5.3.1 Developing the asset optimisation and/or prioritisation framework
A method of ranking projects in order of importance can be based on a value-for money rating. The value‑for-money rating may, for example, incorporate:
- economic benefits using optimisation to minimise total life-cycle costs which cover agency costs, RUC and other costs
- adjustment for factors such as economic, environmental, safety and social which can only be measured subjectively. Austroads (1998, 2006a and 2007b) provides information on MCA.
Assuming the above method of ranking projects is used, the following processes and information is required:
- Development of an approach to calculate the life-cycle costs (agency) of various maintenance and rehabilitation treatments for the asset. In addition to engineering solutions, other solutions not involving physical works should be considered.
- Determine a method of quantifying other agency costs including RUC and benefits. A common method of evaluating economic benefits is via the BCR ratio method (Austroads 2012b, 2012c and 2012d).
- Determine other non-quantifiable factors that should be considered in the framework. These may include economic, social, safety and environmental factors. In most cases it is necessary to use a subjective assessment and convert this into a quantifiable scale.
- Develop a process (probably iterative) which will result in the optimum works program dealing with constraints such as funding levels.
- Develop an approach to manage a multiple year program.
- Test the framework to determine the results emerging from this process. Existing projects can be put through the process to gauge their performance.