Engage in project planning and make initial decisions about the ITS procurement process.
Experience from a review of ITS contracting methods and practices. Step 1 of the Decision Model.
The guide notes the following key steps in project planning:
- Determine project feasibility. During this stage, stakeholders must come to agreement on the project concept of operations and on how the system will be used. This involves a consideration of any institutional, financial or temporal constraints that may affect the ITS project. Once the concept of operations has been established, the stakeholders must outline the project scope, schedule, and cost estimations.
- Consider the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products (hardware and software). In establishing project feasibility, the agency may learn that the planned system has been developed and procured by another agency. In this case, the guide recommends a commodity type procurement process. There are a number of benefits to procuring COTS systems: these systems have been previously tested; the cost for system upgrades can be shared by agencies; and the system’s operation can be assessed before system procurement. Agencies considering this option should consult other agencies that have had experience procuring COTS systems.
- Consider whether outsourcing is an appropriate alternative. With this approach, an agency contracts for the acquisition of a function (i.e. an entire agency service such as traffic management, traveler information or toll collection) or a capability (i.e. an internal agency process such as inspection, maintenance, signal timing). The research concluded that outsourcing is a useful approach for the acquisition of new systems when an agency requires a new capability but does not have the personnel resources to manage its implementation, operations and/or maintenance.
- Utilize an outsourcing procurement package if outsourcing an existing agency activity or function is planned.
- Utilize traditional consulting procurement processes if consulting services are required.
- Utilize the Decision Model if the project includes system development.
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