2.2 Achieving "Buy-In"

Having Asset Management underlie all of the utility's activities means that there must be "buy in" for the Asset Management concepts at all levels of the utility from the field staff to elected officials or owners. Every employee should understand that Asset Management is important to the overall function of the utility. If there is insufficient acceptance of Asset Management, the plan will be much less successful or may not succeed at all.


One way to obtain acceptance of Asset Management is to explain the overall goal of the utility's Asset Management strategy to each employee or volunteer and how that particular employee will participate in the process. When Asset Management is adopted as the way of doing business, each employee's input, knowledge and expertise is important to the process and all are crucial to the successful implementation.

Each activity that is undertaken must have Asset Management thinking at its core. For example, when working on the water utility to fix a break, the operator should have a map of the utility and indicate on it the exact location of the break. The operator should note all information pertinent to the Asset Management program, such as: location of break, type of break, type of pipe, type of repair, length of time from report of leak to response to scene, length of time to repair the pipe, materials used, and difficulties encountered. This information can then be used in many ways. Did the same pipe rbreak multiple times? Has the utility experienced more breaks on one type of pipe than another? Did the operator respond in a timely manner? Did the repair get fixed in a timely manner? By tracking this type of data a utility manager can begin to develop a more comprehensive picture of the overall utility and its operation.

Another example is a customer complaint. When the utility receives a customer complaint, it should track various items such as: What routine maintenance or operational activities were taking place in the time frame before the complaint? Is there any unusual condition that would cause this type of problem? Has this complaint been made before? Is there a pattern of complaints of this type (same area, same source, etc.)? Has an operator been dispatched to check out this type of complaint? How long did it take to respond?

Throughout the entire utility - whether it has 3 employees or 300 - every employee or volunteer should be considering how their activities impact the overall operation of the utility and how their activities fit within the broader structure of the Asset Management and energy use plan.






One of the best approaches to receiving buy-in or acceptability of the Asset Management program at the water or wastewater utility is to demonstrate successes using the Asset Management techniques. There are many small successes that the program may demonstrate that can be used to convince even reluctant employees or volunteers that the efforts will benefit the utility. As an example, producing a map showing the utility's assets in a visual format can be of great benefit to the utility, especially if there has never before been a comprehensive map showing these assets.