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63 Closing Session Laura Mester, Michigan Department of Transportation, Chair Panelists Scott Richrath, Atkins Andrew Williams, Ohio Department of Transportation Michael Johnson, California Department of Transportation Anita Bush, Nevada Department of Transportation Matthew Haubrich, Iowa Department of Transportation Laura Zale, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Niles Annelin, Michigan Department of Transportation The closing session followed a format established at an earlier TAM conference, with the conference chair presiding over a panel made up of track leads from the conference planning committee. The track leads shared highlights from their sessions related to ways in which â¢ The practice of asset management is evolving, â¢ Agencies are creating sustainable asset management programs that are embedded in their organizationâs culture, â¢ Technology is influencing the way decisions are made, and â¢ Data are being used to speak to multiple audiences. The session concluded with a discussion of gaps that would benefit from further research or technology transfer efforts. The track leads, who participated in the closing session, and the tracks they led are as follows: â¢ Scott Richrath, Track 1: Analyzing and Optimizing Investment Options; â¢ Andrew Williams, Track 2: Data Systems to Improve Decisions; â¢ Michael Johnson, Track 3: Implementation; â¢ Anita Bush, Track 4: Organization and Workforce; â¢ Matthew Haubrich, Track 5: TAMPs; â¢ Laura Zale, Cross-Cutting Track: Transit; and â¢ Niles Annelin (Michigan DOT), Cross-Cutting Track: Risk and Resilience. Track Discussions Laura Mester (Michigan DOT), the conference chair, began the session by asking each of the track leads to share some key takeaways from the presentations in their sessions.
64 KEY TAKEAWAYS Track 1: Analyzing and Optimizing Investment Options â¢ There was no way to avoid the word âriskâ in finance presentations; the concept was much more present than in past conferences. Risk and finance are intertwined, as are TAM planning and long-range planning. â¢ What are the right data needed to support TAM? Agencies have lots of data, but they need to be sure that they are comparing apples with apples and that they are analyzing the data correctly. â¢ Transit has made leaps and bounds in terms of the state of the practice. Track 2: Data Systems to Improve Decisions â¢ Agencies are collecting data to make decisions from a life-cycle perspective. â¢ Data have become more important to agencies and people are asking for it. As a result, more people are getting involved in collecting and managing agency data. â¢ Every session and topic had a data element to it. â¢ Agencies need to have a strong communication plan in place and need a corporate framework with business processes to support TAM. â¢ There were several presentations on data visualization, and industry partners are providing applications to help in this area. Agencies can help educate industry as to their needs. â¢ Agencies should have a data governance framework in place so that data are managed as an asset. â¢ There is a need for more discussion and peer exchanges on data governance. Track 3: Implementation â¢ The sessions were standing room only, which shows how far the industry has moved forward. â¢ Several themes for success emerged from the presentations, including communication, collaboration, flexibility, the importance of documenting processes, keeping it simple, establishing practices that sustain leadership changes, data, continuous improvement, using good methods of communication, using established practices to start, and planning for turnover. Track 4: Organization and Workforce â¢ Change was a common theme. Agencies are changing the way they do business, organizations are changing, and the workforce is changing. Training is needed to address these changes. â¢ One size does not fit all. Agencies need to be careful how they set up their TAM programs, and they need to make sure the right people are in key positions. Agencies also need to have a plan for staff transitions. â¢ As an industry, agencies are getting good at addressing the federally legislated part of the TAMP, but it is not the same situation with TAM as a holistic process. â¢ Communication is a key. Agencies need to communicate at the right frequency.
65 Track 5: TAMPs â¢ Just 6 years prior to the conference, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) had not been passed and the TAMP requirements were unknown. What has taken place in the industry in the past few years is amazing, and there are many new people involved in their fields. â¢ Transit is getting much more involved in TAM, as are regional and local transportation agencies. â¢ Getting the TAMP done was the easy part; the process has awakened organizations to what else needs to be accomplished. Cross-Cutting Track: Transit â¢ Transit had 81 participants at its roundtable earlier in the week. There were 35 transit agencies at the conference plus attendees from regional and local agencies. The sharing and collaboration between agencies were very beneficial. â¢ The conference sessions related to transit had the letter âCâ as their theme: compliance, communication, culture, and consequences for not investing. There was lots of sharing with internal and external stakeholders during the week, and many agencies were focused on how to make their programs sustainable. â¢ Transit agencies were very focused on the October 1 deadline for their TAMPs. Cross-Cutting Track: Risk and Resilience â¢ Weather events increasingly are damaging assets, so this topic is becoming more and more important to agencies. â¢ Many presentations addressed the need to incorporate risk and resilience into processes; risk and resilience are not stand-alone processes. â¢ There is a need for more standardized terminology. â¢ There are many resources available to help agencies in this area. â¢ Planning for risk is required, but it does not have to be done right awayâchanging the culture takes time. EVIDENCE THE PRACTICE OF ASSET MANAGEMENT IS EVOLVING Track 2: Data Systems to Improve Decisions â¢ As little as 6 years ago, the TAM conference was focused on pavements and bridges. Now, agencies are talking about ITS technology, smart cities, and smart boundaries. â¢ Agencies are sharing information across counties and agencies, essentially removing artificial boundaries. This is influencing how they do TAM. Track 3: Implementation â¢ Risk and resiliency were more prominent. The sessions included two presentations on geohazards that pushed beyond the traditional coverage. â¢ With regard to decision analysis, multiobjective decision analysis presentations were hot, with standing-room-only crowds.
66 â¢ Many agencies talked about adding asset classes to their program, and one presentation introduced guidance to help prioritize the assets to include. â¢ Data are being collected in new ways. There was a presentation talking about using sensors to monitor mobility after construction, for example. Track 5: TAMPs â¢ Several state DOTs, including the Minnesota DOT, included many assets in their TAMP. â¢ The New Mexico DOT featured an online TAMP, which became a living document that was shared with others. â¢ In the discussions, there was evidence of more alignment across owners. The Michigan DOT presented some informative examples of training documents. EXAMPLES OF SUSTAINABLE ASSET MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS Track 1: Analyzing and Optimizing Investment Options â¢ The presentations provided evidence of better coordination of planning, maintenance, and construction. â¢ Agencies are hiring different types of people and responding to changing workforce needs. At the Colorado DOT, there is now a requirement that job postings be evaluated to ensure that the job is still needed organizationally. The New York MTA discussed the rapid evolution that is taking place and the resulting changes in job descriptions. The organization is focused on being nimble enough to meet new responsibilities as they emerge. Track 4: Organization and Workforce â¢ The Colorado DOT is an example of an agency that is changing its organizational culture and workforce skills. It has embraced the idea that each employee will be successful and has established programs to ensure employees have the skills they need by using statewide and regional change agents. â¢ In many organizations, TAM is an extra duty on top of other jobs. Agencies are recognizing that the job is changing and are updating job duties and responsibilities in response. Track 5: TAMPs â¢ There was evidence that state DOT interaction with local agencies has expanded, as evidenced by a presentation by the New Jersey DOT. â¢ The Texas DOT gave a presentation showing that broader discussions are taking place to build an organizational understanding of how projects are selected and programmed. â¢ There is also more coordination regarding assets that the state DOTs do not manage, including the development of working groups for target setting and alignment. â¢ Several presentations also talked about transforming their organizations to break down silos and about helping the organizations move from good to great.
67 Cross-Cutting Track: Transit â¢ The first transit track at a TAM conference was just 6 years ago. The people who attended the conference at that point in time were assigned TAM as an extra duty. Today, the industry has made tremendous strides very quickly. â¢ Participants talked about how they had made the TAM transition, such as finding TAM enthusiasts, putting policies and training in place to make TAM sustainable, and building cross-divisional teams to foster collaboration. BART gave a presentation on its training program. â¢ For many transit organizations, ISO 55000 is a chasing excellence project. EXAMPLES SHOWING HOW TECHNOLOGY IS INFLUENCING DECISIONS Track 2: Data Systems to Improve Decisions â¢ In some cases, asset managers do not like TAM efforts because technology exposes problems with data. Technology also allows agencies to do things quickly and efficiently. This provides opportunities to do forensic work on the data. â¢ Technology allows agencies to harness good practices and identify areas for improvement. â¢ Technology such as lidar allows agencies to capture data that agencies did not realize could be captured. â¢ Technology can also cause problems if an agency does not have the skill set and resources to manage it and keep it sustainable. Track 3: Implementation â¢ There is a range of tools and technology available to support the collection of asset inventory and condition information. â¢ Mobile computing is really growing for data collection, training, and field referencing. â¢ Some of the technology available to support transit asset management made highway folks envious, but the presentations showed the crossover potential in these tools. Cross-Cutting Track: Transit â¢ The presentations showed all kinds of technology applications, including drones, ground-penetrating radar, and helicopter data collection. Agencies need to have processes in place to use and manage the data gathered. â¢ Agencies are using visualization software to develop innovative ways to collect and use data. â¢ There were also discussions about technology from a procurement approach and the importance of having the right people at the table. Cross-Cutting Track: Risk and Resilience â¢ The presentations showed that a lot of technology is already available to support TAM efforts. Agencies can evaluate what is out there and build from that.
68 EXAMPLES SHOWING HOW DATA ARE BEING USED TO COMMUNICATE WITH MULTIPLE AUDIENCES Track 1: Analyzing and Optimizing Investment Options â¢ It is important to know the audience. One presentation focused on business intelligence and business analytics to enable agencies to tell their stories. â¢ The City of Seattle stressed that sometimes, less information can be more. It had 200 performance metrics initially but reduced those to 96 to avoid conflicts and confusion caused by too many performance measures. Track 2: Data Systems to Improve Decisions â¢ The Ohio DOT hired a marketing firm to help the agency communicate and tell its story. With this assistance, the DOT put together a full tool kit for communicating with different audiences. There were several sessions that spoke to the need for this type of approach. â¢ Agencies recognize that they have to talk to people at different levels, and a communication plan can help agencies be successful in communicating effectively at each level. Cross-Cutting Track: Risk and Resilience â¢ Agencies are recognizing that it is important to be able to use the data they already have to help decision-makers make their decisions. GAPS AND RESEARCH IDEAS â¢ Guidance is needed in how best to communicate the information in a TAMP to carry it forward, as in the Ohio DOTâs communication plan. â¢ Assistance in sharing practices across agencies, including transit agencies, is needed. â¢ There needs to be more standardized terminology in risk and resilience. â¢ It would be interesting to explore the interface between safety and asset management, especially from a transit perspective. â¢ Efforts focused on how to turn research into implementation would be helpful. These efforts could evaluate the value of user groups and the benefits to communities of practice and establish strong requirements for an implementation plan. â¢ There is a need for efforts to investigate the gaps in performance beyond what is required under Performance Measure Rule 2 (or the PM2 rule) and how it goes into the TAMP. For instance, the safety goals target zero deaths, but agencies cannot fund that. Therefore, agencies need help in how to address these issues in a political arena. â¢ Life-cycle planning is not a mature practice yet, so specific steps and guidance in this area would be helpful. â¢ Additional guidance on incorporating risk with performance trade-offs is needed. â¢ There is evidence of gaps between generations when talking about TAM. The younger generation likes technology, but the older generation relies more on pen and paper. There may be opportunities for mentoring or other programs to bridge this gap.
69 â¢ Data mining is becoming a critical piece of TAM, so additional guidance on how to do data mining would be beneficial. â¢ Data governance is also becoming a more important issue. Regional peer exchanges on data governance would be helpful so that conversations at the 2020 TAM conference will have advanced further. â¢ Transit agencies would like to have additional guidance in communicating with regional partners, and the guidance should recognize the many different relationships that can exist between agencies. â¢ There is a need to help agencies better communicate TAM information. Agencies have not been able to build traction for backlog, but see potential in using a return-on-investment metric. Agencies would like to see a compilation of best practices for articulating this type of information to boards or to the public. Closing Discussion The session ended with an open discussion about the key themes anticipated for the 2020 TAM conference. Track leads suggested that the conference themes at that point in time will include the following: â¢ Return-on-investment discussions and the economic impact on customers; â¢ Public-facing asset management practices; â¢ Integrated highway and transit programs; â¢ Changes in the way transportation agencies do business, with a focus on mobility; â¢ Changes in the types of assets and management approaches used to align with changes in technology; â¢ Increases in publicâprivate partnerships and designâbuild models in DOTs; and â¢ Impacts of third-party data, including how to get, use, and manage that data. Mester thanked everyone for their participation in the conference and wished them a safe journey home.