2.6 Policies Standards and Budgets
Policies, standards and budgets are critical boundary conditions in a DSS. At the same time, their interaction has a profound impact on the outcome of the decision support (DS) process. Policies, budgets and standards are developed with the very same DS process that they support as part of their boundary condition. The following brief discussion refers to this latter process, i.e. the determination of appropriate policies, standards and budgets.
Policies and standards define the asset owner’s and manager’s expectations regarding the asset behaviour and performance. If the expectations are too high, the cost of achieving them becomes unrealistic and unachievable. Too low expectations may lead to long-term under-funding, significant user cost impacts and ultimately to the potential loss of the asset.
Policy, standards and budget analyses are usually undertaken at a strategic level, and can be divided into two stages:
- network performance scenario analysis
- budget forecasting.