For centuries London's Watermen carried passengers both across and up and down the River Thames. The Watermen rowed a small boat, called a wherry. Purchasing a wherry and a licence to operate one was very expensive and they were often handed on from father to son. A wherry was a valuable asset.
In the eighteenth century, horse drawn carriages for hire started to carry people up and down the Thames, but not across it. Cabs threatened the upriver and downriver component of the Watermen's trade and reduced their income. Cabs were also a valuable asset, to the cab drivers, but not to the Watermen.
Later in the eighteenth century a major building program saw a series of new bridges span the Thames. These bridges effectively put the Watermen out of business and the value of a wherry dropped considerably. Crossing the river became relatively quick and easy. The bridges were, and still are, a valuable asset to the City of London and its people.
When developing a Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) it can be tempting to start with the assets. What assets do we have? How do we manage them? A Waterman might have asked: How many wherries do I have? How can I improve the performance of my wherry to make it go faster? But your SAMP needs to be business focused, rather than asset focused.
Key stakeholders for the Watermen were their paying passengers. What did the paying passengers value? Getting from A to B: safely, quickly and cheaply. They didn't want a faster wherry, they wanted a shorter journey time.
The strategy comes before the assets.
There are a few Watermen still on the Thames today, but the wherry is mostly used for ceremonial purposes, not as a form of daily transport.
Who are your stakeholders and what do they value?