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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

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

2. Summary of All Capability Dimensions

As background to this discussion of the Systems and Technology dimension in this white paper, it is useful to understand all the CMM dimensions in terms of the comparative capability levels and related initiatives. Table 2.1 presents the range of self-assessment levels by CMM dimension and capability level for the 23 workshop locations analyzed in this white paper.

Table 2.1 Self-Assessment CMM Workshop Locations Analyzed in this White Paper
Dimension Capability Self-Assessment – Level 1 Performed Capability Self-Assessment – Level 2 Managed Capability Self-Assessment – Level 3 Integrated Capability Self-Assessment – Level 4 Optimizing
Business Processes 11 10 2 0
Systems and Technology 7 12 3 1
Performance Measurement 9 11 3 0
Culture 8 11 4 0
Organization and Staffing 8 9 6 0
Collaboration 4 12 6 1

Note: Workshop self-assessment scores were often augmented with a “plus” or “minus” or given as a fraction (e.g., 1.5). For the purpose of the exhibit, “pluses” and “minuses” were ignored and all fractions were rounded to a whole number (with one-halves rounded down).

Self-assessment “scoring” is subjective, is specific to each state/region, and represents the consensus of workshop participants. The scores cannot be used for cross-site comparison, as some states/regions were tougher self-graders than others were. Nevertheless, within a given state/region, the scores for each dimension appear to reflect the relative level of capability among the dimensions. However, certain general conclusions can be drawn:

  • Most locations assessed themselves at the “performed” or “managed” level (often somewhere in between) for most dimensions.
  • Only two locations rated themselves as Level 4 in specific dimensions.
  • Only a few agencies indicated reaching the level of “integrated” on more than two dimensions.
  • While the aggregate distributions among several dimensions were similar (see Figure 2.1 ), this result masks very different distributions within individual agencies; that is, strengths and weakness differed among agencies responding to varying conditions.
  • Collaboration and Systems and Technology are the strongest dimensions; for Collaboration, this reflects in part the impact of recent FHWA incident management training and other collaboration outreach; for Systems and Technology, this reflects an advancement in technology deployment over the past 10-15 years.

Figure 2.1 Graph. Distribution of Self-Assessments (23 Workshops)

Figure 2.1 is a graph that has an x-axis of the one through four for the levels of the capability maturity model and a y-axis of 0 to 14 for the number of workshop sites selecting the various levels of maturity. There are six line representing each of the dimensions of the Capability Maturity Mode (CMM). The lines all begin between 4 and 11 on the y-axis peaking at Level 2, with a downward slope at Level 4. This graph highlights the organization and staffing dimension line that begins at a y-axis of 8 at x-axis Level 1, increasing to 9 at x-axis 2, then slopes down to 6 at x-axis Level 3, and 0 at x-axis Level 4.

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

Within a given dimension, there is often a significant gap between best practice and average practice among states/regions. Even within individual states/regions, progress in improving capabilities across the six dimensions is uneven. In many cases, however, there is visible change and strong staff leaders that are fully aware of what best practice is and are working within their institutions to develop essential capabilities.

2.1 Synergies among Dimensions of Capability

One of the most important findings of the SHRP 2 research, clearly validated in the workshops, was the apparent synergy among technical and institutional dimensions, as suggested in Figure 2.2. The dimensions of capability appear to be highly interdependent, such that it is difficult to improve a current level of capability in one dimension without simultaneously improving other dimensions that support it. This is reflected by the narrow spread in capabilities found among all workshops. As examples, workshop participants noted that strategic planning is hampered by lack of performance data; business processes were hampered by lack of staff capabilities; and reorganization was impossible without top management buy-in (Culture).

Figure 2.2 Graph. Synergy among Dimensions of Capability

Figure 2.2 is a circular graph with six points representing the six dimensions. Each point is connected to each and every other point with a line showing that there are synergistic linkages between all six dimensions of the Capability Maturity Mode (CMM).

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

2.2 General Implementation Plan Priorities for All Six Dimensions

Essential actions and products identified through the workshop and implementation plan process are presented below to establish some context regarding consideration of implementation plan recommendations for all six dimensions from the 23 workshops. A wide variety of actions are recommended across the six dimensions, including plans, processes, agreements, business cases, and organizational and staffing recommendations, each of which has a mutually reinforcing effect on overall capability.

Business Processes

  • Develop a statewide/regional TSM&O program plan
  • Integrate TSM&O into the conventional State and metropolitan planning process

Systems and Technology

  • Update both regional and statewide system architectures for new/emerging TSM&O applications
  • Improve ITS systems procurement process and/or relationships with agency IT unit

Performance Measurement

  • Develop a plan for performance measures, data, and analytics
  • Secure agreement from the public safety community on measures for incident management


  • Develop a persuasive business case for TSM&O
  • Develop a communications/outreach plan/branding for stakeholders

Organization and Staffing

  • Define an appropriate organizational structure for the TSM&O program
  • Identify core capabilities needed and develop related staffing and training plan


  • Improve collaboration related to TIM including participating in TIM training and establishing a forum for building interagency relationships
  • Align partners’ TSM&O objectives and interact on a regular basis
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