The objective of this research was to design an Operations Center of Excellence to (1) facilitate implementation of operational best practices and (2) promote collaboration in developing best practices. The design of the Center was based on a thorough assessment of the needs of state and local transportation agencies, an understanding of knowledge management principles, an inventory of available resources, and an analysis of alternative business models. Development of the center of excellence will be a separate effort.
Task 1. Inventory existing centers of excellence and similar efforts in the transportation and similar industries and describe their strengths and weaknesses. Outline the capabilities that should be considered for the design of the Operations Center of Excellence.
Task 2. For potential users of and contributors to an Operations Center of Excellence, document the needs that the center could reasonably address and describe the benefits that the users and contributors could realize. This task used should address the executive, programmatic, and operational levels of state and local transportation agencies. Assess the mechanisms and methods that are used and preferred for accessing available and emerging resources.
Task 3. Identify past, current, and impending initiatives and resources that could support, benefit from, and provide content to an Operations Center of Excellence. Describe the deliverables of each initiative, including their target audiences, intended impact, and relationships to other initiatives.
Task 4. Describe and assess alternative business models (including possible private-sector revenue streams) for the development and support of the Operations Center of Excellence.
Task 5. Develop a conceptual organization and design for the center of excellence, defining the overall design principles, the major components, and the relationships with other initiatives and resources.
Task 6. Develop an implementation plan for the development and long term support of the Operations Center of Excellence. The plan must include a schedule and budget for both phases and guidance on the incorporation of new material (e.g., the results of national and state research efforts) into the Center of Excellence. The plan must also include a strategy for gaining accceptance and support for the center in the transportation community.
Task 7. Conduct a workshop at a meeting of the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Systems Operations and Management to substantiate the results of the preceding tasks. This workshop will include representatives of national operations working groups and organizations beyond the AASHTO committee.
Task 8. Deliver a draft final report that presents the contractor’s recommendations from the preceding tasks and summarizing the work that was done.