5.3.2 Recommendations for developing the asset optimisation and/or prioritisation framework
The following points are recommended to assist in developing the asset optimisation and prioritisation framework:
- The framework should be kept simple and transparent, minimising both the level of information required and the necessary computation so that auditing and ease of use are maximised.
- The framework can be used for initial optimisation/prioritisation of possibly a large number of projects, so if it is complicated and the computation time consuming, the initial optimisation/prioritisation will not be feasible.
- The results of the optimisation/prioritisation process are used only to rank projects and therefore it is not crucial that the results are highly accurate, but the evaluation results for each project should be based on comparable information for consistency.
For true needs-based infrastructure asset management (IAM), all projects that require funding should be subjected to the same ranking mechanism, however, in practice there are various fund sources for different roads (e.g. federal, state, local) and different types of projects (e.g. maintenance, rehabilitation and construction). The framework should consider projects that require significant funds at least.
The results of the outcomes developed from the framework should be considered carefully for their credibility and whether there are other possible outcomes that are not provided by the framework. Though the approach is meant to produce results that are credible, it is important to consider other possibilities and recognise that credible outcomes are not necessarily a guarantee for the best possible outcomes.
For a program longer than one year, this process needs to be expanded to include previous years' gaps that have not been filled due to insufficient funding and ongoing committed projects also to be taken into consideration. Ranking of projects is carried out by an approach developed by the respective agency. A value‑for‑money type ranking method with similar aspects to that explained earlier is recommended. The method of ranking usually incorporates some form of benefit-cost analysis (BCA) and/or MCA. The typical method of ranking intervention options used is usually the BCR with ranking from the highest to the lowest BCR.