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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

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

5. Implementation Plan Capability Improvement Actions

A majority of workshop sites included one or more actions addressing Culture in their implementation plans. Among those actions, the highest priorities were development of a business case, marketing plan, or campaign that would increase the level of awareness, understanding, and most important, support for TSM&O; and development of outreach or communication material to disseminate the purpose and successes of TSM&O. Typical participant-suggested actions for advancement to the next level of capability are presented below in order of frequency of inclusion:

  • Develop TSM&O outreach/communications material; document lessons learned/success stories
  • Develop TSM&O business case
  • Institute TSM&O knowledge sharing (e.g., though identified experts and peer exchanges)
  • Develop proactive relationship with public service agencies
  • Develop executive policy/directives in support of TSM&O/ITS/total system management
  • Establish TSM&O executive steering committee to set vision and strategic priorities
  • Recruit and select TSM&O advocates beyond headquarters to facilitate education
  • Identify team of TSM&O champions at senior management and division head levels.

The appendix presents the key implementation plan steps commonly identified for these priorities. The highlights of these actions focus on two areas.

5.1 Develop TSM&O Business Case and Related Communications Strategy

The lack of a persuasive business case to justify TSM&O as a program (staffing, organization, and resource needs) was an issue that arose under Culture as well as the Business Processes and Collaboration dimensions. Development of a business case was typically conceived of as a distinct work effort, requiring collaboration among those involved and those who needed persuasion. The common implementation plan work tasks typically had education, evidence, and persuasion components. Workshop participants recognized that custom-tailored cases had to be made for specific stakeholder audiences – in particular, senior management, policy makers, and key partners in TSM&O execution. There was concern that as a new program, TSM&O had to meet a higher standard of justification than a legacy program and that development of persuasive performance data, B/C data, payoffs, and anecdotal experience (nationally and locally) was an important task yielding peer exchange and lessons learned. As a result, implementation plans related to business case development typically included an effort to identify and document cases where the payoffs could be described, especially in comparison to conventional improvements. Several workshops raised the need for compelling data on benefits.

5.2 Develop TSM&O Outreach/Communications Material

Closely related to the business case work tasks in implementation plans was development of a communication and outreach plan using arguments and examples tailored to both internal and external audiences. The plans focused on the identification of talking points for each type of audience, differentiating internal staff colleagues from external decision makers (commission/board members, regional planning officials) and the general public. The plans also included the need to identify the communication strategies, media, and scale of material that would likely have the maximum impact. Implementation plans also included reference to materials that would be produced in TSM&O program plans and reflected in performance measures.

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