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Beyond the Short Term: Transportation Asset Management for Long-Term Sustainability, Accountability and Performance

Message from the Director

Message from the Director,

Transportation Asset Management (TAM) has long been recognized as a sound, long-term approach to managing infrastructure. It provides decision makers with a rational, long-term systematic process for making difficult and complex decisions about how to achieve the highest system condition levels for the lowest cost, over the longest term.

TAM also is evolving to help transportation officials address two new challenges. TAM provides a sound basis for demonstrating the long-term sustainability of current infrastructure practices. By using TAM as an over-arching framework, transportation executives can demonstrate that they are making decisions to sustain the transportation system to the best of their ability over the long term.

Also, TAM can demonstrate accountability. TAM relies upon strategic long-term goals, the pursuit of measureable targets and the continuous evaluation of results. In this way, TAM not only produces short-term performance metrics but it closely resembles "quality systems" such as Six Sigma which are widely recognized as leading to improved performance. TAM can be the foundation for performance measurement systems which assure not only short-term performance but also long-term sustainability.

This report re-examines TAM as a system for sustainability and as a system for accountability. It also includes advice on Change Management practices to expand TAM practices within a department of transportation. Along with the update to the Asset Management Guide, this report helps transportation officials expand their use of Asset Management.

Butch Wlaschin signature
Butch Wlaschin
Director
Office of Asset Management

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Updated: 06/18/2012