Key to all these secrets is the infrastructure plan must be simple to adopt and easy to get started or else it will not be adopted. There are massive backlogs of infrastructure projects waiting to be developed and literally billions of dollars waiting to invest in the infrastructure sector. Lack of diagnostic tools and resources available to both public sector organizations and project funders have made infrastructure decisions difficult. Many projects never “get off the ground” because public sector officials and funders simply do not have the diagnostic tools to make timely decisions. Simplifying and standardizing the process and providing diagnostic tools removes apprehension and improves decision-making processes. Infrastructure Asset Champions need to bring all stakeholders together to make the process work for all and through collaboration ensure the asset management plan is both simple to adopt and easy to get started.
Simplifying the Plan
The Asset Champion in collaboration with the Project Team might consider some of the following to make the public sector organization infrastructure plan easier to adopt:
- The long-term infrastructure plan must be very high level and include a list of infrastructure priorities for the public sector organization
- The Project Team needs to be authorized by the public sector organization to make simple project decisions on behalf of the public sector organization
- Daily administrative decisions affecting the infrastructure plan implementation, operation, and maintenance must flow through the Project Team.
- Project Team decisions must be made in a timely manner as directed by the Asset Champion
- The Plan must be broken down into simple to implement components
- When the Project Team meets, the Asset Champion provides a very short-term, simple action plan, often with alternative courses of action. The Asset Champion normally provides explanation to the Project Team. Through a collaborative process, the Champion guides the Project Team to make the most suitable choice. Once “go-forward” steps are determined, the Asset Champion and the Project Team leave the meeting with action points for next steps on the plan. This process is repeated many times. Through this collaborative process, the Asset Champion educates and counsels the Project Team prior to decisions being made. This encourages an atmosphere of trust and capacity building.
The preceding is not exhaustive but illustrates what can be done to simplify an infrastructure action plan. It may appear intuitive, but it is a lot of work.
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