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Asset Improvement Series: Changing the Game

Welcome to the Asset Improvement Portfolio Series

In capital-intensive industries with aging assets, traditional project management approaches are failing to keep up with lengthening backlogs of work requests.

Overworked and tired process facilities need plenty of upgrades, but money and other critical resources are tighter than ever. More rigorous project management seems to create more complexity, not better results.  

In the following three-part series, we'll discuss how navigating these challenges requires fresh thinking about picking, completing, and governing project portfolios. The goal is to give mature assets what they need despite the surprises associated with brownfield work. Successful organizations are applying Lean, Agile, and Flow methodologies sharply focused on asset integrity and lifecycle value, not just project predictability.

We hope that the following articles will offer beneficial perspectives on the ever-changing and increasingly complex landscape of asset improvement, or, at the very least, inspire thought-provoking conversations on how to better address the challenges of portfolio governance.  

Stuart Elliot  Director, Portfolio Value Leadership

When our guiding purpose is to improve the asset, we can start to view projects as the How, not the Why. We can remind ourselves that a project turns into an asset improvement only when it has been designed, built, and handed over to Operations.

Asset Improvement Chapters

Part 1 | Reframing the problem

Despite a decades-long focus on project management skills, systems, and discipline, a work backlog of unmet asset needs is growing, requiring ever more time and money. In the first of this three-part series, Stuart Elliot shares why it’s time to reframe the problem, and how we can change the game.


cockpit low visibility

Part 2 | Getting more bang for your buck

In the second part of this series, we explore how to pick the best slate of ideas. Money and other critical resources are in short supply, and we need to squeeze the most asset improvement possible from the resources we have available. Stuart Elliot reframes brownfield project and portfolio management, with the goal of guiding us through the process of achieving more asset improvement sooner, for less.


business and financial chart

Part 3 | Improving the asset faster

In the third and final part of this series, we explore how to pace the improvement of the asset, making it easier to synchronize people and tasks. Once we have the business plan “pulling” the best ideas from the backlog, how do we increase the pace of completion, upping the odds that we can improve this aging facility faster than it’s wearing out?


one-way traffic

Bonus Chapter | Brownfield capital effectiveness

It’s all about bang for the buck at the best pace, but there’s a twist. Stuart Elliot shares how recognizing the three distinct categories of brownfield projects leads to three distinct paths to improved capital effectiveness. 


Man brainstorming ideas on board