Develop an Asset Management Policy
A TAM policy helps to formalize the asset management practices that an agency uses on a daily basis. It helps ensure that the goals, objectives, and strategies for TAM are unified and pursued consistently across the agency. This How-To Guide provides eight steps for developing a TAM policy.
Identify who will issue the primary TAM policy and who is responsible for developing the policy
As a first step, it is important to determine the roles and responsibilities for policy development. TAM policies can be developed and issued from many different groups within an agency. Often agency leadership is involved and executive staff work with planning, engineering, or another group to develop the primary policy. The policy can be issued by the agency CEO, a transportation commission, or even the state legislative body. The level of responsibility will also assist in assigning the breadth of accountability for implementation of the policy within the agency.
Clarify what the policy intends to achieve
Determine the objectives of the policy. Is the purpose of the policy to:
- Communicate the importance of TAM and the scope of the program?
- Ensure the TAM program is sustained through leadership changes at the agency?
- Bring different parts of the organization together?
- Other objectives?
Decide what the policy should include
TAM policies can include:
- Material that communicates the definition of TAM
- TAM principles (see page 2-6)
- Scope of TAM within the agency (e.g. assets included and decisions impacted)
- A vision for where the agency wants to go in the future. That vision could be to maintain all assets in a state of good repair, for example
- How TAM will be managed within the agency or region. Consider who take the lead and who will be involved. See discussion of roles and responsibilities in Section 3.1
- Elements of performance management (i.e. specific performance measures, targets, who determine the targets, who monitors, etc.)
In addition, agencies should discuss the time horizon over which the policy will govern.
Review existing TAM policies at peer agencies
Agencies considering developing their first TAM policy do not have to start from scratch. There are existing policies that outline asset management principles from which agencies can draw when developing their own. When reviewing existing policies, agencies can look for elements to adapt to their specific needs and fill in any gaps with other principles they seek to prioritize in their asset management programs. Example TAM policies may be found on the AASHTO TAM Portal. http:// www.tam-portal.com.
Consult stakeholders on the content of the policy
As an agency develops its TAM policy, it is important to consult internal and external stakeholders on its general contents. Different types of stakeholders may need to be involved using different methods, in order to appropriately obtain their input.
Draft the policy and share with stakeholders
Once a draft of the policy is available, it is important to circulate it to stakeholders to ensure the policy appropriately reflects all previous discussions and decisions.
Produce the final policy and communicate it across the agency
When the policy is finalized, staff should ensure that it is communicated across the agency. The TAM policy should be on the agenda at key meetings throughout the agency to promote awareness. Also, any needed changes to business processes should be implemented to ensure they support the policy.
Review and update the policy
Over time the policy should be reviewed and updated if necessary. The need to revisit the process may occur as implementation of the policy matures, or due to changes in roles and responsibilities within an organization, creating a desire to reaffirm a commitment to TAM through this document.