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54 in Figures 13 through 15) were asked to identify barriers Responsible Organizational Units or impediments to greater BMS use for investment and For Decision Making resource allocation decisions. Responses are listed here as paraphrased from the survey questionnaire, followed by Table 9 organizes the bridge engineer survey responses the number of respondents in parentheses. The reasons are according to where program decisions are made; that is, wide-ranging with no particular dominant theme, although by organizational unit, level, or decision maker(s). The key a few responses do reflect some common agency reactions in decisions in the row headings are as follows: terms of (1) reservations about the economic analyses within their BMS and (2) a lack of confidence in, or familiarity with, Program Allocations: The allocation of funds among their BMS's technical analyses. different assets or programs (e.g., pavements, bridges, maintenance, or transit) The recommended actions from the BMS are too dif- Performance Measures: What performance measures ferent from the actions that agency bridge inspectors will be used and engineers recommend (2). Performance Targets: What performance targets will The BMS gives too much emphasis to economic con- be set siderations relative to other considerations, especially Bridge Funding Split: The split of funds for bridge conditions observed in the field (1). preservation, rehabilitation, and replacement The economic assumptions are not accurate (2). Major Bridge Projects: The major bridge projects that Too many managers perceive the BMS as a black box-- will be funded it uses analytic procedures that are not well understood Bridge Project Selection: Other state-owned bridge by agency personnel (1). projects that will receive funding/some action in a Management's capabilities include the ability to assess given year current and future needs. A BMS detracts from the Local Non-Metro Bridges: Local bridges outside met- bridge manager's prerogatives (1). ropolitan areas that will receive funding We have found it difficult to implement a BMS, train Metro TIP Bridges: Bridges in metropolitan areas personnel, and obtain buy-in from managers who must that will be funded and included in a metropolitan depend on it (2). Transportation Improvement Program. We have had problems with reliability; for example, in software, data, and/or analysis (1). The specific organizational units, levels, or managers that survey respondents identified have been consolidated within Additional survey responses that discuss recommended six categories to enable a broad view of variations in deci- new BMS capabilities to strengthen the support of program- sion-making authority that occur across the types of deci- ming and budgeting are presented in chapter four. sions described earlier and among and within the responding Table 9 ORGANIZATIONAL UNITS MAKING BRIDGE PROGRAMMING DECISIONS Board-- Agency Central Central Office-- Programming Decisions Commission Executive Office--Bridge Other Units Districts--Regions Local--Regional Program Allocations 4 7 1 10 2 0 Performance Measures 1 4 9 8 2 0 Performance Targets 2 3 7 5 1 0 Bridge Funding Split 0 3 9 7 9 0 Major Bridge Projects 3 8 8 4 5 0 Bridge Project Selection 0 3 13 6 11 0 Local Non-Metro Bridges 1 2 6 9 4 13 Metro TIP Bridges 2 3 6 7 8 12 Note: Data represent number of survey responses. Most frequently cited responses are in bold and underlined. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program.

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55 state DOTs. These organizational categories or levels are as within and outside the agency. For example, major bridge follows, with typical examples of DOT positions or commit- projects involve strong participation by agency executives tees that are encompassed by each (equivalent units having and, in some states, the oversight board or commission. different names or titles in other agencies are included by Regional and local officials will also be involved for major inference): projects in urban areas. Local bridge programs involve sig- nificant roles by local and regional bodies together with the Board--Commission: The highway/transportation state agency's local or municipal assistance unit. Districts (or board or commission; the provincial minister or (assis- regions or divisions) have a strong say in decisions involv- tant) deputy ing all categories of bridge projects within their jurisdiction: Agency Executive: The DOT executive or front office, local, state-owned, and major bridges. Although the bridge encompassing (as examples) the CEO, DOT direc- unit also plays a key role in establishing performance mea- tor, or minister of transportation, highways or public sures and targets for bridge programs, the executive level works; agency deputy directors or ministers (and assis- has a clear interest in bridge condition and performance as tant deputies); chief engineer and deputy; executive an important component of agency performance statewide. boards or committees; others considered front-office There is also strong involvement in performance monitoring with broad decision-making authority by other agency divisions, typically in planning, develop- Central Office--Bridge: Senior central-office bridge ment or investment management, policy and strategy, and managers, including the state (provincial) chief bridge asset management. engineer, chief bridge maintenance engineer, bridge program manager, bridge management engineer, and The one programming decision in which the bridge unit chief or head engineers of bridge design, construction, is reported not to have a dominant role is the allocation of and operations resources among competing agency programs: bridge ver- Central Office--Other Divisions: Heads, directors, sus pavement, safety, maintenance, and so on. The respond- chiefs, and senior managers of other central-office ing bridge engineers see this decision as an executive-level divisions, offices, or units, including planning (and function with board or commission involvement in several bridge management section if part of planning), capital states, or as a wider departmental decision by such units as programming, policy and strategy, highways, design, planning, investment management, policy and strategy, proj- construction, maintenance, operations, finance, bud- ect management, and (in Newfoundland and Labrador) the get, programs and contracts, and project management. director of highway design and construction. In two states, Also included are those state or provincial agency units this decision is seen as decentralized, with allocation deci- related to local programs, particularly local or munici- sions made by districts. pal bridge programs Districts--Regions: District or regional directors, Table 9 is useful as a high-level summary of these sur- engineers, bridge staff, and liaisons to local or regional vey responses. Readers interested in specific information by organizations state may consult the tables of survey results in Appendix D Local--Regional: Local (i.e., city and county) gov- (see Questions 2633). ernments, transportation and public works agencies, MPOs, regional transportation or planning organiza- Although the numerical results in Table 9 convey the tions, and bodies with recognized decision-making chief engineers' perceptions of where particular decisions authority; for example, county engineer associations. are actually made, they should not be misinterpreted as "degree of influence" on decisions. For example, a state's The entries in Table 9 tally the number of responses that transportation board or commission and the agency's execu- link decision-making authority of an organizational category tive office would typically exercise a strong influence on with each type of decision. Respondents often identified joint performance measures and targets through their interaction or multiple decision responsibility; in these cases, each such with and response to gubernatorial and legislative bodies; organizational unit was counted. After all responses were their communication with public interest groups and stake- tallied and summed, the top two or three organizational lev- holders; and their resulting formulation and communication els that were most frequently identified as having decision- of agency mission, policies, and priorities. A literal reading making authority were identified for each programming of the numbers in Table 9 belies the significance of upper- decision. These top-voted organizational levels are high- management influence on performance monitoring. Similar lighted in bold in Table 9 to reveal basic patterns that reflect comments apply to the other programming decisions regard- a high-level consensus of practice across agencies. ing resource allocation. Generally speaking, the bridge office is significantly This somewhat different perspective on organizational involved in all programming decisions that deal specifically decision making for bridges is captured in responses to with bridges, but this authority is shared with other groups another question in the survey. Respondents to the budgeting

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56 component were asked to identify which organizational Organizational units that received the greatest number of units played "a key role" in making decisions regarding the responses (more than 60%) included the office of the chief following: executive, bridge maintenance, planning and program- ming, and the district or regional director or engineer. Allocation of resources within the bridge program The group that received 35% to 45% of responses Allocation of resources between the bridge program encompassed the central office budget, maintenance, and other programs in the department. operations, finance, and bridge construction divisions, and district planning, maintenance, and programming This inquiry was structured as a single question with a and budgeting offices. check-off list of 19 organizational units. Results are shown The group that received less than 25% of responses in Figure 20. Following are the four groupings of organiza- included central office and district construction units tional units in terms of frequency of response: (the "other" responses were not further identified). FIGURE 20 Organizational units with key roles in bridge program decisions. Note: CEO = chief executive officer.

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57 The fourth group that received few or no responses 20 did not include all of the decision makers identified by included computer services and local field offices. respondents contributing to Table 9. Again, it is important to recognize the considerable variation in agency organizational Apart from the greater emphasis on the role of agency exec- structures and management culture, programming processes, utives, the findings in Figure 20 are generally consistent with functional roles and responsibilities, and attitudes toward those of Table 9--that is, the strong participation in bridge centralized or decentralized decision making. Although an resource allocation of the central office bridge unit, region or individual agency's practices may or may not conform exactly district directors, and central office planning and program- to the trends in Table 9 or Figure 20, a general overview of ming. These two sets of results were provided by somewhat where bridge-related decisions are made is nonetheless help- different pools of respondents (with a degree of overlap), and ful in understanding the other aspects of bridge resource allo- the check-off list of organizational units underlying Figure cation that are discussed in this chapter.