Chapter 6 Summary
Monitoring and Adjustment
This chapter of the guide describes the information agencies must regularly monitor to ensure TAM continues to support business decisions.
TAM is a data-driven process that depends on the continued availability of reliable data to monitor asset and business performance measures and to make necessary adjustments to achieve agency objectives. A successful TAM program brings together information on asset condition, performance, and maintenance activities in conjunction with risk and financial data in order to understand performance, model trends, and drive TAM investment strategies.
How the Guide Can Help
This chapter’s focus on monitoring and adjustment is concerned with the ongoing effectiveness of an agency’s asset management program. The chapter provides practical guidance on what’s required to sustain a strong TAM program supported by data on:
- Transportation system performance and asset condition. For asset management decisions, asset inventory and condition information is most commonly used; however, other performance characteristics may also be used to monitor performance.
- Funding and resource allocation. Past funding and resource allocation trends provide valuable context for future investment strategies.
- Asset work and costs. In order to reliably assess current and future work needs over an asset’s life cycle, it is important to ensure completed maintenance and capital work activities are tracked and incorporated into the asset management programs.
- Risks. Risks are constantly changing and it is important to establish processes to track changes in risks over time and monitor actions taken to manage them.
- TAM processes. Regularly monitoring business processes helps ensure that analysis results continue to support investment decisions and that any gaps between desired and actual levels of maturity are addressed.
TAM Plans and Policies
Performance measures and targets are key pieces of information used in asset management to allocate resources to assets throughout their life cycles. They are also used by agencies to provide feedback to internal and external stakeholders on the effectiveness of their activities. As a result, performance measures should be outcome based with a focus on the impact of activities that are important to the success of the program. They should indicate the effect on the traveling public resulting from the actions taken. Other desired characteristics of asset management performance measures include:
- Measurable with available tools to minimize additional cost of data collection;
- Collected at the appropriate level of detail to match the required detail to drive decisions;
- Forecastable to enable data-driven targets to be set based on future conditions;
- Clear to the public and lawmakers to allow performance story-telling to customers and policymakers;
- Influenced by agency activities rather than by external factors. Many organizations find that over time, the number of performance measures they are managing can become unwieldy. The number of performance measures should be reasonable focusing on the ones that support the right decisions.