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12 Step 3. Identify the target level and inspect the numbered strategies for each element to move up to the next level. Each element has several associated maturity improvement strategies. Determine the priority strategy based on the current level and the amount of change needed to get to the next level. Step 4. Review each general strategy template for guidance to move to the next level: Level 1 to Level 2, or Level 2 to Level 3. For each element, there is a separate, detailed guidance tem- plate in a standard format. These steps are further illustrated in Chapter 7. Managing Improvements in Institutional Maturity The guide provides the steps that must be taken to improve institutional maturity toward archi- tectures more supportive of effective SO&M. However, the opportunities to take the steps recom- mended will vary widely by agency and context--as well as with the span of control of the agency's leadership. It is apparent from experience that opportunities for change vary from limited and incremental to more significant, often in response to external factors. There are often multiple drivers of change--or a sequence of drivers--that provide impetus for increased focus on SO&M. It is important to recognize the barriers and constraints that inhibit change. Table ES.6 indicates the principal barriers to change. Managed Change Managed change, in which leadership within an organization makes deliberate changes in pro- gram, process, or institutional arrangements, represents a discontinuity with the existing legacy arrangements and is openly acknowledged as such. The drivers for these more discrete changes tend to be a combination of professional predisposition and agency leadership--to articulate the need for change in a way that makes the need more widely apparent and to oversee a program of appropriate changes (as specified in the transition to a higher level). Each of these types of managed change is described briefly below: Middle-Management-Led Change. Committed professionals can have a significant impact from the inside out and up. Top-Management-Led Change. In a few instances, SO&M has been encouraged by new CEO leadership that institutes new policy mandating or authorizing a department wide process to Table ES.6. Barriers to Institutional Change Change Elements Barriers Culture/leadership Limited public and elected-leader support. Significant capacity construction program. Limited internal middle management support. Fuzzy legislative authority. Organization and staffing Absence of experienced SO&M manager(s). Shortfall or turnover in qualified staff. Staffing-level constraints. Resource allocation State funding ineligible for SO&M. Competition for resources from other program backlogs. No performance outcome measures. Partnerships Conflicting partner priorities.

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13 improve SO&M that involves consolidating and strengthening the systems operations func- tions at a statewide program level in both the central office and key districts. Externally Driven Change Events outside the control of management have been the key driver of change in SO&M. Several versions have been observed among state DOTs regarding significant increments in attention to SO&M. These include event-driven change, incident-driven change, constraint-driven change, federal program incentives change, and new regional institutional configuration. Event-Driven Change. Anticipated major traffic impacts in response to major external events have been a common stimulus to significant change. Major one-time or annual sports events (e.g., Olympics or auto races) and conferences are the two most prevalent types of events for which extensive planning is undertaken to preserve general mobility and minimize disruption while accommodating the event. These anticipated events often require signifi- cant improvements in operational capacity, including new infrastructure, special procedures, and new relationships. Incident-Driven Change. Major unplanned events causing major disruptions have been the most common cause of across-the-board improvements in SO&M. These incidents include natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes, floods), major weather events such as snowstorms, and major traffic incidents, ranging from crashes to extensive seasonal recre- ation congestion. With the disruption, delay, and loss of system reliability associated with such major NRC events--especially those with high public and policy visibility--the need for specific changes in one or more operations activity becomes compelling, with strong public and policy support or imperatives. Immediate action is usually required as a matter of agency credibility, including the need to demonstrate visible change and positive out- comes. Although the response is often limited to a specific activity, there are a few cases where the response to a particular event and location has been extended by management to the statewide program level, and often accompanied by changes in process and institu- tional arrangements. Constraint-Driven Change. In the face of financial or environmental limitations, expensive cap- ital projects to increase highway capacity are often infeasible. SO&M then gains credibility as a relatively inexpensive way to improve the efficiency of the existing roadway. This driver of change becomes most apparent where congestion levels are extremely high and capacity improvement opportunity limitations are openly acknowledged by the transportation agency and accepted by traditional highway stakeholders. Federal Program Incentives Change. The use of federal funds has introduced planning and systems architecture requirements that have increasingly focused on performance mea- surement. FHWA has also promoted research, technical exchange, and definitions of cur- rent best practice and provided dedicated funding. These actions have increased the visibility and legitimacy of ITS and SO&M within transportation policy and encouraged state and local involvement. New Regional Institutional Configuration. Some substate entities (e.g., local governments, MPOs) have taken initiatives involving cooperative regional efforts for interagency collaboration in improving SO&M and have involved state DOTs as one of several cooperative entities. Building on Change-Driven Momentum Effectively capitalizing on such events requires that the agency have a general strategy in place to seize these opportunities to extend and standardize specific program and organizational changes into improved day-to-day SO&M across the agency as a whole. Even in constrained contexts, it can be extremely valuable to have an improvement program ready for potential utilization as