Centralized vs. Decentralized Models

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Centralized vs. Decentralized Models

A second important choice in creating a TAM organizational model is deciding on the degree to which asset management responsibilities are centralized versus dispersed across the agency.

Model 1. Single TAM Unit

In this model, a central office TAM unit plays a strong role in making decisions and driving TAM actions. Influence is concentrated at a single point, which has advantages, but results in less distributed ownership across the agency.

Model 2. Strong but Distributed Central Office Role

In this model, the central office plays a strong function in investment decisions, but there is no single designated TAM unit. Roles and responsibilities are distributed across multiple central office units and are supported by a central office TAM function that is tied to the investment planning role and may not have a title with TAM in it.

Model 3. Central Office Coordination with Strong Field Office Role

In this model, the central office plays a coordinating role but investment decisions are primarily made by field offices. This approach fosters strong ownership and decision-making that is close to the customer. Establishment of clear guidance and standards at the central office helps to avoid inconsistencies across offices, ensures that a statewide view of asset information can be created, and takes advantage of opportunities to gain efficiencies through the standardization of tools and processes. Field units may take on varying levels of ownership for TAM with respect to data collection, condition and performance monitoring, and work prioritization. The advantage of this model is the stronger link between TAM policies, goals, and objectives and work that is implemented. The disadvantage is the lack of consistent application of TAM across the agency and the greater likelihood that non-TAM priorities are implemented.

In international agencies, outsourced maintenance is common practice. The integration of TAM objectives in the contracts with the vendors is an important aspect of TAM implementation.