Strategic Planning Group Charter

ITS Strategic Planning Group Glossary

Budget (ITS JPO): A multiyear funding allocation at the ITS Program level. This document is generally used to depict an overview of funding allocations for the ITS Program. It is not intended for program management.

Budget (Program): The approved cost estimate for a program or one of its included projects.

Communications Plan: A planning document that identifies the types of information needs the stakeholders have, when the information should be distributed, and how the information will be delivered.

Evaluation Plan: A key document in a project evaluation. The evaluation plan identifies the tasks, resources, and other components required to conduct an evaluation. The major elements include detailed test plans that will guide on-site testing of deployed technologies.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA): The US DOT modal administration charged with the broad responsibility of ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be the safest and most technologically up-to-date. Although State, local, and tribal governments own most of the Nation’s highways, FHWA provides financial and technical support to them for constructing, improving, and preserving America’s highway system.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA): The US DOT modal administration with the primary mission of reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA): The US DOT modal administration whose primary mission is to support locally planned and operated public mass transit systems throughout the United States.

Fiscal Year (FY): The 12 month period beginning on October 1 and ending on September 30 during which the Federal Government executes financial management of the US Government budget.

Intermodal: Involving more than one mode of transport during a single journey, e.g., a commuter drives to a bus stop; the bus transports him/her to a subway station for the remainder of the trip; a freight container travels by ship to a port where it is transferred to rail, and then to truck at the destination area.

ITS Coordination List: A listing of Federal Government staff in US DOT who are either subject matter experts in aspects of ITS, or who are capable of making specialized contributions in meetings addressing ITS-related topics.

ITS Program Advisory Committee: A Congressionally chartered committee comprised of senior transportation subject matter experts in the private sector, state and local transportation agencies, and the academic community. The committee is chartered to provide advice on all aspects of the ITS Program to the Secretary of Transportation.

JPO spending plan: A document that displays spending by line item for the ITS JPO in a fiscal year. Line items are organized by programs and subordinated projects at the activity level.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): A document that records the provisions of an agreement between two or more organizations involved in a joint endeavor.

Milestone: A major deliverable or key event in the project used to measure project progress.

Modal Administration: The major organizational elements in US Department of Transportation. They are also referred as Operating Administrations. Each administration is headed by a presidential appointee who reports to the Secretary of Transportation.

Modes: Short term for “modal administration.”

Multimodal: Describes more than one mode of transport, or a technology application that impacts more than one mode of transportation.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The US DOT operating administration whose mission is to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity. NHTSA provides leadership to the motor vehicle and highway safety community through the development of innovative approaches to reducing motor vehicle crashes and injuries.

Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST): OST oversees the formulation of national transportation policy and promotes intermodal transportation.

Office of Transportation Policy (OTP): The Office of Transportation Policy studies conducts, prepares, monitors, and forecasts analytical tools and data systems for policy development and studies; conducts analysis and studies to support the formulation of transportation policy and legislative initiatives; prepares major reports to Congress on highway policy issues; and monitors and forecasts economic, demographic, and personal/commercial travel trends.

Program: A group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to deliver the organization’s strategy, goals and objectives. Programs may include elements of related work outside the scope of the discrete projects in the program.

Program Charter: A document that formally authorizes the existence of a program to deliver the organization’s strategy, goals, and objectives. The program charter states the case for pursuing a course of activities to respond to technical, social, political, or other issues.

Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO): An office established by organizations to create and maintain procedures for program management methodologies to be used throughout the organization. An EPMO follows procedures established by the Project Management Institute. The EPMO is in a support role to the ITS JPO.

Program Management Plan: A formal, approved document that defines how a program is to be executed, monitored, and controlled. It may be a summarized document or a detailed description of management procedures. Irrespective of form, it must provide the supporting projects with critical elements of information to enable project execution in accordance with the program’s intent. Cost, schedule, deliverables, risk management, key milestones, reporting requirements, and roles and responsibilities of program participants are examples of issues addressed in the plan.

Program Proposal: A document that outlines, at a high level, the key elements of a program the initiator/sponsor is proposing to undertake. The proposal must include enough information to enable the approving authority to make an informed decision. As such it must include minimum elements of information such as, but not limited to:

  • A description of the analysis supporting the case for the proposed research.
  • Statements of the research question, program objectives, and metrics.
  • Desired/anticipated research program outcomes.
  • Draft benefits/costs analyses and business cases.
  • Statements of the Federal role and exit strategy.
  • High-level work plan by fiscal year.
  • Major milestones and decision points.
  • Implementation considerations (N/A for exploratory research).
  • Evaluation considerations.
  • Budget estimates, (multiyear if applicable), for the life of the program by fiscal year.

Program Scope Statement: A program management document that establishes project goals, deliverables, and requirements, which are used as a baseline for future project decisions. It also includes the project objectives and the business justification (or research question) for the project.

Project: A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.

Project Risk Management: One of the nine knowledge areas of project management. It is concerned with identifying and planning for potential risks that may impact the project. Its processes include Risk Management Planning, Risk Identification, Qualitative Risk Analysis, Quantitative Risk Analysis, Risk Response Planning, and Risk Monitoring and Control.

Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA): RITA coordinates the U.S. Department of Transportation's (US DOT) research programs, and is charged with advancing the deployment of cross-cutting technologies to improve our Nation’s transportation system.

Stakeholders: People or organizations who have a vested interest in the project and stand to gain or lose something as a result of the project.

Statement of work (SOW): The description of the tasks and related activities that will be required by an organization (in this context, the Government) requesting proposals for a procurement.

Strategic Plan: A planning document that presents an organization’s strategy for a category of activity (e.g., ITS research) over a specified number of years. Depending on the organizational level at which the plan is produced, it may support the next higher organization’s strategic plan, and may mirror that plan’s structure. The strategic plan describes organizational and strategic goals and the strategies to be used in pursuing these goals. Elements included in the plan are anticipated funding levels, the desired outcomes the initiating organization expects to obtain, and the overall benefit inherent in undertaking the activities described.

Straw man: A preliminary attempt at developing a product (usually a document) that will be coordinated with several contributors prior to completion.

Technology Transfer Plan: A document specifies how the technology application produced by a research project will be deployed and adopted by the intended user community.

United States Department of Transportation ( US DOT): The mission of the US DOT is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.