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8 combining and integrating processes to improve travel time identify where critical actions and activities come together reliability. This provides a foundation for more detailed ana- and to identify their impact on travel time reliability. lytic and program application activities being conducted through other SHRP 2 Reliability efforts. Relationship of Business Processes Coordinate L01 research activities with ongoing research to Transportation Operations within the SHRP 2 Reliability focus area to extract the most and Travel Time Reliability innovative case studies. Leveraging the research activities among the multiple Reliability projects will enhance the SHRP 2 and the program's Reliability Technical Coordinating overall product of this focus area. Committee identified a range of potential business processes that have a key role in transportation operations. Some of these processes at the institutional level were broad, such as policy Business Process Focus development, planning, programming, and incident manage- Defining a Business Process ment. Others were focused at the operations level, such as active traffic management (ATM), snow and ice removal, and In general, a business process is a series of actions or activities coordination of traffic signal operations. These represent vary- that result in a specific or desired outcome or accomplish a spe- ing levels within an organization of where and how specific cific organizational goal. There are several interpretations of processes may be implemented. For example, although policy business process, depending on the context or focus. In systems development, planning, and programming are often separate engineering and information technology, business process from day-to-day operations, in many cases there is a direct management and mapping take a quantitative approach. relationship between a transportation agency's policy set and Efforts are under way to standardize how processes are shown how operations are conducted. Similarly, although planning and integrated to provide a detailed road map of events, actors, and programming may influence available resources or imple- inputs, outputs, activity sequences, and outcomes. mentation time frames for certain operational activities, the Sparx Systems (3) describes a business process as day-to-day relationship between these might not be clear or even apparent to personnel in the field who are responsible for a collection of activities designed to produce a specific output typical operations activities. for a particular customer or market. It implies a strong empha- For this research to have the greatest impact, the focus of sis on how the work is done within an organization, in contrast the business process analysis was narrowed to those key oper- to a product's focus on what. A process is thus a specific order- ational areas that have the most influence on travel time reli- ing of work activities across time and place, with a beginning, ability. These corresponded to the root causes of congestion as an end, and clearly defined inputs and outputs; it is a structure identified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for action. A business process: and through numerous performance monitoring/reporting Has a goal; documents and ongoing reliability research. These key opera- Has specific inputs; tional areas are as follows: Has specific outputs; Uses resources; Incident management; Has a number of activities that are performed in some order; Work zones; May affect more than one organizational unit (horizontal Planned special events; organizational impact); and Weather/road weather management; Creates value of some kind for the customer (internal or Traffic control/traffic operations; external). Capacity/recurring congestion; and The Queensland Government (Australia) Chief Informa- Fluctuations in demand. tion Office describes a business process as "the execution of a sequence of related steps in response to an event that leads to Within each of these areas are key business processes that a clearly defined deliverable or outcome. A number of role- have come together to provide a set of integration points, roles players may contribute to the execution of an end-to-end Busi- and influences of stakeholders, sequences of activities, and ness Process. End-to-end business processes may also cross outcomes. It is also expected that by identifying core business functional boundaries" (4). processes and establishing a link to reliability, there will be In each of these broad definitions, there is an emphasis on definitive relationships within each area to inputs, outputs, sequence of events, and a value-added result. For the purposes of this study and with a focus on transporta- Policies needed to support operations within an agency, tion operations and management, a similar view of business as well as relationships with stakeholders from multiple processes and the steps within a process were analyzed to agencies;