Infrastructure is presenting some significant global challenges. One issue is that, while it is often seen as performing well, it tends to do so against only against limited terms of reference and short-term objectives. The available literature suggests that, to date, performance has largely been approached from the point of view of a project, or through addressing latent failures arising from specific sources of shock or failure. In contrast, the literature is sparse in which these matters are examined from the perspective of service-led delivery at the system level (the system comprising assets, projects and networks each at different stages of their life cycle and variously affecting one another as they develop, then age). Yet this is arguably the level relevant to, and the reality of, much of the realm of day-to-day public infrastructure management. This apparent gap in infrastructure research has been explored through a series of interviews that looked at different levels in organisations, sectors and countries. These interviews test the presumption that a problem therefore exists, and sought to identify some of the factors involved. In so doing, this research highlights an issue with the alignment between infrastructure governance and day-to-day operations, specifically the feedforward/feedback mechanisms that span the governance/operational interface.
Towards long-term infrastructure system performance
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