Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Creating an Effective Program to Advance Transportation System Management and Operations


Purpose of the Primer

The purpose of this Primer is to raise awareness of the opportunities for improving the effectiveness of State and local Transportation System Management and Operations (TSM&O) activities. The Primer provides high-level guidance focused on key program, process, and organizational capabilities that are essential to the development of more effective TSM&O strategy applications. It is aimed at program and activity-level managers responsible for TSM&O related activities in State, regional, and local transportation agencies.

Research shows that moving beyond a collection of ad hoc strategy applications to an effective TSM&O program is dependent on deliberate change management to improve agency capabilities in six specific dimensions. The “capability maturity” approach presented here identifies the key areas that impact program effectiveness: business processes, systems and technology, performance measurement, culture, organization and workforce, and collaboration.

Creating an effective program to advance TSM&O guidance is structured for agency self evaluation – so that agencies can identify their current areas of strength and weakness. The Primer provides the following information:

  • Descriptions of the six key dimensions of agency capability that support improved system operations and management effectiveness;
  • Definitions of capability improvement levels that support increasing effectiveness in each of the six dimension; and
  • Descriptions of the actions an agency can take to reach the next level of capability in each dimension, and illustrate its implementation through several examples.

For more detailed information, a link is provided to the web-based American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide to Systems Operations and Management Improvement. In addition, the FHWA is sponsoring State and regional workshops for agency management personnel to facilitate their use of the guidance on an as-requested basis.

Office of Operations