Wijnia, Y.C. and J. Huisma: Changing behavior for effective Asset Management, pp. 1-8. In: Proceedings of the 2nd World Conference on Engineering Asset Management (WCEAM 2007), June 11th-14th (2007). At: Harrogate, United Kingdom. ISBN: 1901892220. International Proceeding (Refereed)
The engineering excellence approach has come to an end due to changes in the institutional environment of the energy companies. First of all, the markets were opened, and this drove down the income, even for natural monopolies like the networks. Secondly, society became less risk tolerant and criticized the energy companies after major incidents. But those incidents often were materializations of risks that were assumed to be acceptable within the engineering community. This meant that the way of working was under attack from both sides. Future decisions would have to balance explicitly the risk mitigation against the costs of the measures, the basics of asset management. The fundamental change in behaviour this requires is easily underestimated. Engineers would have to open up to the world outside the engineering community. Yet, most asset management efforts focus on the tools and techniques, and not on facilitating this change in attitude. Experience shows that these efforts often do not turn engineers into asset managers. But why are engineers not challenged by the new requirements? We hypothesize that it is because the asset management initiatives are run as a technical implementation in a current organisation. This means that people would still be working in the same culture and human environment. In many cases, the old ways of influencing this environment would still work. And why would people change their behaviour if they still get what they want? To achieve the desired behavioural change a more programmed approach is needed. The solution should be found in building a context in which incentives exist for new behaviour. The paper ends with some practical suggestions how to implement this in current organisations.