Standard Active Last Updated: Aug 31, 2021 Track Document
ASTM E3257-21

Standard Practice for Asset Taxonomy

Standard Practice for Asset Taxonomy E3257-21 ASTM|E3257-21|en-US Standard Practice for Asset Taxonomy Standard new BOS Vol. 04.12 Committee E53
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Significance and Use

4.1 The intent of these principles is to provide a useful hierarchical arrangement of the breadth of asset types.

4.2 This hierarchy is independent of the legal ownership of the assets under consideration.

4.3 Cost or financial treatment of assets is not relevant to this hierarchy.

4.3.1 Positive and negative value contributions of assets are relevant to mission success.

4.4 Value contribution to the mission success of the organization of the assets is relevant.

4.5 Asset hierarchies or models based on other asset attributes may be useful as well.

4.6 Understanding the breadth of assets allows organizations to give full consideration of the contribution of assets to the mission success of the organization.

4.6.1 As an example, when a trucking company considers its assets, the trucks, trailers, and related equipment are an obvious starting point. Real property used to stage, store, load, unload, maintain, and perform other mission-related tasks follows. Administrative space (real property) and equipment (personal property) supporting the organizational mission are included, regardless of ownership. Management control systems, networks, software, knowledge, and perceptions are non-physical assets contributing value in support of mission objectives. As with all assets discussed in this example, ownership of the assets is an important consideration, but a consideration that is not relevant to understanding all the assets that contribute to mission success. In that light, the public roads and bridges carrying the trucks to their destinations and back are clearly assets essential to mission success. Air and water are essential to operation of the trucking equipment, and to the staff supporting the mission, and therefore are assets of the organization.

4.7 It is likely that many or most organizations have assets from every classification at every level of this hierarchy.


1.1 This practice covers a useful hierarchical arrangement of the breadth of asset types.

1.2 This taxonomy is based on the innate characteristics of the asset, not on the asset's use, cost, owner, or other factors.

1.3 Biological life forms are excluded.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.12
Developed by Subcommittee: E53.05
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/E3257-21
ICS Code: 03.100.01