14 Feb 2018

Developing Levels of Service by Kees Beentjes

Insights from Kees Beentjes, Asset Management Specialist based in Auckland

Guidelines:

A good starting point is the NAMS guideline and seminar: “Developing Levels of Service and Performance Measures”. This resource is aimed at organisations delivering products or services to the community, and focuses on defining customer needs and developing levels or service and performance measures as they relate to activity and asset management. It outlines the processes:

The process outlined in the NAMS guideline achieves necessary and desirable outcomes, but even this suggests a realistic level of resource requirement.

Existing Information:

Smaller organisations often have:

  1. Well-understood high level strategy; and
  2. Low-level measures.

Without a linkage between the two, an organisation needs to make the most of existing information; look at existing measures; and ask, “What strategic outcomes will be enhanced by achieving the target of this measure?”

A good first step is to compile a simple table that maps every measure to the strategic outcome it is supporting. Sometimes measures exist without supporting strategic outputs. These are still of course valid, requiring an articulated purpose; be it operational, managerial, legal or performance based. This can be documented in the same table.

Conversely strategic outcomes without measures can only be viewed as occurring because of

  1. Luck;
  2. Someone’s passion or ad-hoc drive; or
  3. A link that is not clearly understood.

Step two is therefore to ask the question; “What can I measure that shows me this strategic outcome is being delivered?”

The best place to articulate these two simple analyses is within the AMP. Following the NAMS format this sits under the Levels of Service section (even though this simple first stage process excludes development of levels of service).

Moving Forward:

To get started with developing Levels of Service, create a table that maps all strategies to measures and conversely maps all measures to strategies or other purposes.

This is a useful first stage in knowing that you are measuring the right things, without cost or resource requirement.

It is also a simple step in conforming to improved asset management practices and developing potential Levels of Service.