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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Improving Transportation Systems Management and Operations – Capability Maturity Model Workshop White Paper – Collaboration

4. Relationships to Other Capability Dimensions

The workshop illuminated important interdependencies among the Collaboration dimension and other dimensions of capability.

4.1 Synergy

As noted in Section 3.1, the synergies among the six TMCs CMM dimensions are key defining characteristics of their critically. Each dimension is directly dependent on other specific dimensions to support improving capabilities. The three process dimensions are interdependent, but they, in turn, are also dependent on supportive institutional dimensions.

As suggested in Figure 4.1, it was observed in the workshop discussions that within the State DOT framework, Collaboration is uniquely important to TMCs since several of the key strategies (corridor management, incident management, work-zone traffic management, and traveler information) are substantially dependent on the level of collaboration with outside players, both public and private. This includes the need for interoperable systems across jurisdictions. Effective collaboration, as noted by workshop participants, depends on acceptance within the State DOT culture that key responsibilities of the agency depend on formal institutionalization of interagency working relationships on an effective and sustainable basis, including accountability for that interdependence. The needed collaboration includes not only stable public agency-to-agency cooperation, but also effective approaches to maintain a structure of public-private partnerships that is sustainable. It was also noted that sustainable interagency collaboration cannot simply be dependent on personalities but must include specific reflection in the agency’s organizational responsibilities and accountability. Embracing this interdependency was reflected on the high level of consciousness (and assessment scores) accorded collaboration in many DOTs (14 of the 23 States rated the Collaboration dimension as their highest level of capability, typically between Levels 2 and 3).

Figure 4.1 Graph. Key Synergisms between Collaboration and Other Dimensions

Figure 4.1 is a circular graph with six points representing the six dimensions.

(Source: Cambridge Systematics, Inc. and Parsons Brinckerhoff.)

4.2 Span of Control

The workshops focused on middle management involved with TMCs. This kind of staff is typically positioned at the third or fourth level within a State DOT central office, at the second or third level in DOT districts/regions, and is specialized staff in MPOs. These individuals have direct responsibility for visible TMCs functions, such as TMC operations, incident management, ITS device maintenance, or snow and ice control on a day-to-day basis in real time. Day-to-day external collaboration is substantially within the span of control of middle management who establish and maintain good working relationships with key staff from external entities. However, formalizing external relationships (such as through agency-to-agency memoranda of agreement and public-private partnerships) requires direct senior interagency contacts and a clear delegation of responsibility and authority to appropriate managers. TMCs managers can propose strategies but typically do not have the authority to carry them out.

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