The outcome of the lifecycle planning process is an investment strategy for the road infrastructure asset that comprises an asset group and its components and that is affordable and delivers the required performance at the minimum cost. In meeting this outcome, the investment strategy should also support the asset management strategy. A number of iterations, with different maintenance strategies, may be necessary to optimize the investment strategy.
In developing an investment strategy, the following issues should be considered:
What is the level of performance required to maintain a steady state condition and what is the budget required?
Lifecycle plans may be used to demonstrate the investment required to maintain the asset at its current level of performance. This is useful in cases where organizations are satisfied with the performance of their networks and to compare the impact of different funding scenarios.
What is the level of performance that can be achieved with a fixed budget?
Where an organization has fixed funding, lifecycle planning may be used to determine the performance of the asset for the funding allocated. It may also be used to target or prioritize funding in those areas that are most in need and to demonstrate the effect of reduced funding on the performance of assets over the short, medium, and long term.
What is the budget requirement to deliver the performance required?
Organizations can use lifecycle planning to determine future budget requirements. Performance targets may be selected for a hierarchy of asset groups and their components. In doing so, organizations may wish to consider the work needed to sustain the agreed performance requirements and any performance gaps.
What are the cross-asset considerations?
No organization will have unlimited funds to invest in an asset. Cross-asset prioritization, or “trade-off” techniques, may be used to determine where budgets are spent most effectively or at the lowest cost. Consideration of the risk, cost, and performance associated with each asset is key.
What is the timescale?
Lifecycle plans should be prepared for a period of at least 10 years.
Lifecycle plans are essential to assist senior decision makers in developing their financial plans and to substantiate any additional funding needed to achieve the required performance. Equally, they provide evidence of the effect on the asset if funding is not made available and the effect on the consequential future performance of the asset.