Alternative Life Cycle Management Approaches
Three alternative life cycle management approaches are discussed in this section. These are interval- or age-based strategies, reactive strategies, and risk-based strategies.
Interval- or Age-Based Management
Interval- or age-based strategies can be utilized for failure-critical assets, assets subject to obsolescence or assets with no or limited maintenance actions. Age-based strategies replace assets after a given time in service without regard to the asset’s condition at that time. This approach can also be used for very short-lived assets, such as paint markings. Advantages include proactive minimization of failure and reduction of uncertainty in funding needs. An agency that replaces signs on a 7-year cycle or replaces pavement lane markings annually is using an interval- or age-based approach to manage its assets.
Interval-based strategies are also useful for assets that do not show physical wear, but are safety- or operations-critical.
Reactive strategies can be used for assets that have long service lives and limited maintenance options. Reactive strategies can be based on the results of an on-going monitoring program or on event reporting. Examples of assets that may be monitored periodically to check that they are working as intended includes retaining walls and overhead sign structures. Assets that may be more likely to be maintained based on a report that the asset is damaged or no longer working include light bulbs and guardrail.
While all management strategies are risk-based, there are times when risk assessments are used directly as the measure to establish objectives, set targets, drive decision making, or assess progress. This approach is used when the condition of the asset does not directly represent the level of asset performance, and the potential impact of an asset’s condition on system performance must be considered. This approach is commonly used for managing slopes and other geotechnical assets.