You need the right data to make the right decisions about assets, but who you are and the work you are doing means that you have specific data needs. VDAS provides these tools to:
Across the asset lifecycle, from conception to disposal, a lack of relevant data to inform decisions has ramifications beyond the immediate decision; it influences the viability, quality and experience of the asset for potentially decades to come. When these decisions about large scale public infrastructure are made, the impact of the decision is exacerbated, as well as the transparency and accountability of that decision. So how do we recognise the value of data, and its impact on the public good that comes from the assets it records?
The Victorian Government has taken this challenge seriously. The Department of Treasury and Finance, in conjunction with the Office of Projects Victoria, released the Victorian Digital Asset Strategy (VDAS) Strategic Framework in 2019, and has launched the VDAS Guidance document in February of 2020. Together these describe the Government’s vision for creating digital assets, typically arising from capital projects, and getting the maximum benefit from this information. Quality data is identified as the cornerstone of effective decision making, and its management an enabler for government objectives. VDAS answers the questions on how agencies and departments can take the next steps with digital engineering and Building Information Modelling (BIM), especially in the context of major capital and renewal projects.
VDAS is structured into three major documents:
The VDAS Guidance outlines what you need to do to get the most out of using your data as an asset to support strategic goals and decision making. Over three parts (Strategic, Organisational and Application) the guidance describes approaches, roles and responsibilities to deliver a VDAS compliant organisation within government.
The Strategic section of the VDAS Guidance places VDAS within the context of other legislation guidance and frameworks. Aligning VDAS with these allows for maximum benefit to be leveraged from digital assets through existing strategic priorities and outcomes. The section also defines the target audience at different points in the asset lifecycle and explains the role of the VDAS Champion in implementing VDAS in different organisations. This is a new role aimed at providing leadership, coordination, engagement and sponsorship to ensure successful updates of digital engineering within the organisation.
The Organisational section is aimed at the coal-face of asset managers. Those that are directly involved in ownership, operation, project delivery and portfolio management are provided with key information, tools and approaches for implementing effective data and information management to support the goals of VDAS across the asset lifecycle.
The application section covers the front-end, implementation, and handover phases of the asset lifecycle and is broken into seven sub-sections:
The VDAS is intended to represent a fundamental shift in the way asset information and data is specified, stored, delivered and utilised. The development of the VDAS represents a step change in both potential capability, as well as the expectations of stakeholders both internal and external. Using data to drive decision making has long been the norm, however the management of this data being systematic, specified and managed will be the next major step in this evolution. To support this change a new specified role of the VDAS Champion within agencies is envisaged to deliver a VDAS based approach and realise the benefits of DE. The VDAS Guidance provides job descriptions and roles and responsibilities for this role. The VDAS Champion is intended to lead the implementation of digital information management across the Victorian Government portfolio. How well placed are you to implement these changes? Treasury is recognising the challenge and is offering matched funding for these roles. This is to enable quick adoption of the VDAS principles and move Victoria forward as a digital engineering leader.
The benefits of using data to deliver the right project at the right time are well documented, and data driven decision making forms the basis of most government business cases to some extent. The challenge is increasingly making sure that the required evidence is available to support the decisions. Whilst there has been an explosion of data and information available to decision makers, it is often of mixed quality, incompatible formats and can struggle to support the case being made.
This is a challenge to asset owners and custodians, who are often in the position of having to justify investment without the information they require to make defend the investment needed. VDAS intends to address this through identifying and managing the information being generated by assets across their lifecycle.
All stakeholders are consulted to ensure that their needs are being met through data management, and not just those of immediate operators or finance staff. This can then be leveraged to effectively inform business cases into the future, and support operational and strategic decision making about those assets. This will reduce the amount of inference, estimating and guesswork when creating funding and capital requests. With the right information on hand you can be sure of what you are requesting, and have the evidence available to back it up.
The power of a VDAS based approach is most evident during the operational phase of an asset. Whilst previously the amount of information provided at handover has been limited to asset lists and basic maintenance schedules, operators are often left in the dark when it comes to more complex decision making and optioneering. They are seen as the people who replace things when they break, rather than having an integral role in optimising and influencing service delivery.
By deploying digital twin capabilities using VDAS, operators will have access to the information required to run complex scenarios on their asset base, so that the impact of their decisions, investment and service loads can be modelled and shared. This enables clear choices and accountabilities in these areas, and empowers decision makers with ability to see future demands balanced against operational realities.
So, how ready is your organisation to take the plunge into the world of digital assets? There are already pockets of high maturity in different departments and agencies, with those involved in asset intensive areas in the best position to move into a digital future. The launch of the VDAS Guidance and the matched funding from Treasury provides agencies and departments with an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and implement a digital asset strategy. Early adopters have the opportunity to reap the benefits as well as influence the conversation in the future, using their knowledge and experience as this approach becomes more embedded, and expected, by both Treasury and the public at large.
KPMG is here to help you on your digital engineering journey. We helped Treasury develop the VDAS Strategic Framework and Guidance, and with a dedicated Engineering and Asset Management practice of over 150 people, we can set you up for success as the world moves to a digitally enabled future. We specialise in the development of integrating digital and corporate strategy with needs of physical assets – ensuring that you expend resources in the right places to drive tangible results.
We have a range of products and approaches to suit your organisation, individual needs and level of maturity.
A strong start can be ensured for all use cases with a VDAS Data Readiness Assessment. This will quickly establish the information most important to your business, what you lack to drive targeted interventions and establish a rigorous, achievable improvement plan based on the realities of your business environment. Call today for a discussion with one of our VDAS specialists about your unique situation.