The Minnesota Local Road Research Board has published a new guidebook to help local agencies get started on developing a consolidated asset management system. The guide addresses the particular needs of smaller groups to effectively and optimally manage their roadways, buildings, vehicles, equipment and other assets.
“This project has produced a comprehensive guide that government agencies can use to clear the hurdle of getting started with asset management. The companion PDF allows users to interactively navigate report content to find information that they need,” said Lyndon Robjent, county engineer, Carver County.
The LRRB set out to develop a guide that would address the following needs:
- Provide a general overview of the concepts and benefits of asset management.
- Set realistic expectations for agencies for creating and using asset management systems.
- Assist cities and counties in determining the assets they need to manage and set the best performance targets.
- Help agencies prioritize which assets to manage first and what their constituency wants.
- Develop simplified workflows for collecting condition and performance data and for managing assets.
A previous research study investigated TAM, TAMPs and best practices implemented by local agencies in other states. That study laid the foundation for this project.
The Asset Management Guide for Local Agencies presents TAM and its benefits. The guide includes the essential definition of TAM as “the right fix at the right time on the right road.” It is a strategic process to improve data-driven decisions that all agencies must make over every asset’s life cycle.
“Effective implementation of asset management requires buy-in from all levels and often requires a cultural change within the organization,” said Michael Marti, principal, SRF Consulting Group, Inc.
Other topics addressed in the guide include special software programs and agency needs. Asset management is a process, not a program. Agencies generally already have the basic tools, such as Excel spreadsheets, databases and geographic information system (GIS) that can be used for TAM. The guide offers an overview of software, from simple and inexpensive to advanced and costly. While the guide does not recommend software, it can assist agencies in determining their needs and abilities.