Integrating TAM Within Agency Strategic Plans and Policies
Integrating TAM within existing strategic documents is key to ensuring TAM is established and sustained.
TAM is not a stand-alone practice that is only applicable to select areas of a DOT. Ideally, TAM principles and practices should be integrated within an agency's vision, mission and strategy documents (see Figure 2.1). TAM promotes accountability, preservation, data-driven decision-making and the optimization of resources; all of these are broader strategic goals often outlined in plans and policies other than a TAMP. Aligning TAM with the agency’s strategic documents helps ensure an agency's vision is all encompassing and cohesive.
These documents include:
- Agency-wide strategic plan and/or business plan (including long-range plans)
- Agency-wide financial plan
- State long-range plan
- Other performance plans (safety, mobility, freight, etc.)
In addition, some agencies may choose to adopt a TAM policy with principles that the agency will follow. A TAM policy can be used to communicate the purpose of TAM and build understanding and support for TAM within the agency. It can also help to sustain a TAM approach through leadership changes. See the next section for further information on creating a TAM policy.
MDOT’s strategic plan has seven strategic areas of focus. A key focus area is System Focus, which aims to provide cost-effective, integrated and sustainable transportation solutions. The first strategy under this focus is to “apply asset management principles to prioritize and implement the most cost-effective transportation investment strategies.” This connection between MDOT’s strategic plan and their TAM program communicates the importance of asset management in how the agency conducts business. It gives TAM a seat at the agency-wide strategic plan monitoring sessions and allows for the resources needed to carry out TAM activities.
Source: Michigan DOT. 2017. MDOT Strategic Plan. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOT_2017_StrategicPlan_553573_7.pdf