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5 · Process elements: The related categories of activities that, if performed well, will achieve the goals. · Strategies/practices: The means by which higher maturity levels are achieved for each process element. In CMM applications in IT and other process areas, improved levels of maturity are based on self-evaluation and on identifying strategies to reach the next criteria-defined level. The model has been used as the basis for standardized steps, commandments, or stages as problem-solving recipes in several application areas. Research Findings: Processes and Their Institutional Support Implications In this project, the concept of capability maturity has been adapted and extended to fit the trans- portation service context. Both process and institutional elements are addressed, defined, and structured to fit transportation agency practice and context. The key elements have been defined through the research, with incremental levels of improvement benchmarked to current average and best SO&M practice today for all process and institutional elements. Importantly, the research identified the apparent correlation between process improvements associated with increased pro- gram effectiveness and related, supportive institutional configurations (also called levels). Table ES.2 illustrates examples of the relationships as suggested by the research. The examples indicate a strong correlation between institutional features and the effectiveness of SO&M appli- cations. As indicated, there are specific relationships between key business and technical processes for effective SO&M and supportive institutional features. The key processes and their institutional implications include the scope of operations in the field; technical processes; sys- tems and technology development; and performance monitoring, measurement, and analysis. The scope of applications in the field includes the scope of the program and its responsiveness to the array of NRC problems experienced in various geographic and network contexts. The more fully developed, long-standing programs are in transportation agencies where the limits on capacity enhancement have been acknowledged in policy; where senior leaders have consis- tently supported a standardized, expanding, and sustainable SO&M program; and where capa- ble staff is evident, resources rationally relate to key needs, and partner relationships are somewhat formal. Technical processes include planning and programming, systems engineering (including con- cept of operations), project development and ITS asset management (in terms of the ability to implement and maintain systems supporting key operations), and development of field proce- dures in support of systematic and comprehensive program development. Process development requires upper management recognition of the need to formalize SO&M at a statewide level, with a full set of standardized activities in parallel with those of other core programs, such as plan- ning, programming, project development, and maintenance. It also requires the identification of the organizational units responsible, an accountability mechanism, supporting resources, and appropriate professional capacities. Systems and technology development requires the availability of effective platforms to pro- vide the needed situational awareness, control devices, communications, and basic information resources, as well as technology deployment in terms of standardization and cost-effectiveness. Without a formal, managed SO&M program and experienced systems engineering staff (at both DOT central office and district levels), achieving standardization, a rational systems platform, and technology improvement and upgrading are not possible. In addition, since some SO&M applications involve external players in their concepts of operations, there is a need for external systems coordination, which is unlikely without a level of formal partnering. Performance monitoring, measurement, and analysis are necessary, especially in the use of outcome measures to evaluate procedures, projects, and the overall program. Performance
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6 Table ES.2. Relationships among Effective SO&M Applications, Supportive Processes, and Their Institutional Implications Characteristics of Examples of Examples of Effective Applications Supportive Processes Institutional Implications Responsiveness to an event · Program scoping · Staff capable of analysis · Situational awareness system · Integration into planning · Aligned partners with · Amount of prepositioned equipment and programming regard to concept of opera- · ITS project development tions (ConOps) and implementation · Adequate resources for necessary infrastructure and staff · Coordinated organizational units (central office and districts) · Customer-service performance culture Targeting of application · Availability of data · Staff capable of analysis · Quality of surveillance and reporting · Outcome performance information (discrimination) measurement · Level of forecasts, analytics Aggressiveness of application · Full realization of ConOps · Culture oriented to · Coordination/cooperation level · Documentation of current customer service among parties practice as basis for and performance · Use of performance measures improvement measurement to improve · Systematic platform and · Continuous-improvement · Assertion of jurisdiction regarding technology development orientation ability to employ best practice · Accountability of · Agreed-upon ConOps among individuals, units for partners performance · Full legal authority Integration among applications · Systems engineering · Degree of interagency · Interoperability/integration of process integration communications and systems · Shared ConOps and · Common standards and protocols architecture · Integration with external data sources (e.g., road weather) Coverage and density of applications · Development of standard- · Adequate resources from a · Full needs-based program scope-- ized applications needs-based, multiyear life- including all relevant strategies, · Integration into the planning cycle budget--predictable, urban and rural--based on process sustainable planning/budgeting · Mission focus on entire · Level of deployment, areawide network and per unit area measurement is the basis for a transportation agency's accountability for any mission related to mobility and safety, including increases in reliability. Policy remains merely assertion, and accountability meaningless, without the ability to determine the impacts of investments and actions. Thus, performance measurement plays a fundamental role in the culture and business model of an operations-committed transportation agency. The review, survey, and analysis of SO&M in a selected sample of state DOTs suggested a spectrum of process effectiveness-- from an ad hoc approach where SO&M is not considered as a program with distinct process and organizational arrangements to agencies where SO&M is considered as a key part of the agency mission, with its own tailored business and technical process and distinct organizational arrangements. These relationships can be calibrated in terms of levels of maturity per the CMM con- ventions, showing how improved processes are related to changes in institutional architecture,