Infrastructure owners across water, transportation, utilities and communications can receive help to understand, measure and advance their asset management proficiencies through a new tool officially released today by the Michigan Infrastructure Council (MIC).
The Asset Management Readiness Assessment Scale, simply known as “The Scale,” embraces five asset management competencies — People and Leadership; Data and Information; Planning and Prioritization; Policy and Governance; and External Communication and Knowledge Sharing — so infrastructure owners can rank their asset management strengths and improvement areas through “readiness levels.”
Infrastructure owners can include entities such as local communities, water authorities, road commissions, public or private utilities and communications companies.
“For the first time ever, this tool will enable infrastructure owners across the state to produce consistent asset management metrics,” MIC Chairperson John Weiss said. “Having that data is really exciting because it not only gives us insight into our current capabilities, but also enables us to set target goals for improvement and provides a mechanism for a systematic statewide reassessment.”
The Scale was adapted from a tool that has been used in Canada over the past decade to manage assets, spanning from planning and construction to operations and maintenance and leading ultimately to the next generation rebuild.
“Asset owners are able to get a benchmark for where they currently are in terms of asset management practices, and set measurable goals for improvement, giving them focus on what competency areas to improve,” said Valarie Williams, current chair of the Canadian Network of Asset Managers. “It has also given funding agencies confidence that resources are being spent in appropriate areas that have been targeted as part of structured decision-making and longer-term planning.”
Building on the success of our Canadian neighbors, the MIC hopes The Scale will help shift Michigan’s infrastructure focus from reactive response toward strategic long-term asset management. Communities that piloted The Scale supported this objective, quickly pinpointing their asset management strengths, as well as areas that could be improved.
“We tested the Asset Management Readiness Assessment Scale for our stormwater system,” said Curtis Holt, city manager for the city of Wyoming. “We were excited to see how well we performed overall; however, we knew that we could be doing a better job. The Scale helped us know where to focus our efforts.”
The MIC has partnered with the Michigan Association of Regions to help train infrastructure owners with The Scale and to collect results that will guide regional and state policy and target resources.
To download the Asset Management Readiness Assessment Scale, go to www.michigan.gov/mic.