Procuring, Managing, and Evaluating the Performance of Contracted TMC Services
In addition to an agency’s own manuals and operational guides there are other reference documents that an agency might use in structuring their procurement offerings.
The Federal Highway Administration’s TMC Pooled-Fund Study maintains a website with sponsors and TMC-related material. (a) That website contains a Handbook for Developing a TMC Operations Manual that builds on the ITE Annotated Outline and provides more specific information. (z, zz) In addition to detailed checklists, it defines a process for writing a TMC operations manual that includes all phases of the systems engineering life cycle, including the procurement phase.
These policy and procedures documents for a TMC (or agencies working in a TMC) serve as tools for management of contracted services. Documents such as an agency’s strategic plan (including vision and goals) establish the purpose of a TMC and the function being carried out within a TMC. Operations-oriented documents such as a TMC’s operations manual can further serve as tools to help manage agencies and staff within a TMC. Some of the topics that are important to a TMC operations manual are highlighted in Table 6.
Management of Staff through Performance Measurement and Reporting
Performance monitoring is directly linked to quality (x). Monitoring performance influences both efficiency (cost) and effectiveness (quality) measures. It is important to establish performance measurement during the procurement phase in order to implement management strategies.
There are two different aspects of performance measurement: performance of the TMC or TMC function, and performance of those responsible for the TMC or TMC function. There are number efforts and literature on the measuring performance of an ITS system or TMC. In the context of measuring the staff responsible for the TMC function, performance monitoring appears to encapsulate three key areas:
evaluating whether the contractor’s work is compliant with the terms of the contract,
identifying the extent of variation in quality and its relationship to cost factors, and
determining whether the primary agency is satisfied with the service.
Table 6. Topics of a TMC Operations Manual (z)
TMC Operations Manual Topic
Examples: Roles of the agency(ies) in a TMC, responsibilities of individual agencies
Examples: Organization chart: supervisory, operators, maintenance, job descriptions, routine and emergency telephone/pager contacts.
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