"WSC' 03 Sample Paper"
Proceedings of the 2004 Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium Stephen D. Patek, ed. PROCESS DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION FOR THE SIX-YEAR PROGRAM AND THE STATEWIDE TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM Ryan P. Tiffany Eric L. Issadore Charles H. Rasnick Rory T. Smith Charles.Rasnick@virginiaDOT.org Priya Sarda James H. Lambert Marsha Fiol Marsha.Fiol@virginiaDOT.org Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems and Department of Systems and Information Engineer- Virginia Department of Transportation ing University of Virginia firstname.lastname@example.org Wayne S. Ferguson Wayne.Ferguson@virginiaDOT.org Virginia Research Transportation Council ABSTRACT portation agencies declare to federal agencies the expendi- tures to be obligated in each federal fiscal year by project. The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program To be eligible for a federal obligation of funding, a project (STIP), a three-year programming document required by needed to appear in each of the applicable: federal regulations, has been prepared by the Virginia highway agency as an abridgement of its Six-Year Pro- (i) long-range state transportation plan gram (SYIP),which is required by state regulations. Gen- (ii) regional transportation improvement program eration of the STIP from the SYIP has been determined to (iii) the Virginia federally funded program not meet federal requirements. The innovation of this ef- fort is the application of business process modeling to im- In recent years, significant projects appearing in the state prove hierarchical integration of federal and state transpor- program, and consequently in the federally funded pro- tation programming using the IDEF format. Describing gram, could not be undertaken because the financial con- the statewide and federal program processes using the straint used in programs’ development was not meaningful. IDEF standards has several benefits. The high-level out- In programming, objective and technical evidence were in- puts of software models are charts with underlying charac- creasingly dominated by short-term fiscal and other expe- teristics of activities (inputs, controls, mechanisms, and diencies. outputs). IDEF models support the business analyst to de- The state program articulates an overall funding strat- scribe the statewide and federal programs and other pro- egy for the Commonwealth. However, it does not obligate cesses consistently. Use of the IDEF standards for process federal funding. The state program reflects six-year fund- improvement may evolve to be a common practice across ing and financing strategies that are internal to the Com- the agency. monwealth and which are typically not needed in the fed- eral oversight of the annual obligations of federal funds. In 1 INTRODUCTION contrast, the federal program articulates the intentions of state transportation agencies (VDOT and VDRPT) to obli- In past years the federal program (STIP), a three-year gate federal funds to highways and transit by federal fiscal programming document required by federal regulations, year. The federally funded program document compiles was prepared by department of transportation and Virgin- project listings of the eleven Metropolitan Planning Organ- ia’s research council as an abridgment of the state program, izations (MPO), the state program, the federally funded which is required by Virginia law. The department of Secondary System programs, federally funded forest pro- transportation and Virginia’s transportation research coun- grams, and other participating programs. Federal programs cil would in turn receive a joint letter from federal agencies are required by federal regulations to be submitted every (FHWA and FTA) giving federal approval and funds for two years, but the Virginia STIP has been submitted annu- the Virginia transportation program. Virginia's approach to ally. the federal program of past years has been inadequate to Currently, the MPO project listings are not generated satisfy federal regulations, which require that state trans- in a common format, although some MPOs use the relevant Lambert, Sarda, Issadore, Smith, Tiffany sections of the state program. A particular challenge to - How can the need for SYIP/STIP revision be bal- harmonizing the MPO is that the MPO that encompasses anced with the need for a stable platform in the Northern Virginia also contains parts of Maryland and the near term? District of Columbia. - How will innovative financing techniques be ac- Beginning in the 2003 fiscal year, the Virginia state commodated by the state and federal program program and the Virginia federally funded program are dis- processes? tinct documents. A state program developed in an elec- - How can the process of amending the federal pro- tronic environment will contain the data needed for genera- gram be streamlined? tion of the federal program. The Virginia federally funded program will no longer present the future allocation of fed- The effort consists of three tasks. The first task is to eral funds. For example, past STIP submissions represent- make recommendations for improving public involvement. ed an accrual of funds in fiscal years, such as when ten The recommendations precede from a critical evaluation of million dollars is reserved in each of three years and asso- the current public involvement and a literature review of ciated to an obligation of thirty million dollars in the third the recent progress in Virginia and in other states. Our se- year of the federal program. cond task is a documentation of the business process of the The federal three-year program is amended multiple statewide and federal program development using Integrat- times between its biennial submissions/approvals. ed Definition (IDEF) standards. We import the existing Amendments to the federal program are straightforward statewide and federal business processes into software, re- when the amendment does not affect air quality. Thus, questing additional detail of process activities as needed to amendments are typically neutral with respect to air quali- meet the requirements of the process description format ty, e.g., projects of alignments and turning lanes. For (IDEF0 and IDEF3). The third task is the development of 2003, federal allocations that might have been available in a process model of the amendment process for the federal 2002 were not ready until April 2003. Projects that had program. IDEF standards are used to develop a model by been removed in December 2002 due to financial con- documenting the sub-process for tracking amendments and straint were hurriedly resubmitted in 2003 to address the maintaining fiscal constraint. revised allocations. The 2003 federal program of, applica- ble through 2005) was approved by federal agencies 3 BPWIN MODELING SOFTWARE (FHWA and FTA) in recent months. The following section will describe the computer 2 PURPOSE AND SCOPE software used to create the process models and describe the IDEF (Integrated Definition for Function Modeling) stand- The purpose of this effort by the University of Virgin- ards that guide process modeling. The software used is ia Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems BPWin, created by ALLFusion and allows the use the (CRMES) is to develop and demonstrate analytical meth- IDEF0 and IDEF3 standards, which are described in this odologies that support the planned evolution of the state section. and federal program development processes. The effort will help state agencies (VDOT and VDRPT) in ongoing 3.1 BPWin Software efforts to improve transparency and validity of the various planning and programming activities that are reflected in BPWin is a comprehensive process model software the federal and state programs. Current efforts of state program that allows an organization to analyze its opera- agencies are addressing issues such as: tional processes in a systematic way and determine how these processes interact with the data flowing through the - What is the best format for the compilation of the organization. A process model presents a system as a col- STIP, and its submission to federal agencies lection of activities in which each activity transforms some (FHWA and FTA), from the former state pro- object or collection of objects. Figure 1 below shows a gram, the Secondary System programs, and the screenshot from BPWin showing the process of the devel- eleven MPO project listings? opment of the federal program. Activities are represented - How can the federal program submission, which had been a stack of separate documents in a varie- ty of formats, be integrated and made available to the public? - What can be learned from other states? - How can the various planning and programming efforts be harmonized? Lambert, Sarda, Issadore, Smith, Tiffany Figure 2: IDEF0 Description - Description of IDEF0 Format of Mapping 3.3 Data Collection for IDEF In order to create these process models, the team cre- ated Excel Spreadsheets that contained all of the infor- mation about each activity completed in order to create the Six Year and Statewide Improvement Programs. These spreadsheets enabled the team to organize the data, and in- Figure 1: Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund clude all of the IDEF information about each process. Revenues Process Model - Process Model for a Sub Pro- These spreadsheets were used to gather the infor- cess in the Development of the Federal Program. mation from the members of VDOT. They allowed the in graphic form as boxes and arrows, with the boxes la- team to ask specific questions during interviews, and fill in beled with a verbal description to explain what the activity the data correctly. They also provided the team with an accomplishes. The arrows are used to represent the inter- ability to know exactly what information was still needed face between an activity and its environment. The map- in order to completed the process models. ping of interactions eliminates extraneous detail and high- Each activity was given its own row in the spread- lights important detail. Use of the software allows the sheet, and the columns contained the IDEF standards as organization to assess current operations, evaluate any nec- well as supplementary material. The columns in the essary alternative responses, and communicate operational spreadsheet included: inputs, outputs, controls, mecha- changes quickly. In addition, the BPWin software is com- nisms, objective, BPWin diagrams, Responsible People, patible with the software used by the state agency. Thus, Key Decisions, External Links, Interview Transcripts, and no integration or training in the technical aspects of how to Recommendations. Several Fields were only included to use the model will be needed for implementation purposes. show from where the information was received. VDOT appreciated the added fields, so that they could check up 3.2 IDEF0 Format on the team’s research. The spreadsheet also included links to the Process The particular component within the BPWin model Models that were created, and links to any recommenda- used in this project for input and display purposes is called tions the team had developed. The spreadsheet was monu- IDEF0 (Integrated Definition for Function Modeling). mental to the creation of process model and narratives of IDEF0 is the technique that breaks down the activities or the SYIP and STIP processes. Below is a sample of the functions of the organization or system into its component spreadsheet. parts. It is a graphical language that assists in identifying the functions that are performed, the various elements needed to perform those functions, and what is efficient and inefficient about the system under study. For each ac- tivity, IDEF0 data needs are the objectives, responsible de- partments, inputs, outputs, controls, mechanisms, key deci- sions, estimated duration, and impacted activities. For the transportation public involvement process, “controls” con- sist of legislation, regulations, and policies related to the system. “Mechanisms” refer to the elements that accom- plish the actions of the process, such as people, manual or Figure 3: Sample of Spreadsheet Workbook for automated tools, established procedures for holding hear- STIP/SYIP Research. Aided with Team Research ings, etc. Figure 2 displays the IDEF0 format: Lambert, Sarda, Issadore, Smith, Tiffany 4 CASE STUDIES From an examination of the available data, the follow- ing considerations are offered for the public involvement program of the state transportation department : 4.1 Recommendations for Public Involvement A proposed public involvement toolkit (see Applying the BPWin business process modeling soft- Table 1) should be used in the selection of ware to the recent joint agency (FHWA, et. al.) STIP de- outreach techniques for specific plans or pro- velopment process review, relevant public involvement ac- jects. tivities from the state program and federal program were VDOT should strive to increase the public’s mapped. The public involvement activities take place prior understanding of the project planning, devel- to and during the pre-allocation (of transportation funding) opment, and public involvement processes. hearings and the final public hearing, which is primarily Newsletters, email, or possibly commercials concerned with project priority setting. are effective means of enhancing understand- The BPWin business process modeling software ing. (along with the IDEF0 mapping format) identifies and dis- Citizens wish to know how their input has plays the relevant fields of information - all the inputs, been used for project planning or develop- outputs, controls, and mechanisms for each public in- ment. Written summaries of citizens’ com- volvement activity. ments are not an effective way to convey At the request of the Virginia Department of Transpor- feedback to citizens. The use of email or tation, a spreadsheet containing additional information posting the responses to the state transporta- fields was constructed. The extra fields consist of the ob- tion website are effective mechanisms. jectives, responsible persons, BPWin diagrams, key deci- sions, start/end date, funding for construction, external Applying systems engineering principles to public in- links, review documents, reviews, miscellaneous data, and volvement argues for a quantification of assessment meth- potential recommendations associated with each activity. ods. Performance measures for public involvement need to The analysis performed used information available be established. These should be related to how well the from notes taken at public hearings and state Board meet- expectations of participants are met, the effects of the par- ings, public involvement reports commissioned by federal ticipation on the decisions that are made, and how the costs and Virginia agencies, focus group and survey results (including costs saved) compare to the benefits of the pub- made available to the group, study of the mapping activi- lic involvement activities of the project. The next phase of ties from the BPWin Process Modeling, and documentation analysis of public involvement activities should include a on the progress of other states in implementing public in- task to quantify the cost-effectiveness of such activities. volvement activities. 4.2 BPWin Process Models of SYIP and STIP Table 1: Current Proposed Virginia Public Involve- Development ment Toolkit: Public involvement tool used in the selec- tion of outreach techniques. Several process models were created to model the SYIP and STIP processes. The information gathered at in- terviews with members of VDOT, was inputted into a spreadsheet. Each activity at its own inputs, outputs, con- trols, and mechanisms. This information was used to create several process models using the BPwin software. The process models build on the FHWA report by de- scribing the processes in more depth. The models describe the relationships between each activity and offer details about individual activities as well. VDOT will be able to use the models to create narratives of the STIP and SYIP development, which will aid the Programming Division in the transfer of responsibility for the creation of the STIP. Below is screenshot of a the Revenue Forecast Pro- cess. It shows the tree diagram capability of BPwin soft- ware, which allows for the hierarchy of steps to be easily understood. Lambert, Sarda, Issadore, Smith, Tiffany 5 CONCLUSIONS Describing the SYIP and STIP processes in the BPWin has several benefits. Underlying BPWin models are the characteristics of activities (objectives, titles of re- sponsible individuals, inputs, rules/controls including rele- vant legislation, mechanisms for data acquisition, outputs, receiving individuals, key decisions, impacted activities, and days to complete). BPWin is thus supporting a busi- Figure 4 – A screenshot of the Revenue Forecast Process ness analyst to describe STIP/SYIP and other processes Model (e.g., cost estimation) consistently. Once the processes are described in BPWin, evolution of the processes are more easily communicated to the 4.3 BPWin Process Model of Amendment Process ITAD. The BPWin software is from the same vendor as the model manager, data shopper, and related applications The STIP amendment review process encumbers the used by the ITAD, and increasingly by the 'data stewards' STIP generation. By applying IDEF modeling standards to across VDOT divisions. A business process is generally of the amendment process, a full process model was generat- broader scope than its portion that is to be automated. Pro- ed to display all pertinent activities relating to the review cess description helps to set priorities and make analysis of of amendments. feasibility of what can be done toward automation. In addition to developing an IDEF model of the Use of the IDEF standards (implemented by BPWin) amendment process, a flowchart was also developed to may evolve to be a common practice across the agency. give a visual representation (as seen in Figure 4). For now, ITAD expects that IDEF standards will assist un- derstanding with the end users. The benefits of the research effort may thus prepare VDOT personnel to apply process descriptions (IDEF0 and IDEF3) to other critical processes of planning and finance. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Mr. Charles Rasnick of the Programming Division (VDOT) and Ms. Marsha Fiol of the Transportation and Mobility Planning Division (VDOT) are co-chairs of a committee of VDOT, VDRPT, FHWA, and FTA that is Figure 5 – A flowchart modeling the amendment review implementing the twenty-one recommendations. There process are three subcommittees: The IDEF model and flowchart revealed that the big- (i) Procedures, chaired by Ms. Deborah Grant gest hindrance in the amendment process is the amendment (ii) Finance, chaired by Mr. Robert Hofrichter authorization procedure. It is our recommendation that (iii) Public-Involvement/Education, chaired by VDOT attempt to make the procedure more electronic and Mr. Ben Mannell automatic. The amendment authorization process can be made An oversight group includes Mr. Jeffrey Southard (Chief more automatic by a couple of methods. One solution is to of Planning and the Environment, VDOT) and Ms. Barbara employ an automated approval form so officials can ap- Reese (Chief Financial Officer, VDOT). Mr. Ken Lantz of prove of amendments electronically instead of through pa- VDOT also participated in defining the current effort. per mail. Additionally, a project comparison tool could be used by VDOT to expedite the amendment approval decision process. By comparing projects against one another, offi- cials would have an objective way to decide which pro- ject(s) is more deserving of funding. Lambert, Sarda, Issadore, Smith, Tiffany AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES neering System’s website: www.virginia.edu/crmes/stip/. Accessed Novem- ERIC ISSADORE, from Hingham, Massachusetts, is a ber 15, 2003. fourth-year Systems and Information Engineering student with a minor in Economics. He plans to attend law school. Lambert, J.H., K.D. Peterson, and C.A. Pinto. 2003. “Ex- tended Comparison Tool for Major Highway PRIYA SARDA <email@example.com>, is a graduate stu- Projects.” Virginia Transportation Research dent at the Department of Systems and Information Engi- Council Report Number 03-CR18. neering and Research Assistant at the Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems at the University of O’Leary, A., Arnold, E., Kyte, C.A., and Perfater, M.A. Virginia. She holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial An Assessment of the Virginia Department of Engineering and Management from Bangalore University, Transportation’s Public Involvement Processes: India. Phase I Results. VTRC 00-TAR2. Virginia Transportation Research Council, Charlottesville, RORY SMITH, from Arlington, Virginia, is a fourth-year VA, 1999. Systems and Information Engineering student with a con- centration in Management Information Systems. He plans a O’Leary, A., Arnold, E., Kyte, C.A., and Perfater, M.A. career in engineering consulting. An Assessment of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Public Involvement Practices RYAN TIFFANY, from Winchester, Massachusetts, is a and the Development of a Public Involvement fourth-year Systems and Information Engineering student Toolkit: Phase II. VTRC 03-R17. Virginia with a concentration in Economics. He plans to attend Transportation Research Council, Charlottesville, graduate school to pursue a master's degree in Systems En- VA, 2003. gineering. Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. (1998). JAMES H. LAMBERT, <firstname.lastname@example.org> is the Retrieved October 10, 2003, from the World Wide Associate Director, Center for Risk Management of Engi- Web: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tea21/h2400.htm. neering Systems, and Research Associate Professor, De- partment of Systems and Information Engineering, Univer- Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board. (2002). sity of Virginia. “VTrans 2025 – Virginia’s Statewide Multimodal Long-Range Transportation Plan – Phase One.” REFERENCES Retrieved from the World Wide Web November 13, 2003: Department of Systems Engineering at the University of http://www.sotrans.state.va.us/VTrans/Vtransrpt- Virginia – Capstone Project website. Retrieved GA.pdf September 10, 2003, from the World Wide Web: http://www.sys.virginia.edu/capstone/. Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Inc. and Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas. Public In- volvement Techniques for Transportation Deci- sion-making, September 1996. Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/pittd/cover.htm Accessed January 27, 2004. Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. (1991). Retrieved October 10, 2003, from the World Wide Web: http://www.bts.gov/lawlib/docs/istea5.htm. Joint FHWA/FTA/VDOT/DRPT Report. Development and Financial Constraint of Virginia’s STIP - Process Review. November 2002. Retrieved from the Center for Risk Management of Engi-