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74 change. It is not a reflection of the change not being viewed assessing their operational activities with a supply-chain or as critical, but likely more attributed to the distance between business process perspective. In fact, a key challenge experi- these two divisions. enced by the research team was helping to align the concept · Although reliability is emerging as an important metric of business processes to transportation operations during among agencies, often it does not have an impact on process the interview process. Evaluations of operational programs, implementation or integration. Most, if not all, state DOTs such as incident response and clearance times or before- have an overarching agency goal or directive to provide a and-after studies of throughput, will yield valuable informa- system that supports mobility and provides safety for users, tion about whether processes are effective or not at a higher and these can translate into tangible operations improve- level, but might not provide enough information about spe- ments and programs. Travel time reliability and mitigat- cific steps that might need to be modified or about oppor- ing the effects of variability on the transportation network tunities for more effective integration of processes. have not yet become engrained into the operations culture for many DOTs, although many of their activities for traffic management, traveler information, incident response, and Elements of Process weather hazard response all contribute to reliability. One Development and Integration exception identified within the case studies is WSDOT's Process integration needs to occur at the operations level 90-min incident clearance goal. The need to meet this goal (in the field, in the center) and within the institution for it to has become such a critical part of both the DOT and the state extend to planning, programming, training, procurement, and police that tangible activities and processes have been imple- other organization-level activities. Creating positive impacts to mented with the specific purpose of meeting this top-down travel time reliability, or minimizing the negative impacts to directive. variability in travel times, is rarely the result of operational · Because there are a range of agency stakeholders or partners processes from one source or one agency. As demonstrated that often contribute to reliability-focused strategies, it is through the case studies, there are multiple entities that carry important to consider that each will likely have a different out one or more steps in the process, and each individual step motivation for process implementation or, more impor- is an enabler to the success of the overall process. tantly, for process change. For a stakeholder to have a vested Case studies presented in the research represent a range of interest in modifying or changing operational processes, potential processes and integration strategies. Each region there needs to be a tangible benefit from the stakeholder's or program profiled in the case studies has worked through perspective. In some cases, broad objectives, such as reduc- unique institutional and operational factors, and processes ing the time to clear a major event venue parking lot, can be have developed and evolved in response to different catalysts, a motivator, but often it will need to be an outcome that is closer to the division or agency, such as reducing the num- many of them extremely localized. There are, however, bene- ber of field staff by 75% to manage event venue parking lot fits to be derived from these case studies that could be applied clearance, which has a direct impact on resources, cost, in other areas. Guidance from the workshop participants indi- overtime, training, and other factors. Understanding the cated that there would be more benefit in generalizing out- unique language of the various stakeholder agencies can comes and deriving common elements from across the profiled be important when trying to communicate the benefits of processes. Figure 8.1 presents the generalized steps for map- process change. WSDOT brought in a retired WSP district ping out business processes. commander to serve as its incident response program man- Influences: Each process description within the case studies ager. With his background in law enforcement, he was able was the result of a different catalyst or influence. There was to discuss incident management process change and imple- either a top-down directive or a specific need that required the mentation with WSP and communicate the benefits in a development of a solution. way that was more meaningful. Top-down directives also Defining the Specific Reliability Goal: Feedback from the provide a certain level of motivation for process change, as workshop stressed the importance of focusing on a specific there is typically a level of accountability associated with problem that needs to be solved before focusing on the these directives. processes that would be required. Establishing a goal, such as · The process modeling that has been mapped out in the case incident clearance times, or identifying a need, such as mitigat- studies may not be at a level that is typical of how a DOT, ing truck queuing on an interstate, provides the benchmark by transportation agency, or other stakeholder would view which specific stakeholders, actions, resources, and measures individual operational processes. There is often a challenge can then be derived. Reliability has not yet emerged as a com- in identifying critical gaps or breakdowns within specific mon goal for transportation operations. There is a substantial processes because agencies might not typically approach focus on safety and mobility, as these can translate into much
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75 Figure 8.1. Business process mapping steps. more tangible goals for departments of transportation and the divisions or agencies to support, a more formal approach to public. Mobility can be difficult to capture in the context of a implementation will be needed. specific goal; supporting goals will often refer to improvements It is important during process integration that all the appro- to travel time or reductions in delay, but even these may be dif- priate stakeholders are involved. There needs to be buy-in from ficult to convey to the public. The traveling public understands those who will provide inputs into the process and those who the big-picture concept of reliability because it directly affects are affected by the process. In the MDOT case study, one of the their daily travel, but communicating system reliability and challenges was coordinating changes that occurred in the field establishing reliability goals in a way that is meaningful to the during construction with those responsible for doing the work public is a challenge. zone traffic control modeling. The stakeholders in the field were Identify and Document Current Business Processes: This critical and their input needed to be integrated into the overall step is a gap in most current operational process assessments. process. Private-sector processes and industrial engineering often will Measuring Outcomes Against Reliability Goals: Not all the focus on gathering information about current processes and case studies documented specific measures by which they eval- flows and on identifying where the strengths and weaknesses uated their overall processes. Some have specific and formal- are in the chain of events. Not completing this step risks over- ized measures; others rely on less formal evaluations. Often, the looking roles, available resources, or operational activities that directive or influence will have a direct impact on how the goal might be critical enablers to a more efficient process. Critical is measured. For operational processes, incremental or system assessment can draw out important integration points (either measurements will indicate whether a process is working well existing integration points or potential integration strategies). or is not working at all. At the programmatic or institutional It also provides a starting point for process documentation. level, measuring process effectiveness in an incremental fash- Examples of BPMN have been included for each of the case ion might not translate into whether overall agency reliability studies profiled. goals are being achieved. Different measures might need to be Implement Process: At the operations level, process devel- applied at the programmatic or institutional level that consider opment and implementation often occur as the result of grass- trends, as well as the culmination of many subprocesses. roots efforts by staff and champions that are closest to the Measuring effectiveness or outcomes also provides an operational activities. Implementing or modifying current opportunity to periodically evaluate the effectiveness of vari- practices, coordinating with other agencies, and recommend- ous business processes and modify or change elements of the ing more efficient systems to support operations, are all ele- process if needed. ments of process implementation. Often, as was demonstrated Document New Process: The case studies presented an by the I-80 closures or the special-event management strate- option for how to take a critical look at modeling and assessing gies, certain processes become engrained into a broader oper- various processes for congestion management strategies. Not ations strategy. When processes need to be implemented all agencies will want to make the investment in preparing upstream or are dependent on management from one or more detailed process models for all their operational activities,