities with reference to the organization's objectives?
On one side we have the physical asset lifecycle requirements and on the other the conflicting priorities of different functional areas of the organization. To successfully fulfill the potential of HPAM will entail aligning and coordinating the activities of all functional areas over the entire life of physical assets to achieve common organizational goals.
How well is your organization applying HPAM on physical assets over their whole lifecycle? Are there gaps in the management process? Are there conflicting priorities among functional areas?