How to successfully manage critical assets

26 April 2022

Part I: Common issues & good practices

In the presence of critical assets, an organization will be led to a particularly precise management of its installations and will thus be well-advised to elevate inspection strategies to its center of attention. Let us recall, that inspection strategies guarantee not only the reliable functioning of assets but do also ensure that safety and regulatory standards are being met. In this context, inspection is capable of paving the way for organizational goals to be met, as well as risk factors  – with regard to human factors and environmental consequences – to be mitigated.


When taking a look at common issues related to inspection strategies in different industries worldwide, it quickly becomes clear, that the most challenging part resides in its efficient management:


  • How to make the best use of resources?
  • How to prioritize inspection?
  • Which elements (both tools and human resources) are indispensable?


In 2020, the OECD took a deeper look into how different industries and countries managed the inspections of critical installations, in order to share the gathered knowledge with the world. The project revealed the following good practices:


  • Perform inspections where they are the most necessary; therefore focus especially on the less performing activity and carry out deep analysis.
  • Opt for RBI (risk-based inspection) and support your inspectors with the right tools, such as inspection software for digitalized evaluation forms, inspection reports, analysis of historical and current data (especially risk, hazard, safety status, and past maintenance operations) for best-practices evaluation, and inspection strategy planning.
  • Ensure quality training for your inspectors.
  • Work closely with your inspectors during the whole implementation of inspection strategies and digital tools for meaningful decision-making in this regard.
  • Set up performance indicators, in order to regularly follow up on asset performance. This approach will allow the anticipation of potential risks and the implementation of an updated inspection strategy (potentially by including new innovative technology).
  • Make sure inspection frequency remains flexible enough to account for internal and external, temporary changes.


In part 2 of this article, we will take a deeper look at the IT tools that emerged as commonly used and most beneficial to industries worldwide.

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Sirfull is a software vendor with a strong industrial culture and French know-how, which develops solutions that enable its customers to anticipate changes in their market.

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