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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

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

Appendix: Steps to Implement Common Implementation Plan Priority Actions for Organization and Staffing Dimension

The steps listed below implement the most common priority actions identified by workshop participants when developing their implementation plans. Although the actions themselves are not stated, they generally address improvement in each of the organization and staffing elements. The steps for each action were developed by the workshop site core team, assisted by a template of facilitator-supplied suggested steps based on workshop outputs, and structured consistent with the basic CMM guidance presented in the AASHTO TSM&O Guidance.

Program Status:

  1. Establish a TSM&O program development group.
  2. Develop and communicate the business case for TSM&O as a key program activity of the agency, including the need for clear objectives, strategies, and related performance measures; clarify the nature of agency activities and their resource requirements, including staffing, to implement the strategies.
  3. Make the case for TSM&O as a top level formal agency program with appropriate explicit identification in agency documents related to mission, vision, policy, goals and objectives.
  4. Make the case for explicit inclusion of TSM&O as a program in planning and budgeting activities.
  5. Propose modifications to the existing agency standard project development process that add coordination with and reference to TSM&O facility deployment as part of other projects.

Organizational Structure:

  1. Examine current division/group mission descriptions, roles, job descriptions, and staff resource allocation (headquarters and district) and identify gaps that are inhibiting effective implementation or expansion of priority TSM&O strategies or programs.
  2. Based on concepts of operations for key strategy applications, identify appropriate organizational relationships, and clarify chain of command; consider vertical and horizontal scope and span of control of TSM&O relevant offices compared to legacy organization.
  3. Consider staffing needs to support the full range of identified TSM&O requirements and priorities, including project planning and development, performance management and reporting, system operations and management, maintenance, etc.
  4. Identify the need and instances for the senior full-time TSM&O staff manager’s direct participation in decision making required for effective coordination and for representation in tradeoff decisions affecting access to needed resources.
  5. Identify specific staff manager responsibilities, performance metrics, and reporting responsibilities and compare responsibilities with authority and resources.
  6. Develop a strategy to address TSM&O staff and resource priorities, considering any constraints on FTEs department-wide, including defining those functions that could potentially be addressed by outsourcing and reprioritizing internal staffing allocation.
  7. Review appropriate distribution of roles and responsibilities between headquarters and districts and/or TMCs to determine efficient allocation of staff and other resources to minimize duplication and maximum field-level program delivery effectiveness.
  8. Initiate internal discussions to address priority TSM&O staffing needs, including reprioritizing staffing allocations, redefining job descriptions, or contracting needs for functions identified for outsourcing; leverage TSM&O business case and program plan.
  9. Update division/unit missions and staff job descriptions to reflect TSM&O needs and functions.

Staff Development:

  1. Establish TSM&O policy group of key internal and external stakeholders to review program functions and needed relationships.
  2. Identify the range of needed core capabilities to carry out a TSM&O plan relative to development, acquisition, and implementation, as well as strategy-specific procedures and protocols that are essential to building and managing TSM&O activities as defined in a TSM&O plan.
  3. Compare position descriptions within agency for equivalency based on experience and job-relevant technical skills, including consideration of new positions’ specification relevant to special TSM&O skills.
  4. Identify dependency on staff champions and determine characteristics that can be built into formalized standard operating procedures that are not champion dependent.
  5. Evaluate job description credentials/experience requirements for current applicability and develop position descriptions that satisfy needed TSM&O core capabilities (potentially using national best practice).
  6. Conduct comparative study on salaries (peer States, agencies, regions, private sector), including differences in cost of living across a State.
  7. Identify opportunities to use staff with nontraditional degrees.
  8. Prepare a TSM&O Staffing Plan that addresses, at a minimum:
    1. TSM&O position qualifications, job descriptions, and core competencies;
    2. Career paths that align with current/expected department needs/activities;
    3. Strategies for recruiting/retaining young staff, including intern recruitment;
    4. Training and experience resources to help fulfill core competencies of TSM&O position requirements; and
    5. Compensation requirements relative to peer organizations and geographic locale.
  9. Support the business case for increased staffing by indicating benefits and payoffs; illustrate the consequences of staffing shortfalls.
  10. Develop specific training needs based on core competencies versus existing staff background; identify training resources from Federal, State, and association level, including consideration of peer State activities.
  11. Identify existing training courses/materials that will meet identified training needs (SHRP 2 products, AASHTO, FHWA, ITE, etc.) and identify gaps in available training materials and resources; develop materials/methods for addressing needs unmet by existing courses/materials.
  12. Establish a mentoring program for junior staff to support professional development and clarify paths of career advancement.
  13. Support staff participation in national forums and associations such as AASHTO, TRB, ITE, and others; support staff participation in local forums to leverage potential training and capacity building opportunities.
  14. Participate in technical interchanges with peer agencies and professional organizations.

Recruitment and Retention:

  1. Identify existing non-TSM&O staff for qualifications and interests in new or backfilling positions.
  2. Review and compare position descriptions, working conditions, training, career opportunities, and competing opportunities to improve attractiveness of TSM&O staff positions.
  3. Develop strategies and requirements for acquiring skills through appropriate means/sources (reassign, hire, outsource), supported by appropriate cost-benefit analysis or justification of staffing levels/paths.
  4. Consider pros and cons of outsourcing functions requiring special expertise versus retaining those functions in-house.
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