Maintaining Asset Data
This section describes several approaches to keeping asset inventory and condition information current, so it can be used reliably to track accomplishments and evaluate current and future needs. The methodologies used to collect the asset information is discussed in Chapter 7.
Maintaining Inventory Information
One of the challenges transportation agencies face is keeping their asset inventory current, because it can require business processes dependent on individuals or agency work areas that differ from the primary asset owners. For example, construction may be responsible for installing new guardrails as part of a pavement-resurfacing project, but the information is not always made available to the maintenance division responsible for budgeting and scheduling guardrail repairs.
Establishing Processes to Update Inventory Information
Some types of inventory information change regularly while other information changes infrequently. As a result, it is important to classify each type of data and establish procedures in order to ensure the inventory is updated as information changes. An agency should establish business processes to ensure any changes to the inventory are reflected in relevant databases. For example, each time a pavement improvement project is completed, the database should be updated with information about the new surface type, the project completion data and the other assets replaced as part of the project. Establishing these processes and holding individuals responsible for updating this information are important for the ongoing success of a performance-based management approach.
Maintaining Condition Information
Asset condition and performance information must also be updated on a regular cycle. In some cases, data collection cycles are mandated by regulations, such as federal requirements for reporting pavement and bridge condition information on the National Highway System. Where there are no requirements in place for condition reporting, the update frequency should be determined based on the resources available, how the asset is managed and the data analysis cycle. Different update frequencies may be established for different types of assets.
Asset condition information may be collected based on a regular interval schedule or an inspection may be triggered based on the asset’s condition. For example, an asset in poor condition may require inspection more frequently than an asset in good condition. In general, asset information is updated on a 2- to 4-year cycle, but in some cases asset data is collected more frequently. For instance, some agencies collect performance data on maintenance assets several times a year to ensure they are in good working order and performing as expected. The condition of other assets with a slower rate of deterioration may be conducted less frequently.
The Virginia DOT maintains most of the assets on state roads and regularly assesses the condition of those assets for determining investment needs. For pavements and bridges, there are asset leads at both the central office and in the districts to monitor conditions and update the database based on work completed. Asset leads at the central office manage statewide data monitoring and analysis and provide guidance on the work that is needed. The asset leads in the districts are responsible for implementing the work and recording completed work in the bridge and pavement management systems so the information is always current.