ISO-55000 guidelines should help with improved asset management for infrastructure projects
By Kevin Price
Despite the media spotlight, campaign rhetoric, Federal Transit Authority (FTA) mandates, and a plethora of federal grants awarded, the current state of the U.S. infrastructure is still concerning. While agencies have set “State of Good Repair” as their target, often the path is littered with failed attempts and obstacles impeding true progress.
Turning to ISO-55000 will provide the sound methodology agencies needed, particularly by transit agencies, to create a process that is reliable and scalable.
Defining the Problem
It seems the flurry of infrastructure initiatives, from grassroots awareness campaigns to federal legislation, have been a proverbial “drop in a bucket” compared to the need. Conversations with stakeholders often reveal that many transit agencies are still struggling to forge new policies, break out of the old reactive modes, and leverage technology to make the State of Good Repair attainable.
Barriers to Overcome
Lack of awareness and top-tier backing to support technology investments are potential roadblocks to overcoming this challenge. Additionally, early efforts to create condition-assessments criteria and conduct audits proved to be complex and time- consuming to set up. The lack of underlying strategies may have added to the confusion in the past and may continue to stall adoption of ISO 55000 guidelines.
What is ISO 55000?
The FTA turned to the International Standards Organization (ISO) to help set recommended best practices for achieving State of Good Repair – ISO 55000 was the result. Agencies were given ample time to ramp up new processes, meet State of Good Repair targets, and develop Transit Asset Management plans, as legislation dictates.
A Closer Look at Six Critical Steps to State of Good Repair
Deploying ISO 55000 will promote good asset management processes and help public transit agencies align their resources with the needs of the community they serve. This strategic approach will help align multiple stakeholders, from the executive level to those who schedule maintenance and the technicians who are dispatched to the field.
1. Create Asset Inventory
Agencies need to start with the basics of capturing a complete list of every asset, no matter how small, seldom used, or remotely located. A modern Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution will help organize the assets by groups of data: unique identification, classification, start of lifecycle date, estimated useful life, and replacement cost estimate.
2. Identify Projects
An asset’s condition, based on inspection, age, criticality, and risk, will determine its priority for repair or replacement. Analysis tools can help transit agencies assess their repair backlog and determine the investment needed to achieve compliance. Rating scales are assigned to assess the probability of failure, with assets approaching zero as they reach the end of their scheduled useful life.
3. Define Prioritization Criteria
The transit agency needs to determine the impact of an asset failure. The American Public Transportation Association has created a Capital Asset Inventory and Condition Assessment, which classifies each asset into one of five groups based on its ratio of age to useful life. By cataloging and tracking each asset, it is easier to monitor status ranking to set priorities.
4. Prioritize Projects
Some technologies provide a capital planning request feature that allows you to define and view your compliance backlog, sorted by priority and category, to determine where it makes the most sense to focus.
5. Model Investment Effects
Instead, modern maintenance practices such as condition-based or performance-based assessment will provide a more holistic view. Advanced analytics can help assess when failures are likely to happen. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and predictive data science can help anticipate the next likely data points, based on historical trends and algorithms.
6. Develop Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan and 20-Year Capital Plan
With reliable asset data available, the agency can then formulate a strong capital improvement plan, which takes into consideration available capital, grants, or other revenue sources. The plan can be shared with stakeholders, reassuring constituents that resources are being optimized for the public’s best interests.
The aging U.S infrastructure has been the subject of debate for years. Technology is the great enabler, turning tedious number- crunching into data-driven insights. Deploying the sound principles of ISO 55000 will help agencies manage assets with greater efficiency, pleasing the various stakeholders, from agency executives to citizen constituents.