Congress of Road Infrastructure Management 4-5th December 2019
In December 2019, as the initiators of this event, the INFRAMA Academy hosted the road industry at the first edition of Road Infrastructure Management Congress, which we co-organized with the Polish Road Congress. It was an event on a national scale with about 100 participants, including many distinguished guests, such as the President of World Road Association PIARC, Claude Van Rooten, and the Acting General Director for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA), Tomasz Żuchowski.
Our aim was, without a doubt, enabling the participants to share their experiences, opinions and views on various topics concerning current problems, related to road infrastructure management. In this purpose 13 expert speeches were presented on the first day in order to initiate important discussions which took place during the moderated debates held after each plenary session.
The second day was devoted to practical workshops, prepared by us and our partners: PwC, TPA, ITS and IBDiM. We have used modern interactive teaching methods which have been a part of our teaching experience for a long time, yet this was the first opportunity for us to confront our knowledge with such a vast and diverse group of participants.
Day 1 - plenary session
Day 2 - workshops
All participants in the workshop agreed that the maintenance needs exceed the available funds. How to effectively use the already existing data when planning the maintenance calendar and estimating the budget? How to consciously choose the most beneficial investments? How to prove to the authorities, owners, partners and public that our decisions are right? The common concerns of the managers became the basis for discussion and sharing their experience among the participants of the workshop. The trainers presented practical and proven methods of budget and maintenance planning and monitoring, taking into account the specificity of particular organizations, based on the Asset Management methodology. The participants performed simulations of a several-year maintenance plan and assessed its effectiveness and impact on operational, strategic and political decisions on the scale of the whole organization.
Risk in road infrastructure management
The workshop participants had the opportunity to confront risk management in terms of the ISO 31000 standard and share their experience in this area. In road infrastructure management, the complexity of problems such as limited funds and staffing, the changing legal and political environment, as well as the continuous evaluation of the activities by the media and the general public, all contribute to the effective accomplishment of the objectives. Many of these seemingly organization-independent difficulties can be managed by introducing an insightful approach to risk management in organizations by designating a risk manager. A conscious risk management undoubtedly increases the effectiveness of decisions taken, and its implementation should take place not only at strategic but also at operational level. Conducting the workshop in the form of a business game gave to the participants the opportunity to make risk assessment in quasi-realistic conditions. Trainers identified factors influencing effective risk management and presented the latest techniques of influencing risk.
Diagnostics of the condition of the road surface and the use of its results in management
The updated evaluation of the road condition is the starting point for right decisions for every road manager. In Poland, diagnostic campaigns are beginning to replace obligatory periodic inspections, and their number is constantly growing. The attendants of the workshop discussed modern methods of data acquisition and control, as well as simple ways to transform these data into specific and reliable information needed for effective management at various levels – from national to municipal. Participants learned how to use diagnostic results efficiently and how to visualize and disseminate them so that they can be easily used not only in the decision-making process but also in communication with the owner and user of the road network. Each of the participants had an opportunity to share their experience and confront their previous experience with the solutions presented by the trainers. Special attention was paid to the potential of knowledge and data-based decisions, which results from the available diagnostic data.
Contemporary methods of Road Safety analyses were presented in this workshop, the results of which determine the scope and priority of execution of particular investment and maintenance tasks. Workshop participants discussed the processes of gathering and organizing data on collisions and accidents in their organizations and together considered how to effectively use them in management. Moreover, they talked about regional Road Safety strategies and the importance of making these analyses available to decision makers and the public. The trainers presented proven methods for the identification of dangerous locations, and the participants identified them by further specifying which and in what order security actions should be implemented according to the example data. The Road Asset Management methodology confirms that a goal-oriented road safety management process can be successfully implemented. It was defined in workshops by reducing the number of killed and injured people, not by eliminating road accidents.