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7 The initial work for this project involved conducting literature reviews and case study inter- views with agencies to synthesize the practices that can enable GAM. The outcome from the synthesis was used to develop the GAM implementation process and an accompanying manual to be provided as a separate research deliverable. The research teamâs approach to each task is summarized in the following discussion. 2.1 Literature Review The literature review involved collecting and synthesizing information from national and international sources on topics related to best practices, assessment, risk and risk-based management, life-cycle costs and investment, and cross-asset interaction and decision support. The research team categorized and summarized information based on its potential practical application toward GAM implementation. Selected references were included in the GAM Imple- mentation Manual. A brief summary of the literature review is available online as an appendix to this volume and can be downloaded from the NCHRP Research Report 903 web page at www. trb.org. 2.2 Case Studies The case study task involved the collection and synthesis of a range of case studies of agency practices that represented differing geologic terrains, agency structures and asset management maturities, performance perspectives, risk tolerances, and investment capabilities. The case study questions were formulated to capture geotechnical, TAM, and executive perspectives that can influence implementation and can either facilitate or create barriers to implementation success. Case study responses were received from state DOTs in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Vermont. Case study inter- views also were completed with representatives from Network Rail in the United Kingdom and the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska. The outline used to guide the case study interviews also is available as an appendix to this volume and can be downloaded from the Research Report 903 web page. 2.3 Initial Findings The team reviewed the findings from the literature review and case studies to synthesize the practices found; to identify effective implementation models, performance measures, risk and risk management processes, and steps to enable asset management; and to identify examples of demonstrated ROI. The synthesis, provided in the Interim Report, evaluated the role of people, C H A P T E R 2 Research Approach
8 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview processes, and systems and data in these findings. The Interim Report can be made available upon request to TRB. The findings included international examples of successful GAM programs that exhibit a complete implementation process from setting objectives and measures through life-cycle cost and risk management analysis, financial planning, and investment decisions. These existing GAM programs are now increasing their asset management maturity level based on the real- ization of benefits made evident by the tracking of asset performance after implementation. A finding from the case studies of agencies yet to start GAM was a need for tools and guidance that can enable starting GAM, particularly given the anticipated near-term federal and state legislative environment, which will not require or fund GAM. In this environment, proposed expenditures of time and resources to implement GAM must be justifiable under a social or economic need rather than a regulatory requirement. 2.4 Interim Panel Meeting An interim panel meeting was held to review the synthesis findings presented in the Interim Report, obtain concurrence on the Work Plan for the remaining tasks, and obtain approval of the annotated outline for the GAM Implementation Manual. 2.5 Development of a GAM Implementation Process The GAM implementation process was developed using a cross-disciplinary combination of executive, asset management, and geotechnical practice perspectives. The implementation process followed the AASHTO TAM steps of: objectives and measures, inventory and condi- tion, performance gap identification, life-cycle cost and risk management analysis, financial planning, and investment strategies. The implementation process has been documented in the GAM Implementation Manual. Throughout the development of the implementation process, the research team emphasized formulating an approach that was directed at: â¢ Enabling a quick start to inventory and assessment without requiring a new program, spe- cialized software, investment in inventory data collection, or significant staff or contractor support; â¢ Developing a risk-based GAM process directed at performance objectives for asset condition, safety impacts, and mobility and economic consequences; â¢ Enabling implementation by individuals other than geo-professionals, including TAM and other planning staff, bridge/structure inspection teams, and general engineering staff; â¢ Constructing flexible frameworks for prioritizing asset treatment decisions based on risk and/or investment considerations; â¢ Emphasizing connection with agency executives through business and investment cases for GAM; â¢ Promoting a consistent inventory and assessment process across geotechnical asset types; â¢ Starting GAM following a simple workflow that can be modified as justified through process improvement steps; and â¢ Developing recommendations for incorporating GAM at both the program and project levels and in both the operations and design life-cycle phases. The proposed implementation process consists of a simplified workflow for: â¢ Identifying and locating assets; â¢ Selecting from a five-level category for the operation and maintenance condition of an asset;
Research Approach 9 â¢ Assessing the asset performance consequences; â¢ Reviewing the recommended treatment recommendations; â¢ Analyzing differing investment levels; and â¢ Communication of initial results. The GAM Implementation Manual recommends starting the GAM process with a small quan- tity of known assets as a means to quickly implement the complete asset management process before expanding the inventory or considering process improvements. Once started, suggested next steps include: â¢ Expanding the inventory of assets through various means and methods; â¢ Calibrating the default asset models; â¢ Developing new asset models, if needed; â¢ Including other agency staff in inventory development; â¢ Developing data management practices with agency staff to enable visual communication of asset characteristics and performance; â¢ Authoring a GAM plan document; and â¢ Adding objectives and measures based on stakeholder feedback. 2.6 Data Management for GAM Implementation A supporting task to the GAM implementation process involved development of a non- proprietary spreadsheet-based (Microsoft Excel) tool to accompany the GAM Implemen- tation Manual. This tool, referred to as the GAM Planner, provides a means to begin a consistent geotechnical asset inventory and assessment process that includes geo-spatial asset data and enables decision-making processes based on investment returns and a risk perfor- mance measure. The GAM Planner will enable GAM across staff levels to follow a workflow for inventory development and assessment using default asset model templates. The GAM Implementation Manual also provides guidance for developing agency-specific asset models if desired. The GAM Planner was formulated for adoption by a state transportation agency starting GAM at a simple asset management maturity level. An agency that already has some form of initial geotechnical asset inventory could adapt the existing data in the GAM Planner if desired. In addition to the spreadsheet tool, and as a GAM program matures, implementation staff may wish to consider using more robust agency-supported enterprise software that might offer addi- tional analysis capabilities, and may be more compatible with other TAM databases used within the agency. The implementation process also provides guidance on data and data management prac- tices. Because data management practices are emerging topics with agencies and more specific to the systems and processes of each agency, the data management framework provided for the GAM implementation process is directed toward enabling integration into DOT enterprise systems. 2.7 Final Deliverables The final deliverables developed for this project consist of the GAM Implementation Manual; this research overview documenting the conduct of the research; a technical memorandum on the implementation of the research findings; the GAM Planner; a complementary, spreadsheet-based template for calculating the net present value (NPV) of assets; and training aids for agency-based training for GAM program implementation.
10 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview Although the annotated outline content remained the same from the material presented in the interim report and interim meeting, some content was reorganized during development of the GAM Implementation Manual. The reorganization was intended to improve the readability of the document in a logical framework considering the implementation workflow and AASHTO TAM steps. Figure 2.1 provides an overview of the organization of the GAM Implementation Manual. Part A - Introduction and the "Why" for GAM â¢ Chapter 1 â¢ Introduction â¢ Manual Overview â¢ Why Implement GAM Part B - Starting a Plan â¢ Chapter 2 â¢ Implementing GAM â¢ Workflow for Implementation â¢ GAM Planner Steps Part C - Understanding the Asset Management Process â¢ Chapter 3: Purpose and Need for GAM â¢ Chapter 4: Linking to TAM â¢ Chapter 5: Adaptable TAM Practices for GAM â¢ Chapter 6: Asset Assessment and Performance Measures â¢ Chapter 7: Risk â¢ Chapter 8: Practical Implementation of GAM in the Agency Figure 2.1. GAM Implementation manual, final organization.