4.1 How to Relate Lifecycle Management to the Customer Experience


How to Relate Lifecycle Management to the Customer Experience

Performance measures and levels of service for life cycle management are commonly related to physical asset conditions. While these measures are essential in determining the most cost-effective strategies for identifying treatments and their timing, they often have little or no relationship to how highway users experience the network. This is because user experience is typically related factors such as the following, and not asset condition:

  • Sensory input such as ride quality, appearance, and noise.
  • Operational factors such as delays or detours.
  • Safety factors such as friction or visibility.

  1. Identify condition measures or indicators that relate to customer experience:

    Relating lifecycle management to customer experience starts with identifying the measures of performance that quantify these factors related to what customers feel or how well the system meets customer needs. The relationship between the measure and customer experience may be direct or indicate a risk of impacts. Indicators may be based on condition data or inventory data.

    • Measures that are directly related to customer experience are typically related to something customers sense, i.e., see, hear, or feel.
    • Measures indicating a threat to operations or safety. Some condition measures may indicate a risk of impacting user experience. For example, a scour-critical bridge or substandard guardrail section may not directly impact the experience to users. However, the presence of those conditions poses a significant risk to the safe operation of the system. These include:
      • Condition thresholds that indicate a significant risk of asset failure.
      • The presence of elevated threat to an assets service life, e.g., scour critical.
    • Asset features that do not meet current requirements for operational purposes. In addition to measures, some features may also indicate a risk to safety or operations. This may include appurtenances that no longer meet regulations, or assets that risk failure due to no longer meeting design standards, e.g., undersized culverts.

  2. Establish thresholds for considering action for each identified measure or indicator:

    For measures this is typically set to the point at which the measure indicates failure or imminent risk of failure. For indicators, the threshold is binary in that either an unacceptable indicator is present, or it is not. The threshold may vary based on specific roadway attributes, e.g., speed limit, functional class, surrounding land use, or other factors, not directly related to the asset itself.

  3. Identify actions or treatments that can prevent, delay, or mitigate an asset from exceeding the identified thresholds:

    Remediation of unacceptable conditions are typically made through repairs, replacement, or enhanced monitoring of the asset. Exact treatments will vary based on the asset class.

  4. Incorporate measures, thresholds, and treatments into asset management analyses:

    Measures, thresholds, and indicators can be incorporated into asset management systems to support deterioration modeling and treatment selection. Unit costs may need to be developed to support benefit/cost analysis or other means of prioritization.

  5. Monitor Conditions:

    As part of continual improvement, the measures, and indicators should be incorporated into ongoing data collection efforts. Agencies should also monitor the performance of treatments. As new data is collected, it can be used to improve the asset management tools and analyses.

  6. Engage with Stakeholders:

    As the agency works to better consider user experience, continued dialogue with user groups can provide helpful feedback on these efforts. Not all customers have the same needs of the system, so it is important to work with as broad a coalition of stakeholders as possible. Outreach can be performed through direct surveys via websites or kiosks or can be performed through interactions with industry organizations.