Top page banner image with the text The SALVO Project - strategic Assets: Life-Cycle Value Optimization

Project Summary

The SALVO Project was a 4-year cross-sector R&D collaboration that addressed best practices in decision-making for asset management. The outputs are now ‘packaged’ as a systematic “SALVO Process” – a robust framework for better decision-making.
The SALVO Process includes a range of ‘storyboards’ to guide over 40 types of typical asset management decisions. These range from capital investments, to optimised inspections, maintenance, spares holdings, life extension projects, upgrades, and disposal timings. Uniquely, SALVO also guides a range of ‘non-asset’ decisions, such as changes to operational parameters, changes to suppliers, insource/outsource decisions, creation of contingency plans, and many more.  It forms the backbone for a fully customisable ‘Decision-Making Framework” for any organisation, with appropriate governance, competencies, processes and tools.
All aspects of SALVO have been field-tested and proven to make very substantial and tangible business benefits using the combination of innovative modelling tools with structured business practices and modular training.
The resulting capabilities provide a big increase in the transparency and consistency of decisions, with much better control of risks, short-term/long-term trade-offs, and the ability to quantify and demonstrate whole life cycle value.

Project Sponsors & Participants

Multi industry collaboration
to research and develop best practices

The SALVO Project collated best practices, experience, and innovative ideas from a wide range of sources, delivering practical solutions that are applicable to any industry sector and types of assets.

The Core Sponsors were The Woodhouse Partnership Ltd (project managers), National Grid, London Underground, SASOL, and Scottish Water, supported by Decision Support Tools Ltd and the University of Cambridge for technical and modeling developments. The core sponsors provided both expertise and financial resources. 

Other industrial partners were also involved at working group levels, providing peer reviews, field trials, case studies etc. These included Scottish Power Energy Networks, Halcrow, Centrica, Water Corporation of Australia, Forbo Flooring, and Sodexo. 

A number of technology specialists also participated, to ensure that SALVO deliverables can be integrated into common EAM, business data and work management system environments. They included SAP, IBM (Maximo) & AMT-Sybex (Ellipse)

Scope & Objectives

The goal of the SALVO Project was to improve the line of sight connection between strategic business priorities and the front-line practical options and day-to-day actions. 
The research identified the steps, the skills, the information needs and the ‘what if’? analytics needed to select the right things to do, and determine the optimal time/interval at which to do them.  And it did this with the recognition that available data is usually  incomplete or uncertain, human beings (with their subjective opinions, bias and different motivations) are involved, but disciplines and rigour are needed to justify what is worth spending, when and why.

The challenges were also to ensure that methods would be:

  • understandable and applicable by front-line decision-makers in practical timescales
    able to cope with uncertain or incomplete information, risks, competing business drivers and diverse sources of technical, financial and context knowledge.
  • In line with the BSI PAS 55:2008 specification* for optimized management of physical assets, SALVO addressed the three main levels of ‘granularity’ required for improving life cycle decision-making.


* PAS 55 was the origin and basis for the ISO 55000 series of standards.  Subsequently, ISO 55001 requirements have been developed to include many of the attributes revealed as best practice by the SALVO research.

BSI PAS 55 requirements for optimal decision-making

Watch our summary Video here

SALVO represents the world-leading decision making methods for optimizing asset management decisions

The output of the SALVO Project, now called the SALVO Process, is a comprehensive method for better decision-making in asset management. It is a unique combination of structured guidance and methods to capture and quantify expert knowledge together with ‘what if?’ analytical software tools to ensure that the best value decision is made, with a clear audit trail to demonstrate why it is correct.

They identify significant benefits and efficiencies, complementing conventional strategy evaluation tools such as FMEA, RCM, or RBI by introducing the value dimension, by optimising the amount and timing of interventions and by providing a quantified business case for the activities. SALVO introduces a new discipline to the practice of asset management, a ready-made model for a ‘decision-making framework’ (in line with ISO 55001 requirements) and a decision-making process that includes the vital psychology and consensus-building aspects, not just the analytics and maths.

SALVO is supported by proprietary Decision Support Tools (DST) software which calculates the monetized impacts for every aspect of the asset life cycle, including risks and ‘intangibles’.   It is particularly effective also in guiding and using ‘tacit’ knowledge from subject matter experts, helping in the estimation of optimistic and pessimistic extremes and providing instant, real-time ‘what if?’ and sensitivity analysis.

The SALVO Guidebook

Asset management decision-making: The SALVO Process written by John Woodhouse, explains what it takes to make the right decisions in the management of assets, not just in the steps and disciplines required, but also how to create a clear ‘business case’ to justify and communicate the outcomes so that everyone can agree on what is worth doing, when and why.

The SALVO Process guidebook
Skip to content