Sizing the Project

Once the asset management group has been formed, the next major function is to accurately determine the size of the project, the actual tasks involved, and the resources required to carry out those tasks.

Completing a thorough needs analysis or project evaluation for the works involved is necessary.

The needs analysis should produce the following outputs:

  • Determine the asset groups involved, their approximate number and valuation
  • Identify the condition of the assets and determine the specific information needs required for the assets
  • Determine the corporate organization's needs for data in both the financial and technical sense
  • Determine the business unit, regional unit and asset groups needs
  • Determine the workforce needs for each of the asset groups
  • Determine the ultimate system configuration to meet both existing needs and future perceived needs
  • Complete a review of the existing systems and determine the most viable means to get from the existing systems to the proposed systems
  • Determine the sources of data and the resources required to collect this data and enter it into the proposed systems
  • Determine the total resources required in terms of software, hardware, data collection, and implementation
  • Determine the potential benefits resulting from the advanced asset management systems
  • Determine a suitable program based on cost/benefit priorities for the implementation of the systems
  • Establish a suitable time frame based on the organization's capability to finance the program.

In completing the needs analysis, the organization needs to define the degree to which it goes in this initial program, and this will involve some or all of the following inputs:

  • Is the needs analysis to include all functions of full life cycle asset management or only some functions such as asset utilization?
  • Is the needs analysis to consider all asset management systems, such as operations manuals, digital mapping, or other record systems?
  • Data collection and processing and performance monitoring systems:
    • Asset Registers
    • Maintenance Management Systems
    • Strategic Planning Systems
    • Automatic operating or remote control data collection systems.

The organization also needs to consider the level of detail for the needs analysis, for example, a general overall assessment, or major system units.

An overall assessment is satisfactory for a large organization such as a municipal authority, and then a more detailed program can be developed at later stages in the asset management implementation program.

Data Collection

Following is a table summarizing the staff resources required for data collection in a large organization. This table provides an example of the order of magnitude and will vary between organizations.

Data Collection Staff Resources


(person days)




1. Sewer collection




2 Treatment Plants




3. Plant & Equipment




4. Other Assets




TOTAL (days)




The work of data collection will involve four main areas:

  • The primary asset management group/coordinator
  • Design staff
  • Inputs by Supervisors and staff at district level
  • Field inspections by maintenance/operations personnel.

Data collection will constitute the largest workload involved in the asset management program, and the sizing of this workload will be a critical part of the needs analysis or project evaluation stage.

It is dependent upon:

  • The number of asset management systems involved, i.e.:
    • Inventory
    • Accrual accounting
    • Maintenance management
    • Digital mapping
    • Long term strategic planning.
  • The integration required between systems such as interfaces with:
    • Financial, cash and economic systems
    • Spatial data or digital mapping systems
    • Time sheet work order systems
    • Property or customer files
    • Technical attribute data systems.
  • The complexity or level of data entry that is chosen for the asset components, i.e. the level to which the organization chooses to take a manageable component item, e.g.:
    • Asset type
    • Facility
    • Asset
    • Asset component
    • Asset sub-component
    • Spare parts, etc.
  • The actual availability of data and the sources of data that are easily accessed for inputting into the computer systems, and the way in which data that is not currently available will be collected
  • The processes adopted by the organization to verify the accuracy of the data, and the degree and level of verification that is adopted. This also will include the updating activities for the correcting of false data
  • Factors outside the control of the organization such as weather conditions and staff losses/changes etc.

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