Tribal Transportation Planning Module Series

March 21, 2013

Presented by
Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program
Federal Highway Administration/Federal Transit Administration

Transportation Decisionmaking: Information Tools for Tribal Governments
Module 1: Asset Management

Jared Fijalkowski: Good afternoon everyone. On behalf of the Federal Highway Administration, I'd like to welcome everyone to the first of five Tribal Transportation Planning Module Series Webinars. Today's webinar will focus on asset management. I'm Jared Fijalkowski and I'm with the U.S. DOT's Volpe Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I'll be moderating today's webinar with the assistance of my colleague Scott Middleton. Before we begin, I'd like to point out a few features of our web room. On the bottom left is a chat box that you can use to present questions to our presenters throughout the webinar. We will answer questions at the end of the presentation but please enter questions as they come to you. If you experience any technical difficulties, please use the chat box to send a private message to me, Jared Fijalkowski. We'll be making materials available for download at the conclusion of today's webinar.

To begin, I'm going to pull up our polls. We have a few poll questions to help us understand our audience. We will have the poll questions at the end for the evaluation. So we'll switch over to our presentation. We have two presenters today: Ralph Rizzo of FHWA's Resource Center and Jaime Torres of FHWA's Tribal Transportation Program. But before we begin today's program, I'd like to turn it over to Ken Petty, who is the Transportation Planning Capacity Team Leader at the FHWA's Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty, who's going to make some welcome remarks.

Ken Petty: Thanks and good morning to everyone, good morning and good afternoon to everyone that is, thanks for joining in the first of a series of five webinars and the latest editions of the Tribal Transportation Module Planning Series. The Module Series provides modules and information for a total of eleven planning topics that now includes these five new topics that we will be discussing today and in the future. The series is designed to assist transportation professionals responsible for planning the capital, planning, and operating needs on tribal land. The series is also designed for use as a resource for non-tribal planners who work with tribal agencies to improve their awareness and gain familiarity for tribal needs and interests. Today's discussion will focus on asset management as mentioned and in future webinars we'll focus on such topics as consultation on April 30, financial planning on May 30, partnering on June 20, and project prioritization on July 31. These sessions will be recorded. They will consist of one-hour webinar sessions held from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. In other news, please make sure that you visit our website,, and sign up for programming and event updates. This self-managed email subscription service will allow you to receive timely updates from the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program. Should you have any questions about this service or the program itself, be sure to contact Michelle Noch at or on the telephone line at 202.366.9206. Finally, the winter edition of the Transportation Planning Update Newsletter will be published and made available to everyone in mid-April. Stay tuned for additional program updates there or through the DOT's planning website. With that, I'll turn it back over to Jared, thank you.

Jared Fijalkowski: Thanks, Ken. Now we'll start the webinar. A quick question for Ralph—can you see the presentation? Fantastic, alright go ahead.

Ralph Rizzo: Thanks Jared. Hi everyone. As Jared said, my name is Ralph Rizzo. I work for the FHWA's Resource Center's Planning Technical Service Team and today I'll be presenting this module along with Jaime Torres from our Federal Lands Highway Program. Both Jaime and I are members of the Tribal Transportation Planning Team. So hopefully, you'll find some useful information here today.

Slide 2 – Presentation Overview

Ralph Rizzo: So what are we going to do today? Well, this module includes a discussion of who the audience for this training is, as well as a definition of asset management. We'll walk through how to implement asset management and discuss tools and techniques that can be used to support asset management. Then we will summarize what you have learned and point you toward some additional resources. This is a high-level overview that can kind of whet your appetite for the topic and guide you to more detailed information.

Slide 3 - The Module Training Series

Ralph Rizzo: As Ken pointed out, this series was created by FHWA to help tribal transportation planners expand their knowledge. It covers multiple aspects of the planning process. I think that any official involved in tribal transportation could benefit from this training. You can see the web address there where you can download the modules and use them as part of your job, either working with the officials at your tribe or, if you are a state MPO planner, working with the tribes in your area to develop some mutually beneficial information.

Slide 4 - Training Modules for Tribal Transportation Decisionmaking

Ralph Rizzo: This graphic shows all the modules and how they fit together. The Asset Management Module is one piece of the series. The modules build on each other and are grouped into four areas: planning, tribal intergovernmental relations, programming, and then other. Asset management is related to all the other training modules as it ties together planning, programming, and tribal intergovernmental relations to improve management of tribal resources.

I. Introduction

Slide 7 - What is Asset Management and Why is it Important?

Ralph Rizzo: So let's begin with asset management. So what is asset management and why is it important? Asset management is a data-driven decisionmaking process that looks at both financial and technical issues, and considers asset condition and performance to find the best maintenance and improvement investments or the best mix of investments to maintain your system. While the asset management process is not the same for every tribe, it always provides a decisionmaking structure for getting the best performance from the tribe's transportation assets given the available funds. And I think that they key aspect here is “data-driven” so it really relies on good information and we're going to talk about that in our next section which is good asset management.

II. How to Implement Asset Management

Slide 9 - What Does Asset Management Involve?

Ralph Rizzo: So what does good asset management involve? Good asset management practice is reliant on having a solid understanding and knowledge of what assets are owned, how they are performing, what investments are being made including maintenance, and how your tribe's actions are likely to affect performance. Having this knowledge involves routine collection of good data, and spending the time to turn the data into useful information that you can make decisions from.

Slide 10 - Steps in Asset Management

Ralph Rizzo: There are six basic steps involved in implementing an asset management program, the first being the creation of an asset inventory. Then you would define the asset management scope. The third step is preparing the organization for asset management in terms of how you're carrying out your program. The fourth step is to develop the transportation asset management plan (TAMP), then finally to use tools and techniques to implement asset management

The steps of an asset management process form a feedback loop. On a regular basis, your tribe should restart the process and put previously gathered information to use. In this section, we will discuss each step in a little further detail.

Slide 11 - Steps in Asset Management

Ralph Rizzo: But as you can see, this is the feedback loop—you start with gathering the information and once you've gathered the info and made some decisions and made adjustments to the program and put some improvements on the ground to your system, you need to go back and see how those are doing. And it's kind of a constant feedback loop.

Slide 12 - Step 1: Create an Asset Inventory

Ralph Rizzo: Step 1 is to create an asset inventory. The asset inventory is a record of the tribe's transportation assets. Data describing each asset is an important element of the inventory. Descriptive data kept for each of the assets may include: geographic location; age/condition; unit in tribal government that manages the asset; information about use (like traffic); roadway performance characteristics; construction history; maintenance activities; cost of the original facility and, of course, any maintenance activities and so forth.

Spreadsheets, electronic databases, and special-purpose management systems are good tools to use to manage an inventory. The example above shows one potential way to organize an inventory. The left column shows the type of asset being described, and the right column describes the asset's data attributes. Whatever way you decide to keep your inventory, the most important thing to do is make sure that the data are recorded, can be viewed by all who need to see them, and are kept current and accurate.

Another tool you often see associated with asset management systems is Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, where you can display a lot of this data geographically.

Slide 13 - Step 2: Define Asset Management Scope

Ralph Rizzo: Next, you would define the scope of your asset management system, so the inventory will help you to evaluate where you have the most needs and then you will need to decide how big your asset management system's going to be, so how many different assets you're going to be including in there. Generally, the bigger an asset management is in scope, the more it requires: larger quantities of data, more sophisticated analytical tools to implement the asset management. And it may be more expensive and time consuming to implement. That should pretty much make sense; the larger the scope, the more data needed, the more expensive and time consuming.

Slide 14 - Define Asset Management Scope

Ralph Rizzo: The next step is to define the asset management scope. Asset management processes set up a structure for making decisions and delivering the best long-term outcomes. The first profile you see in the figure on the screen (shown with a dotted line) depicts asset condition deteriorating to a worse level under the replacement alternative compared to the preventive maintenance alternative. The preventive maintenance alternative (which is the solid line) features a larger number of actions, but they may add up to a lower life cycle cost when the time value of money is considered.

So you're doing smaller, less expensive actions—more of them, more often—but the asset, but ultimately the facility will last longer. You will have a longer period before you need to rehabilitate.

The figure above shows that preventive maintenance actions taken early in an asset's life cycle are cost-effective compared to letting an asset deteriorate to a level where it needs to be replaced completely. In order to achieve the cost-effectiveness, the asset management scope may need to include smaller, preventive maintenance actions and routine maintenance and not simply large construction or replacement projects. We're still in step 2, defining our scope.

Slide 15 - Step 2: Define Asset Management Scope

Ralph Rizzo: Many agencies approach maintenance using a “worst first” tactic. In other words, undertaking actions for the assets in the worst condition first. This is not always a cost-effective strategy. While making the change from a “;worst-first”; approach to a preventive maintenance strategy may result in a temporary drop in conditions and may cause some assets to fall below acceptable condition standards, in the long-term, the overall performance of the assets should improve.

Slide 16 - Step 3: Prepare the Organization for Asset Management

Ralph Rizzo: On to step 3, which is preparing your organization for asset management. A consensus within the tribal government is necessary for the asset management process to effectively address strategies in a cost-effective way. Getting tribal governments ready to implement asset management involves developing an organizational change strategy, integrating asset management into both the culture and business processes, and establishing asset management roles.

The organizational alignment that should exist within the asset management program doesn't happen by accident. It requires leadership, communication, collaboration, and a constant awareness of the relationship between goals and the ways to achieve them. Successful organizational change should include consensus among tribal leadership, the development of a vision of changes and strategies, constant communication of the vision, alignment of actions so that they are consistent with the vision, and tribal leadership involvement so that you can make changes that are consistent with the vision, and celebration of short-term successes. We're still on step 3, doing some organizational change.

Slide 17 - Step 3: Prepare the Organization for Asset Management

Ralph Rizzo: Having clear roles and responsibilities defined in asset management helps to provide a structure for coordinating a set of important functions among the existing organizational units. The asset management champion is a key role, and this person will be responsible for coordinating across governmental units, keeping a focus on implementing the plan, and communicating constantly with all stakeholders.

Other roles should be established within the team to fill the need for different skills and capabilities. Remember that the roles do not have to remain stagnant throughout the tribal transportation planning process—they can change during different steps in the process.

Slide 18 - Develop the Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP)

Ralph Rizzo: So now on to step 4 which is developing the Transportation Asset Management Plan, or TAMP.

The Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) is a very important component of the asset management program. It contains information about your tribal government's assets, your management strategies for improving those assets, how much money is needed to implement strategies, and the business management process to support your asset management program.

The TAMP formalizes and documents key information, including: what you are trying to achieve with the asset management program, or its purpose; the services your organization's assets deliver now/in the future, and why they are delivered (so why, if we are talking about either a roadway or transportation system, you have those and what you expect to get out of them in the future); the condition/performance of your assets; the planned improvement actions; and how you are planning to manage your assets cost-effectively through their life-cycles. The TAMP can be in the form of one or multiple documents. While it does not have to be in written form per se, writing the plan down is a clear sign that senior management supports the change and is committed to seeing it through.

Also, this is where you can make a definite link with the planning process because none of the prioritized assets or upgrades or any of these actions get funded unless they're proven to be consistent with the Tribal Transportation Improvement Plan (TTIP) or Tribal Long-Range Planning Plan.

Slide 19 - TAMP Content Example

Ralph Rizzo: This example TAMP outline shows the name of the TAMP sections in the left column, and the potential section contents in the right column. You have the flexibility, sorry about that hang on with me here, you do have flexibility when it comes to writing your tribe's TAMP obviously, but the example shown here gives you some guidance on what are potential important components to communicate to the tribe.

Performance Measures have not been discussed as part of this module so far, but they may still be important to include in your TAMP. Remember, you're trying to have a certain level of permanence with this TAMP, so these measures will analyze the conditions that indicate how well the transportation asset is performing. For example, if a road is designed to carry 1,000 vehicles per hour but is only carrying 800, it is an under-performing asset.

Life Cycle Management has also not been discussed at length in this module, but we did mention it earlier, but will be addressed in Section III: Tools and Techniques to Support Asset Management with Jaime. In short, life cycle management allows the tribal transportation planner to determine the best actions for tribal assets at various life cycle stages.

Slide 20 - Step 5: Use Tools and Techniques to Implement Asset Management

Ralph Rizzo: STEP 5 is to use the tool and techniques to implement a successful asset management program. In order to implement successful asset management, you will need to have a reliable knowledge of what assets are owned, how they are performing, what is being done to them, and how the organization's actions are likely to affect performance. The tools and techniques will be discussed in detail in the following section and help you and your organization deliver successful asset management.

At this point, I'm going to turn it over to Jamie Torres from our Federal Lands Highway Office. Jamie.

III. Tools and Techniques to Support Asset Management

Slide 22 - Risk Management

Jaime Torres: Hi, good morning to those in the west and good afternoon to those in the east. Today I’m going to be talking about the tools and techniques to support asset management. There are many tools and techniques that can be used to support your asset management program. The ones discussed in this section are risk management; life cycle management; maintenance planning; program delivery; and data tools.

Risk is the threat to transportation operations caused by extreme events, external hazards, or asset failure arising from any cause. Applying a risk management process will allow you to identify threats and opportunities, assess and prioritize those threats and opportunities, and determine strategies so that decisions can be made on how to deal with potential risks.

There are steps taken to manage risk and those include: gathering information about future events, threats, and opportunities; identifying what and how those future events trigger threats and opportunities; assessing the likelihood and impact of risks; prioritizing risks by their expected value and by their relative importance to your transportation system; determining ways to deal with the risk; and last, carrying out risk management strategies, monitoring implementation of strategies, and reevaluating risks.

Slide 23 - Life Cycle Management

Jaime Torres: An integral part of asset management is your response to asset deterioration caused by traffic, weather, time, and environmental factors. Life cycle management helps determine the best actions for assets depending on their life cycle. The stages of an asset's life considered in life cycle management, planning, and implementation are new construction, preservation, operations, replacement, functional improvement, and disposal.

New construction includes justification, scoping, design, and construction or acquiring assets. Preservation is similar, but not identical to preventive maintenance. Preservation often includes preventive (routine) maintenance, however, and may also include repairs, corrective actions, reactive (unplanned) maintenance, and periodic maintenance. These steps will be taken while the asset is being used and will help maintain the asset in working condition. Operations help to improve the efficiency and safety of traffic movement. Actions include response to emergency, unexpected, or expected events, and traveler information. Replacement is the act of reconstruction or partial/complete replacement of an asset. It typically coincides with asset replacement. Disposal is the final stage of an asset's life, and typically occurs when an asset becomes unnecessary because of road realignment or other changes.

Slide 24 - Maintenance Planning

Jaime Torres: Maintenance planning. Maintenance actions are typically organized under planned and unplanned (reactive) maintenance. Each of these maintenance activities are undertaken at different times during an asset's life. Planned maintenance is the strategy in which an action is taken while the asset is still in good condition. Planned or routine maintenance takes place before an asset fails or reaches an unacceptable level of performance. Planned or routine maintenance extends the functional life of the asset by being proactive. For example, repainting of the steel components of a bridge to avoid rust or patching cracks in a roadway. Reactive, or unplanned, maintenance occurs when maintenance is necessary immediately, due to deficiencies that have appeared. Sometimes reactive maintenance is required due to a failure to execute planned or routine maintenance, while other times it is necessary because of emergencies or natural disasters. Keep in mind that this reactive maintenance is usually more expensive than when you plan for it.

Slide 25 - Program Delivery

Jaime Torres: Program delivery is the process a tribal government takes to implement and deliver its plans and programs. Key aspects of asset management during the program delivery phase are:

Then again, I think Ralph went through this but you need to keep in mind that for those allocations to be funded they need to be consistent with the TIP and the Long-Range Plan.

Slide 26 - Data Tools

Jaime Torres: Here are several tools that help to facilitate the asset management business processes. The tools outlined here are asset management systems and data collection and management. Asset management systems are collections of hardware, software, data, and processes that can be used to collect, process, store, and analyze information about assets; develop maintenance strategies; and schedule and track work. Asset management systems typically include: technical information about asset characteristics, condition, and performance; financial information concerning current asset value and the level of resources needed to maintain and improve assets to meet established goals and service standards; planning information about recommended or scheduled work on assets; and historical information about work accomplished and investments made. The asset management systems can be as simple as spreadsheets that list assets and their condition ratings, and as complex as graphical systems with data maintenance, simulation, optimization, and reporting capabilities.

Having good and current data is crucial for decisionmaking at tactical, operational, and strategic levels. Good data management practices include understanding the business framework for why you need the data, data standards that allow your organization to connect different data sets, and a data governance structure that clarifies who is responsible for what aspect of data management.

IV. Summary and Resources

Slide 28 - Asset Management Toolbox

Jaime Torres: Now that we have completed our instruction of the asset management process, you have a set of tools and resources available to you to further assist with future asset management endeavors. To summarize:

Slide 29 - Asset Management Checklist

Jaime Torres: This checklist will help remind you of all the steps and pieces involved in asset management, and will help you develop an asset management plan.

Slide 30 - For Further Reading

Jaime Torres: Here are some of the resources you can access from the web. Feel free to explore these resources for further information on tribal transportation and asset management. That's all I have.

Jared Fijalkowski: Great, thanks Jaime. As a reminder to people, you can ask questions through the chat box and I don't see any yet other than asking whether these materials will be available for download at the end, and they will be right as we finish the evaluation and also there will be a recording of this webinar with both the audio and the slides moving available for viewing on the planning website later. Feel free to ask questions.

Ralph Rizzo: Jared, this is Ralph. Is it just the PowerPoints that will be available for download at the end or will we have the actual modules?

Jared Fijalkowski: We have the module and the actual presentation.

Ralph Rizzo: Can you explain what a module is as opposed to the PowerPoint here?

Jared Fijalkowski: The module is all the information you could want. It's thirty-something pages. It's very detailed and it provides all the information you could want about asset management related to tribes. It's part of a module series and on the planning website you can view all of the different modules. I don't see any questions coming up, so we'll switch straight to the evaluation. If you do have any other questions, please feel free to post it and we will address it, but we will switch to the evaluation view.

Module Evaluation

If you wouldn't mind filling these questions, it will help us improve the webinars. You'll also notice that on the left, just above the chat box, you can see the files available for download. The first one is the module itself, the second one is the presentation, the third is a certificate that you can print out for yourself if you like, signifying your participation in this webinar.

We do have one question from Kyle Kitchel and he's asking “Are there computer programs that can help out with asset management?” Ralph or Jaime did you want to take that?

Jaime Torres: Yes, there are. I was asked how to develop an asset management database and one example I provided was that if you have an iPhone that you can locate latitude and longitude, you can get your assets all into a spreadsheet or database. It's a simple way to do it, but there are fully functional software available out there that are also linked to GIS.

Ralph Rizzo: I think a lot of the software available is a front-end for Microsoft Access databases usually, but the ability to integrate with GIS is a great feature if you can work it out.

Jared Fijalkowski: I don't see any other questions, but as Ken mentioned earlier, you can email Michelle Noch at and we'll leave this screen up for a few minutes for you to finish the poll questions and finish downloading the files. Other than that, this concludes the webinar, but stay tuned for the future webinars. Soon we will switch back to the screen that lists the title and dates of future presentations. Have a great day.