The Challenge & Opportunity
City of Adelaide (CoA) is the local government area of the capital city of South Australia, Adelaide. In 2018 the asset management team recognised a desperate need to modernise – processes and practices were sub-par, and true transformation was required.
At the outset the team was under significant pressure to transform its approach, due to:
- Asset management audit: revealed that despite best efforts the City was behind industry standard
- Organisational Strategic Risk Committee: in line with ISO 31000 identified four extreme and five high risk areas
- Staff survey: found cultural disempowerment
When COVID-19 hit in 2020 further pressures were added to the mix whilst implementation was in flight, further amplifying the need for transformation. There were significant financial impacts, with 60-70% of CoA’s income coming from commercial operations in the city. Subsequently the executive team was tasked with cutting $20M from the operational budget, forcing all spending decisions under the limelight. The internal stakeholder environment was also thrown into flux, with little surety around where accountability fell moving forward.
While many organisations approach an asset management implementation as part of their day-to-day CoA was fortunate to be able to treat transformation
as a dedicated project, leveraging expert project management engaging specialist firm Chamonix. While key CoA staff continued their essential work, Chamonix specialists in change management, systems alignment and other areas were brought in as required to ensure success.
CoA’s approach ensured clear strategic planning from the outset, and a commitment to phased measurement. As a result defined business enablers and community outcomes were delivered efficiently and incrementally, rather than stalling when challenges arose.
In just under 12 months CoA has achieved significant wins in its transformation, reported and communicated across the organisation.
- Merging of multiple platforms to an aligned enterprise architecture
- Preliminary life-cycle modelling outcomes enabling more informed decision making
- Significant minimisation of financial and audit risk exposure
- Full systems upgrade to support ongoing processing and reporting requirements
- Manual and ad-hoc processing via spreadsheets eliminated
- Disparate and inconsistent asset registers merged
- Alignment of operating processes with strategic decision-making, thanks to improved staff knowledge- transfer and training
- Shift from age-based to condition-based renewals
- Shift from reactive to planned maintenance
- Closed customer complaint feedback loop, visible to all stakeholders
City of Adelaide & Brightly
CoA partnered with Brightly on its asset management transformation program in late 2019, to further-improve its approach to sustainable infrastructure management. “This was about transformation for the City of Adelaide, rather than just an asset system rollout – we were looking for an organisation we could work with as partners. Brightly offers the specialist knowledge to understand our problem and provide a solution that was more than just a system.” Jean-Pierre Koekemoer, Manager, Infrastructure Management & Governance at CoA said.
Thanks to the strategic approach of this transformation the behemoth challenges of 2020 remained manageable, minimising decision paralysis and ensuring community service level improvements continued to be delivered. Processes and systems implemented provide the ability to see future choices, and levers to alter what CoA’s future will look like for the better of the organisation and the community.
- Powerful systems integration and alignment:
17 systems refined to seven; accurate, transparent data for all users
- Workforce empowerment:
mobility improvements connect work crews with CoA’s strategic vision. Deployed over 100 tablets to City of Adelaide operations team
- Data-driven decision-making:
preliminary modelling outcomes communicate long-term impacts of capital and investment variations
- Risk management: organisational risk mitigated:
project continues to deliver despite significant COVID-19 challenges
- Data improvement:
strategic assessment of data requirements to expedite project delivery, and improve ongoing collection activity