Skip to content

Six key factors identify why so many municipal asset management projects fail

Presented by Gary Zhang
in Infrastructure
June, 2024

Sponsored by MRF Geosystems

In the pursuit of digitally transforming municipal asset management, the path forward can be daunting. A new white paper by MRF Geosystems focuses on a proven approach for municipalities to clearly chart and navigate their way to success.

Six key factors were identified as contributing to the failure of asset management projects, and a robust methodology to overcome these challenges has been developed.

Welcome to the Hall Banner Ad 2

1. Project Complexity

Small to medium-sized municipalities often struggle with the complexity of managing a diverse range of assets, from roads to water systems to buildings and vehicles.

Very often, internal staff are relied upon to manage the project. High project complexity and poorly trained project managers rarely lead to a successful project.

2. Step-by-Step Execution

An asset management project requires building a comprehensive asset inventory, digitizing engineering drawings, assessing asset conditions, reporting problems, and asset lifetime modelling. If one of the steps is not done right, the project will fail.

3. Interdepartmental Consensus

Collaboration between different municipal departments is crucial, and the difficulty in building consensus among departments with diverse priorities is real.

If the stakeholders do not fully support the project, it is impossible for the project to become a success.

4. Budget Constraints

Budget constraints often lead to projects being assigned to existing staff, causing delays and incomplete implementations.

5. User Adoption and Training

Municipal staff’s own time constraints and hesitance in learning new software is an all too common and serious challenge.

6. Lack of Well-Trained Professionals

There is a shortage of well-trained asset management professionals, especially in rural municipalities.

Secret to Success

Managing assets within a mapping environment allows staff to catalogue and manage assets. An integrated solution allows for personalized filters and management panels to categorize and review all assets.

There are only a few companies that have developed a fully integrated asset management solution. The MRF Geosystems solution packages a number of products together, including:

  • web-based geographic information systems (GIS)
  • mobile GIS
  • automatic vehicle location (AVL)
  • light detection and ranging (LiDAR)
  • workorders
  • timesheets

With an integrated solution, products are designed to work together, helping to avoid additional setup costs. And, each solution is custom tailored to each municipality’s needs and budget.

To read the full white paper, visit

Municipal World Executive and Essentials Plus Members: You might also be interested in Dustin Carey’s article: Building a climate-resilient asset management culture.

Gary Zhang is the president of MRF Geosystems

Related resource materials:

Next Story
See All Feature Stories

It’s not just about housing. We need innovations in municipal finance