T3 Webinar Overview

Configuration Management: A Proven Path to Ensure ITS Project Quality Control and Quality Assurance

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Originally presented under the title: Approaches for Integrating Configuration Management into Your ITS Project Development Processes

Date:   February 21, 2008
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.


Description

This webinar is the third in a series of T3s focusing on Systems Engineering (SE) at the practitioner level. These webinars will focus on specific SE activities critical to the successful development and delivery of ITS projects in an agreed upon schedule, scope, and budget.

The purpose of the February 21, 2008 webinar is to discuss Configuration Management (CM), a critical SE activity that supports efficient ITS project design and development, effective project implementation, and methodical system operations and maintenance. CM can be viewed as the "as-builts" of the ITS world. To illustrate this, separate case studies will be presented by the Oregon and Washington State Departments of Transportation. These agencies will describe, on a practical level, how CM is used in their day-to-day business practices. The webinar will explore the institutional changes, challenges, products, and processes used in carrying out CM activities.

Background

When planning, developing, and implementing an ITS project, the practice of tracking changes and their justifications can be critical to successfully completing a project. Equally important, changes to the built system need to be documented to ensure future work or enhancements are done based on the system's most current hardware and software functionality. CM can be defined as a "management process for establishing and maintaining consistency of a product's performance, functional, and physical attributes with its requirements, design and operational information throughout its life." (ANSI/EIA 649-1998). Establishing the system baseline, or configuration, and managing change to that baseline, are key processes for ensuring that system integrity is maintained throughout the life of the system. Read more about CM in Section 5.4 of the Systems Engineering Guide.

Most agencies practice CM without calling it by that name. For a signal system, for example, keeping track of the most current field controller hardware and software version is considered CM. Without this change tracking, operations, and maintenance of the signal system would likely lead to inefficient and costly expenditures. Furthermore, as the system is expanded or replaced, lack of documentation about the existing equipment and software might lead to a poor design or costly work by the contractor/staff, who need to spend time recreating or re-documenting this information.

Target Audience

State, and local transportation engineers, traffic operations and maintenance engineers and managers, transit operations managers, and emergency management agency managers; and FHWA Division Office and FTA Regional Office ITS personnel.

Host

Frank Cechini, ITS Specialist, FHWA California Division
Frank Cechini started his career with FHWA 37 years ago as a project engineer in the Los Angeles/Orange County area of California. He has spent the last 31 years as a traffic operations engineer and manager of the ITS program in California. Frank has participated in the design & implementation of several large traffic control systems - cutting his teeth on the first UTCS traffic control system in California in 1976 and the two-year long development of the ATSAC system in Los Angeles in preparation for the LA Olympics in 1984. In 1994, he was detailed to Los Angeles for several months to co-establish the traffic recovery plan after the Northridge earthquake. Frank was active in TRB (HOV Systems Committee) in the early 90's and authored an investigative summary of HOV practices in the United States. In addition, his role as FHWA reviewer has exposed him to hundreds of traffic control system designs and freeway management implementations, many from cradle to grave. Lately he has taken that systems experience and has been delivering ITS, Architecture, and Systems Engineering training to state and local levels of government throughout California, and providing technical oversight to the development and updating of the Systems Engineering Guidebook for ITS now being used around the country.

Presenters

Ron Ice, Ice and Associates:
Ron Ice has been a lead systems engineer on the U.S. National ITS Architecture since the program was conceived in 1992 and developed and managed the configuration of the key architecture products including the Physical Architecture, the Market Packages, and Turbo Architecture. Ron was the lead author of the "Introduction to Systems Engineering: A Guide for Transportation Professionals" Systems Engineering Handbook and the Regional ITS Architecture Guidance Document. An NHI-Certified instructor, Ron teaches National ITS Architecture, Systems Engineering, Configuration Management, and Turbo Architecture courses for NHI and teaches Systems Engineering for the University of California Extensions program.

ronice@ronice.com
27155 Big Horn Mountain Way
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
714-692-0180 Phone
714-692-0117 Fax

Chuck Larsen, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT):
Chuck Larsen has been developing information systems solutions for over 25 years. In his Career, Mr. Larsen filled a variety of roles, for System Development Companies providing solutions in the pharmacy, accounting and hospitality industries.

Chuck has spent the last 10 years working for the ODOT developing innovative technology solutions for Transportation. In his role as Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Coordinator, his group has developed and/or implemented over 20 systems that help improve transportation for the state of Oregon, including the national awarding winning Tripcheck.Com website and traveler information 511 phone system. ODOT traveler information systems are among the nations leaders in usage. The Tripcheck.com web site gets used over 1 million times in a month by traveling citizens. The 511 system set national records for usage in its first month of service with over 300,000 calls.

Mark Morse, Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT):
Mark Morse has worked in the Northwest Region Traffic Management Center at WSDOT for 24 years. His first two years, he was an operator of the Traffic Management System. Since then, Mark has worked in support of operators and the operation of the system, maintaining software and hardware in use and implementing and integrating new equipment and software.

In the early 1990's, Mark defined for project consultants the required functionality of the TMS system upgrade.For the past 12 years, he has served as the team leader of the software support group. His most recent project involved managing the migration of the TMS system to a new hardware platform. The Configuration Management processes used by Mark at WSDOT have sprung from his need to manage equipment, people, and software in an evolving operation.

All of Mark's spare time - and money - go to support his aviation habit as a private pilot.

Completed SE Webinars

Upcoming SE Webinars

Establishing a Vision for Your ITS System through the Concept of Operations
The Concept of Operations (ConOps) frames the overall system and sets the technical course for a project. Its purpose is to clearly convey a high-level view of the system to be developed that each project stakeholder can understand. A good ConOps answers who, what, where, when, why, and how questions about the project from the viewpoint of each stakeholder. Read more about the ConOps in Section 4.3 of the Systems Engineering Handbook.

Defining What Your ITS System Will (and Will Not) Do Using Requirements Management
One of the most important attributes of a successful project is a clear statement of requirements that meet the stakeholders' needs. This webinar will focus on the different types of requirements that must be defined for a project, including Functional requirements ("what" the system must do), performance requirements ("how well" the system must perform its functions), and a variety of other requirements define "under what conditions" the system must operate. Read more about System Requirements and Requirements Management in Section 4.4 of the Systems Engineering Handbook.

Anticipating, Monitoring, and Controlling Risk in ITS Systems Using Risk Management
Risk management is the identification and control of risks during all phases of the project life cycle. The goal of risk management is to identify potential problems before they occur, plan for their occurrence, and monitor the system development so that early action can be taken if the risk occurs. Read more about Risk Management in Section 5.3 of the Systems Engineering Handbook.

Tailoring Systems Engineering Based on ITS Project Size, Complexity, and Agency Resources
Many ITS projects are small or relatively low risk and low complexity. The systems engineering process can be tailored to fit all project types. Section 6.2.3 of the Systems Engineering Handbook provides a more comprehensive discussion of how to tailor the systems engineering approach.

SE Tools for Everyday Practice: The Systems Engineering Guidebook
Trying to navigate the many available system engineering tools and understand how to apply them to your ITS project can be confusing. Help is available. The FHWA California Division and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) jointly developed the Systems Engineering Guidebook for ITS. This webinar will provide a quick tutorial on information and tools in the Guidebook that state and local agencies can quickly apply or adapt for their use. Read more about systems engineering resources in Section 7 of the Systems Engineering Handbook.





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