In the “Gap Analysis and Review – Infrastructure Asset Management Diagram” post, Ross emphasized the importance of identifying, reviewing, and reconciling the gaps in the asset management plan.
In this post, Ross explains further about financials and risks. Read his summary and don’t miss his very important advice for a successful AMP.
Now the silly thing is, everybody is willing to pay for a data plan on their cell phone. You know, or free text minutes or whatever it is that you’re paying for.
Everybody is prepared to pay for a coffee or juice every morning but they are not prepared to pay for infrastructure. One of the reasons for that is, we take infrastructure for granted.
You know we hop into the car and go drive the road and you know it’s always been there, isn’t it? And people don’t actually think about the fact that there’s a whole lot of money required behind the scenes.
So to some extent that’s an interesting argument because when infrastructure fails, people are very prepared to pay because it’s just like, oh, we need it back.
It’s a tension – in any infrastructure management in any country, the tension is there’s always more requirement for infrastructure cost than there is preparedness to pay.
So that’s where you get back into this loop of going, well hey, if you don’t want to pay for it, what do you want to drop out of here?
Because there’s going to be levels of service provided that is going to be dropped or else we’ve got the demand analysis wrong or else you’re prepared to get a whole lot more risk.
And the really interesting problem with politicians is they don’t understand infrastructure risk well. And engineers aren’t particularly good at telling them about it.
And so then you get quite large failures sometimes because the risk hasn’t been explained.
So these plans are a mechanism for getting all this stuff out in the open and having a discussion about it.
So just to summarize on asset plans, we are going to look at some examples. It is an excellent framework for the development of the analysis and the management strategies for infrastructure assets.
Once you’ve written an AMP, and you always have an improvement plan, you must implement them.
We’re saying time and time again in New Zealand, some authorities have gone, oh yeah, I’ve got a requirement to write an AMP so they go write an AMP, and then it sits on the shelf and they do nothing with it.
Why waste your time? You have to because they don’t get some money if they don’t.
So that’s what drives them but it’s just an ongoing process of improvement of information and planning and thinking about, understanding risks and demand, and levels of service trade-offs, and life cycle trade-offs and things like that.
So, if you take away one message about asset plans is once they were written they must be implemented because otherwise, they just sit on the shelf.
In fact, in terms of my consulting practice now, if I think they’re going to be an organization where it sits on the shelf, I will refuse the work for them. I just can’t be bothered.
And I don’t want to spend 3 months of my life writing something that nobody reads, so what’s the point?
I’ve got better things to do.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jon Sullivan via Flickr Creative Commons License