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Time to Value (TTV)
The period of time, which may be weeks, months, years or decades, from the implementation of an action (such as a maintenance task or a project) to the value return (demonstrated effectiveness) on that action. Return on value can be a desired future state.

TTV must have a line of sight from the time the task is carried out to a vision of the return on that investment (ROI) at some future point.

Listed below are two examples to illustrate the different TTV scenarios that face building owners, managers and operators:
  • We cleaned the dust from our exterior windows and could immediately see the value. [Short TTV]
  • We blew out the dust from our transformer but will not see the value for many years. [Long TTV]
Many maintenance activities, particularly those that are not readily discernible, such as cleaning activities, have a long time to value.

A.  Short TTV
Some maintenance tasks have a demonstrable Return-on-Investment (ROI) and a measurable or immediate Time-to-Value (TTV). 

For example, we wash the atmospheric dirt accumulations on the inaccessible windows and balcony railing glass so that the occupants of the building can immediately enjoy the views from their suites. The TTV is instant and the ROI is indisputable.  This glass cleaning task satisfies the first part of the definition of maintenance in that it keeps the asset’s function above a minimum acceptable level; however, it has no impact on helping the asset to “reach” the end of its useful life or to “extend” that life.

Cleaning the glass is a legitimate maintenance activity that presents a compelling business case to the owners and is therefore seldom compromised in an annual maintenance budget. 

B.  Long TTV
On the other hand, there are many legitimate maintenance tasks that fall into a different category because they do not (yet) have a clearly defined ROI or TTV. They are recommended by manufacturers and consultants but is not accompanied with a quantified statement of probabilities and consequences.

For example, we may de-energize our transformer and blow out the dust every three years (a major maintenance activity) but there is little in the published literature to quantify how this task helps, in a measurable way, to ensure that the transformers will “reach” the end of some pre-defined life expectancy or may, in fact, “extend” the life of that asset.  While it has been empirically demonstrated that dust traps heat, and there is consensus among electrical engineers that the de-energized service is a necessary task that has efficacy, the ROI and TTV remain ill-defined. As a result, the layperson building owners, who approves the maintenance budgets, may be inclined to underfund these types of activities. 

It will take many years, if not decades, for the engineering disciplines to more precisely quantify the ROI and TTV of certain types of maintenance tasks. The author is personally confident that emerging diagnostic technologies will continue to help with this problem of quantification and return a more compelling business case for certain maintenance activities. In the interim, it is helpful to explore the fine distinction between “reaching” life and “extending” life, which provides building owners, managers and operators with meaningful insight into some risk management principles to secure the necessary and sufficient maintenance funding. 

In order to more fully articulate the concepts of “reaching” life and “extending” life, we will also explore the relationship between the Probability of Failure (PoF) and the Consequences of Failure (CoF) of an asset.

A long TTV is a potential maintenance constraint.

Long-life assets typically have a long TTV.

C.  Management Principles
  • Planning Horizon
  • Strategic Plan, Tactical Plan and Operational Plan

Fig. Window washing has an immediate time to value (TTV).

Generator service is routine maintenance.
Fig. Generator service has a long time to value (TTV).

The relationship between the long-range strategic plan and the shorter range tactical plan.
Fig. The relationship between the tactical and strategic planning horizons, where activities in the former will affect the timetable of the latter.

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