Collaboration chiefly means sharing knowledge and trusting each other. Moreover, when it comes to asset management this is ultimately human work, in which ICT and data play an important but supportive role. These were the conclusions articulated by the chairperson for the day, Jelle Roorda (Vewin & Evides), at the first of two interactive workshops on asset management collaboration in the watercycle, which was held on 10 March in Gouda. The second regional meeting toke place on 24 March at Vitens in Zwolle.
The regional meeting was attended by 25 staff members from municipalities, waterboards and drinking water companies with asset management sections, as well as official prime movers for collaboration in the watercycle. Vewin and Samenwerken aan Water were responsible for the organisation, while the substantive preparations and the workshop’s running were taken care of by KWR, which drew on its 2015 research project for Vewin: ‘Asset Management: Between Theory and Practice’. The objective of the workshop was to stimulate the participants to jointly delineate and address asset management activities in the watercycle.
The session began with an inspiring presentation on the collaboration between Oasen and the municipalities in the maintenance of drinking water distribution networks and sewer systems – a concrete regional initiative. In the first work session participants were then divided into subgroups to discuss what the results of asset management collaboration should be, and what the potential partners present themselves had to offer and what aspects could actually be left to other partners. The feedback revealed that collaboration can lead to an improvement in balancing asset management costs, risks and performance.
KWR’s Chris Büscher then presented some key results from the above-mentioned KWR research project. Interviews of asset managers from Gasunie, Prorail, Alliander, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam and Dunea showed that data management should be seen as a facilitator in the broader asset management process, and not the other way around. However good your data system might be, it enhances your sense of being in control, but you don’t really ever know whether this is actually the case. The same workshop subgroups then discussed the shape that the collaboration should take. Their conclusions underlined the importance of the knowledge that people have about the assets as well as the (organisational) culture, also when it comes to asset management. This means that people have to get to know and value each other; something these meetings are contributing to.