Delivering upon the objectives systems engineering and operations
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Delivering upon the Objectives Systems Engineering and Operations. AITPM Lunch and Learn 21 March 2013 Andrew Somers. Why focus on operations?. We invest in Managed Freeways, or other ITS initiatives, on the basis of the benefits to the community

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Delivering upon the objectives systems engineering and operations

Delivering upon the ObjectivesSystems Engineering and Operations

AITPM Lunch and Learn 21 March 2013

Andrew Somers

Why focus on operations

Why focus on operations?

  • We invest in Managed Freeways, or other ITS initiatives, on the basis of the benefits to the community

  • Those benefits to the community are realised during the operational phase

  • The new tools/assets/systems create the opportunity for benefits

    • …but it is the use of the tools/assets/systems that creates the benefits

  • Operations phase = benefits realisation phase

The best things in life don t come for free

The best things in life don’t come for free

  • Remember, operations phase = benefits realisation phase

  • If we underinvest in the operations phase, we will struggle to achieve the full benefits

  • ITS projects have a different balance of capital and operating costs. Compare O&M costs as a % of whole of life discounted cash flow:

    • Traditional road project: capital 83%, operations 17%

    • Managed freeway elements: capital 58%, operations 42%

  • If benefits realisation phase = revenue phase, this works well

  • However, if capital is available and recurrent funding is squeezed, this leads to some pressures



  • Getting the operations and maintenance right matters

    • Benefit realisation

    • Whole of life costs

  • Our greatest opportunity to start to get this right is at the start of the life cycle, as for other changes to projects

What does this mean for mf

What does this mean for MF?

  • Clear understanding of objectives

  • Understand what services are needed to achieve those objectives

  • Then look at the options for those services

    • each service, multiple technologies

    • each technology, multiple services

  • Starting with tools and retrofitting services leads to inefficiencies and missed opportunities

  • Cannot afford to operate and maintain inefficient MF implementations

Usdot why systems engineering

USDOT: why systems engineering?

Usdot why systems engineering 2004

USDOT: why systems engineering? (2004)

Usdot golden rules for systems engineering

USDOT: golden rules for systems engineering

  • Start with Your Eye on the Finish Line

  • Stakeholder Involvement is Key

  • Define the Problem Before Implementing the Solution

  • Delay Technology Choices

  • Divide and Conquer (complexity)

  • Connecting the Dots – Traceability

So what does it look like

So what does it look like?

For its we need both traffic and technology capabilities

For ITS, we need both traffic and technology capabilities

Assess policy and network analysis

Assess: Policy and Network Analysis

  • In developing and implementing a “solution”, we are by definition addressing a “problem”

  • What are the problems on our transport network that we are seeking to address?

    • Why are they problems?

    • How big are the problems?

    • What is the nature of the problems?

  • …problem compared to what?

  • Main Roads Network Operations Planning Framework

Select project objectives

Select: Project Objectives

  • Now that we understand the problem, what do we want our solution to achieve?

  • State Business Case and Infrastructure Australia processes provide guidance in generating and prioritising solution options

  • Managed Freeways is a flexible toolkit of ITS-enabled services

    • …it’s not the answer to every problem on a freeway

    • …but it will probably be at least part of the answer for many of them

Develop concept of operations

Develop: Concept of Operations

  • A Concept of Operations describes the features of a proposed system from the perspective of an individual or organisation who will be involved in the operations of the system.

  • A project Concept of Operations process is intended to:

    • develop a common vision;

    • capture the operational needs of key stakeholders;

    • work towards developing a shared understanding on key interrelationships, roles and responsibilities for the operations of the system;

    • help identify key operational risks and work with stakeholders to validate/ inform the underlying operational assumptions; and

    • develop a reference document to support feasible operations and successful operational outcomes.

Develop functional and technical requirements

Develop: Functional and Technical Requirements

  • Functional requirements set out what we want to achieve, for each of the ITS-enabled services

  • Technical requirements set out required performance and characteristics of the technology elements required to deliver the ITS-enabled services, as well some process requirements

  • Requirements are not design!

    • Of course in practice, such a black and white distinction is not always so simple to make

  • Alignment of technical requirements across projects assists to create a more consistent base of installed ITS

    • Eg. Leverage more flexible VMS technologies

Develop concept or solution design

Develop: Concept or Solution Design

  • The ITS solution design should identify how the project will fit in with the existing infrastructure and systems as an end to end solution

  • Any major development required, any specific challenges and how commissioning will be undertaken should be well known and understood by this stage

  • Two areas of focus:

    • Integration into end to end systems

    • Integration into the roadside (especially if other contracts)

  • Adoption of an ITS control systems platform has a big impact on what “solution design” means for ITS

Deliver detailed design and implementation

Deliver: Detailed Design and Implementation

  • Generally a bundled task for a contractor

    • Rare to have construct only for ITS

  • Coordination will be required

    • Network provider

    • Control systems provider

    • Civil contractors

    • Power

  • The design and implementation will strongly influence maintenance costs

    • What are the opportunities to incentivise for this?

Deliver testing integration commissioning

Deliver: Testing, Integration, Commissioning

  • This is a critical part of any ITS project

  • For ITS, physical completion ≠ practical completion

    • Ready for operations = practical completion

  • Testing and commissioning strategy needs to be risk-focussed and target effort where it is most rewarding, to identify faults as early as practical in the process

    • Do we test off-site systems prior to installation?

    • What hold points are required?

  • Development of testing and commissioning plans needs to commence during design phases

Deliver validate

Deliver: Validate

  • What does validation mean?

  • Is the commissioned system meeting the stated business requirements?

  • What happens if the answer is no?

Operate maintenance

Operate: Maintenance

  • The planning for maintenance must start well before the completion of delivery

  • We must also consider our obligations for design for safe maintenance

  • Where possible, involve the maintainer early

  • Good documentation assists to reduce maintenance costs

  • ITS systems have the capability to provide continuous data on operation and performance

    • We can leverage this to target maintenance effort to best achieving required performance

    • … but must have in place the systems and processes to do so

Operate operations evaluation improvement

Operate: Operations, Evaluation, Improvement

  • If you have deployed an active management system, then you must actively manage it

    • Some functions are automated, some cannot be automated, some aren’t feasible to automate

  • The good news is that an active management systems offers the opportunity for continuous improvement

  • Hence, evaluation is not only about telling what has happened, but also about making it even better (improvement)

Delivering benefits not just infrastructure

Delivering benefits, not just infrastructure

Any chain is dependent on its weakest link

Any chain is dependent on its weakest link

Its services deliver upon objectives

ITS services deliver upon objectives

Its enabled services depend upon its elements

ITS-enabled services depend upon ITS elements

What are mf services

What are MF services?

  • Something that adds value

    • to individual road users

    • to the community as a whole

  • Technology enabled, not technology

  • Understanding services means that we can get the right tools right

  • Service relies on the use of the tools

  • Let’s look at some options for a queue protection service

Queue protection infrastructure based

Queue protection – infrastructure based

Queue protection autonomous vehicles

Queue protection – autonomous vehicles

Queue protection cooperative vehicles

Queue protection – cooperative vehicles

What does this mean for managed freeways

What does this mean for managed freeways?

  • Understand the problem that we are trying to address

  • Select the ITS-enabled services that we need to deploy

  • Focus on the service outcomes, not the technology

  • Establish clear objectives, functional requirements and a concept of operations

  • The solution should be the most effective and efficient way of meeting the objectives

The next generation of uk mm

The next generation of UK MM

MM1 – MM-HSR – ‘MM heavy’?

MM2 – MM-ALR – ‘MM light’

Similar objectives, services and outcomes

– different technologies, infrastructure and layouts

What has changed

What has changed?

Operational strategies

Permanent conversion of hard shoulder to running lane – All Lane Running

What has changed1

What has changed?

Technology / infrastructure

Manage speed and lane use:

  • When: ↑ spacing from average 800 m to max 1500 m

  • How: from overhead lane to mainly verge

    Provide emergency refuge areas:

  • When: ↑ spacing now up to max 2500 m

Similar services – different physical implementation

Emergency refuge area

Speed cameras

Driver information



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