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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

7. Addressing Needs on the National Level

The weakness and related implementation plan actions identified in common by many State DOTs and their partners constitutes an agenda of needs for research, guidance, and training. Consistent with the capability dimensions, this agenda is focused on process and institutional improvements that are not substantially addressed by existing support materials developed among peers, by AASHTO, FHWA, or other entities. Overall there is very little support material targeting organization and staffing needs. Suggestions are presented in Table 7.1.

Table 7.1 Suggested National Activities to Support Improvements in Organization and Staffing
Activity Organization and Staffing Element Sponsor(s) Comments
Compile examples of reorganizations, including organization charts, functions, and underlying policies as examples for other States and use for technology transfer Program Status
Organizational Structure
Operations Academy™, NOCoE Material could be circulated among interested peer States
Develop basic webinar and/or training module focused on organization and staffing Organizational Structure FHWA/ITS PCB Program, CITE Requires modest technical study using CMM workshop materials and limited peer interviews
Develop a TSM&O organization and staffing gap analysis tool for agencies to compare current operations with those needed to fulfill all desired functions Organizational Structure FHWA, AASHTO, NCHRP Existing model is FHWA’s Traffic Signal Operations and Maintenance Staffing Guidelines
Establish electronic dialogue among DOT TSM&O managers for general peer-to-peer discussion of organization, staffing, and other management issues Organizational Structure Operations Academy™, NOCoE Dialogue would have to be structured and managed
Strengthen NOCoE Knowledge Transfer System database (developed for SHRP 2 L17) Organizational Structure NOCoE Organization and staffing are existing search items; further material could be added
Poll State DOT senior TSM&O managers on key staff capacities needed and unmet; compare identified needs with training and educational opportunities and consider remediation actions to fill gaps Staff Development AASHTO and/or FHWA via peer-to-peer interchange or polling No State has systematically identified core capacities; Use emerging TSM&O applications as guide to specific technical staffing needs (ATM, ICM, CV, arterial operations)
Develop a suite of core competencies with lists of helpful training, experiences, and resources for TSM&O managers Staff Development AASHTO and/or FHWA via peer-to-peer interchange or polling, NOCoE Alternative or complementary to the above
Review critical training deficiencies across all levels of TSM&O employees and develop permanent classes to address these deficiencies (for example, CITE or NHI courses) Staff Development FHWA/ITS PCB Program, CITE May extend beyond organization and staffing or be conducted in conjunction with other dimensions
Adjust curricula of National Operations Academy™ and Regional Operations Forums (ROF) to include material supporting managers’ needs to improve processes and organization Staff Development Operations Academy™, ROFs Specific tasks developed in workshop implementation plans constitute a starting point
Identify State DOT functions typically outsourced and associated agency rationales Staff Development AASHTO, ITE, ITS-A Workshop experience shows substantial outsourcing of ITS-related functions in many states
Investigate existing State DOT experience regarding TSM&O as a career option, including education and training, conditions of employment, and career track options Staff Development
Recruitment and Retention
FHWA, AASHTO, NCHRP Increasingly technical staff positions are hard to compete for; special training will be essential. Establish some best practices of agencies that have developed TSM&O job descriptions, career paths, etc.
Review curricula of secondary and graduate schools related to TSM&O to identify key gaps and best practices to produce “TSM&O-ready” entry level employees Staff Development
Recruitment and Retention
FHWA/ITS PCB Program, AASHTO, NCHRP Entry-level TSM&O employees generally are not well served by current academic offerings

NOCoE – National Operations Center of Excellence
ITS PCB Program – Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology ITS Professional Capacity Building Program
CITE – Consortium for ITS Training and Education
ITE – Institute of Transportation Engineers
ITS-A – Intelligent Transportation Society of America

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