Asset planning in government is constantly improving and becoming more robust. Total Asset Management Plans were introduced in Queensland in 2014 and, more recently, Strategic Asset Management Plans (SAMPs) were adopted to help health organisations efficiently manage the services provided, through their assets, to their communities.
With billions of dollars’ worth of assets, Queensland Health (QH) engaged Aurecon to develop a framework for the preparation of SAMPs. Their goal: an easier, more consistent approach that captures detail that is relevant and helpful in each case – rather than a one-size-fits-all method.
Aurecon’s immediate stakeholder engagement with staff in a wide range of roles was crucial in developing an effective, fit-for-purpose SAMP framework. We set out to co-design the framework with the 19 individual agencies that will be required to complete SAMPs, such as Hospital and Health Services, eHealth Queensland, Health Support Queensland, the Queensland Ambulance Service and associated business units (summarised as HHSs/BUs).
Before developing the framework itself, Aurecon’s early consultation used a wide range of co-design principles to ensure stakeholders provided input and understood the value of the SAMP to them, their communities and their operations. The stakeholder engagement strategy was also crucial in recognising the importance of the relationship between infrastructure planning and clinical services planning.
The project had to actively include stakeholders distributed across the state, some very remote, with varying skill levels in asset management planning and processes at different levels of maturity. Aurecon’s meaningful approach to engaging stakeholders recognised their unique needs, data and skills availability, and any constraints or opportunities to enhance the QH SAMP.
This participatory engagement with stakeholders resulted in very high levels of collaboration, with their expressed needs contributing to the design of the SAMP framework, ensuring the final tools are fit-for-purpose and will be embraced by users.
Aurecon’s engagement plan combined generative and exploratory research ‒ to help define the problem that required a solution ‒ with developmental design. All critical stakeholders, from experts to end-users, were encouraged to participate and were respected as equal partners sharing expertise.
Our desire to ensure stakeholder input was embedded in the end solution resulted in the team creating more than just a technical document by technical people for technical people. Aurecon presented the products in plain English, with a framework of tools to enable easy use of the template and easy interpretation by decision makers.
This evolved through iterative rounds of engagement to become a framework that comprised five documents/tools:
Aurecon’s engagement programme and subsequent design of the SAMP Framework for QH promotes stronger links between health services planning, digital strategies, purchasing and workforce planning. The framework suits QH’s complex service requirements, broad range of assets and diverse delivery environments across the state.
The framework significantly draws on asset information that is already prepared as part of the Asset Maintenance and Management Plan (AMMP) process to minimise duplication of effort, and will ultimately help state-level decision-making around capital investment and infrastructure planning at the highest level.