Summary of Framework
The V/Line project implemented best practice asset management principles to improve decision making for short and long-term investments. The solution improved investment and monitoring capabilities which established a better risk management system, and linked investment to performance. Implementing best practices led to increased visibility of performance improvement, reduced costs, enhanced safety and reliability, and improved transparency and accountability. Customized tools developed include an Asset Performance Option Library (APOL), V/Line Investment Planning Portal (VIPP), Performance Breakdown Structure (PBS), and Performance Dashboards. V/Line will continue to improve data quality and maturity of the models to improve decision making and investment planning.
Description of Framework
V/Line has taken significant steps towards improving its asset management capabilities and investment maturity by implementing best practice within asset management principles. To achieve this goal, Asset Management and Performance group initiated multiple projects to optimize investment plans, improve decision-making capabilities, manage risk, and meet the required performance levels as per the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Additionally, V/Line ensures that its Annual Works Plan (AWP) aligns with the Corporate Plan through a strategic outlook.
Fig 1: Asset Management Strategy and Planning Framework
The solution focused on uplifting investment and monitoring capabilities to establish a better risk management system and links investment to performance, enabling exploration of all possible investment scenarios and their impact on performance. The use of VIPP provided 15-year asset condition and risk distribution, work banks, and investment information, while APOL provided enhancement/improvement ideas and a list of vulnerabilities within the network. PBS linked network performance changes based on different budget scenarios, enabling decision-makers to have a complete picture of the impact of performance under different funding scenarios. This demonstrates high creativity and originality in developing customized solutions to address unique problems specific to V/Line. The principle of balancing cost, risk, and performance across the lifecycle shows ingenuity in addressing the complex issues that V/Line faced. The solution’s strategic vision was developed by balancing these critical factors, ensuring a robust risk management system, and optimizing network performance. This approach enabled key decision-makers to understand and agree upon all possible investment scenarios’ impact on performance.
V/Line Strategic AM & Investment Planning
Fig 2: V/Line Strategic AM (Asset Management) and Investment Planning Framework
The following tools have been developed to support V/Line’s asset management principles:
- Asset Performance Options Library (APOL): APOL is a centralized tool created by V/Line to track and capture asset performance improvement opportunities and network vulnerabilities. APOL provides a consolidated view of all the options that could improve asset performance, reduce the risk of vulnerable assets failing, and increase visibility of performance improvement and risk mitigation. It manages all asset activities, including operational and asset vulnerabilities, condition-based and obsolescence-based risks, reliability, punctuality, and financial improvements. The library includes a digital application form is accessible by anyone via the APOL SharePoint site to nominate a vulnerability or opportunity. The reporting process includes a Power BI report, email notifications, and meetings with critical stakeholders to endorse ideas, and highlight vulnerabilities. APOL provides real-time visibility of vulnerabilities and opportunities within the network through a consolidated report, helping management support the funding requirement to the highest level.
- V/Line Investment Planning Portal (VIPP): VIPP is a dashboard that developed as a digital asset planning and strategy visualisation solution to consolidate and manage the asset data outputs from the asset Lifecycle modelling process. The VIPP visually connects asset condition, assets life cycle strategies, asset/program investments, and annual work banks to facilitate analysis and justification of asset investments across the network. By providing a holistic view of the state of asset base, condition, risk distribution and backlog analysis for each of the different investment scenarios, the VIPP enables a range of stakeholders at various levels of the business to achieve line-of-sight and analyse / validate the impact of investment decisions on their portfolio. The fundamental design principle of VIPP is being able to serve a multitude of audience groups ranging from asset class Subject Mater Experts (SMEs) up to non-technical decision makers and stakeholders at DPT and DTF. This has been fulfilled by bringing asset-level data to enable asset-by-asset analysis and applying methods for aggregation at a range of higher levels to serve the senior and executive audience.
- Performance Breakdown Structure (PBS): PBS is an in-house build decision support tool that generates infrastructure service performance targets at the corridor level and asset class level. This tool also estimates the total reactive maintenance work orders (WOs) based on the condition by asset class and by asset corridor which is currently in testing phase. The tool delivers:
- Asset performance to estimate network performance (train delays in minutes due to asset failure) and;
- Asset condition to estimate asset performance (train delays and Temporary Speed Restrictions
These outputs are based on statistical and historical data analysis, as well as an understanding of asset failure patterns after major investments or changes in asset condition. The model was created to link changes in condition to performance.
- Performance Dashboards: The Performance Dashboards are automated Power BI reports that provide regular reporting and monitoring to ensure that the SLAs (Service Level Agreements) are met, and the network is performing as per the initial predictions. These reports update daily and presented to key stakeholders regularly.
Effective project management has been crucial in ensuring the success of the project by ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and on schedule. The project leader was responsible for developing and maintaining a project plan, ensuring to identifying and mitigating risks, as well as to ensure that all projects fit into V/Line’s Strategic AM and Investment Planning framework. Communication has been a critical component of program and project management, with regular meetings held with stakeholders to keep them informed of progress and promptly address any issues or risks. Change management has also played a critical role in program and project management, with changes identified and evaluated to ensure alignment with business objectives and avoid any negative impact. The project management approach has enabled effective risk management and timely identification of issues and risks, resulting in increased accountability and improved decision-making for V/Line.
The V/Line project has significantly benefited the organization by improving asset management and investment decision making capability, meeting the required performance levels, and managing risk effectively. Implementing best practice asset management principles has led to more informed decision-making, increased performance improvement and risk mitigation visibility, and improved alignment with corporate plans. The customized solutions developed in-house have provided unique and innovative ways to address the specific challenges faced by V/Line. The project’s success has also improved service delivery and performance for the organization, which benefits the community by providing a more efficient and reliable transport system.
In summary, adding new V/Line Strategic AM and Investment Planning tools has provided significant benefits and value to the organization and the community. By implementing best practice asset management principles, customized solutions, and effective program and project management, V/Line has improved its asset management and investment maturity, resulting in improved service delivery, reduced costs, enhanced safety and reliability, and improved transparency and accountability.
V/Line will continue its focus to improve its data quality and maturity of the models which will improve the robustness of decision making and investment planning.
Fig 3: Strategic solution overview
Contributions by the nominated individuals
The projects were a collaborative effort of all team members who worked together to ensure that all the criteria were met and that the work could be connected effectively at the end. Each team member led a specific project and contributed their skills to create customized solutions to address the unique challenges faced by V/Line.
Sid was responsible for leading the development of the Asset Performance Options Library (APOL). One of the significant challenges Sid faced was managing a vast amount of data and ensuring that the tool was user-friendly and effective for all stakeholders. To overcome this challenge, Sid collaborated closely with the team to develop a clear and concise process for collecting and validating data, which helped streamline the entire process. In additionally, he collaborated with the team to ensure that the tool was customized to meet the specific needs of V/Line, providing enhanced visibility of performance improvement and risk mitigation across the organization.
Rini was responsible for leading the development of the Performance Breakdown Structure (PBS). Rini faced similar challenges to Sid, including managing the complexity of the tool and ensuring that network performance targets is aligned to current state of V/Line. To overcome these challenges, Rini collaborated closely with the team to ensure that the tool was based on statistical methods, historical data and understanding asset failure patterns after investments or changes in asset condition. This enabled PBS to link changes in condition to performance and provide a complete picture of the impact of performance under different funding scenarios.
Ghazal was responsible for leading the development of the asset lifecycle models, asset class strategies and corridor strategies. The output of the asset lifecycle models visualised on V/Line Investment Planning Portal (VIPP). One of the significant challenges Ghazal faced was balancing the needs of different stakeholders and ensuring that the visual tool provided clear and concise information for infrastructure strategy development at both asset class and corridor level. To overcome this challenge, Ghazal collaborated closely with the team to develop a customized tool that was aligned with the V/Line Strategic AM and Investment Planning framework. This enabled decision-makers to have a complete picture of the impact of investment decisions and make informed decisions based on cost, risk, and performance across the lifecycle of an asset.
The specific contributions made by Sid, Rini, and Ghazal were critical in developing customized solutions to address the specific challenges faced by V/Line. The development of APOL, PBS, and VIPP demonstrated high originality and ingenuity, resulting in the project’s success. The customized solutions developed in-house provided unique and innovative ways to address the specific challenges faced by V/Line, resulting in improved service delivery, reduced costs, enhanced safety and reliability, and improved transparency and accountability.
In conclusion, the V/Line project was a collaborative effort of all team members, with each team member leading a specific project and contributing their skills to create customized solutions to address the unique challenges faced by V/Line. Effective program and project management were critical components of the project’s success, with regular communication and change management.
The following screen shots depict the suite of tools developed to support V/Line’s asset management principles, highlighting their respective functions, and intended purposes. These tools were specifically designed and developed to uplift investment and monitoring capabilities, establish a better risk management system, and link investment to performance, providing a more efficient and reliable transport system to the community. These images demonstrate the customized solutions developed in-house, showcasing the innovative and original ways V/Line addressed the specific challenges they faced, resulting in improved service delivery, reduced costs, enhanced safety and reliability, and improved transparency and accountability.
Fig 4: APOL SharePoint page with links to information, methodology, and a digital app to nominate network vulnerabilities and improvements.
Fig 5: APOL Power BI dashboard displays network vulnerabilities and improvements in various formats.
Fig 6: Detailed breakdown of non-punctuality due to infrastructure incidents.
Fig 7: Punctuality tree provides breakdown of incident category contribution to non-punctuality.
Fig 8: Performance Breakdown Structure tool that showcase maximum number of allowable incidents by corridor before performance targets are breached.
Fig 9: Overview of condition and estimated cost distribution for different funding scenario.
Fig 10: Overview of risk and estimated cost distribution for different funding scenario.
Fig 11: Temporary Speed Restrictions report providing information on different speed restrictions in place.
Fig 12: Performance and Reliability report showcasing punctuality and reliability distribution by corridor
Fig 13: Animal strike incidents report provides information on animal strikes on the network to support executives in making decisions reg. fencing