Victoria releases digital engineering guidance for public servants

By Shannon Jenkins

March 11, 2020


The Victorian government has created a new resource to guide the planning, design, delivery and maintenance of the state’s infrastructure projects.

Launched last week, the Victorian Digital Asset Strategy calls for the use of 3D visuals and 4D modelling to allow infrastructure experts to be “smarter, safer and cheaper” when building assets.

The new digital engineering approach aims to make building and maintaining essential infrastructure including schools, hospitals, and roads easier and more cost effective, according to Treasurer Tim Pallas. The core elements of digital engineering include a standardised classification system, open data format, object-based models, spatially located data, and common data environment across all asset phases.

Developed by the Office of Projects Victoria in consultation with contractors, industry, the academic sector, and government agencies, the strategy has three parts aimed at three different audiences. Part A is intended for departmental secretaries and executives, Part B targets asset, facility, and portfolio managers, and Part C is aimed at project delivery teams.

The section specifically for secretaries outlines how the strategy builds on various policies, Acts, and strategies that they are required to follow. It also highlights how the strategy aligns with, and responds to, national and international principles and strategies, alongside other digital engineering frameworks.

Strategy priorities detailed in Part A include:

  1. Effective creation and management of digital engineering data and information, for efficient and sustainable physical asset delivery and whole-life management across Victoria,
  2. Enable and maximise the use of digital engineering data and information,
  3. Inform and support departments, industry, and practitioners on key aspects of the digital engineering,
  4. Innovate approaches and provide insights to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of digital engineering,
  5. Embrace the sustainability of digital engineering through the effective and efficient delivery and management of major assets across Victoria.

The strategy also outlines five steps to success in the organisation, including:

    1. Assign the role of a VDAS Champion. They are responsible for the implementation of the strategy,
    2. Develop an implementation roadmap, which considers the organisation’s digital asset level of maturity as compared to the future vision of the organisation,
    3. Develop and communicate the organisation’s information requirements and asset information requirements. These should align with the organisation’s purpose, vision, and asset management approach,
    4. Implement a project with the strategy, that is aligned with the roadmap,
    5. Review the performance of the implementation against the plan and refine the approach accordingly. Make the strategy “business as usual” with the creation and adoption of a digital engineering policy and standard.

The Office of Projects Victoria has also created a suite of resources to better explain the strategy and assist with its application. Projects Victoria CEO Kevin Doherty argues the strategy is an “invaluable resource” which will enable the state to develop and apply digital engineering assets to create a smart and safer built environment.

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