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34 One unique aspect of this first element was that prior to per- the consultant played a critical role during the procurement forming these tasks, the consultant was required to develop process by answering questions during the entire procurement several documents that established Capital Metro and con- process, evaluating and ranking the proposers, performing a sultant responsibilities and governed the work effort through- cost analysis of all proposals, and providing a physical presence out the entire project. These documents were as follows: on site with Capital Metro project staff, especially the Steering Committee. The first three elements of the consultant's scope A detailed work plan that describes each milestone/ were completed as of June 2006. deliverable (and was also used to determine payment mile- The fourth portion of the consultant's effort, which was stones) and the roles and responsibilities of each consultant ongoing as of January 2007, is implementation assistance. team member. Given the complexity of the implementation, which is being A detailed schedule that reflects the detailed work plan, phased by mode (bus rapid transit [BRT], paratransit, rail, and identifies the estimated amount of time to be spent by and regular fixed-route bus), the implementation assistance internal Capital Metro and consultant staff. is organized according to discrete administrative and imple- A communications plan that documents the methods that mentation management activities. For each task and subtask were used/are being used to communicate the work done on in the consultant's scope of work, the consultant's and Capital the ITS Consulting Services project to the consultant team Metro's responsibilities are described along with the descrip- and Capital Metro. This plan defines who needs to receive tion of the work effort. information about the ITS Consulting Services project, There is a designated "Project Champion" as well as a identifies information that needs to be disseminated, out- Steering Committee for the ITS program at Capital Metro, lines how project information will be communicated, and giving the project significant visibility within the agency. Each determines when information needs to be communicated. milestone of its ITS project must be approved by the Capi- A risk management plan that describes methods for iden- tal Metro Project Manager and Steering Committee before tifying, analyzing, prioritizing, and tracking risk drivers; payment to the consultant and vendor. Capital Metro's developing risk-mitigation plans; and planning for ade- organized and structured approach to its ITS planning, quate resources to handle risk. Further, it assigns specific procurement, and deployment has allowed the agency to responsibilities for the management of risk and prescribes proceed successfully with a complex technology deployment the documenting, monitoring, and reporting processes to while maintaining focus on day-to-day operations and work- be followed. ing on other very high visibility projects, such as the imple- A quality assurance (QA) plan that describes the strategy mentation of the "All Systems Go!" plan.45 and methods that the consultant will employ to ensure that the ITS Consulting Services project is being managed and 2.2 Methods for Improving the conducted in a sound and reasonable way. Also, the plan Success of Technology will ensure that the project's deliverables are of accept- Implementations able quality before they are delivered to the Capital Metro project manager. Finally, the plan: This section summarizes obstacles faced by public trans- Identifies the QA responsibilities of the project team; portation agencies in implementing advanced technologies Defines project reviews and audits and how they will be and identifies a number of general strategies and specific conducted; and best practices that agencies can employ to overcome many Lists the activities, processes, and deliverables that of those obstacles. The choice of obstacles and recommen- Capital Metro will review and audit. dations to discuss here is based on several telephone inter- views and a focus group with technology managers and GMs The second task was for the consultant to "develop a scope from public transportation agencies of varying sizes; a re- of services necessary to procure the ITS components selected view of literature; and the experiences of the project team by Capital Metro."44 The third task was to provide assistance in work with agencies on technology projects around the during the procurement process, including developing a set United States. of evaluation criteria upon which vendor proposals would be judged, developing an agenda and guidelines for vendor interviews, and providing a written assessment of each pro- 45 According to the Capital Metro website (http://allsystemsgo.capmetro.org/ posal from a technical and financial perspective. Further, all-systems-go.shtml), "the plan addresses the pressures of regional population growth in the Greater Austin area, estimated to double in the next 25 years. Thousands of citizens have helped create the plan, which includes Capital MetroRail, Capital MetroRapid, expanded Local and Express bus services, more 44 Ibid, Exhibit F, p. 4. Park & Ride locations and possible future rail services in Central Texas."

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35 Recommendations for overcoming obstacles and maximiz- at other agencies, is often done "off-the-clock" by individual ing the benefits of technologies are divided into two general employees who are personally interested in technology. categories. The first category of recommendations covers the overarching strategies of enterprise architecture planning, sys- Most serious obstacles are primarily non-technical. The tems engineering, and change management. The second cat- most commonly cited and most challenging obstacles are egory of recommendations identifies specific best practices in related to various "people issues," rather than technology a number of areas, ranging from institutional to technical. per se. These people issues include organizational culture, leadership, "turfism" among departments within agencies, and community attitudes about transit. 2.2.1 Obstacles to Successful Technology Implementation Many obstacles are deep-seated. Many obstacles to tech- nology exploitation are deeply rooted in the overall paradigm Part of the impetus for this study is the reality that transit for public transportation in the United States. The TCRP "New agencies have struggled to take full advantage of technologies, Paradigms" research identified a number of problems associ- even mature technologies. One aim of the research was to im- ated with traditional approaches to providing transit services, prove understanding of the obstacles to taking full advantage including these ones related to technology implementation:46 of technology and to concisely summarize them. This sum- mary then serves as a context for the real focus of this research, Fragmented responsibilities, conflicting policies and goals, which is the identification of proven, successful practices for and separate or discrete funding mechanisms across and overcoming those obstacles. within transportation agencies. This summary of obstacles is organized into two major sec- Organizational culture and dynamics posing barriers to tions. The first presents major findings and the second describes change and deep-seated, change-resistant perspectives and specific obstacles. attitudes on the part of many industry managers and many in the labor force. 2.2.1.1 Major Findings Related to Obstacles The failure of the quality of the customer experience to fully emerge as the dominant focus of most agencies and the con- Even "successful" agencies face serious obstacles. The tinued emphasis of operational, output-based performance interviews focused on agencies considered to be particularly measures. successful in adopting advanced technologies. Yet, even these A history of slow adoption of advanced technologies, or agencies reported facing many challenges and obstacles, not stated conversely, the absence of any widespread prece- all of which they feel they have completely overcome. This is dent or expectation for technology innovation throughout evidence of the serious challenge presented by technology- the industry. related obstacles. The international agencies and UPS also acknowledged The obstacles are widely understood. Failure to recog- technology-related obstacles, but they did not emphasize them nize obstacles is certainly not a prime factor in preventing as strongly as the U.S. agencies. This suggests that the inter- transit agencies from taking greater advantage of technology. national agencies and the commercial shipper are farther along Acute awareness of obstacles and the ability to articulate their in addressing those challenges. Such a conclusion would be nature and impact was uniform among the agencies inter- consistent with the beliefs of many in the transit industry who viewed. There was also a high degree of correlation between feel that U.S. transit lags behind the private sector and Euro- the obstacles identified in the interviews and those that have pean agencies in the area of technology utilization. The gen- been well documented. That documentation includes the erally greater support for transit in Europe and the fact that literature and agency forums like the May 3, 2005, summit technology is a prime means for UPS to establish competitive of public transportation agency GMs sponsored by APTA advantage are likely explanations for such a gap. and ITS America (a summary of the summit is included in Appendix B). U.S. agencies lack the resources to systematically track emerging technology. Most agencies expend their available technology resources on current technologies and do not have 2.2.1.2 Specific Obstacles resources to devote to anticipating emerging technologies. Many of the obstacles identified in the literature were also To the extent that agencies do investigate emerging technol- discussed by interviewees. However, presenting summaries ogy, it's usually not a sanctioned, supported, and structured "agency" activity. Rather, the investigation, consisting of read- ing technology publications and networking with colleagues 46 Stanley et al., TCRP Report 97; Cambridge Systematics Inc., TCRP Report 53.

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36 from each source ensures a comprehensive listing and pro- A number of the agencies interviewed had few comments vides insights into what agencies perceive to be the most serious related to the long-term (10- to 20-year) outlook for tech- obstacles (the ones they mention in the interview). nologies. In large part, this reflects--even among these agen- Table 4 summarizes obstacles from the literature organized cies that recognize the value of technology--a shortage of into three major categories: institutional obstacles, technical resources. As one interviewee put it "We'd love to think obstacles, and financial obstacles. Many of the items in Table 4 20 years out, but we're not there yet; our focus is on today were compiled from Mitretek as part of their work with the and the next couple of years." National ITS Cost-Benefit Database. Shortage of expert personnel. A shortage of expert per- Obstacles cited by U.S. interviewees are summarized below. sonnel can lead to an over-reliance on consultants, which creates additional problems. The OUTREACH represen- Inadequate funding. A shortage of funding for all aspects tative emphasized how continuing to rely heavily on the of technology-related implementation and operation, in- same limited number of consultants tends to produce the cluding planning and especially operations and mainte- same, traditional solutions. One U.S. interviewee noted nance. The King County Metro interviewee noted that that planning and implementation/operation of tech- technologies are of tremendous benefit but can become nology projects is sometimes split between two different a "burden," e.g., resources and effort must be continually groups within transit agencies. As a result, there can be a expended to develop and update policies and procedures, tendency to "chase" technology funding without clear oper- to maintain the systems, and so forth. The OUTREACH ational objectives and, once secured, "dump" the project (Santa Clara County, California, paratransit provider) on technology staff. Those personnel may not have the interviewee cited software maintenance agreements as a same vision for the project and may lack the capabilities or particular cost concern. One interviewee noted that most resources to maintain it. agency board members view technology as "nice, but not "Turfism." Internally, among agency business units, and necessary." externally, among agencies, turfism inhibits coordination Table 4. Obstacles identified in the literature. Category Obstacle Issues in the mapping of agency goals and objectives with their ITS business needs; Problems in coordinating with private agencies providing infrastructure; Issues in interagency coordination for ITS data sharing and management; Inability of in-house technical staff to handle data storage management and analysis; Issues in finalizing installation locations for physical infrastructure such as ticket vending machines and dynamic message signs (DMSs); Institutional Issues in the functional distribution of work in integrated/coordinated services, e.g., Obstacles farecard distribution and revenue settlement in universal fare systems; Issues in providing regionally coordinated services such as intermodal traveler information; Lack of appropriate staff skills and training; Poorly specified roles and responsibilities related to the project(s); Lack of management support for technology innovation; and Aversion to risk taking. Issues with the accuracy and reliability of currently used GPS-based navigation systems; Issues with the accuracy and sensor durability in APC systems; Problems in using non-relational or proprietary databases, which are expensive and Technical difficult to interface with; Obstacles Problems in interfacing new deployments to legacy systems; Issues in obtaining all desired functionalities in the software purchased from vendors; Accuracy issues associated with the traffic control systems in providing priority to transit vehicles; and Issues with ITS data processing, storage, and management. Ongoing cost of private communication networks, for example, AT&TCellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) network cost problems faced by TriMet in Portland, OR; Cost of deployment and O&M associated with on-board and wayside equipment (e.g., AVL, APC, MDT, and DMS); Financial Software purchase and maintenance cost; Obstacles Reliability issues in hardware and software purchased from external vendors; Problems with allocation of costs (funding distribution) for projects with regional importance; and Issues in the fund allocation to ITS projects in case of limited budget.

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37 and contributes to stove-piped applications, redundancy/ King County Metro interviewee noted the importance of inconsistency, and inefficiency. The OUTREACH repre- "organizational self-image," an image of the agency as will- sentative cited "tremendous bureaucracy" as a major threat ing to take some risks and dedicated to improvement and to innovative technology projects, especially those projects utilizing the best available technology. One U.S. agency in- involving multiple agencies, noting that "money flows terviewee stated that "if you can't get your board and the through so many layers" and is often not available to those staff to come along, you're dead." with good ideas for how to use it. The Ride-On represen- Less than fully supportive community. Lack of commu- tative noted that IT and ITS have traditionally been differ- nity support for transit overall, especially for the expen- ent groups within many organizations and that coopera- diture of transit resources on technology, can be an issue. tion has not always been as good as it could be. The UPS Several interviewees, including King County Metro, representative noted that the organizational changes they Portland TriMet, and OUTREACH indicated that the have made over the last 5 to 10 years to better align tech- overall support for public transportation and general nology investments with business decisions and to develop support for advanced technologies in their regions con- cross-functional teams to guide technology projects have tribute to their success. They, and other agencies, such as greatly improved coordination. However, they also noted the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, also point to the that "turfism" was a major challenge and to some extent presence of information technology-oriented businesses continues to be one. and universities, with whom they partner, as an impor- Long project timelines. Long project timelines delay tant factor. benefits and further hasten the already short life spans of FTA policy on National ITS Architecture. Difficulties in many technologies. As the King County Metro interviewee understanding how to comply with, and carry out com- noted, technology is constantly changing and is therefore a pliance with, the FTA National ITS Architecture policy on "moving target," and long project timelines compound the transit projects. One interviewee also expressed concern challenge. The OUTREACH representative stated that that, especially in the past, FTA funded a lot of technology "by the time a project is fully up and running, it's all ob- projects that were not well thought out by the local imple- solete and needs to be upgraded." The interviewee from menters, that did not include a concept of operations, and the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) in Columbus, for which project life cycle costs had not been considered. Ohio, summarized the situation as "chasing your tail." This interviewee thought that there had not been enough A shortage of leaders. There are not enough "champions" "enforcement" of the FTA architecture policy and that many and "visionaries," especially among senior management agencies' architecture efforts have merely been a "check off," and agency boards. The King County Metro representa- not a meaningful exercise. According to this interviewee, tive stated that "individuals make the difference, not the "people (agencies) have figured it out and they're thinking process for technology development and implementation." `why should I develop an architecture and use a systems He noted that his predecessor "personally invested a lot of engineering process?' or more importantly, why they should time and energy; he had a vision with technology as a major do it in a resource-intensive, meaningful manner rather than focus; he created `fertile soil' for innovative thinking-- simply go through the motions necessary to demonstrate `just add water.' " The COTA interviewee noted that "it's compliance?" all about the leader." The OUTREACH interviewee under- Complex, resource-intensive procurement processes. scored the importance of visionary leadership: "You have Procurement of transit technologies is a major challenge to have someone who is entrepreneurial; motivated; some- for agencies. The procurement processes are long, demand one willing to do the `full court press' to build support and considerable attention and expertise, and have major reper- funding; . . . somebody has to be thinking about it (use of cussions for the ultimate success of the deployments. One technologies) all the time; have an innate interest." One in- of the factors that makes procurement challenging is that terviewee's comments suggest that the advantages inherent many agencies expect to find COTS products that meet all in having pro-technology leadership may in fact represent of their needs and preferences, including the ones unique a "fragile" security. He noted that agency leadership comes to their agency. Given the relatively small public trans- and goes, and the loss of a pro-technology leader can seri- portation market and the pervasiveness of agency-specific ously impact an agency's technology program. This suggests requirements, very seldom are completely off-the-shelf that it can be difficult to fully "institutionalize" support for products available. technology, that is, to generate a supportive structure not Small vendor markets. These limit competition, perpetuate dependent on any given leader or champion. proprietary and "custom" applications, and suppress inno- Less than fully supportive agency culture/climate. Agency vation and movement toward standardization and inter- culture can be risk averse and non-entrepreneurial. The operability. The OUTREACH representative in particular

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38 expressed concern that the small market for transit-specific benefits and cost-effectiveness of technology investment.47 (especially paratransit-specific) technology means that noth- EAP is a more overarching strategy than SE because EAP ing is truly off-the-shelf; everything has to be customized and focuses on the entire organization and establishing the con- due to the idiosyncratic, proprietary software, agencies must text and strategy necessary to support specific technology de- continue to pay vendors to update and customize technolo- ployments (SE is a technique typically applied to an individual gies. In the words of a WMATA interviewee, technologies for technology implementation). EAP is the starting point for public transportation have not become "commercialized," a strong technology deployment process and should pre- they are not yet "commodities." The interviewee from Ride- cede SE sequentially. EAP clearly identifies the organization's On noted that vendors seem intent on selling new products business mission, goals, objectives, and strategic plans and rather than on providing replacement parts over the long describes the physical and logical architectures for the tech- term. He stated that since there is no backward compatibility nologies that directly support the mission, goals, and so forth. (stemming from a lack of standards), new components can- By establishing the basis for technology investments in rela- not be plugged into older systems, meaning that the entire tion to the organization's overall mission and direction, EAP system must be replaced. provides the necessary foundation for subsequent technology deployment activities. SE is a structured, disciplined approach to designing and 2.2.2 Overarching Best Practices implementing complex systems. The concept has been around for Overcoming Obstacles for over 50 years and has its roots in the development of and Maximizing Benefits large, complex systems for the Department of Defense.48 SE 2.2.2.1 Embracing Enterprise Architecture Planning has since become commonplace for technology systems in and Systems Engineering business. The fundamentals of SE consist of a structured, se- quential, multi-step process. Key steps in that process include This section discusses one of the major conclusions reached the following: over the course of this study, drawing upon all of the re- search performed and supported by the cumulative experi- Development of user needs reflecting all stakeholders who ence of the project team in working with transit agencies to will use or be impacted by the system; plan and implement technologies. That finding is that if Development of detailed and comprehensive system re- transit agencies are to improve their success with technologies, quirements to address all of the needs; they must meaningfully embrace and effectively practice more Development of a concept of operations; rigorous, structured, and thorough planning and implementa- Development of a system architecture; tion techniques. Rigorous verification, validation, and testing throughout Two such techniques--which themselves encompass a wide range of specific practices--are enterprise architecture implementation in which system performance is evalu- planning (EAP) and systems engineering (SE). These tech- ated against (traced back to) the original user needs and niques have been proven over time in other organizations requirements. and businesses--including the military, banking, and freight logistics--as providing tremendous benefits in improving Scalability is a key benefit of both the EAP and SE techniques. technology deployment success. This conclusion is also sup- For large, complex systems and organizations, EAP and SE ported by U.S. DOT's recognition of the need for SE for processes can be very large, very resource-intensive under- ITS and, in 2001, their requirement for SE. Finally, the small takings. However, the logic, basic approaches, and benefits of but growing number of positive experiences with these tech- both techniques are not altered or diminished when scaled niques in the U.S. transit industry is also evidence of their down, and for small, simple projects or organizations, utiliz- beneficial effect. ing these techniques does not require tremendous resources. Despite the 2001 U.S. DOT requirement for SE, some tran- Recognition of the value of EAP and SE for transporta- sit agencies do not fully understand the technique and have tion. Although EAP and SE techniques are not yet widely not meaningfully embraced and practiced it. The purpose of or sufficiently understood or practiced by many public trans- this discussion is to underscore the importance of these tech- portation agencies, they are beginning to penetrate the over- niques, provide some perspective on how they have been viewed by many transit agencies, and identify some possible strategies for stimulating their utilization. 47 Hwang et al., Advanced Public Transportation Systems. 48 Mitretek Systems, Inc., Building Quality Intelligent Transportation Systems What are EAP and SE? EAP is a state-of-the art strategic Through Systems Engineering, FHWA-OP-02-046, prepared for the ITS JPO planning process that is specifically intended to maximize the (Washington, D.C.: U.S. DOT, April 2002).

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39 all transportation environment. One example of increasing full benefit of how technology can make our transportation fa- awareness is the inclusion of EAP in Advanced Public Trans- cilities more efficient. In many cases, we are still struggling with mainstreaming ITS into the traditional transportation planning portation Systems: The State of the Art--Update 2006. In that and project development process. Several ITS programs have document, EAP is identified as having important benefits and started with the best of intentions but have failed to produce is described as a method deployed by "agencies with state-of- their envisioned goals. the-art strategic planning processes." Generally, the benefits of EAP are to "improve the success and cost-effectiveness of IT The report goes on to identify the lack of consistent, struc- and ITS investments." Specifically, "when EAP is made part tured project development processes as a key reason for failed of the agency's strategic planning and management processes, or underperforming ITS investments and recommends SE. it establishes an agency-wide roadmap to help the agency The report identifies the following benefits of increased uti- achieve its mission by supporting optimal performance of lization of SE by transportation agencies: its core business processes within an efficient information technology environment."49 Improve the quality of ITS; Broader recognition of the value of EAP is reflected in the Reduce the risk of cost and schedule overruns; federal government's many EAP-related activities. These activ- Gain participation of multiple agencies and a diverse set ities include development of a Federal Enterprise Architecture of stakeholders; Framework in 1999 and, commencing in 2002, the subsequent Maintain, operate, and evolve the ITS; efforts to develop the Federal Enterprise Architecture.50 Maintain consistency with the regional and state ITS There are a number of examples that point toward the architectures; increasing awareness and promotion of SE for transporta- Provide flexibility in procurement options for the agencies; tion. A very recent example is the January 2007 publication of and Systems Engineering for Intelligent Transportation Systems-- Keep current with rapid evolution in technology and needs An Introduction for Transportation Professionals, sponsored of transportation. jointly by FHWA and FTA.51 The report does not specifically comment on, or link its purpose and objectives to, the histor- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)'s ically slow penetration of SE into transportation. However, vigorous support of SE is another example of the concept's the report's very existence and targeting of a "traditional" trans- validation and penetration into the transportation environ- portation planning and engineering audience (as opposed to ment. FDOT has recently developed guidance for "Devel- systems engineers, per se) seem to respond to that reality. oping a Project Systems Engineering Management Plan."53 Another example, and one that explicitly acknowledges FDOT identifies systems engineering as a necessary and use- the slow penetration of SE into transportation, is the joint ful tool to manage the increasing complexity and risk of ITS development of the 2005 "Systems Engineering Guidebook deployments. FDOT requires SE not only for FHWA-funded for ITS" by the California Department of Transportation projects (per FHWA Rule 940), but for all projects on the (Caltrans) and the Federal Highway Administration California Florida Intrastate Highway System, regardless of funding Division.52 The same sorts of conclusions about public sector source. FDOT states that utilizing SE "maximizes the quality transportation agencies' difficulties in taking advantage of of the system being implemented while minimizing the budget technologies that have motivated this study are also cited and time required for its completion."54 in the report's foreword: Although not necessarily widely and vigorously practiced by all public transportation agencies, SE and its value have been Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is now over 15 years recognized in the transit literature. For example, Advanced old as a program of operational initiatives. Over this time, Intel- Public Transportation Systems: The State of the Art--Update ligent Transportation Systems have gradually evolved, becoming more complex and integrated. It seems, though, that we are still 2006 states, "the systems engineering component to FTA's in the infant stages of ITS developments. We have not seen the Policy on the National ITS Architecture is extremely important when developing ITS projects. In fact, it becomes an essential component at all stages of the project's life cycle."55 49 Hwang et al., Advanced Public Transportation Systems. 50 The Chief Information Officers Council, "Federal Enterprise Architecture Frame- work, Version 1.1" (September 1999), www.cio.gov/documents/fedarch1.pdf. For one example of these efforts, see www.whitehouse.gov/omb/egov/a-1-fea.html. 53 A. Sanyal, "New Guidance for Developing a Project Systems Engineering 51 National ITS Architecture Team, System Engineering for Intelligent Trans- Management Plan," SunGuide Disseminator (Tallahassee, FL: Florida Depart- portation Systems--An Introduction for Transportation Professionals, FHWA- ment of Transportation, Traffic Engineering and Operations Office, September HOP-07-069 (Washington, D.C.: FHWA, FTA, U.S. DOT, January 2007). 2006), www.floridaits.com/Newsletters/2006/09-2006/09-2006.htm#PSEMP. 52 54 Ibid. California Department of Transportation, Division of Research & Innovation "Systems Engineering Guidebook for ITS," Version 1.1 (February 14, 2005). 55 Hwang et al., Advanced Public Transportation Systems.

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40 Historical experience with EAP and SE in transit. SE understanding and compliance with the requirements were and the basic philosophy of EAP were implicit in the U.S. promoted through the following: DOT's approach to advanced technologies such as ITS from the beginning. The development of the first National ITS A series of guidance documents, such as the 2002 U.S. Architecture in the early 1990s itself represents an SE exer- DOT report, "Building Quality Intelligent Transportation cise, and the architecture's basic structure, organized around Systems Through Systems Engineering" and the 2003 user services (derived from user needs) and requirements, "National ITS Architecture Consistency Policy for Transit reflects a central SE concept. Likewise, U.S. DOT's "IVHS Projects--Additional Grantee Guidance."58 Planning and Project Development Process, Version 1.0" a Courses offered by the National Transit Institute (NTI). guidance document from 1993 (which even predates the The FTA Architecture Oversight Assistance and Technical term "ITS"--IVHS stands for intelligent vehicle highway Assistance Program, which provided FTA-funded consult- system) and all subsequent ITS strategic planning guidance ant support to agencies. documents emphasize the link between an organization's mission and business goals and objectives and its technology Despite the availability of these resources, by 2002 most investment decisions.56 transit agencies still did not fully understand, or buy into, Although EAP and SE concepts were implicit from the SE. This conclusion is based on the extensive ITS project work beginning in the U.S. DOT ITS program, they were not obvious that the consultant research team has performed with tran- or required and were not recognized by many practitioners. sit agencies around the country, their experience in provid- Nearly all transportation agency personnel--most of whom ing FTA architecture oversight and technical assistance, and had no SE experience--found system architecture alien. Few their experience delivering NTI courses on the FTA National of them recognized these techniques for what they would Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Architecture Policy come to be--nothing less than a revolution, a paradigm shift on Transit Projects and systems engineering. Most agencies-- in how transportation agencies must approach technology and nearly all of the smaller agencies--continued to approach investment, both to comply with federal requirements and to complex technology projects in the same way that they ap- improve their success with technologies. proached traditional equipment procurement projects. Not As the National ITS Architecture evolved over more than unexpectedly, many transit technology investments continued a decade, it increasingly incorporated and emphasized EAP and to either fail outright or fail to live up to their full potential. SE concepts, such as the inclusion of a "concept of operations" Awareness and application of EAP as a formal strategy in for regional architectures. However, even as EAP and SE prin- transit has arguably been even slower than SE, as EAP has ciples and techniques penetrated deeper into U.S. DOT's ITS lacked the visibility provided to SE by virtue of its inclusion program, there was still no explicit, formal, "introduction" of in the FHWA Rule and the FTA Policy. EAP and SE strategies to transportation organizations or man- dates for their use. This changed, or the mandate part of it Current transit use of EAP and SE. Today, several years at least, in April 2001 with issuance of the Final Rule on ITS after the 2001 FTA Policy and 2 years past the 4-year deadline Architecture and Standards Conformity (Rule 940) and FTA's for compliance with the FTA Policy, some agencies have begun Final Policy on Architecture and Standards Conformity.57 to "find their way" to SE and EAP. It is unclear how much of a Although SE was still not unveiled as a technique or philoso- factor these agencies' own prior experiences and realization of phy in any comprehensive way, both FHWA's Rule and FTA's the need for a more rigorous approach was in their discovery Policy did specifically identify and require use of a seven-step of SE and how much of a factor the FTA Policy was. "systems engineering approach" to designing federally funded BART's BAP project is a prime example of an agency and ITS projects. FHWA's Rule and FTA's Policy did not, however, project that is rigorously applying SE and incorporating EAP establish any similar requirement for EAP. principles. Appendix A, which summarizes a focus group con- Compliance with FTA's Policy relied on agency self- ducted for this study, contains a summary presentation by certification, and there was no dedicated mechanism by which BART describing their approach. agencies' use of the SE process would be checked. Rather, The BART experience with SE as well as change manage- ment (another critical strategy, discussed in Section 2.2.2.2) represents a relatively rare, fully realized, "textbook" exam- 56 FHWA, "IVHS Planning and Project Deployment Process," Version 1.0, work- ing paper (Washington, D.C.: FHWA, U.S. DOT, 1993). 57 For information on and electronic versions of the Final Rule on ITS Architecture 58 Mitretek Systems, Building Quality Intelligent Transportation Systems; FTA, and Standards Conformity (Rule 940) and FTA's Final Policy on Architecture and "National ITS Architecture Consistency Policy for Transit Projects--Additional Standards Conformity, see "FHWA Rule/FTA Policy," www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/ Grantee Guidance," policy guidance document (Washington, D.C.: FTA, U.S. its_arch_imp/policy.htm. DOT, 2003), www.fta.dot.gov/documents/dc2003.pdf.

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41 ple of SE in transit technology implementation. BART's SE (10 employees helped develop the problem statement and approach to their BAP project is unusual and fully realized 30 employees as well as union leadership assisted the Source in several respects. First, the Program Director, Beth Tripp, Selection Committee). along with her Deputy Program Director and BART Chief Development of comprehensive individual system require- Information Officer (CIO), Robin Cody, combine a thorough ments (2,600 of them) to guide the entire process from understanding of SE with a conviction that SE, EAP, and design through final validation and beyond. change management practices are essential and will pay for Development and implementation of thorough, structured themselves. This level of SE know-how and conviction is in testing and validation plans, comparing ("tracing") the stark contrast to those agencies that view SE as something deployed system to the requirements. they have to do to satisfy FTA (agencies sometimes feel this way because they lack understanding and experience in this How to improve utilization of EAP and SE. Unfortu- area). These same agencies often turn SE wholly over to the nately, BART and agencies like them that are vigorously and consultants and vendors supplying their products (which effectively applying EAP principles and SE are the exception. defeats many SE purposes). The issue of conviction is under- The vast majority of transit agencies have not yet recognized scored by Ms. Tripp's and Mr. Cody's decision at the begin- the benefits of EAP and SE and/or they do not have the skills ning of the BAP process to allocate a significant portion of and resources to either carry these processes out themselves, or the funding that had been identified for hardware instead to contract them out. This discussion, and the specific best prac- early SE planning and conceptual design activities. The BART tices that incorporate EAP and SE principles, are but one step BAP application of SE and EAP methods is also exemplary in in addressing these problems. Additional efforts are necessary. that all of the core SE techniques and overarching principles The first step is to recognize three key facts: thoroughly permeate and are integral to the project. Core SE activities and methods utilized in the BAP project EAP and SE constitute a major departure from traditional include the following: transit approaches; There is a steep acceptance and learning curve for these Starting with a thorough examination of current condi- techniques; and tions and major options (what BART calls their "Business These techniques demand capabilities and resources that Analysis" phase). many agencies, especially small ones, do not have. Involvement of a very large and inclusive group of stake- holders throughout the project (in all three phases) in- Figure 15 shows five stages of cultural resistance to change, cluding Business Analysis (300 employees participated ranging from initial denial to ultimate acceptance that apply in a readiness survey); Software Selection (200 employees to individual transit agencies and the public transportation participated in requirements definition and 80 employees industry overall in their response to the need for EAP and assisted the Source Selection Committee by participating in SE. The experience of the project team suggests that many software demonstrations); and Design-Configure-Deploy agencies are still in the early stages of the process. These agen- High Degree of Resistance Low Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance Type of Resistance (varies over time) Source: Robin Cody, Bay Area Rapid Transit, 2006. Figure 15. Stages of transit industry and agency resistance to rigorous application of EAP and SE.

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42 cies are either unaware of, or not accepting, the need for EAP surveys of thousands of IT projects. Although the success rate and SE and the significant changes necessary to effectively for projects has increased significantly since the first study practice those techniques. in 1994, in the 2003 study, only about one-third (34 percent) Until agency leaders buy into EAP and SE and allocate re- of the 13,522 IT projects studied were fully successful (defined sources for them, the best practices presented here--although as on time, on budget, and with all features and functions certainly the "keys to success" from a technical perspective-- originally specified).60 Fifteen percent of projects failed (can- will not be enough to solve transit's technology challenges. Key celed before completion or never implemented), and the steps for promoting greater, truly meaningful understanding remaining 51 percent of projects were "challenged," defined of EAP and SE include the following: as completed projects that were operational but which were over budget, late, and with fewer features and functions than Effective dissemination of this report's finding that EAP and initially specified. Reported failure rates for ERP projects are SE are essential to improving the ROI for transit technology. even higher, at 60 percent.61 Continuation of NTI training courses on these topics and Comparable statistics are not available for the success and development of new courses. failure rates of public transportation IT projects. However, Continuation of FTA's architecture and technical assistance most people in the industry would agree that many transit programs providing expert, hands-on assistance to agencies. technology projects have failed or have not fulfilled their Support of efforts to promote an FTA initiative, including potential. development of white papers and presentations, creating a The reason why IT projects fail has also been the subject of much attention within the IT industry, among management transit EAP template and conducting an EAP demonstration consulting firms, and within the public transportation com- at a transit agency.59 munity. Within the IT industry, the perception that most fail- Increasing FTA regional offices' efforts to identify agencies ures happen because of "people" or "institutional" problems, requiring training or other assistance. rather than "technical" or "technology" problems is the norm. Increasing FTA consideration of agencies' EAP and SE For example: capabilities and commitment to the techniques when eval- uating those agencies' technology deployment grant appli- Are most project failures caused by technical problems, people cations. When capabilities and commitment are inadequate, problems, or business problems? People problems. Business and focus funding assistance to those agencies on understand- technical problems boil down to people problems. The myth of IT is that it's about computers and technology. It's not--IT is ing and learning how to apply these techniques (see also about people.62 the discussion of prerequisites in Section 2.3). The most common causes for IT failures are related to project management.63 I've never seen a project fail for technical reasons. Never. 2.2.2.2 Embracing Organizational Management may have picked the wrong technology for the Change Management purpose, but the technology itself wasn't the cause.64 Why ERP Implementations Fail: 42 Percent Leadership; 27 Like SE and EAP, change management strategies are implicit Percent Organizational and Cultural Change Issues; 23 Percent in a number of the recommended best practices presented People Issues; and 8 Percent Technical or Other Issues.65 in Section 2.2. However, like EAP and SE, the crucial impor- tance of change management warrants its own discussion. For 60 "Latest Standish Group CHAOS Report Shows Project Success Rates Have the purposes of this discussion, "organizational change man- Improved by 50%," Business Wire (March 25, 2003), http://findarticles.com/p/ agement" refers to processes for managing the changes required articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2003_March%2025/ai_99169967; The Standish Group on the part of the organization and individual stakeholders International, Inc., Extreme CHAOS (2001), http://www.vertexlogic.com/ processOnline/processData/documents/pdf/extreme_chaos.pdf. for successful technology strategic planning and, especially, 61 The Rockford Consulting Group, "The 12 Cardinal Sins of ERP Implemen- successful implementation of technology systems. tation," white paper (November 30, 2006), http://rockfordconsulting.com/ The fact that many IT projects fail or underperform is 12sinart.htm. 62 M. Betts, "Why IT Projects Fail," ComputerWorld (August 2005), www. common knowledge in the IT industry. The industry is full of computerworld.com/managementtopics/management/project/story/0,10801, literature with titles like "Why IT Projects Fail." Some of the 84266,00.html. most oft-quoted statistics documenting IT project success and 63 T., Al Neimat, "Why IT Projects Fail," white paper (October 24, 2005), http:// failure come from The Standish Group International's ongoing www.projectperfect.com.au/downloads/Info/info_it_projects_fail.pdf. 64 G. Tillman and J. Weinburger, "Technology Never Fails, But Projects Can," "CHAOS" research, which, since 1994, has featured biennial Baseline (January 2004), www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_zdbln/is_200401/ ai_ziff116888. 65 P. Waters, "ERP Change Management--Getting from Here to There," 59 M. Hwang, E. Lerner-Lam, and Palisades Consulting Group, Inc., "Enterprise PowerPoint presentation at 2006 Oracle OpenWorld conference (October Architecture Planning for Transit: Bridging the ITS Deployment Gap," Power- 2226, 2006), http://dti.delaware.gov/majorproj/ppts/OracleOpenWorld_CM Point presentation to the FTA, (May 31, 2005). web2006.ppt#340,1,ERP Change Management--Getting from Here to There.

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43 In identifying the recipe for project success, The Standish RFP Creation Group also puts people issues at the top of the list, with System Integration Negotiations "Executive Support" and "User Involvement" in the number Project Management/Oversight one and number two positions.66 "Lack of Top Management Provide Contemporary Technology Knowledge Commitment," "Resistance to Change/Lack of Buy-in," and 2. Bring In Your Stakeholders "Poor Communications" have been identified as among the Inclusion Brings Buy-In "12 Cardinal Sins of ERP Implementation."67 Provides Needed Expertise As with EAP and SE, there are proven techniques available Middle Management/Unions for surmounting the human and institutional challenges of 3. Make This A "People" Project technology projects. Many of these methods fall into the cat- Not A Technology Issue egory of organizational change management and are widely People and Cultural Problem documented in the generally available literature on organiza- Organizational Readiness tional change (see, for example, Organization Change: Theory 4. Get Unions Involved! and Practice).68 Typical summations of organizational change objectives include the following: Figure 16, from a BART presentation on its BAP, empha- sizes a comprehensive approach to change management.71 Provide awareness; Ensure understanding; The figure contrasts successful change management featuring Facilitate acceptance; the full complement of required components (vision, skills, Care, listen, and respond; incentives, etc.) with various failures that can be expected Manage people's expectations; when some components are absent. Ensure readiness; and One of the unique and effective activities within BART's Champion the project. overall change management strategy was its approach to anticipating and contending with labor union concerns. Success factors for change management include the Anticipating that some concerns could end up in arbitration, following: 69 BART took the rather extraordinary step of previewing key elements of its project's impact on labor with an arbitrator Active and visible sponsorship, and incorporating the feedback in its approach. Use of organizational change management processes and A number of the recommended best practices presented tools, in Section 2.2 incorporate change management strategies. Effective communications, However, as with EAP and SE, identifying these strategies is Employment involvement, and just one step. Efforts are also needed to address the fundamen- Effective project leadership and planning. tal issues that prevent many agencies from utilizing change As with EAP and SE, few public transportation agencies management techniques. These issues include lack of agency have either fully bought in to the need for change manage- leadership support and lack of knowledge and skills on the ment and/or they lack the leadership or resources to practice part of staff for performing or effectively overseeing contractor it effectively. A rare exception is BART, which, in addition to performance of change management. The techniques recom- embracing EAP and SE techniques, placed a tremendous em- mended at the end of Section 2.2.2.1 to address concerns with phasis on change management in their ongoing BAP. BART's SE and EAP also apply here. "4 Keys to Success" for change management are typical of those identified by other types of organizations:70 2.2.3 Specific Best Practices for Overcoming 1. Get Help! Obstacles and Maximizing Benefits Identified Business Requirements This section presents specific best practices for improving Software Negotiations technology use. First, "10 Key Considerations for Technology Implementation" are presented (Section 2.2.3.1). These are 66 The Standish Group International, Inc., Extreme CHAOS. 67 followed by best practices organized into various categories, The Rockford Consulting Group, "The 12 Cardinal Sins of ERP Implementation." such as "Institutional Practices" and "Financial Practices" 68 W. W. Burke, Organization Change: Theory and Practice (Thousand Oaks, CA: (Sections 2.2.3.2 through 2.2.3.7). Sage Publications, 2002). 69 Waters, "ERP Change Management--Getting from Here to There." 70 R. Cody, "The Changing Role of a CIO and BARTS' Business Advancement Program," presented to the National Defense University Information Resources 71 Cody, "The Changing Role of a CIO and BARTS' Business Advancement Management College, (March 20, 2006). Program."

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44 What Happens If You Don't Use Change Management? Consensus Action Change Vision Skills Incentives Resources Building Plan Consensus Action Confusion Skills Incentives Resources Loss of identity & purpose - Building Plan lack of focus and direction Consensus Action Anxiety Vision Incentives Resources Inefficient energy, prolonged Building Plan process - increased risk of failure - lower quality Consensus Action Gradual Change Vision Skills Resources Lack of commitment - survival Building Plan attitude - risk averse Action Resistance Vision Skills Incentives Resources Sporadic gains change is Plan temporary - hostility Consensus Action Frustration Vision Skills Incentives Burnout, prolonged efforts - Building Plan lower quality - increased time Consensus False Starts Vision Skills Incentives Resources Wasted time & energy - squandered Building resources - roles & responsibilities unclear lost momentum Figure 16. What happens if you don't use change management? In considering how they may adopt, or otherwise benefit 10 considerations include overarching observations that rel- from, the best practices presented here, public transporta- atively successful public transportation agency technology tion agencies are encouraged to keep in mind that complete adopters feel are important. In that regard they serve as a mastery or internalization of each and every practice is not preface to, rather than a summation of, the specific best required to have greater success with technology. First, few if practices described in Sections 2.2.3.1 through 2.2.3.7. The any, of the most successful agencies follow all of these prac- 10 considerations are the following: tices. The more of them an agency can utilize, the better, but even adopting a few of them should improve technology use. 1. Institutional and organizational issues are the most Second, it is impossible and unnecessary to simultaneously important factors in technology planning, procure- and fully adopt and carry out all of the recommended best ment, and deployment. The capability of the agency to practices. Be prepared for it to take time to "phase in" these provide leadership and vision throughout this process methods. Also be reassured that the effort--the process of will significantly influence whether or not the technology promoting consideration of these practices at a given transit deployment is successful, as will having a clear strategy agency--is useful and productive in its own right. In this sense, or plan that governs how technology will be considered consideration of best practices represents the beginning of an in the future. Organizational culture and structure are unending process of continuous improvement rather than a key factors in successful technology deployments, both static "finish line" or finite end point. in initial deployment and long-term, sustainable, and fully successful operations and maintenance. No one organizational structure is appropriate to all 2.2.3.1 10 Key Considerations for Technology agencies, but more generally, it is clear that technology de- Implementation ployments are enhanced through organizational arrange- The following were identified as ten key considerations for ments that do the following: (1) Consolidate, or at least technology implementation by the participants in the August closely coordinate, all technology-related planning and 2006 transit agency focus group. Although consistent with the investment activities within the organization, ensuring recommended best practices, which appear in later sections, that individual technology decisions are made in light of this list does not consist of best practices, per se, but rather overall agency objectives and in recognition of the rela- includes advice, observations, and conclusions. This list does tive priority of competing technology investments agency- not encapsulate the specific recommended best practices wide, and (2) Provide a direct connection between those described in Sections 2.2.3.1 through 2.2.3.7. Rather, these responsible for an agency's technology with senior-level

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45 agency management, so as to promote management's Evaluation of an agency's ability to procure and deploy understanding of the central importance of technology technology must also take into consideration the degree in the agency's fundamental mission, promote senior to which the process of change has been embraced by the management support for technology investments (both agency and communicated by senior management. As financial and policy support, for both the initial in- adapted from John P. Kotter's "Why Transformation vestment and operations and maintenance), and help Efforts Fail," the eight stages of creating major change ensure the consideration of overall agency needs and within an organization are as follows:72 objectives when making individual technology invest- Establishing a sense of urgency, ment decisions. One such organizational structure is Creating the guiding coalition, to consolidate agency-wide technology activities under Developing a vision and strategy, a CIO or CTO who reports directly to the agency's GM Communicating the change vision, or CEO. Empowering broad-based action, 2. Not everyone will be happy. Agencies need to recognize Generating short-term wins, that even when the most effective change management Consolidating gains and producing more change, and process is utilized, no technology implementation can Anchoring new approaches in the culture. fully satisfy every stakeholder. In some cases, the agency This approach was taken by King County Metro in may have to settle for "informed consent," which will 1993, resulting in Metro's readiness and willingness to allow technology deployment to move forward without move forward with nine specific technology projects. every staff person being completely satisfied with the 5. An agency should focus on quality over quantity in a direction. In obtaining organizational consensus, the focus technology project. This means that an agency should should be on the agency's core business, not on extraneous undertake fewer technology projects or projects with or non-essential activities. fewer technologies, rather than do a poor job on a num- Also, this fact should govern how much can actually ber of different projects at the same time. This can mean be accomplished in terms of technology deployment dividing a project into smaller, manageable pieces and within the period of time being considered. For exam- being realistic about deployment time frames. Often, this ple, if obtaining staff buy-in will take a certain amount can be difficult to achieve, given influences such as pres- of time (which it most certainly will), then the agency sure from politicians and the public. Constant commit- needs to factor this time into the schedule. This means ment throughout the project will be necessary no matter that the agency may not be able to do everything that it how small the project pieces are. planned within the initial period of time identified for 6. There are two distinct dissemination challenges within the project and may need to extend the deployment and/ the transit industry: doing a better job of getting the or divide the deployment into smaller, more manage- right information to the right people using the right able pieces. channels, and providing an independent and trusted 3. Be brutally realistic about what the agency can and can- source of information (e.g., Consumer Reports). Over- not do. It is critical that an organization understand its coming these challenges does not mean that agencies are strengths and weaknesses in planning, procuring, and ready to benefit from information being provided, and that deploying technology. What an agency can do should be must be considered in information dissemination. Section decided based on comprehensive factors such as full 4.2 discusses several approaches to improving information life cycle costs (rather than just capital costs) and staffing dissemination throughout the transit industry. needs (e.g., training of existing staff, hiring new staff with 7. Success does not automatically self-perpetuate. It re- appropriate KSAs, hardware, and software). quires continuous commitment and effort, including 4. Not every agency is ready or able to procure and deploy making hard decisions, recognizing and paying in-house technology. Agency leadership must determine whether experts, and monitoring and optimizing technology the agency has the prerequisites to handle not only the operation and technology use. technology that will be deployed, but the change that will 8. Recognize that public agencies are in the early stages be required in the organization to embrace and fully of an industry revolution. SE is being used across the integrate the technology into operations. It has been sug- industry to ensure that technology projects are con- gested by the former GM of King County Metro as well as ducted in a logical way that encourages success. The SE others that "you must first understand that it is all about change, and the technology vision allows the organiza- tion to be successful in the mist of this change." Prereq- 72J. P. Kotter, "Why Transformation Efforts Fail," Harvard Business Review uisites are discussed in detail in Section 2.3. (MarchApril 1995), p. 61.

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46 process identified in the FTA National ITS Architecture information service providers (ISPs) that provide regional Policy on Transit Projects provides many benefits: traveler information systems. First, using this type of structured approach will reduce the amount of time necessary to move from project concept The following subsections provide additional information through deployment and full operation. Second, system regarding each of the 10 considerations. The categories that users' needs will be met by using such an approach. Third, this are covered in these subsections are institutional, financial, approach will reduce the costs of deploying systems. Fourth, procurement/contracting, technical, organizational, and oper- this approach will ensure that the latest proven technologies are used. This is because technology alternatives must be ational and maintenance practices. developed as part of the process, and the most appropriate and mature technologies may be chosen if they best meet 2.2.3.2 Institutional Practices the goals of the project. Fifth, using a systems engineering approach will reduce the number of changes required as the Institutional and organizational issues are often the most system is being developed and implemented.73 challenging issues to address in the planning, procurement, Agencies that have begun to embrace SE are going and deployment of technology. In this project, institutional through major growing pains. To assist agencies, there are issues were the most commonly cited obstacles. Institutional many examples of other industries that use this approach, issues are not only the most problematic issues; they are cen- such as private businesses and international public trans- tral to every single technology project. port agencies. The interviews and literature review conducted as part of 9. It is not the technology and data themselves that are this project and discussions held during the focus group in important; it is what an agency does with them. This key August 2006 identified several best practices for addressing to success requires two major efforts: (1) the development institutional issues. of a plan or strategy to manage, analyze, and use the data Note that neither the discussion of institutional best practices generated from the technology and (2) the conversion of presented here, nor the discussion of organizational best prac- data into useable information. This plan/strategy should tices presented in Section 2.2.3.6, includes any given practice di- be developed as part of an overall technology plan dur- rectly referencing "change management." This is not because ing the technology planning process. Resources neces- change management is not critical (it absolutely is), but rather sary for these two major efforts (hardware, software, and because change management is an overarching activity or con- staff) must be defined. Industry experience shows that sideration rather than an individual best practice, per se. A this data plan often is not included as part of an overall number of the specific best practices in Sections 2.2.3.2 through technology strategy and not considered until after the 2.2.3.7, such as involving a wide range of stakeholders, describe deployment. At the deployment stage, an agency should components of an overall change management approach. already have processes and procedures in place to manage, Readers are directed to Section 2.2.2.2 for a discussion of analyze, and use the data. These processes and procedures change management as an overarching technique or strategy. can be refined as the agency gains more experience with the technology, but they must be defined very early in the A senior level technology "champion," that is, a senior technology deployment continuum. Further, the tools that manager who believes in technology, is necessary to lead can be used by various levels of agency staff to analyze the an agency from planning through deployment. According data and turn the data into useable information should to the interviewees, the literature, and the participants in the already be in place well before the technology is deployed. August 2006 focus group, a "champion" is perhaps the most 10. ROI analysis must be realistic and comprehensive (e.g., important element of a successful technology deployment. The account for life cycle costs, technology replacement, former GM of King County Metro defines five critical traits and so forth) and may need to include both objective and of a technology champion: (1) has a vision that is focused on subjective assessments. Further, ROI analyses should the technology necessary to achieve the overall corporate recognize the value inherent in an agency's data and other vision; (2) has passion and emotion; (3) can articulate the assets (e.g., facilities and rights-of-way). These are often vision; (4) can use common language to discuss the vision overlooked in ROI analyses. For example, agencies may with many different stakeholders; and (5) can articulate the have the capability to "sell" their real-time information to vision repeatedly anywhere and at any time.74 74 P. Toliver, "Critical Success Elements to Surmounting Challenges to Technol- 73 Multisystems, Battelle, and Wilson Consulting, "Session 5: The Systems Engi- ogy Adoption in King County, WA," presentation at the National Leadership neering Analysis Requirement," instructor's guide for National Transit Institute Summit on Surmounting Challenges to Technology Adoption (Irvine, CA: Au- training course on complying with the FTA's Policy on ITS Architecture Con- gust 29, 2006). (See p. A-9 of Appendix A to this report for a summary of this sistency (New Brunswick, N.J.: September 2002), p. 83. presentation.)

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47 Utilize practices and organizational structures that pro- miles (for deployment of an AVL system) or a reduction of mote coordinated, agency-wide technology planning and parts inventory. Further, the ROI analysis should be analogous prioritization and which link technology investment deci- to those conducted by the private sector. sions directly to overall agency strategy. Better technology There are numerous methods that can be used to perform planning and decision-making--especially decisions about ROI analyses. The quantitative methods that have been used competing investments that benefit different user groups-- most frequently include the following: are obtained when responsibilities for technology through- out the agency are consolidated into an IT department led NPV determines whether a project will produce a net by a CIO or CTO, or when the agency is otherwise struc- benefit. tured to require (not just encourage) coordination of tech- Benefit/cost ratio is a way to demonstrate how much bene- nology activities. Consolidation of technology planning and fit is created by a project as a percent of the amount invested. implementation--either via a single, agency-wide IT depart- Marginal benefits analysis determines the ratio of the ben- ment or via other mechanisms that soundly link technology efit to the expenditure for the marginal difference between activities carried on throughout the organization--promotes projects. This method compares the additional cost of an synergy, sustainability (long-term supportability), and effi- ITS technology to the additional benefit of a technology. ciency. Such structure or processes also help promote more This allows the comparison of multiple projects or tech- strategic and effective decision-making and prioritization of nologies, whereas other quantitative methods do not technology investments by considering each individual invest- indicate whether one project or technology is marginally ment in light of the full-range of technology needs faced by better than another. For example, the benefit/cost ratio the agency. In addition to consolidation/close coordination method compares one project's benefits to its own costs. of technology activities through the agency, it is important to It does not provide a method for assessing more than directly link that consolidated technology responsibility to the one project. senior-level agency management. That link promotes under- standing and support for technology on the part of manage- According to "Cost/Benefit Analysis of Public Transport ment; it also helps ensure that technology investments and ITS in the U.S.," the priority/sequence of competing technology investments The two most prevalent qualitative methods are utility-cost are made within the context of the overall agency direction analysis and the break-even approach. Each assumes some degree and strategy. of cost calculation, together with different levels of qualitative assessment of benefits. The break-even approach is a way of The logic/rationale for technology investment must be explaining costs and benefits to lay audiences. It is also useful when a precise numerical value cannot be determined. A utility- made explicit and must be simple and direct. This best cost approach requires, in the absence of monetary values of practice refers to justifying the procurement and deployment benefits, that weighted indices of effectiveness be created. These of technology using the most appropriate and defendable indices, registering the utility of ITS actions to meet goals, objec- methodology and being able to describe that rationale to tives, and/or evaluation criteria, are created using subjective decision makers simply. For example, if all costs and benefits reasoning, often based on consensus input from informed and interested parties. Utility criteria can account for how well ITS cannot be quantified as part of a cost-benefit analysis, a utility- technologies address the needs of the provider, customers and/or cost analysis may be the most appropriate approach to justi- positive externalities.75 fying the procurement of technology. Once this analysis is completed, the analysis results can be explained to decision An example of an ROI that includes both quantitative and makers in simple terms (e.g., citing the utility/cost ratio for qualitative factors is a utility-cost analysis. "The utility-cost each technology or project being considered). analysis method considers key subjective factors in the assess- ment of which ITS project or technology is best to deploy. An ROI analysis is necessary and should take into account The overall agency goals and objectives are taken into account, both quantitative (e.g., real costs and quantifiable bene- along with how well each technology/project being consid- fits) and qualitative (e.g., customer satisfaction) factors, ered will meet those goals and objectives. Coupled with the if appropriate. Different approaches to establishing ROI technology/project costs, a utility-cost ratio is developed for are necessary depending on whether the agency is making each technology/project."76 customer-oriented investments (e.g., real-time DMSs) or back- An example of an ROI for back-office systems is one con- office investments (e.g., a payroll system). There are tech- ducted by BART as part of their BAP. BART's "Projected nology investments that will involve both customers and the agency. In this case, the ROI analysis could include customer 75 Schweiger, "Cost/Benefit Analysis of Public Transport ITS in the U.S.," p. 2. surveys as well as an analysis of a reduction of non-revenue 76 Ibid.

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48 Inventory Analysis" calculated the projected savings due to taxpayers, policy makers, employees and the media. Some overall reductions in inventory purchases whether from cap- examples of what customers said they wanted included:80 ital or operating funds.77 This analysis included the following: Convenient and user-friendly access to up-to-date and A baseline analysis that calculated projected inventory with accurate information; no improvements in systems or procedures, More information about routes, schedules, fares, and how One case that projected inventory assuming improved to ride the bus; systems and procedures, and Information about bus arrival times at stops (on time or One case that projected inventory turns (inventory used/ not?); inventory on hand at end of the year) required to elimi- Easier fare payment; and nate capital funds and keep the same level of operating Employees who had easy access to information they needed purchasing funds from the baseline. to do their job. Know what your customers need and want. First, all Ensure that you have a fully supportive community by customers need to be considered, including riders, taxpayers, selling pride in having a system that uses "advanced tech- policy makers, employees, and media. Potential customers nology." Community support for transit overall, and espe- should be considered as well. Second, part of the technology cially for the expenditure of transit resources on technology vision mentioned earlier in this section should include meeting can significantly affect the success of technology deployment. or exceeding customers' needs through the use of technology. Several interviewees, including King County Metro, Portland An example of determining customer needs for technology TriMet, and OUTREACH, as well as participants in the August was provided in Customer Preferences for Transit ATIS: Research 2006 focus group indicated that the overall support for public Report.78 In this study, 12 workshops in 4 metropolitan areas transportation and general support for advanced technolo- were conducted in November 2002 with 284 transit customers. gies in their regions contribute to their success. They, and Several questions were addressed, including the preferred agencies such as the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, methods for delivering information to transit travelers. FTA also point to the presence of IT-oriented businesses and uni- was particularly interested in transit rider preferences in versities in their communities and agency partnership with advanced technology information services. The results of this these entities, as important factors. study indicated that riders prefer paper-based information and traditional wayside signage (e.g., schedules, maps, and Know your agency/board culture/climate and commit fares). Inaccurate information was perceived as worse than no to educating and building trust and support among your information, and high-quality traditional forms of informa- board members. To "sell" technology to an agency board, tion were considered more important than advanced technol- it can be helpful for the technology champion to focus on ogy approaches. Awareness of advanced technology transit board members individually (as unique customers) and ad- information services was low, even in areas where they are dress their individual issues regarding technology in order to available, suggesting that transit agencies need to promote ensure that each member will be fully supportive. If needed, their existing information services more. The results of this the agency should provide technology education for board study indicate that in the four areas where the workshops members. Technology training resources are available for were held, providing technology-based information was not board members and senior management through NTI necessarily as important to customers as was providing quality (http://www.ntionline.com) and the U.S. DOT Profes- information in more traditional ways. sional Capacity Building Program (http://www.pcb.its.dot.gov/ Another example is the work that was done by King County le_search.asp?SearchRequested=True&PageID=res_curric& Metro in 1993 to identify customers' needs (some of which ExpandInfo=). could be addressed by technology). Before customers were Also, it is critical to understand the culture that the board asked about what they needed, part of King County Metro's reflects. The King County Metro interviewee noted the im- technology vision was to "meet or exceed customers' needs portance of "organizational self-image." Success in technol- and desires."79 Metro defined customers as riders/users, ogy deployment is aided when an agency perceives itself as willing to take some risks and dedicated to improvement by utilizing the best available technology. One U.S. agency in- 77 "Bart Projected Inventory Analysis," ROI spreadsheet provided by R. Cody, BART (October 2006). terviewee stated that "if you can't get your board and the staff 78 Battelle Memorial Institute and Multisystems, Inc., Customer Preferences for to come along, you're dead." Transit ATIS: Research Report, FTA-OH-26-7015-2003.1, prepared for the FTA (Washington, D.C.: U.S. DOT, August 8, 2003). 79 80 P. Toliver, "Critical Success Elements." Ibid.

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49 Agencies endeavoring to "win over" a board not histori- Have an appropriate strategy for unions, specific to your cally supportive of technology investments should be prepared agency. Technology acceptance by unions is critical to for the process to take considerable time and effort. Strong successful deployment. Participants in the August 2006 focus presentations that clearly explain the business rationale for group offered recommendations on handling unions regard- specific investments is critical. As the interviewee from the ing technology adoption and deployment. First, "rank and file" Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority noted, "I'm able to suc- union input is most useful in developing requirements. This ceed with the board because they trust me. . . . When present- best practice is an extension of the previous best practice that ing new ideas, do a `mock-up,' show things using pictures." describes including all stakeholders in technology planning, The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority has "a whole pro- procurement, and implementation. Further, it was recom- gram to educate and build support among the board, the mended to "sell" the rationale to unions, but to be prepared for chief executive officer, and general manager." This agency continued resistance. Second, focus on union leadership for also noted that "building support has been key," along with overall buy-in. anticipating turnover in board members and the need to pe- riodically re-educate. These activities have included taking Leverage partners to get your program going. A good different individuals to APTA and ITS America conferences. long-term practice, utilizing partners, is especially important The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's executive direc- in the early stages of a technology program when support and tor emphasizes that "you have to have the ability to make a budgets are especially limited. Potential partners include col- convincing presentation to the board; if you do not have the leges and universities and technology companies, including funding, you have to start working to get it." those who are and are not currently vendors of transportation- specific or transit-specific technologies. The Ann Arbor Ensure that all of the stakeholders are involved in the Transportation Authority identified partnerships with ven- project, especially in the initial planning and design stage, dors on demonstration projects as one of the keys to getting and identify how the project will benefit participants. It is their technology program established. OUTREACH also iden- important to include all of the stakeholders in the planning tified their ability to develop partnerships with major private process to ensure that their needs will be met by the new tech- industry players as a key to their success. nology. This may include maintenance personnel, drivers, Further, ITS solutions have the potential to foster better customer service, and operations planning representation. cooperation and coordination among project participants. Involving these departments early on facilitates their coop- ITS have been shown to improve both the cooperation eration later in the deployment process. Additionally, it is among project participants (inside and outside an agency), as important to involve other agencies that have a stake in the well as the consistency of information available to all partic- project (such as metropolitan planning organizations and ipants. However, it is possible that making an effective con- regional FTA staff) in order to ensure that their needs are nection among participants may require that new procedures being met as well. are established. For example, involving drivers in the installation and imple- mentation of on-board systems is critical to success. It is Pool resources among agencies across common needs important for drivers to "buy into" the system since they are and/or projects and be open to working with new agencies a key component of agencies' operations, and they have to use and staff. This best practice can be applied in a region, state the technology as much as or more than any other transit staff or nationally. An outstanding example, now in development, member. Drivers sometimes experience "big brother" fears, is the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) proposal for an applied particularly with the installation of AVL systems that track technology center. According to the October 7, 2006, "General their locations. Thus, their involvement or the involvement Manager Foundation Meeting Report" for the UTA-led of their peers will help them understand the benefits that Applied Transit Technology Center: will accrue to them, such as being able to contact dispatch immediately in case of an on-board emergency (and know- Over the last several months the UTA, in collaboration with ing that dispatch can communicate their exact location to law APTA and the PT [Public Transportation] Forum, has been enforcement). circulating a proposal to organize a consortium among transit It may be necessary for an agency to demonstrate to project agencies to foster the application of technological innovation into participants that the ITS application will benefit them directly. the operations of American transit agencies, especially medium and small properties that cannot afford large technical and engi- Although it may be difficult to quantify these benefits, pro- neering staffs. The primary focus is on adapting existing technolo- viding at least a description of how participants can use the gies to the transit environment through testing, demonstrating, system to improve their operation can greatly increase their evaluating and disseminating results and providing support for willingness to participate in the project. adoption of such innovations by transit agencies. The intent is for

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50 development of joint deployments among transit properties, shar- WMATA customer base and their connection to the 3.8 mil- ing the costs, risks and intellectual resources to insure a successful lion households in the metropolitan area. The third goal is to implementation in all participating agencies. In addition, lessons enhance customer security."83 learned would be shared with all other transit properties.81 Creativity and innovation can pay off in terms of funding. As of January 2007, UTA and their partners are developing Agencies can also benefit from being creative and innovative the applied technology center concept and intend to ultimately in obtaining funding for their ITS deployments. For example, seek federal funding support. multiple funding sources may be combined for a project, Funding from different agencies may mean that an agency or new funding sources might be explored. There are many is faced with multiple reporting requirements, as well as staff traditional and untraditional sources of funds that should from other agencies with whom they previously have not had be considered for technology projects. An example of a tra- a relationship (e.g., when a transit ITS project is funded by a ditional source is Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality highway department). Thus, an agency needs to be prepared Improvement (CMAQ) (SAFETEA-LU Section 1808) funds, for dealing with new external staff and requirements. and an example of a untraditional source is New Freedom Finally, for projects that involve multiple agencies, devel- funds (49 USC Section 5317, CFDA #20.521). oping memoranda of understanding can help clarify each par- Further, P3 opportunities can complement limited fed- ticipant's responsibilities. Without some type of agreement in eral funding. In addition, non-traditional sources of funding place to ensure that each agency will fulfill their responsibili- should be pursued. For example, a private, nonprofit demand- ties, technology projects may face delays. Further, establish- response transit agency in the greater Philadelphia area was ing agreements can assist in providing ongoing support for able to partner with the McDonald's Corporation to fund the the project. purchase of new vehicles. Finally, agencies should try to explore innovative P3 oppor- Sometimes project participants can change, so it is impor- tunities for services, especially in the case of ATIS. Such tant to be flexible. While ideally, all of the participants steps can help in generating funds from advertisement or involved at the outset of a project would remain with the other sources, such as charging users for some premium/ project until the end, this is not always the case. The ability to personalized services. recover from unforeseen events is an important skill to foster with any ITS implementation, particularly those that involve Be aware of the provisions of the Buy America policy. As a number of different participants. with all purchases, transit agencies need to be aware of Buy America provisions when making technology purchases. The following provides a brief description and history of the Buy 2.2.3.3 Financial Practices America policy: "Originally passed by the U.S. Congress in Fully consider and be creative in developing revenue 1978 as part of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, the opportunities associated with transit assets and technol- legislation authorizing FTA's Buy America policy reflects an ogy. Revenue-generating opportunities include not only attempt by Congress to protect the U.S. labor force and heavy advertising, but also innovative P3 programs. For example, industry from foreign competition. The original legislation, WMATA has initiated a technology P3 program "to improve which specified a preference for products produced, mined, customer service, security readiness, and revenue generation or manufactured in the United States, subsequently has opportunities."82 As of November 2006, WMATA is review- undergone several major amendments, including the Surface ing proposals from vendor teams to provide an integrated Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, which required that customer communication system. According to WMATA, it all steel and manufactured products used in FTA-funded "has three goals for this initiative. The first goal is to provide projects be produced in the United States."84 transit customers, represented by the 1.4 million daily transit Agencies should also be aware that changes are currently trips, with real time, high quality accurate information to fa- being debated to the Buy America policy that could specifi- cilitate their travel. The second goal is to generate a source of cally impact technology purchases. These changes pertain to non-fare box revenue as reflected in the market value of the the definition of "microprocessor" (and will therefore impact computer and other technology component purchases) and to the classification of individual purchased items as "end 81 Applied Transit Technology Center, "General Manager Foundation Meeting Report" (October 7, 2006). 82 83 WMATA, "Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Ibid, p. 4. 84 Amended Request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for Technology Public- Hidalgo & DeVries, Inc. and Frances Kernodle Associates, Inc., U.S. Non-Rail Private Partnerships--June 19, 2006" (Washington D.C.: July 20, 2006), p. 3, Vehicle Market Viability Study, FTA-001, prepared for the FTA (Washington, www.wmata.com/bus2bus/contracting/iccs_reoi_v2.pdf. D.C.: FTA, U.S. DOT, January 19, 2006), p. 42.

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51 products," including designation of systems, components, or procurement, so as not to rely solely on consultants and/or subcomponents as end products. Readers are encouraged to vendors for technical support. monitor the final resolution of these issues (ongoing at time of publication) through the FTA's second notice of proposed The procurement process sets the tone for the whole rulemaking of November 30, 2006. project. Agencies need to realize that a sound contract does not necessarily mean that the project will be smooth and with- Consider that ITS projects include many (sometimes out conflict. They must establish a good working relationship unanticipated) costs. It is important for agencies to realize with their vendors. Management needs to understand enough ahead of time that costs will arise throughout the project about the technology to ask the right questions. Outside assis- deployment, as well as during everyday operations. Typically, tance can be helpful in this regard, but if an agency is using ITS deployments include initial start-up costs, capital costs, outside assistance, it should consider retaining the assistance ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs, and costs associated through the entire planning, procurement, installation, and with staff time and effort (e.g., time managing the project, testing process. attending meetings, and approving invoices). Further, agencies should not expend all funds in a project; Procurements should cover optional items that an agency some funds should be held for unexpected circumstances. may wish to purchase in the future. Often, it is a challenge As mentioned previously, agencies should "expect the un- to make decisions about every conceivable feature or element expected" when deploying new technologies. Agencies need to of technology that is desired. If there are open questions at be flexible, realizing that everything will not run smoothly. the time of procurement, agencies should include a descrip- Agencies need to have the ability to add enhancements or fix tion of potential future requirements and request that each problems when they arise. Keeping contingency funds for such proposer provide a price for those items or services. This will occurrences can allow the agency to cope with these situations. ensure that the agency can exercise that option at a later date for a reasonable price. 2.2.3.4 Procurement/Contracting Practices Consider performance-based contracts, including incen- tives and penalties. One way of avoiding problems later in Understand what vendors have to offer and maintain the ITS deployment is to write performance-based contracts reasonable expectations. Many transit systems depend with vendors. For example, agencies can develop project mile- heavily on vendors for specific information on transit ITS stones, with payment to vendors dependent on reaching these applications. In many cases, transit ITS solutions have been milestones. In this way, vendors have an incentive to do a good oversold or agency expectations have been unreasonably high. job and meet the project schedule. This can lead to agency ITS needs not being met by product Further, agencies should ensure that specific documentation vendors. Further, in the implementation process, it is critical that the agency conduct a design review with the vendor that is included in vendor contracts. Documentation is important, ensures that there is complete agreement between the agency and agencies should insist on receiving adequate documenta- and the vendor as to what the vendor will provide and what tion from vendors. Documentation may include operational the agency expects from the vendor. and maintenance manuals, system administration operation This understanding should include the vendor's experience manuals, communication protocol manuals, training materi- with similar deployments. Agencies must check the vendor's als, or other documents, such as design review documentation, track record and ensure that they have the necessary experience installation design documentation, and acceptance test pro- to deal with the specific system and issues associated with that cedures documentation. One reason to ensure that adequate agency. If a vendor does not understand an agency system, they documentation is received is that staff turnover is inevitable, may not be able to provide the support that the agency needs. and having proper system documentation will help new staff Therefore, it is important to check vendors' references, par- become more quickly acquainted with the technology. ticularly from agencies that have similar characteristics to the procuring agency. Agencies may want to visit sites where the 2.2.3.5 Technical Practices vendor has installed similar systems. Finally, if an agency is using an outside consultant to assist Develop a technology strategic plan for the entire organi- with the procurement, they risk giving up control to the indi- zation. Nearly all of the organizations interviewed and those viduals who understand technology unless someone at the organizations represented at the August 2006 focus group agency who is technically knowledgeable is involved in the pro- utilize either a strategic plan dedicated to technologies or a curement. Agencies should think about having a staff mem- general organization strategic plan that includes technology. ber who can deal with the technical issues associated with the Development of a strategic plan must involve both IT and

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52 project staff, and should include some level of participation thing. Identify a single key project or program to focus on at by senior management. A strong strategic plan identifies the any given time." UPS characterized this same need for focus problems to be solved, the needs to be addressed, and the busi- as "moving from trying to do everything for everyone to doing ness rationale for specific investments. It is critical that orga- the right things for the right people." nizations move from a totally reactive position, which is typical Timelines directly affect when benefits can be realized when there is no overall plan or direction, to a proactive, strate- and the life spans of many technologies (sometimes by the gic one. According to the WMATA interviewee: "In the past, time the technology is implemented, it is obsolete). As the King decisions were driven by opportunities or circumstances; for County Metro interviewee noted, technology is constantly example, putting in a new rail service, old technology systems changing and is therefore a "moving target," and long project failing, etc.--and that's how our first AVL system was imple- timelines compound the challenge. The OUTREACH repre- mented; we simply were looking to replace the dispatch sys- sentative stated that "by the time a project is fully up and run- tem and AVL seemed to be the next generation. In this mode, ning, it's all obsolete and needs to be upgraded." The COTA technology decisions were driven more by equipment replace- (Columbus, Ohio) interviewee summarized the situation as ment cycles than by business needs, which is what they should "chasing your tail." be driven by." WMATA recognizes that many agencies feel that When analysis supports it, use COTS technology prod- they do not have the time or funding for strategic planning ucts. Interviewees and participants in the August 2006 focus but insists "You have to make time to plan your future." group consistently recommended that transit agencies use Recognize the requirements of the FTA National ITS COTS products to improve the success of their technology Architecture Policy on Transit Projects. Since compliance implementations, and, indeed, this seems to be the "common with the requirements of this policy will be discussed and wisdom." The recommendation here, however, is that agencies reviewed during an agency's triennial review, it is important should carefully evaluate their technology options--which that the agency factors the policy into planning and designing include COTS, developing a fully custom product, and out- a technology project. One interviewee noted that, especially in sourcing the function entirely (e.g., using an application service the past, FTA had funded a lot of technology projects that were provider for a specific software). Agencies should then select not well thought out by the local implementers, that did not the option that best suits their needs and capabilities. When a include a concept of operations, and that did not include a COTS product is available that requires little or no modifica- consideration of project life cycle costs. This interviewee com- tion, it is probably the best choice. When significant modifi- mented that there has not been enough "enforcement" of the cation of a COTS product is needed and agencies have good FTA National ITS Architecture Policy and that many agen- in-house development capabilities (to either develop or super- cies' architecture efforts have merely been a "check off" and vise a consultant's development efforts), a fully custom prod- not a meaningful exercise: "People [agencies] have figured it uct may be the best choice. If in-house development is pursued, out, and they're thinking `why should I develop an archi- the agency should use an in-house development team as a com- tecture and use a systems engineering process?' Or, more im- mercial developer would and carefully consider the potential portantly, why should they do it in a resource-intensive, intellectual property rights and licensing implications. meaningful manner rather than simply go through the motions One of the advantages of using COTS products--when such necessary to demonstrate compliance?" a product is found to meet an agency's needs with very little or no modification--is that it is often easier to support and Start small and expect a long, incremental process. Un- maintain over the long term. As part of a larger user base, an derstand that developing a sound technology program and agency using a COTS product can take advantage of manu- implementing good projects takes time and that it is important facturer bug fixes, recalls, and upgrades. In contrast, when to start small. According to Portland's TriMet: dealing with either highly customized COTS products or full custom products, not only is the agency responsible for the It's an evolution; you can't go from `0 to 60' in one step. Take initial development effort, they must also support all sub- small steps. Pick a small number of simple things and focus on sequent maintenance and upgrades. One interviewee from them to get really positive results that can be used to build sup- OUTREACH, a paratransit provider, indicated that they port for technology investment and which provide an experience base for more extensive implementation. When starting out, have had success using not just "public transportation" COTS go for things with immediate pay off, then ramp up the level of products but "general market" COTS products. investment and the size of the projects when the value of tech- One of the ways for an agency to significantly increase its nology is more clear and support has been developed. ability to benefit from a COTS strategy is to minimize the degree of customization by altering its requirements to fit the The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority echoes this advice: software, rather than the reverse. BART's CIO, Robin Cody, "Do one thing at a time and do it well, then go on to the next reports that this is his first consideration after performing a

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53 gap analysis (in which the capabilities of COTS products are executive steering committee consisting of four cross-functional, compared to agency requirements). Mr. Cody believes that senior-level executives [who] set strategic direction for IT; establishing priorities and funding levels. This team met regu- there are many cases in which some agency-specific require- larly during the late 1980s and early 1990s while UPS's IT capa- ments reflect "they way we've always done it" rather than "the bility was built. By 2001, the committee transitioned to an over- only way it can be done." In such cases, altering some agency seer role, providing input on the company's long-term technology approaches to take advantage of COTS products may be less strategy. As the executive steering committee became less active in painful--especially considering long-term maintenance and IT governance, it was replaced with the Information and Technol- support--than customizing the COTS software. Mr. Cody ogy Strategy Committee (ITSC) composed of 15 senior managers indicates that his goal is generally to restrict customization to from all functional areas within the company. The ITSC was char- tered with studying the impacts and application of new technolo- no more than 5 percent on any given product. gies and understanding near-term technology direction. Writing "technical" specifications may not provide the results desired. Using either functional specifications or a The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority reports that hybrid of functional and technical specifications is identified "general management is very involved in our technology as the best way to obtain the appropriate system within a planning process; we meet every Friday to go over hot topics." specific budget. Functional specifications, based on functional Finally, Capital Metro has a team of senior managers guiding requirements, can give the vendor the concept of what the its ITS efforts. agency wants, while at the same time challenging the vendor to design a workable solution that may differ slightly from the Consider consolidation of technology responsibility. As agency's requirements. In writing specifications, even func- described above, a single guidance committee including both tional ones, the full range of needs and required functions senior management and representatives from various busi- needs to be considered. Many agencies will benefit from con- ness units within the agency is one way to promote synergy, sultant support in developing specifications. efficiency, and inclusiveness in technology planning and im- plementation. Another method to promote an agency-wide Technology changes fast, so agencies need to make sure perspective and approach to technology planning and imple- that their system can be easily upgraded. In today's chang- mentation (i.e., one that transcends individual business units) ing environment, it is important to ensure that an agency's is to consolidate the agency's technology activities under a ITS system can be easily expanded as technology evolves. For single department, led by a CIO or CTO. Use of such a struc- example, an agency may want to make sure that their sys- ture does not eliminate the need for the aforementioned tem has "flash" capability or can accept software upgrades via technology guidance committee, but it is quite appropriate to remote access software. These tools may greatly improve the use the two methods together. In this case, the IT department ease with which system upgrades can be made. (or similar entity) would be a key participant on the interde- partmental guidance committee. Agencies need to reserve adequate time and resources for data preparation. Field experience shows that agencies' data- The ITS department or ITS staff should have a direct line bases usually need a significant amount of "scrubbing" before to the agency GM and should routinely interact with other they are compatible with new software. In some cases, data departments/staff. Having direct communication with the interfaces need to be created between legacy systems and new highest management level in the agency will ensure that tech- technology. Agencies often underestimate the amount of time nology initiatives have high visibility within the agency and are it will take to prepare their data for entry into a new system. fully supported at the highest levels. Further, engineering/IT expertise should be linked with planning/project management expertise. Not only should these groups partner in developing 2.2.3.6 Organizational Practices a technology strategic plan, but they should also work closely Form a technology guidance committee composed of on a permanent basis. This partnering could occur via a com- senior management. WMATA cites the formation of its mittee or task force, or it could entail a permanent change to Technology Advisory Committee, composed of the senior the organizational structure, as was done at WMATA, where managers from each department, as one of the two events that these two groups were merged into a single division with a led to an organizational "breakthrough" in how it approaches single manager. WMATA cites this change as one of the two technology. According to the UPS representative interviewed breakthroughs that revolutionized their approach to technolo- for this research, UPS's current coordinated approach to tech- gies and thinks that the combined group promotes synergy nology investment, which links investments directly to busi- and a holistic perspective. Technology staff must maintain ness needs and overall strategic direction, also began with the contact with other agency staff (e.g., planning), even when a development of an technology project is not underway, so that they are fully aware

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54 of agency initiatives that may involve technology at some Agencies should anticipate organizational changes. point in the future. Anticipating the organizational changes that will be necessary Agencies need to train in-house personnel to effectively leading up to technology deployment is critical so that orga- supervise consultants. This best practice involves not only nizational disruption is minimized when the implementation training, but also being able to assess the KSAs of agency staff is complete. For example, the implementation of an automated tasked with managing technology and technology consultants. fare collection and revenue control system may prompt the An agency must be realistic in assessing its in-house capabili- reorganization of the revenue department or the addition of ties and tailor its strategies appropriately. This may mean that staff. These organizational impacts should be considered dur- the agency buys the needed services. Another element of deter- ing the design stage so that they can be handled appropriately mining and using in-house capabilities is not underestimating and well in advance of the implementation stage. This is a the value and need for training. fundamental part of change management, which is discussed Assessing KSAs can be accomplished using job analysis, in Section 2.2.2.2. a procedure for identifying the criteria for or performance Remove bureaucratic barriers to promotion of good dimensions of a job. A thorough job analysis documents tasks ideas. Barriers in the organization that prevent innova- performed on the job, the situation in which the work is per- tive technology ideas from surfacing from mid- and lower- formed, and the human qualities needed to perform the work. . . . level staff need to be eliminated. Allow the various "tech- Job analysis is accomplished by collecting data that describes a) observable or otherwise verifiable job behaviors performed nology buffs" throughout the agency access to those who by workers, including what is accomplished as well as the tech- are involved in technology planning and project evalua- nologies employed to accomplish the end results and b) verifi- tion. As the OUTREACH interviewee noted, it only takes able characteristics of the job environment with which employees one barrier or dead end to bury a good idea. That is, as the interact, including physical, mechanical, social and informational idea makes its way up a vertical chain of supervisors, it only elements.85 takes one person in that chain who is not supportive to kill the idea. OUTREACH management also indicated that The NTI course, "ITS Staffing," includes a toolkit that can when developing projects they "do not let technology peo- assist in performing a comprehensive job analysis to determine ple report to technology people"; technology people report the KSAs of in-house staff. directly to the CEO, who has the big picture vision. Having Further, the agency must make a commitment to technology education, particularly in light of assessing the KSAs of existing technical people interact directly with visionary manage- staff. This commitment involves learning about technologies ment keeps the technology people realistic and focused and through reading and attending conferences (APTA and ITS provides management with an understanding of costs as the America were specifically noted) and consulting agencies expe- concept is developed. rienced with technology implementation. The TriMet inter- Outreach should be conducted internally and externally viewee notes that agencies should "work hard to really under- to ensure that project accomplishments and successes are stand what the technology can do for you; you need to move well publicized. Successes may come in many forms and beyond a superficial understanding and the superficial appeal may be different from an agency's original goals. Agencies of the technology. Both senior (e.g., GMs) and staff level per- should consider making external presentations at conferences, sonnel need to be educated. Technology people (IT staff) really being a "peer" to help other agencies implementing ITS tech- have to understand the business of the organization." WMATA nologies, or other means of distributing information about considers technical capacity fundamental ("you have to de- their successes (e.g., press releases in local media). Internally, velop technical capacity") and notes that it is important for the those involved in technology project accomplishments should effective management of consultants. WMATA also notes that be recognized, and these projects should be highlighted in many agencies, even large ones, do not seem to have "core ca- agency communications, such as employee newsletters, and pacities." WMATA encourages dialogue with other agencies to at local events. "get lessons learned" because "you do not want to learn hard lessons yourself." As stated by the Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, "The world is flying by. You 2.2.3.7 Operational and Maintenance Practices have to get people to go to conferences, to get aware." Ensure that operations and maintenance staff have input during the planning and procurement process so that the 85 McGlothin Davis, Inc., "Acquiring Personnel with Appropriate Skills," Session resulting system(s) satisfy the needs of the operations and 9 of ITS course "ITS Staffing," instructor's guide (New Brunswick, N.J.: National maintenance personnel. Since this staff will have to "live" Transit Institute, July 2004), pp. 185186. with the technology once it is deployed, they should have sig-