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Asset Management


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This summary provides tribal decisionmakers and planners with a brief summary of the asset management process in transportation planning. It is based on the module Asset Management, which is one of twelve modules in the series Transportation Decisionmaking: Information Tools for Tribal Governments produced by the FHWA Office of Planning to educate tribal planners and decisionmakers about the tribal transportation planning process and to provide them with program information.

What is Asset Management?

Asset management is a process that helps transportation planners and tribal leaders make the best decisions about tribal transportation infrastructure, given the resources available.

Why is Asset Management Important?

As the maintenance needs for transportation infrastructure increase, needed funding does not necessarily follow suit. Asset management helps transportation decisionmakers effectively manage the tribe’s assets with limited available funds.

What Does Asset Management Involve?

Asset financial and technical issues, and considers the best decisions for tribal transportation assets. It requires knowledge about the tribe’s assets, including how they are performing, what their maintenance needs are, and how certain actions will affect their performance in the long-term.

Asset Management Steps

There are five key steps with implementing asset management:

Step 1. Create an Asset Inventory
The Asset Inventory is a record of the tribe’s transportation assets. It will include descriptive data for each asset, including: geographic location; age and condition; information about use; roadway performance characteristics; construction; history; etc.
Step 2. Define Asset Management Scope
The asset management scope describes purpose and intended focus of the asset management program. The scope will essentially set the stage for asset management. 
Step 3. Prepare the Organization for Asset Management
Once the asset management inventory has been developed and the scope has been defined, getting tribal leaders and individuals within the tribal government on-board with the proposed asset management program is a key to its success. Getting everyone behind the program requires that it align with management direction, strategies, and business processes. An asset management champion can communicate with important individuals throughout the tribal government. 
Step 4. Develop the Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP)
The TAMP is the blueprint for the tribal government’s asset management program. It outlines how the tribe will monitor accomplishments and it coordinates each transportation unit in the tribal government, so that everyone is aware of what everyone else is doing.
Step 5. Use Tools and Techniques to Implement Asset Management
There are many existing tools to support asset management programs. A few key tools and techniques include: risk management to identify, assess, plan for, and manage threats and opportunities to the transportation system; life cycle management to determine the best actions for assets in the transportation system at various life cycle stages; maintenance planning; program delivery; and data collection and management.

How Does Asset Management Relate to the Rest of the Modules?

This topic relates to all of the training modules. Asset management ties tribal planning, programming, and intergovernmental relations together for improved managementof tribal resources.

What is theTransportation Decisionmaking Information Tools for Tribal Government Series?

The figure below shows how each of the twelve modules in the series relate to each other.

Each of the training modules is laid out in this graphic of the training module series. At the top of the image is the Introduction to Planning module. Below are three modules, Developing a Long-Range Transportation Plan, Data Collection and Use, and Public Involvement, aligned in a row labeled “planning.” Underneath these modules are two more, Tribal Consultation and Partnering and Leveraging aligned in a row labeled “Tribal Intergovernmental Relations.” Below them are four modules, Developing the Transportation Improvement Program, Funding Resources, Financial Planning, and Project Prioritization, aligned in a row labeled “programming.” In the bottom-most row, labeled “other elements,” are the remaining two modules, Safety and Asset Management. All of the modules are encompassed in a large circle with the rows labeled just outside.


Theresa Hutchins, FHWA Office of Planning
Phone: (360) 753-9402

Michelle Noch, FHWA Office of Planning
Phone: (202) 366-9206

Kyle Kitchel, FHWA Western Federal Lands High Division
Phone: (360) 619-7951

Brian Beltyon, FHWA Resource Center
Phone: (410) 962-0086

Additional Resources

Transportation Planning Capacity Building Website:

FHWA Tribal Transportation Planning:

Asset Management Primer, FHWA:

Asset Management Guide, National Cooperative Highway Research Program:

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Updated: 1/31/2017
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