Transportation Asset Management
Transportation Asset Management (T-AM) is the discipline of managing the assets within a Right-of-Way (as distinct from managing the real estate asset itself). ITIS Corporation has years of national and international expertise in this arena and is well-recognized as an authority on the subject by Provincial, State, and Federal agencies in North America, New Zealand, and the World Bank.
T-AM encompasses the philosophies, processes and technical tools that help agencies evaluate the strategic value and the long-term economic value of assets or alternatives. The analysis includes those assets within the roadway, as well as any associated infrastructures. T-AM evaluations are influenced by broad corporate performance goals, trade-off analyses, and program, budget and political considerations. The resulting report consists of the cost, net present value, infrastructure optimization alternatives, consequences and trade-offs, which allow both short-term and long-term budget impacts to be reviewed. The ultimate objectives of T-AM are:
- Improved program quality
- Improved access to information
- Improved decision documentation
- Improved return on investments and valuations
- Reduced short and long term costs
Achieving the listed objectives will result in better financial management, better communication and fewer surprises for decision-makers.
Implementing T-AM requires an agency to deploy a comprehensive system for monitoring and feedback of actual results. The result is decision making that is performance-based in the broadest economic sense; T-AM also provides long-term indicators that allow proactive action and improved corporate policies and procedures. While embodying much of the standard analyses and evaluations undertaken for highway projects, T-AM adds a more broad enterprise-wide economic view of operations.
Asset Management and Maintenance Management are different disciplines, yet they are both heavily dependent upon common data and information. T-AM considers the economic performance of assets, while Maintenance Management considers the infrastructure’s performance; it covers the operational aspects of costing, planning, scheduling, repairing, and replacing individual physical assets.
ITIS’ Transportation Asset Management mission is to share with clients the journeys that others have taken in T-AM, assisting them in their own journey. The experience of others helps to prevent taking the wrong route. ITIS covers the following areas during a T-AM implementation project.
Conducting preparation and orientation sessions early in a project timeline is essential for completing a successful implementation. There is also a need to add such components as appropriate staff education, training, broad agency awareness, and a review and adoption of improved T-AM business processes. These components are not typically addressed during T-AM Planning by most agencies.
T-AM Planning Sessions
Traditional planning sessions are a core ingredient for a successful project, but should be preceded by a solid pre-implementation orientation as described above. ITIS has found that pre-implementation and planning work pays off with a greater agency staff commitment.
Best Practices Education
Awareness of best practices and lessons learned by others is the key to success in most projects. Incorporating the lessons and strategies of others is vital to the successful implementation of new solutions. T-AM is more than just a project – best practices indicate that T-AM must also involve some change in the wider business processes of the agency.
Based on our own professional experience and on findings from recent studies by the Federal Highway Association (FHWA), there are significant benefits in closely linking T-AM and Safety efforts; these functional areas share much of the same data and data infrastructure. Safety is a key operational determinant in project evaluation and can strongly impact T-AM evaluations.
T-AM is a discipline, not a technology. However, technology does play a major role. Investing in appropriate and integrated data collection tools and embracing certain data management techniques greatly assists in making T-AM viable. ITIS has an in-depth understanding of the following commonly used T-AM software packages:
- HERS-ST from FHWA
- HDM-4 from the World Road Association – PIARC (through HDMglobal.com)