Consider including in-house ITS expertise and task order project configuration for complex ITS projects.

Colorado's DOT (CDOT)'s experience implementing an integrated TMC.

November 9, 2007
Colorado,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

CDOT believes the CTMC Integration Project was a success. Goals and objectives were met or surpassed. Deficiencies in ITS infrastructure, functionality, automation, information dissemination, data sharing; and amount, accuracy and timeliness of data were addressed. The project dovetailed with related activities but most importantly was an important building block and catalyst for the Colorado ITS program. Momentum generated by federal funds has allowed CDOT to develop order-of-magnitude improvements in devices; data collection and dissemination; communications; interfaces with partners; and operations, maintenance and program management. Lessons learned from the implementation of the CTMC Integration Project include the following:
  • Include in-house expertise in ITS specialty areas for successful ITS projects. CDOT believes that having current levels of in-house expertise throughout the duration of the ITS Program would have been beneficial and would have lessened or avoided difficulties at the outset. Addition of these skill sets ultimately allowed CDOT to subdivide technical responsibilities for completion of multiple task orders between several capable and knowledgeable individuals. CDOT believes in-house skills in ITS-related technical areas are an indispensable resource definitely required for success in complex ITS projects.
  • Consider task order (or phased) project configuration. Although task order project configuration is not necessarily more efficient for a contractor (if one is involved), it provides a better mechanism for the owner to track progress and control schedules and costs. Task order and/or phased software iteration configuration in the CTMC project provided much better control than did previous ITS projects that dictated delivery of one large product at the end of the schedule. A small amount of additional time is required on the part of the owner in a task order environment to better monitor and manage progress on a greater number of total activities. CDOT will continue using task order and/or software iteration configuration for later and ongoing Colorado ITS projects.
  • Ensure open communications to ensure project success. Frequent communications engender trust and are critical to success in a complex systems engineering project environment.
  • Consider opportunities to share resources with local agencies. For example, on other projects including local agency participation, the agency contributed to the project in terms of purchasing, in-kind services, assistance in obtaining related services or contracts, or the provision of ancillary materials. The result of such partnerships was deployment with a total value exceeding that originally planned. These partnerships have helped set the basis for additional coordinated work in the future with current and new partners and also set the basis and example for such participation with new agencies as part of future projects.
The lessons provided by the CDOT are helpful to other agencies to ensure the success of a complex ITS project. By following the lessons learned through the implementation of the CTMC Integration project, other practitioners can improve the productivity and efficiency of other Transportation Management Center projects.

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Colorado Transportation Management Center (CTMC) Integration Project (FY01 Earmark) Local Evaluation Report

Author: John V. Nelson, Colorado Department of Transportation Steven J. Sabinash, P.E., Centennial Engineering, Inc.

Published By: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Colorado Division

Source Date: November 9, 2007

EDL Number: 14435

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/4048

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Lesson ID: 2009-00484