Strategic Planning Group Charter

Annex C – Program Execution


The purpose of this annex is to describe the procedures for executing the ITS Program upon completion of key steps in the Strategic Planning Process (Annex A, ITS SPG Charter) and the Program Level Spending Plan Development Process (Annex B, ITS SPG Charter).

Governing Principles:

The procedures outlined in the preceding annexes reflect one predominant theme: the continuous collaboration and transparency of actions and information between the ITS JPO program managers and their modal administration counterparts. In all aspects of program definition and execution, there is an ongoing joint process that ensures iterative technical consideration, project control, and full knowledge sharing among program/project managers.

ITS JPO and participating modal administration partners will adhere to a set of program delivery and accountability procedures that will meet the Department’s expectations with respect to the use of ITS funds. The procedures will define the staff roles for both the ITS JPO and modal partner staffs. The intent is to enable the Department to effectively deliver the ITS research program, fully leveraging the talents and expertise of staff throughout the Department. The procedures will flow from the ITS Strategic Planning Group Charter.

The ITS JPO is establishing an Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO) structure that follows the standards established by the Project Management Institute. The procedures and processes established below will be a working guide during FY 2009 and will be revisited prior to FY 2010 to ensure that they are consistent with the guidance and processes established by the ITS JPO through the EPMO. The ITS JPO, through the EPMO, has developed, the ITS-JPO Enterprise PMO (EPMO) Program Management Plan that “defines the program policies, procedures, standards, toolsets, roles and responsibilities, and work plan for the EPMO and describes the program management processes and procedures that will be employed to develop and operate an enterprise project oversight structure for the ITS-JPO research portfolio.” Additionally, the EPMO procedures and processes will serve as a framework and guidance for all program and project management activities so that greater project management consistency is achieved (i.e., cost estimates can be comparable, glossary of terms are the same between many different efforts, standardized procedures in estimating benefit/costs, etc.).

Upon completion of a multiyear ITS Strategic Plan (see step 8, Annex A, page 10), the ITS JPO staff and modal administration partners participate in the development of the ITS spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year beginning on October 1 (see Annex B). This process culminates in the final approval of funding allocations for programs and their subordinate projects planned for initiation in the approaching fiscal year.

The Program Charter

Program initiation and subsequent execution are managed by the ITS JPO and modal managers jointly in accordance with guidelines established by the ITS JPO with the support of the ITS JPO’s EPMO. For each program (see Figure 1 for an illustration of program-level activity), the ITS JPO-modal management team, supported by ITS JPO EPMO resources will develop a program charter whose elements are listed below (starting on this page), but whose critical components are scope, schedule and budget. The definition of scope, schedule and budget establish the critical features of the framework of the program management plan discussed under “Program Management Plan” (below).

The scope component of the program charter will define the project(s) comprising program activity that will be executed during the program period of performance, (Figure 1 depicts a notional illustrative example). The scope must be consistent with, and in general terms, demonstrate traceability to the program proposal in the ITS Strategic Plan. This program charter provides the major components for the development of a program management plan. The level of detail in the charter and scope will be proportionate with the size, complexity, and cost of the program.

Fig. 1 Mapping of a notional ITS program to mangement level

The elements of the charter are:

  • A long-term vision projecting the benefits the transportation community is expected to experience from the research results.
  • Program goals and objectives.
  • An identification of the key stakeholders/beneficiaries the program will attempt to impact, and their needs.
  • A high-level program statement of work that incorporates at a minimum:
    • A clear statement of the research question;
    • The planned research strategy or approach, and why it will support the stakeholders’ implementation requirements;
    • A summary of expected outcomes and an assessment of whether the outcomes will constitute success for the stakeholders the program is attempting to satisfy.A description of the business case, as understood at program kickoff.
  • The identification of US DOT and (if applicable) other Federal partners, and a general statement of their roles and responsibilities.
  • The identification of non-Federal partners and program participants (e.g., State, local, and private sector) with a general statement of their roles and responsibilities.
  • A statement of the rationale for the Federal role.
  • Key milestones.
  • A general description of the work plan.
  • A program roadmap depicting major phasing, activities and dependencies.

The program charter will be agreed upon by ITS JPO management and SPG representative(s) for offices with technical leadership roles.

The Program Management Plan

Upon completion of and agreement on a program charter, the joint ITS JPO-modal management team will develop the program management plan. The program management plan derives its content from the charter and the program proposal. The plan will provide the detailed guidance needed to develop project-level planning. The program management plan provides the detailed guidance required to manage project-level cost, schedule, deliverables, risk and the other management parameters listed. The program management plan will also establish reporting guidelines that will govern the nature and frequency of periodic reports addressing expenditure profiles, schedule adherence, and achievement of performance measures (e.g., attainment of milestones and submission of deliverables).

The ITS JPO will provide appropriate resources (EPMO and/or other support) to enable the management team to create the necessary program planning elements. The program management plan will be approved by ITS JPO management and accepted by the modal partner(s), and will include:

  • A program scope statement that updates the high level scope statement in the charter, and describes major activities, phases and critical decision points that enable the ITS JPO-modal management team to develop project-level planning.
  • The program budget that depicts program resources allocated in each year of the program period of performance. This element will breakout resources available for each of the program’s projects.
  • The program schedule. The ITS JPO-modal management team will incorporate high-level project schedules, which provide guidance for project-level schedule planning so that program dependencies are clearly understood by participants managing all levels of program activity.
  • The staffing concept describes the staffing plans for the ITS JPO and modal partners, and identifies their respective roles and responsibilities. The general concept for major, multimodal programs presumes a ITS JPO staff lead working in conjunction with a modal administration technical lead.
  • US DOT unit plans document the performance objectives established for offices in each modal administration by fiscal year. Programs will establish key deliverables by fiscal year. These should be agreed upon by the ITS JPO and modal administration leads, and incorporated in program management plans for tracking purposes. These deliverables may be incorporated into office unit plans and/or performance plans.
  • An identification of program risks as understood at the time of program management plan development. Risk assessment(s) for each project should be outlined as a starting point for project-level planning.
  • A project risk management approach, based on the initial assessments will be described.
  • The technology transfer plan includes considerations that must be addressed to ensure effective implementation of the technology application(s) resulting from the program.
  • The communications plan provides the concept of operations for communication between all project participants in US DOT, and between Federal participants (US DOT and/or other agencies as appropriate) and stakeholders at the State and local levels and the private sector.
  • The evaluation plan describes the evaluation strategy, the critical hypotheses that the research effort(s) will address, and the requirements for detailed test plans at the project level.

Program and Project Execution

Minimum Expectations

Execution of the program and subordinate projects will be guided by the program management plan, and carried out by the joint ITS JPO-modal team. The joint (ITS JPO-modal team) management approach envisions some minimum expectations illustrated by, but not limited to, the following:

  • ITS JPO receipt of all deliverables.
  • Monitoring and reporting of project scope, cost, schedule, performance, and risk. This may include an earned value management approach.
  • Providing quarterly reporting updates for projects using cooperative agreements.
  • Providing monthly reporting updates for projects using contracts.
  • Joint (ITS JPO and modal team) access to all contract documents, records, performing contractor expenditure data (to include travel), and records as may be defined by the applicable circumstances.
  • ITS JPO participation in any decisions that would result in rebaselined schedule, scope (e.g., major objectives), or budget.
  • JPO concurrence in the development of the statement of work, evaluation of proposal, and award of procurement.
  • Facilitating spot checking/analysis of financial reports by the ITS JPO as necessary.

Items to be Agreed Upon for Oversight

Depending on the scope and complexity of the program and its projects, the program management plan may call for significant delegation of day-to-day management to the modal technical lead. In that event, expectations for review should be discussed and clearly defined in the staffing concept of the program management plan. Should concerns arise, the ITS JPO retains the right to increase the frequency of reviews until the issues which should be agreed upon have been addressed and resolved.

Oversight considerations include:

  • Modal staff participation in quarterly management reviews.
  • Oversight of technical reviews.
  • Monthly tracking, if requested, to ITS JPO on obligation and contract award status.
  • Approval of all major deliverables, at the discretion of the ITS JPO program lead.
  • Major documents, press releases, articles, or other external communications that are subject to review and/or approval by the ITS JPO.

For small projects, some requirements may be delegated to the modal administration by the ITS Program Manager. The joint ITS JPO-modal management team will propose which provisions identified above may be waived. The ITS Program Manager will concur on those elements of project execution that are waived.

Project close out will be accomplished in accordance with provisions outlined by the ITS JPO. It is imperative that projects be closed in a timely manner and that any remaining resources be returned to the ITS JPO within 12 months of project completion.

The program charter, program management plan, project monitoring and control procedures, and project closeout procedures, will be incorporated as part of any reimbursable agreement between the modes and the ITS JPO. For FHWA, these documents will be part of a memorandum of understanding between the ITS JPO and FHWA Offices prior to any awards.

Annex A | Annex B | Annex C