Capital Gatekeepers and Asset Managers

Metro’s Comprehensive Planners are the keepers of and gatekeepers for our Capital Expenditure Schedule (CES). Metro’s CES is a list of planned projects with costs and timing for the next 10 years.

These planners develop and present the capital budget requests during the annual discussions with the Board of Directors. They also are building an asset management program that is forging new ground in the clean water industry.

Planning Capital Improvements

Formed four years ago, this department has updated and fundamentally improved Metro’s CES process. All CES projects now are classified into one of nine programs (see graphic).

Comprehensive Planners manage inputs to the CES using a phase gate process, where projects meet criteria and attain management consensus before moving to the next phase (from study to design, for example). Managing updates for the facility plan, wastewater utility plans, and other documents provides them a strategic perspective for phase gate assessments.

Managing Capital Assets

The team is undertaking similar updates and improvements to Metro’s fixed asset replacement (FAR) process by developing a formal asset management program.

Determined to ground this new program in data-based decision-making, the Comprehensive Planners are finding that gathering data needed to assess criticality, condition — and repair or replacement needs, costs, and timing — is more challenging for treatment plant assets than for transmission system assets.

To start addressing this industry challenge at Metro, the team initiates an annual FAR priorities project to identify and fix assets that are not critical or part of a CES project. They look forward to sharing the tracking tools and other methods that come out of this new asset management program with our colleagues in the clean water industry.

A group of asset managers
a flow chart showing our programs of energy, liquids, solids, transmission, support, asset, Operational Risk Management, Employee management, Continuous improvement