Capital planning tool streamlines portfolio management
- By Rutrell Yasin
- Dec 12, 2013
Government capital planning professionals have a new tool to help them visualize, track and allocate funds and resources.
Decision Lens Capital Assets is designed for government and industry capital planners working in transportation, mass transit, facilities, water, and public works and utilities. Based upon Decision Lens’ cloud-based prioritization and resource optimization software, Capital Assets gives agencies a more systematic and repeatable approach to ensure that capital projects are aligned with overall agency objectives, said John Saaty, Decision Lens’ president.
The Maryland Transit Administration used Decision Lens software to revise its capital planning process across eight divisions, integrating and aligning the conflicting priorities of all the decision-makers with the agency’s goals.
Capital Assets uses the same prioritization process as Decision Lens software, but incorporates features that are more useful for capital planning, Saaty said. Those features include:
- Capital planning decision blueprints are industry-specific templates that incorporate industry best practices, as well as input from industry experts, trusted journals and research.
- Resource balancer helps organizations better align funding with resources. Often organizations have the funds for a project but managers do not have the project management and engineering people to successfully execute the project. For example, a few years ago, the Maryland Transit Administration, which has a $600 million capital and program improvement budget, could not spend $200 million because of resource constraints, Satty noted. The resource balancer can allocate resources, showing where the project bottlenecks are, he said.
- Geographic mapping gives planners a visual view into their capital project portfolio, giving them additional insights. Planners in transit and transportation departments can overlay geospatial information about voting districts that gives them better insight on areas that might be underfunded for improvements. Capital Assets also incorporates visual analytics like bubble charts and Pareto tables, making it easier to spot trends and answer questions.
Decision Lens software is delivered in a software-as-a-service model and is used across government to help set priorities and allocate resources, Saaty told GCN in August. Other government agencies using the software include Homeland Security and Agriculture departments; U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy; the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.