Ensuring that global infrastructure keeps pace with the demands of economic growth and human wellbeing is anticipated to result in spend of US$57 trillion (2013–30). Specific to the UK power sector, redesigning the electrical transmission network to support decarbonisation of the economy will result in an estimated spend in the region of US$50 billion (2010–20). The challenge within the infrastructure sector is in ensuring that investment productivity is maximized and the appropriate assets are built. One approach being used are decision support tools (DSTs) aimed at assisting the optimum asset choice, by considering a range of costs across the life of the asset. However, there is a gap in ensuring the sustainability of these tools: that is, ensuring that after adoption they continue to offer the same value. The research presented in this paper considers ‘performance decay’ of DSTs and proposes an approach to ensure they remain ‘fit for purpose’. Our research proposes that adopting a quality management system approach will combat performance decay, and move current DSTs from ‘static’ to ‘live’ and evolving states. Within this paper a review of literature is provided. Scenarios are used to explore possible changes in performance, and an industry exemplar used to demonstrate the plausibility of performance decay. An approach to address performance decay by embedding quality management systems techniques is then introduced.

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