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

Chapter 1. Introduction

Since initial development of the Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment (TIM CM SA), the assessment questions, scoring, scoring guidance, and section weighting have changed to reflect advancements in traffic incident management (TIM) practices. In 2020, the TIM CM SA underwent major revisions to reduce the number of questions from 55 to 41, and to make the 2015 TIM CM SA scores the new baseline against which progress will be measured here and in the future. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) removed questions based on user feedback, as well as questions that routinely had high scores year after year, indicating those specific practices had been institutionalized among TIM programs. The 41 scored questions in the 2020 TIM CM SA were grouped into three sections: Strategic, Tactical, and Support.

Because of these revisions, it was necessary to recalibrate the baseline scores to protect the value of the TIM CM SA as a tool to measure national TIM progress over time. Given the scope of revisions in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2020, FHWA decided to use the 2015 scores as the new baseline. Recalibrating baseline scores involved the following two steps:

  • Mapping the 2015 TIM CM SA questions to the 2020 TIM CM SA questions to ensure the recalibrated score only included those questions remaining in 2020.
  • Changing the weighting for the Strategic, Tactical, and Support sections, given the fewer questions across all three sections; this same section weighting was applied to 2015–2019 scores to align with 2020 scores.

Figure 2 shows the recalibrated national average scores from the 2015 baseline to the 2020 TIM CM SA. The slight decrease in the national average score (0.7 percent) between 2019 and 2020 is the result of the lower scores from nine locations that did not participate in the 2019 TIM CM SA. The average score for those nine locations was 53.4 percent, well below the national average score of 70.0 percent. The average score for the 90 locations that participated in the 2019 and 2020 TIM CM SAs was 71.9, which would have been an increase over the 2019 national average score of 70.5 percent.

Graph shows Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment National Average Score 2015 - 2020. 2015, 64.0%; 2016, 65.4%; 2017, 65.3%; 2018, 67.2%; 2019, 70.5%; 2020, 70.0%.

% = percent

Source: FHWA

Figure 2. Graph. 2015–2020 Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment national average scores.

Interest in the TIM CM SA remains high nearly 20 years after its initial development. More than 100 participants attended a training webinar on the 2020 TIM CM SA, held on September 1, 2020.2 Similarly, the 2020 TIM CM SA had 99 submittals for inclusion in the national analysis, up from 94 in 2019.

Throughout the three sections of the 2020 TIM CM SA, the percentage change over the 2015 baseline was generally less than 10 percent. However, several TIM program areas did see their scores increase by 10 percent or more over 2015 scores.

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2 Federal Highway Administration, Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment Training Webinar, (September 1, 2020). [ Return to note 2. ]