Buckinghamshire Highways Asset Management Strategy 2021
Continuous improvement, governance and leadership
Asset Management practice and the availability of guidance is constantly developing. In order to deliver continuous improvement, Buckinghamshire Highways (BH) will identify performance gaps and align itself with best practices. An improvement plan has been developed to deliver, improve and refine the strategy and this will continue to be regularly monitored.
The improvement plan is focused on advancing BH’s maturity beyond ISO55001 and to continue the success in the Local Highway Maintenance Capital Funding Self-Assessment Questionnaire for the Incentive Fund. BH is also a member of the National Highways and Transportation’s (NHT) Cost, Quality and Customer (CQC) Efficiency Network.
Our culture of continuous improvement
BH creates a culture of continuous improvement by encouraging innovation to improve the way it delivers its service to benefit the people of Buckinghamshire. BH adopts innovation and best practice from inside and outside the organisation including from other industries by:
- risk assessing services that would most benefit from innovation
- having robust tools and processes that capture innovations
- prioritising and driving delivery of key innovations
- identifying and allocating resources to delivery key innovations
- providing forums/space/opportunities for sharing best practice and innovations both internally and external
Innovations will have cashable or non-cashable benefits to the organisation. The total amount of cashable benefits will form a performance indicator used to drive innovative practice that delivers benefits.
Asset Owners' Forum (AOF)
An Asset Owners’ Forum (AOF) will be chaired by the Highway Infrastructure Asset Manager to align best practice across the 5 major asset groups. This forum will be a platform for knowledge sharing within the organisation and to offer support to ensure effective asset management.
The Highway Infrastructure Asset Manager will continue to engage with an external Asset Management Discipline Group within the Midlands Highway Alliance / Midlands Service Improvement Group. This group reviews emerging guidance and identifies developing technologies and innovations ensuring that they are captured and adopted where appropriate.
BH will continue to liaise with industry experts to review the improvement plan and ensure that wider developments, opportunities and lessons learned are captured and exploited.
Delivery of this Strategy is the responsibility of the Highway Infrastructure Asset Manager recognising that leadership is critical in continually improving asset management practice. To be effective, leadership is enshrined in the governance process, centred around the Contract Improvement Plan (CIP).
The CIP is a fundamental component of the Asset Management system. Results from the Performance Management Framework are reviewed by OMB and Highways Board to decide corrective actions necessary to ensure asset management objectives are met. These corrective actions are captured in the CIP and prioritised. Progress against high priority actions is reported to SMT and on to OMB through the Governance process.
The governance process
The governance process is outlined in the attached Approval, Endorsement, Responsible, Consulted, Informed. (AERCI) Matrix which sets out the arrangements for consultation, endorsement and ultimate approval whist confirming who should be informed and who takes overall responsibility for particular documents.
The AERCI Matrix works on the premise that different documents require different levels of approval. For example, key policy documents are shown to require Cabinet approval whilst certain plans can be approved by the Asset Manager or SMT.
The AERCI Matrix clearly demonstrates the responsibility for the Contract Improvement Plan (CIP) lies with the Business Improvement Manager, and that endorsement and ultimate approval of the CIP lies with SMT and OMB respectively.
Similarly, responsibility for the Performance Management Framework (PMF), which monitors and reports on CIP progress and achievement of AM Objectives, lies with the Business Improvement Manager, and that endorsement and ultimate approval of corrective actions lies with SMT and OMB respectively.
Finally, the AERCI matrix is designed to demonstrate leadership and strategic direction is clearly articulated through the governance process for the CIP, to ensure the requirements of the International Asset Management Standards are met. The AERCI matrix therefore clearly demonstrates leadership and strategic direction lies with the chair of OMB with responsibility delegated to the Business Improvement Manager.
Review of the Asset Management strategy
This Strategy will be reviewed regularly to allow informed decisions to be made in order to accommodate any changes in funding and priorities within the longer-term forecasts. It is anticipated that significant changes to the Strategy will not be required even if major changes in available budget occur.