Project Management

Asset Management: What Types of Assets Might You Manage?

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When we think about assets we often think "financial assets" such as money, stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments. But of course there are many more types of assets than just financial ones, particularly when we consider it from the point of view of our organization. 

We are currently in the process of evolve Disciplined Agile (DA)'s Reuse Engineering process blade, which had a very clear software focus to it, into a more robust Asset Management blade.  Part of that effort is to rework the reuse categories, which we had originally adopted from the Enterprise Unified Process (EUP), depicted in Figure 1 into the asset categories of Figure 2.  

Figure 1. Categories of reuse.

Disciplined Agile Reuse Types

Figure 2. Categories of assets.

Asset types - Disciplined Agile

As you can see, we've made several interesting changes:

  1. We've gone far beyond software. There are many different types of assets that can be made available for reuse, not just software.  To be fair, as you can see in Figure 1 we did in fact go beyond software reuse but the focus was still on IT/software-oriented assets.
  2. Introduced the concept of tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets are things that you can touch, things that are made from atoms.  Intangible assets are concept, made from bits or in some cases stored in neurons.  Asset management needs to address both of these asset classes.
  3. Reduced the number of categories. We went from seven to five categories so as to simplify the overall approach.
  4. Adopted flexible categorizations. We realized that the definition of the categories, in some cases, would vary given your context.  For example, we've indicated that a vehicle might be both a component and a large-scale component. If you're a car rental agency then a vehicle is a  component of your overall fleet.  If you build cars then a vehicle is a large-scale component built from smaller components.

We'd love to hear your feedback, particularly if you have ideas to improve Figure 2.  Looking forward to reading your comments below.

Posted by Scott Ambler on: February 02, 2021 02:22 PM | Permalink

Comments (4)

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It might be interesting to see how many of the well established ideas from traditional (i.e. physical) asset management (e.g. pumps, factory machines) frameworks can be incorporated "as is" into this process blade...

Yes, we're investigating that right now. The most interesting issues still tend to be on the intangibles side, although tangibles have their moments. ;-)

Hi Scott,
You aid it and very correctly, that
"...There are many different types of assets that can be made available for reuse, not just software..." Asset management becomes interesting when you've to manage a plethora of these asstes in the categories of New aquired, Used, Reused and so on

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