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LEVELS OF INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITY MATURITY An examination of the experience of transportation agencies (particularly state DOTs) indicates that the four elements of institutional architecture tend to evolve together to- ward institutional frameworks increasingly supportive of SO&M. The following three distinct combinations of features, in levels of increasing capability to support effective SO&M, have been identified (see also Table 1.1): Level 1: Ad Hoc. An architecture reflecting a legacy civil engineering culture in which SO&M activities are accommodated on an ad hoc and informal basis, typically as a subsidiary part of maintenance or capital project arrangements, as reflected in the transitioning states. This state of play is reflected in a legacy organizational struc- ture and informal resource allocation, fragmented SO&M activities, ad hoc project- oriented business processes, and a narrow SO&M program with no clear sense of performance. Level 2: Rationalized. An architecture reflecting an appreciation of SO&M as a distinct activity with related adjustments in arrangements, resources, and roles to ac- commodate the distinct demands of SO&M, as reflected in the mature states. Level 3: Mainstreamed. An architecture (hypothetical) in which SO&M is consid- ered a core mission, with appropriate formal and standardized arrangements (equiva- lent to other core programs) configured to support continuous improvement as an ideal target. The point of departure for this spectrum of levels is Level 1, reflected by the many state DOTs that are transitioning into SO&M as an identifiable managed activity. At the other end of the maturity scale is Level 3--an ideal agency culture, fully staffed within an efficient organizational structure, a transparent resource allocation process for SO&M, and formal relationships with partners. Between the transitioning situa- tion and the ideal is Level 2, already evident in state DOTs committed to formalizing SO&M as a core program and who are undertaking changes to rationalize organiza- tion, staffing, resource allocation, and partner relationships toward that end. TABLE 1.1. BASIC INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITY MATURITY ELEMENTS AND LEVELS Institutional Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Elements Ad Hoc Rationalized Mainstreamed Culture/ Mixed, hero driven Championed/ Commitment to leadership internalized across customer mobility disciplines Organization Fragmented, Aligned, trained Integrated and staffing understaffed Resource Project level Criteria-based Sustainable budget allocation program line item Partnerships Informal, unaligned Formal, aligned Consolidated 4 GUIDE TO IMPROVING CAPABILITY FOR SYSTEMS OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT