5.4.2 Implications for Resource Allocation


Implications for Resource Allocation

The different work delivery approaches that are available should be considered both at the outset of the resource allocation process, and as part of finalizing the resource allocation plan. Frequently it is necessary to consider multiple allocation scenarios using different delivery approaches.

The availability of alternative approaches for work delivery creates opportunities for organizations to improve asset conditions and address other needs in a more efficient manner, thereby performing needed work sooner, at a lower overall cost and/or with less risk to the organization. It is important to consider different work delivery strategies both early in the resource allocation process (as part of Step 2 – Determine Constraints) and at the end of the process (in Step 7 – Finalize Allocation and Plans).

Considering alternative delivery approaches early on as investment needs are identified helps identify options and determine approaches that an organization can use to achieve the best results. For instance, in determining how to allocate resources for asset maintenance an organization may wish to explore the potential for outsourcing additional maintenance work if there are specific constraints on staff or materials that could be relaxed using an alternative delivery approach. To properly assess the alternatives it may be necessary to define multiple scenarios, such as a scenario in which a “business as usual” approach is used for delivery, and a second scenario in which increased flexibility is assumed regarding use of different delivery methods.

Once an initial allocation of resources has been made, it is important to review options for delivery to revisit prior assumptions and identify opportunities to lower costs and improve outcomes. For instance, once overall budget levels have been established by asset and/or work type in a financial plan, an organization may need to revisit delivery options when scoping specific maintenance activities or capital projects.

The practice examples describe improved delivery approaches used in the U.S. and abroad, and discuss their impacts on resource allocation.

The Work Planning and Delivery checklist lists factors to consider during the resource allocation process for maintenance and capital projects to leverage opportunities for improved work planning and delivery.

Colorado DOT

In 2011 CDOT’s Innovative Contracting Advisory Committee (ICAC) began work to develop a structured approach for selecting the best delivery mechanism for a given transportation project. Through a set of workshops ICAC identified different factors that the agency should consider in selecting a delivery approach, including five primary factors (project complexity and innovation, delivery schedule, cost considerations, level of design, and risk assessment) and three secondary factors (staff experience and availability, level of oversight and control, and competition and contractor experience). ICAC then defined a three-stage approach for making the delivery decision. In Stage 1 CDOT identifies project goals, constraints and attributes. In Stage 2 CDOT assesses the primary factors, and in Stage 3 assesses the additional secondary factors. The approach is illustrated in the figure. As of 2018 CDOT has used the approach to assess 25 different projects, resulting in the selection of a mix of projects using DBB, DB and GM-GC.

Source: TR News 316 http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/trnews/trnews316.pdf)

Western Australia

Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) is responsible for Western Australia’s highway and main road network. MRWA represents one of the largest geographically spread road agencies in the world, covering an area of 1.55 million square miles. The agency is responsible for approximately 11,200 miles of Western Australia’s 93,000 mile network (12%) which carries 60% of the state’s traffic. MRWA has been a leader in trialing alternative procurement models to manage operations, maintenance and renewal on their road network.

Beginning in the mid 1990’s MRWA underwent major restructuring, and at that time shifted from performing highway asset management and maintenance activities using internal forces to outsourcing these activities through a set of 10-year contracts. As initial outsourced contracts came to an end, MRWA took the opportunity to capture lessons learned over the previous years and researched other national and international methods for delivery of maintenance activities. These investigations concluded that MRWA should pursue a new procurement strategy based on the use of Integrated Service Agreements (ISA). An ISA is a contracting arrangement in which the private sector and agency staff work together to deliver, in an integrated manner, a range of services including Operational Asset Management, Road Maintenance, Improvement Delivery and Network Operations. In essence the ISAs “in source” private sector partners to help deliver the range of integrated services that are core to the MRWA business. To do this the ISAs incorporate a performance specified outcome-based approach. The agreements integrated a number of services that were being delivered by a range of different methods and enabled MRWA to regain much more control and influence on when and how the services are delivered, particularly in regard to asset management decisions for maintenance. The shift to this contracting model was driven by:

  • The need to rebuild capability and capacity within Main Roads and thereby assist Main Roads to remain an informed purchaser of asset management services. This was achieved by forming close, collaborative working relationships with industry where the best people and systems from each organization are used to deliver “needs based” asset management and “best for network” outcomes;
  • The understanding gained from past models that risk needs to be appropriately allocated to the party best able to manage the risk; and the need for flexibility in the model to adapt to changes in network needs and broader Governance issues.

Post-ICA contract renewals further transitioned contract models to advance several agency objectives. These goals included centralizing strategic asset management work, retaining agency core capabilities, demonstrating value for money, continuous improvement and fit for purposes reporting framework and target setting. Recent contracts build in ICA learnings, and are a reflection of changing market factors and enhancing corporate capabilities.

Source: https://audit.wa.gov.au/reports-and-publications/reports/maintaining-state-road-network-follow-audit/appendix-3-integrated-service-arrangements/