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11 3.1 Definition of the Geotechnical Asset Category and Types The glossary in the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Guide: A Focus on Implemen- tation (2011) defines an asset as follows: An asset is the physical transportation infrastructure (e.g., travel way, structures, other features and appur- tenances, operations systems, and major elements thereof); more generally, can include the full range of resources capable of producing value-added for an agency: e.g., human resources, financial capacity, real estate, corporate information, equipment and materials, etc.; an individual, separately-managed component of the infrastructure, e.g., bridge deck, road section, streetlight. Issued in 2014, the ISO 55000 series of standards are used in asset management practices internationally and across infrastructure systems. The ISO 55000 standards define an asset as an âitem, thing or entity that has potential or actual value to an organization; value can be tangible or intangible, financial or non-financial, and includes consideration of risks and liabilities.â In both definitions, an asset can be shown to be a physical object or component that contrib- utes value to an organization, such as a public transportation agency. Bridges and pavements are examples of physical asset categories that are required to have asset management plans per federal authorization. However, bridges and pavements are not the only physical assets that contribute value to an organization tasked with providing public transportation infrastructure. The intended function of a bridge or pavement asset and ultimately the entire system can only be fully realized when the connecting and/or supporting assets also function. Geotechnical assets therefore can be identified as an additional asset category that provides value to an agency while also enabling the desired value from existing legacy asset management programs for bridges and pavements. When reviewing the successful GAM programs for Highways England and Network Rail, geotechnical assets are defined as cut slopes (cuttings) and embankment assets within the agency boundary (Network Rail 2017, Power et al. 2012). Domestically, Thompson (2017) identifies rock and soil slopes, embankments, retaining walls, and material sites as geotechnical assets in the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (Alaska DOT&PF) GAM plan; while Anderson et al. (2017), presents a summary of Colorado DOT GAM programs that consider retaining walls a separate unique asset, and, slopes, embankments and subgrade as a combined geohazards category. The definition of geotechnical assets from Anderson et al. (2016) was adopted for the proj- ect GAM Implementation Manual where the geotechnical asset types are embankment, slope, retaining wall, or constructed subgrade within the ROW that contributes to the continuous operation of a transportation network. This definition was selected for the implementation pro- cess based on a connection across GAM efforts in multiple agencies across countries and fol- lowing a taxonomic methodology for physical assets within the transportation corridors ROW C H A P T E R 3 Findings and Applications
12 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview (see âTaxonomy of Geotechnical Assetsâ in Chapter 5 of the GAM Implementation Manual). Per ISO 55000, these geotechnical assets can easily be shown to have value to an organization and are known to contribute risk to several organization objectives and measures. A discussion of the different geotechnical asset types as presented in the GAM Implementation Manual is provided below. Additional discussion, schematics, and photographic examples are pre- sented in Chapters 2 and 3 of the Implementation Manual and are not reproduced here for brevity. 3.1.1 Embankments An embankment asset is constructed earth fill composed of rock and soil that enables a road- way to maintain a required design elevation above lower-lying ground. In general, an embank- ment is an asset that supports the roadway and some portion of the downslope or outboard ROW. As defined for the GAM Implementation Manual, the recommended threshold height for an embankment is a minimum of 10 feet (3 meters) above the adjacent grade. This threshold is based on similar criteria from Network Rail in the United Kingdom. For embankments below these values, an agency could define the embankment asset as a minor earthwork. Alternatively, an agency could establish its own criteria for defining an embankment. 3.1.2 Slopes Slope geotechnical assets may involve either of the following slope features: â¢ A permanently excavated slope (a cut slope) that is incorporated into the roadway template and within the ROW, easement, or other property boundary; and â¢ A beyond-the-ROW natural geologic slope hazard feature (e.g., a natural hazard site) that can threaten other transportation assets or the operation of the transportation network. This type of feature would include natural rockfalls from geologic outcrops, landslides that originate beyond the ROW or in natural ground, or natural debris flows that enter into the ROW and disrupt operations. Even though events or adverse performance from cut slopes and beyond-the-ROW geologic hazards may have similar operational consequences to an agency, in the GAM inventory it is encouraged to differentiate between constructed slope assets and natural hazard sites. Through this differentiation in the inventory, differing treatment planning and investment strategies can be developed depending on input from agency executives. Slopes can consist of soil, rock, and mixtures of soil and rock. Cut slopes differ from embank- ments in that cut slopes are excavated into the terrain rather than created as a constructed fill feature. Similar to embankment assets, a 10-foot cut-slope height threshold is recommended in GAM implementation, unless the asset is judged to create an unacceptable hazard to the safety of users and maintenance personnel. 3.1.3 Retaining Walls Retaining walls are a common type of geotechnical asset, usually consisting of constructed structures that hold back natural soil or rock or engineered materials to prevent sliding of material onto a roadway or other structure, or to support a roadway. Retaining walls also are referred to as earth retaining structures in some organizations. Current design guidance for many wall types indicates that retaining walls will have vertical or near vertical face inclinations of 70 degrees or steeper. For consistency with wall design practices, a structure with a vertical face inclination of less than 70 degrees can be classified as an embank- ment or slope that likely relies on reinforcement improvements for stability. The recommended
Findings and Applications 13 wall height for inclusion into a GAM plan is 4 feet of exposed face height, which is based on what commonly defines an engineered retaining wall. In many cases, a retaining wall is associated with a bridge structure or approach to a bridge. As indicated in the GAM Implementation Manual, if a wall also functions as a bridge abutment that is integral with the bridge structure, the wall should be considered to be part of the depart- mentâs bridge inspection and asset management program and should not be inventoried and assessed as an independent asset. All other walls associated with bridge approaches are encour- aged to be incorporated into the GAM plan if they are not already managed in an existing asset management program. 3.1.4 Subgrades Subgrade assets are made up of improved or unimproved earth material that lies below the engineered pavement section, which creates a life-cycle management need. Examples of sub- grade assets include constructed earthworks and ground improvements to address swelling, compressible, or collapsible soil or bedrock, or to address threats from karst (sinkholes) and underground mining. A subgrade asset also can consist of an unimproved or natural hazard subgrade that generates a performance risk to the roadway. 3.2 Purpose of GAM GAM enables an agency to measure and manage the life-cycle investment of assets such as slopes, embankments, walls, and unstable subgrades based on performance expectations and risk tolerance. In the absence of GAM, an agency accepts unknown magnitudes of risk to traveler safety, mobility, and economic vitality, while also potentially making less than optimal life-cycle investment decisions. To provide evidence of the business case and potential investment and risk-reduction benefits, examples of successful GAM or related similar programs are provided here and in the GAM Implementation Manual. A key component of these examples is that risk-based GAM is providing benefits through processes that have existed for approximately 15 to 20 years, depending on the program. â¢ Network Rail manages approximately 19,200 miles of the rail network in Great Britain, much of which extends through gentle topography. The network includes many cut slopes and embankments that were developed between 1830 and 1880. Network Rail has established a GAM system that consists of risk-based inventory, assessment, and intervention processes that have resulted in documented improvements in safety and delay risk for their system since implementation 15 years ago (Network Rail 2017). The Network Rail system has matured with regard to several processes, with recent changes made to the risk assessment process based on asset performance data that enables informed model calibrations. Further, studies of the proactive management of embankment assets supporting railroad lines and motorways in the United Kingdom demonstrated realized life-cycle cost savings of 60 percent to 80 percent per unit length of embankment (Perry et al. 2003). â¢ The UK Highways Agency (now called Highways England) is responsible for approximately 4,400 miles of roadway throughout the United Kingdom, including about 45,000 geotechnical assets. In 2003, Highways England initiated GAM with the first strategy document. Geotechni- cal assets in the Highways England program consist of embankments and cut slopes, with the majority constructed from the late 1950s to 1990s. As presented by Power et al. (2012), Highways England operates from the perspective that roadway infrastructure construction is mostly complete, and the agency centers its efforts on system improvements, optimization, and
14 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview maintenance. The Highways England geotechnical program has matured in stages, starting from a program directed at producing specific outputs (e.g., inventory for geotechnical assets) to obtain- ing business outcomes, with a primary focus on providing assets that perform at the required ser- vice level for the user. The Highways England program is risk-based, with recommended actions based on five risk-level categories. Additionally, the asset inventory is re-inspected every 5 years. â¢ Switzerland formed the National Platform for Natural Hazards (PLANAT) in 1997. This national effort to address the countryâs considerable natural hazards risk is notable for the scope of its collaboration, which includes the federal government, the financial and insurance indus- try, and public agencies across various infrastructure sectors. The PLANAT mandate includes improving public awareness and efforts to share financial investment in mitigation according to risk-reduction benefits; (for example, multiple stakeholders may fund a project based on ben- efits received (BrÃ¼ndl et al. 2009). The program also has an online tool for evaluating risk reduc- tion, the use of which is required for all projects costing more than approximately $1 million. â¢ The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Dam Safety Program is an aspirational exam- ple of GAM that uses risk to evaluate, prioritize, and justify safety decisions for more than 700 dams, more than 50 percent of which have exceeded the 50-year service life (USACE 2014). The program was initiated following federal authorization in 1996. Using risk-based analysis, USACE indicates that every $1 invested yields $8 of flood damage reduction. Fur- ther, the USACE asset management process for water infrastructure facilities subject to natu- ral hazards (water/hydropower, navigation, and flood-related assets) successfully combines inventory, assessment, and risk-based multi-criteria decision analysis and financial planning, all of which are completed by staff using conventional spreadsheet programs (Connelly 2016). These sustained GAM practices are similar to bridge and pavement asset management pro- grams in the United States. Although these program examples started in response to regulation, after several years of implementation each program has evolved into a more complex program that demonstrates sustained and measurable benefits. Thus, the purpose of GAM is to enable an agency to obtain real, measurable benefits that are cur- rently being recognized by other infrastructure organizations. Based on outcomes from successful programs around the world, the benefits of performing GAM can be summarized as: â¢ Financial savings across the geotechnical life-cycle, with as much as 30 percent in some cases; â¢ A process to measure and manage involuntary safety risk exposure across the entire asset class; â¢ Lessened traveler delay and closure times, resulting in improved network operational performance; â¢ Reductions in broader economic impacts due to injury, loss of life, or property damage to citizens, businesses, and other governmental agencies; â¢ Fewer impacts and damages related to other transportation assets; â¢ Demonstrated stewardship, protection of environmental resources, enhanced agency reputa- tion, and improved sustainability; â¢ Data and processes for making informed decisions that support agency and stakeholder objectives; â¢ Data and processes for prioritizing O&M decisions; and â¢ An understanding of current risk exposure levels and distribution, and the ability to manage those risks. 3.3 Starting GAM 3.3.1 Successful Models to Emulate Looking internationally, the previously discussed GAM programs for rail and highway sys- tems in the United Kingdom exhibited a sustained success across the asset management spec- trum with well over a decade of implementation and process improvements that have provided
Findings and Applications 15 valuable concepts to emulate. Domestically, the literature review and case study findings showed that several transportation agencies and infrastructure owners in the United States are working toward GAM implementation, with progress most evident in processes related to inventory, condition measurement, and risk analysis. However, no domestic example of a public-sector transportation agency with a functioning GAM program comparable to the UK programs in duration or program size was apparent. The implementation experiences of other agencies were considered throughout the develop- ment of the GAM Implementation Manual and processes. Table 3.1 summarizes the successful implementation strategies identified through this research. For a U.S. DOT able to fund a complex GAM program at the start of implementation, custom plans could be adapted from those developed by agencies like those noted in Table 3.1, which have or are progressing to a high level of maturity. The research team determined that the greater need was to develop a template for a GAM plan at a simple level of maturity, which considers constraints on development and investment resources, and permits an agency to efficiently find favorable returns on the initial investment in GAM such that funding for implementation and future plan advancement will be supported across the organization. Agency Examples People Processes Systems and Data Highways England Dedicated staff positions and organization structures that consider the role of GAM Functioning GAM plan at complex level of maturity and based on safety risk management; long-duration inventory construction and use of process improvements Started in 2003; mature GAM program; geo- referenced asset locations; evaluating cross-asset performance with drainage assets; 2.5-meter height definition Network Rail Dedicated staff positions and organization structures that consider the role of GAM Functioning GAM plan at complex level of maturity and based on safety risk management; long-duration inventory construction and use of process improvements Mature GAM program; geo-referenced asset locations; segment definition for assets; developing deterioration models for >100-year-old assets; 3-meter height definition Infrastructure Maintenance Management Manual (multiple examples) Guidance on organizational staff structures for functioning asset management programs Risk-based asset management plans for other assets that are adaptable to GAM Guidance on geo- referenced data management systems at levels of maturity from simple to complex USACE Water Infrastructure Programs Risk-based asset management practices for infrastructure systems that include geotechnical or similar assets Transitioned from proprietary software to spreadsheet-based (Microsoft Excel) tools due to user familiarity and availability Alaska, Vermont, and Colorado DOTs Creating a culture change for GAM; implementation experience within a domestic DOT Experimentation with early implementation approaches Developing inventory and condition data for GAM in a TAM framework Switzerlandâs PLANAT Program Oversight panel with cross-agency, cross- disciplinary, and private- and public-sector representatives Risk-based, cost-benefit decision process for natural hazard risk mitigation; investment shared among risk stakeholders Geo-referenced risk-based inventory mapping tools and cost-benefit analysis software to standardize analysis Table 3.1. Examples of successful GAM strategies.
16 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview 3.3.2 Development of a GAM Implementation Framework and Workflow In the literature, discussions about asset management and GAM generally have covered strategic-level concepts or the agency-specific processes, systems, or data within an asset management program. The case study interviews performed for this project provided an opportunity to understand the perspectives of agency staff who may implement a new asset management program and how the cultures and relationships at differing levels of an agency can influence implementation. For many successful GAM program examples (e.g., those in the United Kingdom, the USACE Water Infrastructure program, and the Swiss PLANAT program), a key trigger for implementa- tion was some form of governmental requirement. This also has been true for the implementation success of bridge and pavement asset management in the United States. Once started, how- ever, these GAM programs have yielded benefits and process improvements that demonstrate their business and risk-reduction utility independently from continuous governmental require- ments. Among the state DOTs that have started early efforts toward GAM, implementation has occurred because of the motivation of a few key individuals who were willing to advocate for a program in the absence of regulatory requirements. Many of the case study discussions suggested that federal requirements for GAM would be a means to start GAM. However, a few DOTs also reported that current federal authorization could be a barrier to GAM implementation because of the concern that a program could be penalized for not obtaining self-imposed performance goals in the absence of a mandate from the FHWA. Thus, given the anticipated legislative environment, the GAM implementation framework for this project was developed to satisfy economic and performance needs in the absence of directed regulatory requirements. Another conclusion, drawn from the case study discussions together with feedback from the project review panel, was that a GAM program that is simple to implement also would have the greatest likelihood for adoption. As a result, the following implementation framework characteristics were identified as being most likely to enable GAM in state DOTs: â¢ Relatively simple to implement, â¢ Does not require legislative authorization, and â¢ Has low financial and other agency resource needs at initiation. To evaluate implementation solutions under these constraints, a behavior model for persua- sive design (Fogg 2009) was reviewed to guide workflow actions that could enable use of a GAM framework. The behavior model provided a systematic approach to understanding factors that can result in behavior change in professionals across industries. Fogg (2009) suggests that, for a target behavior to occur (in this case implementation of GAM), the relationships between motivation and ability (which often relate to simplicity) must be recognized and addressed for the individuals involved in the process. In general, the greater the level of individual motivation, the greater is the likelihood of the individual taking on difficult tasks to accomplish a call to action. Conversely, the lower the level of individual motivation, the more important it becomes to change the difficulty level (by making the work simpler). For example, the early DOT GAM implementation efforts shown in Table 3.1 are the result of highly interested (i.e., motivated) individuals and agencies that were willing to undertake a new and challenging task that required a high level of ability. Legislation and regulations are obviously highly motivating factors, but they are anticipated to have little value in the GAM implementation process at this time. Fogg (2009) conceptualizes the relationship between motivation and âabilityâ (which is related to task difficulty or simplicity) using a graph, with motivation shown on the vertical axis, simplicity on the horizontal axis, and the activation threshold as a curved line plotted by the
Findings and Applications 17 intersecting points at which an action (e.g., GAM implementation) transitions between being less likely to occur and more likely to occur in response to environmental prompts or triggers. Subcomponents of the Fogg Behavior Model can be used to guide formulation of a framework that considers both motivations and abilities. The application of this work to the development of the GAM implementation framework is presented in Table 3.2. The research teamâs synthesis of literature and case studies indicated the need for a simple workflow that minimizes agency resources for starting GAM planning as a means of increasing Factor* Subcomponent Application in Development of the GAM Implementation Framework Motivation Pleasure/Pain Work to simplify processes and tools such that individuals do not view the implementation as being discomforting. Use familiar spreadsheet software (i.e., Microsoft Excel) to avoid frustrations that may occur with new or less familiar software systems. Hope/Fear Adapt from and emphasize examples of implementation success to characterize favorable outcomes that will result, such as cost savings, fewer disruptions, and managed risk. The long-term success of GAM for UK transportation networks is an aspirational good outcome that can motivate others. Identify potential favorable outcomes at all levels of an agency, including motivating executives to better reach objectives, engaging planners, and enabling confidence in GAM through good outcomes for geo-professionals and maintenance staff. Acceptance/ Rejection Make implementation inclusive of all geotechnical asset types, geographies, and agency structures to enable a broad acceptance rate. Within an agency, emphasize the need for processes and measures of GAM performance to connect with stakeholders across the organization, especially those most capable of supporting implementation (executives, TAM managers, public stakeholders). Ability/ Elements of Simplicity Time Minimize the additional demands on staff time that come with implementation by allowing for the ability to start and stop inventory or work during short, available periods; using anecdotal information; and enabling staff to get started without first finding time for formal training or reading a manual. Money Assume that agencies have limited to no financial resources to start GAM. Thus, GAM processes should start using existing systems and without requiring new tools, staff, or budgets. As a spreadsheet-based (Microsoft Excel) worksheet, the GAM Planner can be used readily. Physical Effort Enable inventory data collection to begin at the desktop level without requiring mobilization to the field for new inspection or condition data. Although such inventory data are valuable, suggest beginning inventory development in the GAM Planner using existing department records, anecdotal information, and readily available online tools. Mental Effort Develop initial implementation processes that minimize the need to think deeply or in unfamiliar ways. Develop a âquick startâ chapter of the GAM Implementation Manual that allows implementation to begin before the manual delves into less familiar details about geotechnical assets, risk, and TAM concepts. Structure workflow so that knowledge of supporting TAM concepts is optional or not required to start implementation. The GAM Planner inputs have been developed to enable use of this tool without the need to learn about GAM and TAM in depth. Use the process of starting GAM as a means to teach GAM and supporting steps. Deviance from Rules Provide examples of existing GAM programs and other asset management programs to indicate that asset management is a desired process in public agencies and across countries. With time, not performing GAM could be considered a deviation from practice (a strong motivating factor in the absence of ârulesâ such as legislative or regulatory requirements). Routine/ Non-Routine Structure the implementation process to be simple and repeatable. To encourage routine use, the GAM Planner has been structured to require minimal data entry time for each asset and to involve minimal input steps. *Fogg (2009) suggests that the subcomponents of ability are linked and work together, whereas the subcomponents of motivation can be independent. For example, a process that satisfies all but the money subcomponent of ability will likely not occur if an impractical investment amount is required. Conversely, a flu shot is representative of the trade-off between pain and hope of good health in the motivation factor. Table 3.2. Motivation and ability considerations for development of GAM implementation framework.
18 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview implementation success. A more complex program or a higher GAM maturity level is best viewed as an outcome of a successful implementation that enables justified process improve- ments with time, a conclusion that is supported by the successful programs listed in Table 3.1. For the development of the GAM Implementation Manual and GAM Planner, the team worked to create processes and tools that would support starting simply. The behavior change model from Fogg (2009) provided guidance on specific factors to consider that are beneficial toward enabling individuals to change a behavior, which in this case was choosing to implement GAM. The following list summarizes the workflow and implementation processes that were selected for increasing the likelihood of success: â¢ Structure the layout of the manual so the user can quickly understand the purpose and value of GAM. â Part A, Chapter 1 of the GAM Implementation Manual briefly introduces GAM, addresses the organization of the manual, and includes a discussion of the reasons to perform GAM. Part A concludes with a discussion about âStarting Simply,â which is intended to inform the reader that GAM does not need to be a complex and intensive process to start. â Part A purposely does not expand the discussion into TAM or other concepts potentially unfamiliar to geo-professionals. â Part A is only a few pages long, which allows for a quick read and minimizes time requirements. â¢ Enable a user of the manual to start GAM implementation quickly, without having to first learn supporting concepts for asset management, geotechnical engineering, performance measures, risk, and investment. â Part B, Chapter 2 of the GAM Implementation Manual provides a step-by-step guide to starting implementation using the spreadsheet-based (Microsoft Excel) GAM Planner tool that accompanies the manual. â The user is encouraged to select a few known assets and start GAM inventory and assess- ment using the GAM Planner. â The user can draw on existing records or anecdotal information to start GAM without having to mobilize the field to collect asset condition data. The inventory and assessment process in the GAM Planner minimizes the number of technical measures for each asset, thus reducing both time requirements and the need for specialized experience. â Part B presents a simplified GAM workflow without including optional process improve- ment steps or technical terms that could suggest a complicated new process. â Part B emphasizes a preference for starting at a simple level versus a complex level, and for avoiding trying to build a complete inventory before moving through the GAM spectrum. â¢ Enable a consistent management program that is flexible for adaptations. â The GAM inventory and assessment process is structured around the performance objec- tives of asset condition, safety impacts, and mobility and economic consequences, which are common objectives across agencies and are identified in federal authorization for asset management. â For the initial inventory and assessment process, geotechnical assets are evaluated as a single category under one framework rather than using separate frameworks for each geo- technical asset type. Should an agency not want to include a certain asset type, those assets can be omitted from the inventory. â¢ Provide a software tool that enables starting GAM implementation without formal training or the purchase of new software systems. â The GAM Planner is a Microsoft Excel file that can be used across an agency. â The GAM Planner has minimal input fields to reduce the time requirements for entry of asset data.
Findings and Applications 19 â¢ Enable the user to learn supporting aspects of GAM once implementation has started, thus eliminating the barrier of having to learn new concepts before starting. â Part C of the GAM Implementation Manual follows the implementation steps in Part B and contains chapters that provide background on TAM, performance measures, risk, and practical considerations for implementation of GAM in an agency. Part C contains valuable material for progressing through the TAM spectrum, but this material can be read at the convenience of the reader. 3.4 Incorporating GAM into TAM and Across the Agency As indicated in the project background and research objective, GAM implementation should occur such that the geotechnical assets can be incorporated into an overall, agency-wide TAM program. To enable this to occur, the research team has structured the GAM implementation process to align with established AASHTO TAM practices that prescribe the following elements for an asset management plan: â¢ Objectives and measures, â¢ Inventory and condition, â¢ Performance gap identification, â¢ Life-cycle cost and risk management analysis, â¢ A financial plan, and â¢ Investment strategies. Chapter 4 of the GAM Implementation Manual is structured to incorporate these elements by introducing the background for each concept and developing the connections for geotechnical assets. The application of risk in asset management is introduced in Chapter 4 and expanded in Chapter 7, which provides a detailed background on risk and risk management, and in Chapter 8 as a means for prioritizing asset treatments. 3.4.1 Objectives and Measures To align with TAM, the measurement of geotechnical asset performance should relate to TAM objectives in a way that is similar to the performance measurement of any other transportation asset. The process described in the GAM Implementation Manual is formulated around perfor- mance objectives for asset condition, safety impacts, and mobility and economic consequences, which connect with objectives contained in federal authorization for asset management plans. Lessons learned from successful GAM programs and case study input from agency execu- tives indicates that performance measures should relate to how the asset performance affects customers or executive decision-making. As presented in Chapter 4 of the GAM Implementation Manual, Network Rail geotechnical asset performance is assessed with respect to the following measures (Network Rail 2017): â¢ Train derailments, â¢ Train delay minutes, â¢ Temporary train speed reductions, and â¢ Earthwork failures. Keeping the Network Rail experience in mind, the performance measures presented in the GAM Implementation Manual focus on (1) outward (or public-facing) measures that tend to be results-oriented lag measures that connect with agency executives and the public, and (2) inward and engineering-based lead measures that are used by the asset managers and technical staff to predict estimated future conditions.
20 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview The GAM Implementation Manual introduces an outward-facing, executive-level measure called âlevel of risk (LOR).â The LOR is a grade-based categorical measure for asset performance com- munication to executives. This measure provides a means to succinctly communicate the mag- nitude of current performance risk from the asset across multiple TAM objectives, such as asset condition, mobility, and safety impacts. The LOR is intended to be similar to the level of service (LOS) standards used in many TAM and maintenance planning programs. The concept of LOR is based on early GAM implementation experience at the Colorado DOT, which sought to improve communication about the âserviceâ that geotechnical assets provide. Additionally, agency execu- tives have indicated there can be difficulty with understanding technical condition scores specific to each asset type (e.g., understanding what are âgood,â âfair,â or âpoorâ conditions for slopes, walls, embankments, and subgrades) and how these scores translate to the agenciesâ performance. LOR also is being incorporated as a performance measure for the Alaska DOT&PF GAM program. The LOR measurement is intended to indicate a relative magnitude estimate of the risk expo- sure for an agency with geotechnical assets. The GAM Planner and GAM Implementation Manual present default LOR categories following a linear distribution of risk scores. Within the GAM Planner, the category values can be adapted based on an agencyâs tolerance for different risk consequence levels. For example, an agency could decide to increase the LOR category thresholds based on higher tolerance for risk from geotechnical assets. To facilitate developing an under- standing of LOR categories, Appendix D to the GAM Implementation Manual (available online) presents a photographic matrix for different GAM sites that illustrates the range in performance. For outward-facing customer-focused measures, the GAM Implementation Manual recom- mends that GAM programs consider measurement of total annual delays and road closures resulting from disruptions associated with geotechnical asset performance. These measures may be aspirational measures and difficult to capture in some agencies, but such measures will com- municate an easily understandable performance aspect to the public and how that performance can be influenced by investment levels. At agencies for which this level of measurement is not currently feasible, it is suggested that the potential for instituting these measures be continually reevaluated, particularly as continuous traffic volume measurement accuracy increases through technology advancements. The GAM Implementation Manual and the spreadsheet-based GAM Planner identify some simple inward-facing technical measures that (1) likely are already used in some form at many agencies and (2) can be used by agencies as they begin GAM implementation. Three such measures are termed the âO&M Condition Level,â the âSafety Risk Consequence Level,â and the âMobility and Economic Consequence Level.â For example, using the GAM Planner, an agency can identify: â¢ Percent of segments in each O&M Condition Level, â¢ Percent of segments in each Safety Risk Consequence Level, and â¢ Percent of segments in each Mobility and Economic Consequence Level. The GAM Implementation Manual also indicates technical measures that should be consid- ered as secondary measures for use by geo-professionals and/or asset managers. This collection of detailed technical measures is not essential for beginning implementation of the GAM process as described in the manual. Rather, increasing the use and complexity of technical measures is recommended as a process improvement that can be adopted within each agency as the rel- evance to performance measurement and management becomes evident. 3.4.2 Inventory and Condition Information from the case study interviews indicated that collection of data for an asset management inventory could be a barrier to implementation because of the cost and time requirements, particularly if new data need to be collected through labor-intensive processes.
Findings and Applications 21 The International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM) presents a staged approach as a practical process for data collection that considers the investment constraints (IPWEA 2015). As stated in the IIMM, âa rule of thumb is often 80 percent of the data can be collected for half the cost of 100 percent. Seeking 100 percent coverage and accuracy may not be justified, except for the most critical assets.â Per the practices in the IIMM, the concept of staged data collection begins with identification of minimum data for compliance and reporting requirements, next moves to data for priori- tizing O&M decisions, and concludes with optimizing life-cycle decisions (IPWEA 2015). As discussed in Power et al. (2012), a similar progression of data collection occurred with GAM implementation for the UK Highways Agency. GAM implementation does not have compliance or reporting requirements, which suggests that initial data collection stages can be directed at O&M decisions. Within a staged data workflow, all assets do not necessarily go to the final level of data collection; reaching the most-detailed state occurs only in situations for which the collec- tion effort is justified. Thus, the investment in data collection and management should be com- pared against the level of detail required for decision support or to achieve any other benefits. The GAM Implementation Manual introduces an approach that relies on differing levels of detail and a variety of collection tools for inventory and condition data. This allows a DOT to collect only the data required for the desired level and complexity of decision-making, versus an approach that requires significant investment and quantity of data that may or may not be used in the future. The GAM Planner enables an agency to start inventory and condition measure- ment in a simple spreadsheet register that also can be used for assessment models. The data needed to start an inventory in the GAM Planner can come from both within and outside an agency. Data from within the organization may include corporate information systems, active and archived project records, enterprise accounting systems, operational technology systems (such as traffic data), or anecdotal staff sources. External data can come in various forms, from sources ranging from proprietary, vendor provided systems, outside stakeholder sources, and web-based freeware programs such as Google Earth. The GAM Implementation Manual encourages use of existing data as the first step in order to minimize a potential barrier to GAM. 3.4.3 Performance Gaps For an agency starting GAM at a simple level of maturity, the GAM Implementation Manual recognizes that performance gaps will become evident once knowledge is gained about the cur- rent levels of asset performance. The manual recommends communicating a straightforward initial performance gap, such as the percent of inventory complete relative to estimated total asset inventory, and providing approaches to address this gap. 3.4.4 Life-Cycle Planning In recently adopted asset management requirements, the FHWA defines life-cycle cost as âthe cost of managing an asset class or asset sub-group for its whole life, from initial construction to its replacementâ (23 CFR 515). Thus, the GAM Implementation Manual introduces the TAM principles for considering the life-cycle of geotechnical assets through the phases of design, construction, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning (if applicable). The TAM pro- cesses that include evaluation of the asset life-cycle include: â¢ Total cost of the asset over the life, or life-cycle cost; â¢ Risk management across the life-cycle; and â¢ Financial plans and investment strategies for a program of assets over a life-cycle.
22 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview In the GAM Implementation Manual, content and figures in Chapter 4 are included to provide an introduction to the concepts of asset life-cycles and their application to geotechnical assets. The manual then expands the life-cycle discussion to introduce the TAM concepts for what treatments can be performed on an asset following construction. These treatments are incorpo- rated into the GAM Planner and discussed throughout the manual using the following terms: â¢ Do Minimum, â¢ Maintain, â¢ Rehabilitate (Rehab), â¢ Reconstruct (or Renew), and â¢ Restore. The treatment discussion in Chapter 4 of the manual reviews these concepts in detail and provides specific example treatments for geotechnical assets in each category. 3.4.5 Financial Plans and Investment Strategies Chapter 4 of the GAM Implementation Manual also includes an introduction to the TAM steps of financial plans and investment strategies. As presented in the manual, a financial plan is a multi-year projection of actual and desired funding, whereas investment strategies consider the allocation of resources within a plan, such as where funding will be directed following the treatment options for assets. The manual also emphasizes the importance of financial planning in the GAM spectrum because of the importance to executive decision-makers and illustrates which assets are treated and when within the planning cycle. Based on the research teamâs review of existing GAM programs and information from the project case study discussions, it is suggested that agencies anticipate that the resources available will be less than those required to support a full geotechnical asset life-cycle plan. Therefore, the GAM Implementation Manual indicates the need for a financial plan to present what investments will be made and what will be deferred. Although agencies likely will need to defer investments for existing assets, the manual dis- cusses the importance of also considering life-cycle cost in the design phase of new assets. In manufacturing industries, it is a well-documented conclusion that up to 80 percent of the life- cycle cost is âlocked inâ by design decisions (Hurst 1999). A similar condition is acknowledged in the life-cycle management of wastewater facilities (WERF 2018). With respect to geotechni- cal assets, a similar trend is expected, and the manual recommends that agencies evaluate the whole-life cost over the desired performance life-cycle to determine preferred alternatives based on economic criteria. Chapter 8 of the GAM Implementation Manual expands on approaches to life-cycle cost analysis, and Appendix E presents a Microsoft Excel template that can be used to evaluate life-cycle costs. In addition to life-cycle cost considerations for financial planning and investment, the GAM Implementation Manual addresses a need to evaluate the ROI in a GAM program. Determin- ing the return on GAM investment requires calculation of benefits over time in comparison to up-front and ongoing costs. The manual introduces breakeven analysis as a means for provid- ing the justification needed to validate investment in GAM. Chapter 4 of the manual references the outcomes from NCHRP Research Report 866: Return on Investment in Transportation Asset Management Systems and Practices to offer detailed guidance on demonstrating ROI in TAM. NCHRP Research Report 866 is accompanied by a spreadsheet-based tool for calculating the ROI of an asset management system or process investment that can be adopted by an agency wanting to evaluate the program-level investments toward GAM. (Additional information about this report and a link to download the accompanying spreadsheet tool are available from the NCHRP Research Report 866 webpage at www.trb.org.)
Findings and Applications 23 The existing research on TAM implementation discusses agency benefits in terms of changes in O&M cost or changes in data collection, processing cost, and analysis cost. The GAM Imple- mentation Manual provides guidance for using these categories when making comparisons between an incorporation of GAM into the TAM program. 3.5 Taxonomy and Definitions for GAM 3.5.1 Taxonomy Introduction The research objective for this project indicated the need to provide a definition and tax- onomy of geotechnical assets that will support communication and comparability among DOTs. Chapter 5 of the GAM Implementation Manual discusses the recommended taxonomy for GAM in detail. The taxonomy is based on guidance presented by Anderson et al. (2016), who researched and presented a geotechnical taxonomy for transportation infrastructure assets with the goal to facilitate communication and advancement in the management of both geotechnical and transportation assets. The taxonomy also considers definitions that align with current state of practice with TAM and the requirements of MAP-21. This includes terminology such as ele- ments used in the FHWA Specification for the National Bridge Inventory (2014b). The proposed GAM taxonomy also is similar in structure to the general taxonomy used for geotechnical assets managed by Highways England and Network Rail. This commonality in taxonomy can enable communication and comparability both among domestic DOTs and with the existing interna- tional practice. As noted by Anderson et al. (2016), the purpose of the proposed taxonomy was to clarify language and ideas so that geotechnical engineers, practitioners of other disciplines, and asset managers can communicate effectively within an organization and between different organizations. Figure 3.1 presents the development of GAM taxonomy presented in Chapter 5 of the GAM Implementation Manual. Detailed discussion on the distinctions within the taxonomy are pro- vided in the manual and are not reproduced here for brevity. 3.5.2 Role of Agency Boundary in GAM Taxonomy Based on information from the DOT case studies, most agencies treat geotechnical assets in a reactive manner once there is a known threat or consequence to safety or operations. Addition- ally, asset boundary or ROW considerations often are secondary, as the primary actions relate to specific performance impacts. For example, agencies will treat a rockfall originating from natural slopes beyond the ROW similarly to an event that occurs within the ROW. Likewise, some assets that are adjacent to the ROW but owned by others (e.g., private retaining walls) can significantly impact the operations of an asset. The need to consider ROW or agency asset boundaries can be a distinguishing condition for geotechnical assets, as most bridge and pavement assets under existing asset management plans are easily recognized as being within the ROW or easement boundaries of the agency. For these types of assets within the ROW boundary, the agency has control over how they are built, main- tained, and managed, in addition to full access rights. Clear expectations for both ownership and O&M responsibility also exist for assets that are clearly identified as being within the ROW. As a result, the GAM Implementation Manual recommends consideration of geotechnical asset location relative to the ROW as a distinction in the GAM taxonomy in addition to investment and risk management prioritization steps. Geotechnical features beyond the ROW are likely related to natural hazard sites (in contrast to designed and constructed transportation assets), so the deterioration and event details of these features can differ from those of the constructed assets inside the ROW. Access and ownership constraints also may limit the ability of an agency to
24 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview manage these sites using the same design, maintenance, rehabilitation, or replacement treat- ment concepts that are applied to geotechnical assets in the ROW. Given these considerations, an agency generally has limited control over the factors that contribute to asset deterioration or events precipitated by beyond-the-ROW features, but must address the consequences once an event occurs that affects operations and assets within the ROW. The management approaches used for beyond-the-ROW features can mature as an agencyâs GAM implementation evolves. In the United Kingdom, for example, agencies have primarily focused GAM on assets within the ROW. Following several years of established GAM experi- ence for these assets, in 2017 Network Rail identified management approaches to beyond-the- ROW features as an area for future process improvements. The taxonomy used in the GAM Implementation Manual and the GAM Planner has been constructed to build in the distinction by designating geotechnical assets that occur âwithin the ROWâ or geotechnical features that occur âbeyond the ROW.â For purposes of GAM planning, it is helpful to think of assets as being within-the-ROW things (assets built and owned by the agency), whereas beyond-the-ROW features are something else (i.e., natural features or assets owned by someone else). 3.5.3 Defining a Geotechnical Asset Segment Due to the variable geographic extents of geotechnical assets, the GAM Implementation Manual recommends the use of the term âsegmentâ as a means for standardizing asset location practices. Figure 3.1. Recommended taxonomy for GAM.
Findings and Applications 25 This use of the term is not unique to geotechnical assets, and the location references for all assets can have differing levels of complexity depending on agency data resources, capabilities, tech- nology, and the precision needed for decision-making. In general, three methods of location referencing can be used simultaneously, depending on data management functions, including: â¢ One-dimensional (1-D) location referencing in relation to a known location such as a mile point or offset point from stationing; â¢ Two-dimensional (2-D) shape referencing using X and Y lateral dimensions, similar to a polygon outline on a plan view; and â¢ Three-dimensional (3-D) referencing, which extends 2-D referencing by incorporating an elevation (Z-dimension). Although location precision is valuable in certain applications, an agency starting GAM implementation can use an existing agency location referencing system (e.g., mile point, mile marker, or reference point system). This approach also is supported in established TAM prac- tices for other assets. In 2014, the FHWA issued guidance for all states to develop an All Roads Network of Linear Referenced Data (ARNOLD). Within this guidance, two approaches are discussed for creating 1-D linear location references: route-based networks and segment-based networks (FHWA 2014a). A route-based network includes the route and milepost information and is considered the more traditional form of linear referencing. A segment-based (or segmented) reference system is more commonly used with GIS-based referencing systems and involves designating segments that can be either fixed in length or defined by lengths between roadway system features such as inter- sections and interchanges. Within the practice of pavement management (which involves continuous linear assets), data collection intervals often are standardized at intervals or segments of 1/10 mile. The pavement management system then aggregates data into management sections and performs analysis at this level. Segment-based referencing also has been used in establishing GAM programs in Alaska, Montana, and Colorado, and is used internationally within the Network Rail and High- ways England GAM programs. As discussed in Chapter 2 of the GAM Implementation Manual and applied in the GAM Plan- ner, a default segment length of 500 feet (approximately 0.1 mile) is recommended. The GAM Planner user function allows the asset manager to change this value if desired. Shorter segment lengths will result in more assets and complexity, whereas greater lengths can result in a more granular inventory. For geotechnical assets that are longer than one segment, additional seg- ments can be added (e.g., two segments = 1,000 feet of asset length); users can assess the total asset length along the roadway by combining segments if needed. Chapter 2 of the manual dis- cusses this process and provides supporting figures to explain the concept in detail. 3.6 Data and Data Management For an agency starting GAM, data will be available that have been collected as an outcome of activities such as inventory, measurement and reporting, and financial planning. Because each agency will have different practices for data and data management, the GAM Implementa- tion Manual does not contain a recommended best practice. Rather, Chapter 6 of the manual introduces the data and data management concepts that can support GAM implementation, such as data types and function, sources of data, methods of collection, level of detail, and geo- referencing concepts. Chapter 6 also presents summaries of information from international and NCHRP reports that represent the range in available frameworks and guidance for data and data management.
26 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview Based on the research teamâs synthesis of case study interviews, data and data management aspects of GAM were identified as potential barriers to implementation success because of their perceived complexity, the need for training in new concepts, and the variability of existing agency systems and practices. To overcome these potential barriers, the GAM implementation framework and GAM Planner were developed to minimize the complexity of initial data man- agement, thus allowing agencies starting GAM to focus on implementation without having to expend time, energy, or training resources learning new or difficult data management concepts or software programs. To make it easier for agencies to start GAM as soon as possible, the research team also opted to formulate the GAM Planner and GAM implementation framework by adapting existing TAM practices. This approach does not require up-front investments to enhance or change an agency- specific data management system prior to starting GAM. It is suggested that implementation of GAM begin at a simple level of maturity using the GAM Planner in conjunction with a simple level of data collection processes. Once GAM has started, the data from the GAM Planner can be integrated into the agencyâs enterprise data systems if justified by ROI. 3.7 Processes for Enabling GAM Implementation Success The GAM Implementation Manual provides for the user to further develop knowledge of the supporting concepts at a separate pace after starting a basic implementation. Even with a partial inventory, once the GAM process has started, an asset manager and agency have the flexibility to further develop the GAM program and outcomes based on justified investments and execu- tive support. To enable these process improvements to occur, Chapter 7 of the manual presents a detailed introduction to risk and risk management concepts and includes background on their connec- tions to GAM. The synthesis of case studies suggested that training on the topic of risk would be beneficial for enabling risk-based GAM, as formal risk and risk management practices are not routine across agencies and disciplines. In Chapter 8, the GAM Implementation Manual develops the concepts for risk management and TAM investment practices into a flexible guidance framework an agency can use to realize the benefits of GAM under different levels of engagement and investment. The implementation guidance in Chapter 8 has been presented purposely as a flexible process that is adaptable to the people, processes, and data in each agency. In order to improve the potential for successful GAM implementation, Chapter 8 provides guidance for agencies to: â¢ Consider differing organizational structures, â¢ Prioritize treatments based on risk and investment criteria, â¢ Incorporate GAM in design, and â¢ Implement training and/or develop an agency-specific GAM plan document. 3.7.1 Considering Organizational Structures for GAM The research teamâs review of the organizational structures of successful TAM and GAM programs indicated that the individuals responsible for these programs have full-time or nearly full-time assignments to asset management and are not assigned to overlapping design or con- struction duties. Asset management staff focus almost entirely on asset management and have organizational connections to executives, financial directors, and/or maintenance managers within the agency. Based on the structures of the existing and mature asset management pro- grams examined, the research team recommends this type of organizational structure as an aspirational structure for a new GAM program.
Findings and Applications 27 The staff organization structure for existing TAM programs varies by DOT, but typically involves some form of a senior-level enterprise asset manager working in parallel with or within other functional disciplines, such as design, construction, O&M, financial, and administration. For development of the GAM Implementation Manual, it was anticipated that most DOTs would not be able to formally establish a high-functioning GAM implementation team at the start of GAM implementation. In these situations, the manual indicates that a GAM implementation team can be as simple as a single individual who starts the inventory and assessment process using the accompanying GAM Planner. At this level, this could be a duty added to the existing TAM function of staff within the engineering or geotechnical design divisions, incorporated into bridge or pavement management groups, or even within the maintenance and operations function. The GAM Implementation Manual emphasizes the cross-disciplinary nature of asset man- agement, which is supported through the review of existing TAM programs and information contained in IIMM (IPWEA 2015). As presented in the manual, the staff dedicated to a GAM program should expect to interact with other disciplines within an agency, including: â¢ O&M staff, to understand work performed or needed for geotechnical assets; â¢ Budget and financial planning staff, for development of short- and long-term financial plans; â¢ Traffic and safety staff, to understand what opportunities exist for measuring the traffic dis- ruption or potential safety incidents that result from adverse geotechnical asset performance; â¢ Enterprise IT or other agency staff responsible for tracking expenses associated with geotechnical assets (this may also be a function of O&M staff); â¢ TAM and other planning staff charged with asset management and strategic performance planning; â¢ Engineering and project delivery staff who are involved in design or influential decisions for geotechnical assets; â¢ Data management and/or GIS staff, for developing compatibility with established data systems and improving communication of results through mapping or geo-referenced data systems used by the organization; â¢ Other asset groups, such as bridge and pavement, that can support cross-asset management options; and â¢ Executive management, for agreement on performance objectives, building consensus, and program support. To assist with building consensus and communication, the GAM Implementation Manual suggests a geotechnical asset manager form a cross-disciplinary GAM working group or steering group that enables the cross-disciplinary relationships necessary to support GAM. The purposes for such a working group include: â¢ Developing a wider base of support in the agency, â¢ Sharing of information, and â¢ Coordination with other activities that influence asset management, and developing the business cases for GAM across several disciplines. 3.7.2 Prioritizing Treatments Based on Risk and Investment Criteria The case study synthesis indicates that only a few DOTs currently fund some form of GAM program, and for those that do, the investment amounts do not achieve desired needs. For the remaining DOTs, funding for GAM occurs as a course of standard reactive maintenance activities or unplanned encumbrances from existing budgets. Information from the successful and long-standing GAM programs in the United Kingdom indicates that investment needs exceed available funds, even for a mature program. As a result, prioritization approaches are beneficial within a GAM program to ensure that the program satisfies the most pressing
28 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview investment needs. Simply stating a program-level investment need that shows a favorable ROI does not guarantee enabling program funding, given that every asset group is likely in a similar investment need condition. Additionally, bridge and pavement asset management programs will have federally authorized requirements that must be followed and a new program, such as GAM, will need to demonstrate the benefits that will result from a reallocation of limited funds within an agency. To overcome the challenge of limited funds for GAM implementation, the GAM Implemen- tation Manual presents risk and investment prioritization steps directed at the asset or project level to identify specific candidate projects. The goal of this prioritization process is to develop shelf-ready treatment projects that could be delivered based on some level of partial GAM pro- gram funding. This process is conceptualized in Figure 3.2 (which also appears in Chapter 8 of the GAM Implementation Manual). Like the general implementation approach of Chapter 8, this project-level prioritization process should not be viewed as a rigid series of steps; rather, it offers flexible options to consider that may enable GAM acceptanceâand, ultimately, investment supportâfrom executives. The treatment projects can involve efforts to maintain, rehabilitate, or reconstruct geotechnical assets, and they can be structured at different levels of investment. The details of the prioritization process developed in Chapter 8 are: â¢ Inventory and Assessment: Select candidate assets for project-level treatment planning based on recommendations from the GAM Planner. The GAM Implementation Manual emphasizes that treatment planning can occur at any time once inventory has started, and it should not be delayed by a separate goal of inventory completion. To realize the benefits of GAM, agencies will need to move quickly through the entire TAM process as quickly as possible, and evidence from existing programs indicates that this can occur with only a partial inventory. â¢ Risk Management: It is suggested that agencies first evaluate the potential feasibility for man- agement of risk considering concepts such as treatment, transfer, termination, or acceptance. This approach, first developed under NCHRP Project 08-93, âManaging Risk Across the Enterpriseâ (Proctor et al. 2016), has been published in the first edition of the AASHTO Guide for Enterprise Risk Management (AASHTO 2016). Based on the assumption that most agen- cies will follow a practice of risk treatment, the GAM Implementation Manual was developed to provide guidance for considering a range of asset-specific actions and the resulting risk and investment considerations for each treatment subcategory (e.g., maintain, rehabilitate, reconstruct). â¢ Investment Needs â¢ Initial Treatment Recommendation Inventory and Assessment â¢Treatment Optimization â¢Other Management Approaches Risk Management â¢Concentration of Risk â¢Target Risk Levels â¢Source of Risk Risk Prioritization â¢Life-Cycle Cost Analysis â¢Benefit-Cost Analysis Investment Prioritization â¢Maintain, Rehabilitate, and Reconstruct Candidate Treatments Note: Restore does not appear as a âcandidate treatmentâ because restoration is triggered only if the asset has failed. Figure 3.2. Proposed project-level GAM treatment prioritization process.
Findings and Applications 29 â¢ Risk Prioritization: The GAM Implementation Manual presents a discussion of differing pri- oritization concepts that can be considered when communicating needs with executive stake- holders who can enable program funding. These risk prioritization areas include selecting treatment candidates based on concentration of risk, acceptable risk exposure levels, sources of risk, type of risk, cross-asset risks, critical routes or high-value assets, or risks to outside compliance needs. â¢ Investment Prioritization: Candidate projects can be evaluated based on the anticipated ROI when considering the life-cycle costs and benefits. The GAM Implementation Manual discusses the processes for life-cycle cost analysis using NPV and cost-benefit analysis to identify those treatment projects with the greatest ROI. Within this process, the manual also suggests evaluating opportunities for cross-asset collaboration as a means to realize benefits from shared investments across asset groups. â¢ Candidate Treatments: The success of GAM implementation will depend on having the flexibility to adjust to differing levels of investment capacity, agency risk tolerance, and per- formance. Using the prioritization process described in the manual, the asset manager can identify and develop candidate projects with differing investment needs that are data driven, that consider differing levels of risk and performance benefits, and that can adapt to agency TAM culture. 3.7.3 Incorporating GAM in Design Most established and long-standing design methods for geotechnical assets have been devel- oped based on safety margin and reliability concepts. Because these methods were established before the development of asset management practices, the focus of the safety and reliability framework is generally directed at complete asset failure or total loss of service life. Conse- quently, the incorporation of asset management considerations during the design process of new geotechnical assets is an important step in a GAM implementation. The GAM Implementation Manual presents a series of questions and guidance to enable geo-professionals to incorporate asset management considerations into the design practice. 3.7.4 Training Considerations for GAM Implementation Both the case study and literature synthesis indicated that training in asset management con- cepts would be beneficial for those starting GAM programs. Suggested training topics include: â¢ Introduction to TAM; â¢ Introduction to GAM and the GAM Implementation Manual, including: â Purpose and need for GAM; â Implementing GAM (including discussion of the list of steps and model in Chapter 2 of the manual); â Linking TAM to GAM; â Examples of GAM practices; â Getting started; and â Overview of the GAM Planner, with examples; â¢ Risk and risk management; and â¢ Life-cycle cost analysis. 3.7.5 Developing a GAM Plan Document The GAM Implementation Manual differentiates between GAM implementation, which con- sists of the processes that enable asset management, and a GAM Plan, which is simply the docu- ment or other means of communication used to summarize the processes of the program. Given
30 Geotechnical Asset Management for Transportation Agencies, Volume 1: Research Overview this distinction, an agency does not need to develop a GAM plan prior to GAM implementation. Evidence from the long-standing GAM programs for highway and rail agencies in the United Kingdom indicates that asset management plans are regularly updated documents that sum- marize performance and present process improvements over prior plans. For example, âThe Earthworks Policy for Network Railâ was issued first in 2011, well after GAM implementation had started. The current plan document is the seventh issue, which was released in March 2017. For an agency starting GAM, the GAM Implementation Manual recommends that the initial GAM plan be a brief document that can function as a communication tool directed at maintain- ing the connection with executive and TAM representatives while emphasizing the benefits of GAM across the spectrum of all transportation assets. The manual presents a framework for a GAM plan that is directed toward gaining executive and TAM stakeholder support through communication of risk acceptance levels and identifying âquick winsâ that create investment benefits and value to the agency. Appendix F to the GAM Implementation Manual (available online) provides an example annotated outline for a simple GAM plan document. The framework and outline follow the TAM steps of plan objectives and measures, inventory and condition, gap analysis, life-cycle cost and risk management analysis, and financial planning and investment. The framework also includes example objectives and measures that could be adopted for an agency starting GAM using the GAM Implementation Manual and accompanying GAM Planner.