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4 In this project, institutional architecture will focus on these substantial nontechnical features that describe whether, how, and with whom an agency pursues SO&M. It is therefore impor- tant to distinguish institutional architecture from technical and business processes (such as planning/programming, systems development, and performance measurement) and from the program of SO&M applications (such as incident management or road weather information). The research in this report includes the determination of the common aspects of the programs and the technical and business processes of the states that appear to have more effective opera- tions, but only to the extent that those processes identify the needed institutional architecture. For example, an effective incident management program requires an interrelated sequence of planning, systems engineering, resource allocation, procurement, project development and implementation, and procedural coordination. All these processes, in turn, depend on key ele- ments of a supportive institutional setting (i.e., leadership, legal authorization, organized respon- sibilities, staff capabilities, available resources, and working partnerships). Basic Hypothesis and Study Methodology The central hypothesis of the research for this project is that there is a traceable relationship from effective NRC applications, through the technical and business processes that are needed for their implementation, to the characteristics of a supportive institutional framework. In order to develop a more structured understanding of these relationships, this research was conducted in three parts: · Identification of the more effective transportation agencies through the evaluation of their program characteristics (done with available statistics and program descriptions); · Determination of the technical and business process features that are utilized to support pro- gram effectiveness (through interviews and secondary materials); and · Identification of the institutional characteristics that appear to be essential in the development, support, and sustainment of the key process features. The conclusions from a survey and other research methods identified the key variables of SO&M-related technical and business processes essential to effective programs--and were docu- mented as the basis for determining the features of institutional architecture needed to support such processes. These have been structured into a capability maturity model form. The analysis was supported by a review of organizational development research literature focused on the insti- tutional characteristics of operations versus product-oriented organizations in the private sector and the change management strategies being used to improve organizational effectiveness. Application of the Capability Maturity Model The most relevant of the private-sector change management approaches is the capability maturity model (CMM), developed in the information technology industry to help companies produce quality software. The CMM is based on the recognition that specific process features--such as per- formance measurement and documentation--are essential for program effectiveness and that they must be present at defined levels of criteria-based maturity to achieve industry-acceptable levels of effectiveness. The CMM provides a self-managed, systematic approach to making process improvements that support increasingly consistent, repeatable, reliable, and efficient outcomes. The key features of the CMM approach include the following: · Goals: The conditions that must exist for key process areas/elements to be achieved in an effec- tive and lasting way. · Maturity levels: Levels of achievement defined by specific criteria. They advance toward a desir- able end-state in which processes are managed by continuous improvement, typically structured from the ad hoc, through increasing levels of definition and reliability, to fully manageable.