The present and coming shutdowns associated with COVID-19 suppression measures provide infrastructure owning and managing authorities a unique once in a decade opportunity.
Now is the time to implement a Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) Strategy
This post provides an overview of such a strategy, and I will follow with posts giving bullet point ideas for individual asset groups
The idea behind the Carpe Diem Strategy is that human civilisation is not going to end, that the shutdowns are temporary – maybe 6-12 weeks, and that this provides a unique opportunity to undertake and complete work that would otherwise be highly disruptive for your community or facility.
For example, if you have any work planned in the next 3 years that would be highly disruptive to your town centre(s), commerce or facility bring it forward if you can. They are already disrupted and pretty much closed down, so this is the opportunity to get the work done.
Money for the next three years is going to be as cheap as it has been in the last 100 years due to stimulus measures and quantitative easing, so affording the work should not be an issue. It is never going to be cheaper.
Further, once the shutdown restrictions end, it is likely there will be increased demand as people celebrate and rush to make up for the lost time.
So now is the time, whilst you have a quiet period and the opportunity to get on top of capital work, deferred maintenance, operations tidy ups, paperwork, condition inspections, asset inventory/register updates, information systems and business process updates and implementation.
Seize the Day!
Of course, it is easy to raise objections – everything is locked down, people are isolated etc. However, with a little bit of creative thinking, and small changes in work practices these can be overcome.
In a large empty facility, someone can be working successfully in one part of it without coming anywhere near contact with others.
Working in a town centre that is empty can be achieved by crews maintaining separation from each other – there won’t be any public there. Suitable use of PPE ( personal protective equipment) can also provide the necessary protection.
Where there are whole of society lockdowns, consideration will need to be given to the regulations, but all the planning, contracts, materials sourcing, and pre-mobilisation can be done in these periods, and then the work was done during once partial lockdowns are back in place.
The Carpe Diem Strategy provides for authorities to front footwork, and to keep some economy going, all of which are good results.
Communicate the Carpe Diem Strategy with your community.
This will provide positive effects, as your authority is acknowledging that work can sensibly be done, the world isn’t ending, and you are getting prepared for the conclusion of Covid-19-related suppression events.
I know from my long asset management planning experience in the sector that asset owning and managing authorities are filled with creative and talented people. So I know you can do this.
Can I encourage you to think outside the box, consider what can be achieved, adopt a Carpe Diem Strategy, and Seize the Day.