A conceptual framework and approach for enhancing transportation asset management (TAM) implementation for sustained TAM programs
Akofio Sowah, Margaret Avis Naa Anyeley
MetadataShow full item record
In 2012, federal legislation introduced a requirement for formal transportation asset management (TAM) in transportation agencies. The law specifically requires agencies to develop TAM plans and implement TAM programs in their decision-making processes. The history of national policy development for (TAM) and research in policy implementation and organizational theory have shown that program sustainment is not easily achieved. Often, agencies can respond to this kind of legislative mandate with ineffective efforts to achieve legitimacy that reduce the likelihood for the program to be sustained in the long-term. This presents a challenge because without sustainment, the benefits of TAM, which are mostly long-term, may not be fully realized. The objective of this work was to develop a conceptual framework to guide transportation agencies to review their TAM implementation practices and identify opportunities to enhance long-term program sustainment. The conceptual basis for the framework comes from a synthesis of transportation, policy and program implementation, and change management literature, supported by insight from a panel of practitioner and academic experts. The TAM Implementation Review Framework (TIRF) incorporates seven themes of implementation factors that can promote sustainment of TAM practices impacting the social, organizational, and programmatic elements of implementation. The TIRF was applied in case studies to review the TAM implementation processes of three Departments of Transportation (DOTs) resulting in different kinds of information on how implementation activities address factors related to program sustainment. These results can steer future implementation activities in DOTs towards increased probabilities of achieving long-term program sustainment. The primary contributions of this work lie in the development of the conceptual framework and approach to enhance TAM implementation by emphasizing the people and organizational elements of TAM, alongside with the technical. In practice, the TIRF offers agencies a review and planning tool to support TAM implementation decision making and to promote program sustainment. The output is being proposed as a foundational element in the development of an evidence-based catalog of TAM implementation strategies. This can facilitate inter-agency knowledge sharing by providing a platform for systematic documentation of implementation experiences to support broader adoption of strategies that can contribute to increased program sustainment.