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C H A P T E R 6 Research Findings: Institutional Architecture Characteristics That Support Effective Programs This chapter focuses on the development of an institutional Technical Process Implications maturity model. A key finding from consideration of the prac- The nature of SO&M strategy applications (low-cost and dis- tices of the mature versus transitioning states was the appar- tributed) and their key features (critical information, com- ent direct relationship between some business processes--as munication and control systems and related technology, the described in the previous chapter--and their dependency on necessity of situational awareness, and performance feedback) institutional support. require custom-tailored processes in parallel with existing con- ventions for capital programs. Process development requires Process Implications for upper-management recognition of the need to formalize Institutional Architecture SO&M at a statewide level with the full set of standardized activities in parallel with those of other core programs, such Each of the key process dimensions discussed in Chapter 5 as planning, programming, project development, and mainte- is dependent on the following key features of institutional nance. It also requires the identification of the organizational architecture: scoping implications, technical process impli- units responsible, an accountability mechanism, supporting cations, systems and technology implications, and perfor- resources, and appropriate professional capacities. mance measurement. Systems and Technology Implications Scoping Implications Without a formal managed SO&M program and experienced The selection and implementation of various application systems engineering staff (at both DOT central office and dis- strategies--the program scoping--is the mechanism through trict levels), achieving standardization, rational systems plat- which the SO&M-related services are actually delivered in the form, and technology improvement and upgrading is not field in real time. Impact on level of service will depend on the possible. In addition, since some strategy applications involve applications selected, where they are deployed, and how well external players in their concepts of operations, there is a need they are implemented. The promise of SO&M and its cost- for external system coordination. However, this is not likely effectiveness in maintaining and improving mobility is directly without a level of formal partnering. proportional to the nature of the implementation, such as the service needs addressed, extent of SO&M applications, aggres- Performance Measurement siveness of the applications (compared to best practice). The more fully developed, long-standing programs are in trans- Performance measurement is the basis for a transportation portation agencies where the limits on capacity enhancement agency's accountability for any mission related to mobility have been acknowledged in policy; where senior leaders have and safety--including increases in reliability. Policy remains consistently supported a standardized, expanding, and sus- merely assertion, and accountability meaningless, without the tainable SO&M program; and where capable staff is evident, ability to determine the impacts of investments and actions. resources rationally relate to key needs, and partner relation- Thus, performance measurement plays a fundamental role in ships are somewhat formal. the culture and business model of an operations-committed 42