Background

The National Park Service (NPS) provides value to the American public through its mission to preserve and provide access to US natural and cultural resources. This value depends on the safe operation and availability of NPS facility assets. The National Park Service has cared for our national parks since 1916. They safeguard these facilities and special places with more than 330 million visitors every year. The NPS mission is preserve the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

Situation

The National Parks Service (NPS) was seeking to optimize its facility management capabilities. NPS current practice uses the Facility Condition Index (FCI) as one of the main components for evaluating and prioritizing maintenance requirements. There were several concerns regarding the FCI’s accuracy addressing maintenance requirements and determining priorities.

  • What are acceptable FCI ranges across the different asset types?
  • Is there a better measure of condition that better measures investment performance than FCI? What other metrics could NPS utilize to measure facility investment performance?
  • Is there a portfolio level strategy for evaluating condition? For investment performance?
  • Heritage Assets can be assumed to never reach the end of life and will be managed in perpetuity barring disaster. It is unlikely that these facilities would be replaced. What are options to consider for evaluating the condition and investments of Heritage Assets?

Approach

DL performed a study and produced a report with recommended steps to improve NPS’s Facility Condition Index (FCI) and facility investment performance. The intent was to propose options for the NPS to better evaluate both the condition and investment performance. DL proposed actionable ideas with the desire to adjust metrics in a meaningful and acceptable manner that support the NPS management goals.

First, we recommended NPS use the asset management system defined in ISO 55000 – Asset Management Overview and Principles and ISO 55001 – Asset Management System Requirements to guide facility management capability improvements. This strategy builds on NPS’s strong asset management tradition and provides a structure to implement improvements that measurably improve both NPS mission achievement and facility performance, are sustainable, and improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of facility management operations to include reducing labor burdens from current levels. Key asset management system terms and alignment with NPS operating approaches as shown:

This improves facility resource decision making and ensures it aligns with NPS objectives as detailed in documents such as the NPS System Plan. From this point, a ‘Strategic Asset Management Plan’ is used to translate organizational objectives into asset management objectives that establish measurable facility performance objectives. Achievement of these objectives is managed through subordinate ‘Asset Management Plans’ that guide resource execution used to derive value from facilities needed to achieve NPS organizational objectives. Supporting asset management system standards also include requirements for leadership, decision making, planning, risk management, communications, resources, supporting capabilities, data, operations, performance management, and continual improvement.

Results

NPS study objectives were incorporated to evaluate the FCI inclusive of heritage asset idiosyncrasies and seek opportunities, new methods or improvements to developing portfolio-level strategies to evaluate asset condition and investment performance. Three principal recommendations resulted: Disciplined Asset Management, Park Facility Performance Index, and Heritage Asset Replacement Values. With these systems and structures in place, NPS can incrementality introduce and advance its facility management capabilities and stewardship of NPS assets through better management of limited resources.