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55 SECTION 7 RECOMMENDED FUTURE INITIATIVES 7.1 OVERVIEW Option to Limit "What-If" to Program "Out" Years Both of the tools that have been developed under this proj- ect can be immediately useful to transportation agencies and, This improvement creates an option for an initial fixed in most cases, can be implemented using internal agency budget period to be followed by a period of variation in pos- staff resources. However, several future initiatives are recom- sible budget levels. This option allows the tool to handle the mended to improve the tools over time and help agencies case in which the first few years of a program's budget are make effective use of the tools. fixed (with programmed projects) and agencies want to test In addition to recommending future initiatives, this section variations only for the last set of years but still see the entire summarizes the gaps in analytical tools for asset management performance trend line. The tool would show the perfor- that were identified as part of this project but that did not mance results for the first set of years but exclude their bud- make the short list of tools to be developed. This summary is gets from the calculated average annual budget, so the user intended to be used as a resource by the asset management is specifying the average for the "out" years only. community as it develops future research agendas with respect to analytical tools. The section is organized as follows: Exportability of Performance Results Improvements to AssetManager NT; This improvement would allow the performance informa- Improvements to AssetManager PT; tion shown in the views to be exported to a spreadsheet. The Implementation Support for the AssetManager Tools; and spreadsheet would contain the annual budget level, year, asset Remaining Gaps in Analytical Tools for Asset Man- type, network category, geographic category, and perfor- agement. mance measure and value. 7.2 IMPROVEMENTS TO ASSETMANAGER NT Optimization Several potential improvements to AssetManager NT are This improvement would add a feature to find the optimal recorded here for future consideration. Some of these changes allocation of resources across a set of asset types and geo- were identified during the field testing process but could not be graphic and network categories to minimize or maximize a implemented under the existing project resources; others were identified by the research team. Before these improvements are single designated performance measure (e.g., to minimize pursued, an initial shake-out period, during which user feed- excess user costs). back is gathered, is recommended for the existing tool. View Setting Separate from Scenario Setting Hierarchies of Network and Geographic Categories In the current tool, if a scenario is rerun, any views saved as part of that initial scenario must be recreated. This improve- The current tool supports only a single set of geographic cat- ment would allow the data for an existing scenario to be egories and a single set of network categories. This improve- updated while previously setup views are retained. This func- ment would provide multiple levels of hierarchy, to allow a tion would need to check that the same basic parameters are lower level (e.g., cities) to be rolled up into higher-level cat- in effect in the revised scenario (e.g., asset types, geographic egories (e.g., counties and regions). and network categories).