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The Decision Model 19 Step 4--Determine Agency Capability Level START Use Selection of a procurement package cannot be based solely on a project's complexity and risk. outsourc- ing Equally critical to procurement package selection is an honest assessment of your agency's process (procure- resources and capabilities as well as the environment in which your initiative is planned, ment package designed, deployed, and operated. Does your agency have personnel with relevant prior ITS proj- 6 or 7) ect experience? Is there management support for dedicating adequate resources throughout your STEP 1 INITIAL DECISIONS ITS project's life cycle? What exactly are the expectations of agency management and can these Use Other expectations be met (realistically)? consulting services process being (procure- procured. The fourth step in the Decision Model is designed to help you answer these questions. ment Not package covered This step uses the information in Table 3 and the worksheet in Appendix B to determine the 5) by this level that best suits your agency's capability to manage the system acquisition. In essence, Model. Use the STEP 2 this step is used to assess your agency's organization, experience, and resources relative Agency Cap- WORK Yes ability Level DISTRIBUTION to ITS procurements. Worksheet in Send Appendix B to help individual define the Level. A careful and thorough assessment is important. While the tendency may be to look projects Remember... through at your agency's capabilities in a favorable light, overlooking deficiencies in, for exam- "honesty is the best the policy" when it comes Decision ple, experience and resources is a recipe for failure. Major ITS projects with significant to assessing your Model. software development, hardware integration, and, perhaps most critical, long-term oper- agency's true ITS capability level! No ations and maintenance support can be challenging for even the most experienced agency. If you and your agency are not quite ready to take on a project, then either don't do STEP 3 STEP 4 it or reduce the project scope to a manageable size and complexity. It might also be prudent DEFINE PROJECT CATEGORY(IES) DETERMINE AGENCY CAPABILITY LEVEL to bring on additional consultant resources. Don't take on a system that will result in a long-term operations and maintenance commitment if you haven't identified the STEP 5 resources to maintain it. If pressure "from above" is an issue, use this guide to make a SELECT APPLICABLE SYSTEMS case for performing the additional planning and preparation necessary to acquire the ENGINEERING PROCESS(ES) & experience, resources, and management support for taking on the challenges of an ITS CANDIDATE PROCUREMENT project and making it a success. PACKAGE(S) As in the previous step where project categories were defined, some degree of uncertainty is STEP 6 likely to exist regarding the capability level of the agency's organization. In this case, personnel APPLY DIFFERENTIATORS and organizational experience should receive the greatest weight. In the event that you think your Schedule Constraints agency is described equally well by two levels, be conservative and select the lower one. STEP 7 Now that you've figured out your project category(ies) and have done an assessment of your PACKAGE ASSESSMENT agency's ITS-related capabilities, you're ready to move on to the next step, which will begin to AND FINAL SELECTIONS reveal some initial results of the Decision Model. STEP 8 DEFINE CONTRACT SCOPE AND TERMS & CONDITIONS END
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20 Guide to Contracting ITS Projects Table 3. Agency capability levels as a function of characteristics. Characteristic Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Personnel ITS assigned as part-time job ITS assigned as full-time job Full-time ITS manager and Experience to person with no staff and little with no staff or some part-time staff with significant prior ITS to no specific ITS experience. staff support. Person assigned experience. Staff support has some specific ITS includes system experience with Category 2 or administration, operations, and 3 projects. Staff support (if it maintenance responsibilities. exists) has little to no ITS experience. Organizational Little to no experience with the Experience with at least one Experience with at least one Experience possible exception of Category Category 2 or greater project. Category 3 or greater project. 1 ITS project(s). Organizational ITS responsibility not defined. ITS responsibility somewhat, Established organizational unit Structure Responsibility housed within but not adequately defined. with budgetary authority and organization with other mission Individual organizational units clear ITS responsibilities. or primary responsibility. have ITS responsibility and Organizational unit ties all ITS Responsibility may also be have their own budgets, responsibilities together and scattered among management, and priorities; includes a procurement organizational entities with no however, there is no definitive process that supports ITS clear lines of responsibility. linkage among these units. An acquisition (e.g., personnel, umbrella ITS organizational policies, and procedures). unit may exist, but may not have the budgetary authority to effectively manage subunits. Resources Little to none. No identifiable Some budget resources (e.g., Identifiable budget category ITS budget categories or ITS earmark funding) assigned set aside for ITS. Budget identification of specific ITS to one or more existing includes support for all funding within existing organizational unit(s). Support required personnel, support organizational units. for personnel, equipment, equipment, office space, office space, and training training, and (if necessary) expected to come from existing consulting support. budget of organizational unit(s). Management Support Some mid-level management Strong mid-level management Top-level management support for ITS/Operations, but support for ITS/Operations, support. ITS/Operations little to no interest at top with some interest/ considered an agency priority management levels. involvement at top within its overall mission. ITS/Operations not recognized management levels. as an agency priority. Expectations Not defined or limited to a Expectations exist for a few ITS/Operations is part of both lower category ITS project "special" ITS-related projects. short- and long-range under consideration for Expectations may or may not planning. Expectations are deployment, expansion, or be realistic depending on well defined with actual replacement. whether they have been performance measures. managed properly. ITS/Operations expectations focus on improvement and not on status quo.