How might drones affect your life cycle?
Understanding the life cycle – from asset creation to maintenance, to disposal and/or rehabilitation and reconstruction, is a fundamental concept that many need to know. But different groups need to know it in different ways. We fail to communicate if the language we speak is not the language the listener understands. So consider some of the different needs.
- Elected members and all political decision makers need to understand the impacts of life cycles in terms that they can relate to – current and future service delivery and risk. They need to know this in broad terms, but they do not need the technical details.
- Policy, planning and finance people need to understand how to measure costs and timing so that they can plan to match future revenues and expenditures, They need to understand that predictions from our models are based on ‘average’ economic life cycles. Here we face a dilemma. More closely specifying our asset groups enables more accurate descriptions which helps to determine more accurate economic life averages. But it also reduces the size of each asset group and the reliabiity of averages diminishes as the numbers in the group diminish.
- Technical people need to understand it in terms of long term optimisation rather than short term. Their knowledge need is not so much dollars as technical intervention events, e.g. maintenance or renewal.
Understanding the life cycle in all these ways is essential to ‘keeping the show on the road’, and all of the above groups have taken this as their objective.
But the ‘day after tomorrow’ requires more.
Those of us advising Infrastructure Decision Makers need to do more, we have to be able to anticipate the nature and impact of changes in the life cycle itself. Along with elected members, policy, planning, finance and technical folks, we are concerned to enable functionality today and tomorrow but, in addition, we also need to ensure that we are able to take advantage of technological options and anticipate demand changes so that we may understand the changes in the life cycle itself, arriving the day after tomorrow*.
*And for more on future change and its impact on us see the coming IPWEA event in Sunday’s weekly round up!