This chapter describes the activities needed to prepare for conducting an assessment of agency practices using the Guidebook Framework. Many DOTs will want to use this guidance to improve a targeted asset program. In this application, a DOT can evaluate and improve how data is defined, collected, accessed, analyzed, and used in that asset program’s decision making processes.
DOTs may also target a specific data life-cycle area to identify improvements benefiting the TAM program (or enterprise) at large. It is not advisable to undertake assessment of multiple data life-cycle areas without narrowing the focus to an individual asset program. With such a broad scope, achieving meaningful results is impractical at best.
Transportation asset management practices and context vary by DOT, asset area, and individual business function or working group. Data and information system related practices also vary between and within DOTs. Selection of a focused used case is essential to developing meaningful results from the use of this guidance.
An asset-specific focus allows the DOT to examine data and information system practices within a given asset program, across one or more of the five data life-cycle areas of the framework.
An area-specific focus supports DOT examination of enterprise practices impacting multiple assets within a specific area of the data life-cycle.
Each of these use cases and its anticipated value is examined within this section of the Guidebook.
A diverse set of perspectives are necessary to examine current and desired capabilities and identify targeted improvements.
A cross-functional team should be formed and led by a knowledgeable, trusted, and respected facilitator. Participants should be selectively targeted for their background, ability to constructively engage in the focused discussion, and position to advance the anticipated outcomes of the process. Consider filling each these positions for an effective team:
- Project Sponsor
- Assessment Facilitator
- Asset Program Leads
- Field Asset Management Leads
- Information Technology (IT) Management and Staff
- Data Life-Cycle Area Subject Matter Experts