Water Journal : Water Journal May 2015
MAY 2015 water 31 Feature article asset management case stuDY 1: new ZealanD transport agencY The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is a Crown entity tasked with promoting safe and functional transport by land, including the responsibility for driver and vehicle licensing. The Network Performance Team at NZTA undertook a customer engagement exercise with a cross-section of NZTA’s customers for the Customer First initiative. The Customer First initiative was about building a better understanding of customer needs, and driving a shift of culture internally to a stronger focus on: • Safer journeys – with an emphasis on reducing death and injury; • Economic growth – reducing costs and improving journey times for users; • Corporate social responsibility – managing the environment and providing a satisfactory whole customer experience. For the Customer First initiative to be successful, it was critical to have a robust and ongoing relationship with NZTA’s stakeholder base for solid two-way communication. The NZTA business was complex and had many components. There was limited understanding within the broader community about what NZTA does and how it does it, as well as the intent and content of the Customer First initiative. To achieve the aims of the project a recognised Collaborative Governance process was applied. The team used the Appreciative Inquiry method of paired interview around a memorable positive journey. While some participants initially struggled with the concept of not immediately exploring the problems with roads or NZTA, there was universal agreement after the activity that it was effective in setting the scene. NZTA found that road users were actually quite keen to find out more and listen to them, especially if NZTA had listened to them first. As road users learned about different perspectives and experiences of other users, they became more aware, and asked different questions. The participants liked and were energised by focusing on what worked (i.e . a positive focus). Building relationships with road users takes some time and was facilitated by telling stories. Attitudes changed as people built understanding of others’ perspectives. The approach improved understanding about NZTA; overcame prejudices and increased respect and appreciation. Staff experienced the community stakeholders in a positive light, felt safe and supported in the engagement activities, and saw clear benefit to their transport planning from the engagement activities. Most importantly, the engagement process started to challenge long- held mindsets about the value customers can add to asset management. case stuDY 2: cItY of sYDneY’s DecentralIseD water master plan The Decentralised Water Master Plan 2012–2030 was developed by the City of Sydney Council and explored the opportunities for providing local recycled water services and water-sensitive urban design to its residents and businesses. To seek input into the development of the master plan within a tight time-frame and budget, two reference groups were created – a Stakeholder Reference Group and a Community Reference Group. The Community Reference Group was set up by inviting community members to provide input into the development of the master plan. The Stakeholder Reference Group consisted of representatives nominated by senior general managers and CEOs of key agencies in the New South Wales Government and local authorities. Four meetings of each of the two reference groups were facilitated by an engagement specialist. The timing of the meetings was aligned with milestones in the master plan development. The overall purpose of the meetings was to not just take the members of both reference groups on the journey of developing the master plan, but to actively seek their creativity and ideas in shaping it. At reference group meetings, the members were presented with the findings and outputs of the master plan analysis phase to seek their input and to respond to any queries. The community members who volunteered to be part of the reference group greatly appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the planning process. They showed a high level of interest in the subject matter, even though they had no previous background in water planning. They also engaged actively in the meetings, showing a high level of willingness to learn. Their feedback and input was helpful in shaping the master plan through getting validation on and development of key assumptions that formed the basis of the concept designs and costing of the various schemes within the master plan. Members of the Stakeholder Reference Group were given first- hand information on the drivers and rationale behind the development of the master plan itself, as well as in development of concepts that formed the key elements of the master plan. Consultants who worked on the technical analysis that underpinned the master plan appreciated the value the input added to their work. Moreover, they expressed a high level of satisfaction in sharing their innovative work that has implications for the whole community. The City of Sydney’s Decentralised Water Master Plan.
Water and CSG
Water Journal June 2015