Asset management

Table of Contents

1.2 Framework for Other Assets Asset Management

The framework developed for this Guide for other assets is presented in Figure 1.3 (Austroads 2013a). The framework is relevant for any individual asset or asset group with respect to any of the asset’s life‑cycle stages. In essence, the same approach can be used for determining if new assets need to be created, their maintenance requirements and maintenance regime, how the assets should be managed during operation, how the assets can be improved, and how to determine if the assets need replacement or disposal. Any of these decisions are triggered by a needs assessment process and the identification of ‘gaps’ between the needs and the current performance.

The concept of Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) (see Section 2.3) is now a major factor in the management of ‘other assets’; it influences the middle core of asset management policy, strategy, plans and delivery.

The assessment of needs is determined in line with government and stakeholder objectives, as well as legislative requirements. They are then translated into the road agency’s vision and objectives and in the context of budget and resource limitations, as shown in Figure 1.3. The gaps can be addressed by a variety of solutions, including: create new, augment existing, operate differently, maintain differently, rehabilitate, replace existing, disposal, or manage failure. Sometimes the ‘do nothing’ option can be an acceptable and defendable. These types of decisions can be driven by, and outlined through, specific policies, strategies, objectives and plans, asset capital investment, asset maintenance, asset replacement, etc. Specific policies, strategies and plans can include all assets – or specific categories of assets and even individual types of assets – according to the complexity of the assets and in accordance with the road agency’s priorities. For example, many road agencies would have an asset management policy for all road assets and separate strategies and plans for road maintenance and bridge maintenance; and, in some cases specific policies, strategies and plans for other critical asset categories such as electrical, ITS, and rest and parking areas.

Figure 1.3: Simplified diagram of a generic asset management framework

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Source: Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) (2004).

The main seven blocks of the framework are presented in Figure 1.3. A description of these blocks follows:

  • The key inputs to the core of the process are the organisation’s vision, mission and strategic objectives. These are developed based on government agenda, legislative requirements and stakeholder and community needs (see Part 2, Section 2).
  • The middle or core of the framework starts with the development of the asset management policy (see Part 2, Section 5). It then cascades into the development of asset management strategies (see Part 5, Sections 2-5) which are then translated into strategic long-term plans and operation by annual plans, programs of works and their delivery (see Part 7, Section 4 and Part 10, Section 3). The asset management policy, strategy and plan provide the ‘line-of-sight’, or in other words, the rationale that ultimately justifies every asset management activity the organisation undertakes (see Part 10, Section 4).
  • The activities in the core block are periodically evaluated through formalised performance monitoring, review and feedback processes.
  • In addition, support is required from other organisational and business processes during all stages of the asset management process (see Part 1, Section 6).
  • Encompassing the entire process, but also at each step in the process, a plan-do-check-act cycle aims to prompt application of the framework, starting with minimum information and encouraging improvement as learning accumulates.

Figure 1.3 also identifies that the approach is relevant for making asset management decisions regarding any of the stages of an asset life through the creation, maintenance, operations, improvements or replacement and disposal.

Descriptions of each component of the framework follow. Only a brief description is provided for the activities previously addressed in the GAM.