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3 ITS Life Cycle Processes



This chapter provides an overview of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) life cycle model including the development process prescribed by this Guidebook. This chapter describes the ITS program life cycle and its relationship to Information Technology [IT] and State capital project development life cycles. It also identifies key phase decision points and the sub-processes within each phase. It briefly describes these sub-process steps while providing a primer for the reader who is not familiar with the systems engineering process.

Chapter 3.1 This introductory chapter describes the following aspects of the life cycle process:

  • The comparison of the life cycle phases for:
  • capital project development
  • Information Technology projects
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems [ITS] projects.
  • The need to successively refine needs, goals, and objectives over the project life cycle.
  • Each step of the life cycle with cross-cutting tasks
  • The roadmap of the major chapters of the guidebook that can be used to navigate throughout the ITS project life cycle tasks described in Chapter 3.

Comparison of the common life cycle models

Figure 3‑1 illustrates a comparison of the life cycle models: 1] Capital project development, 2] Information Technology Systems [email system, intranet, or information management system], and 3] Intelligent Transportation System [freeway management system or incident management system]. The phases are similar among the three life cycle models. There are variations to the tasks and activities performed within each phase which are domain-specific, but all three models reflect the basic tenets of systems engineering.  All three initially focus on scoping the problem, defining needs, and analyzing alternatives.  All three include a distinct design phase prior to system implementation.  Those familiar with the capital project development lifecycle will find many parallels in the systems engineering process, albeit with some new terminology and a focus on addressing the risks associated with complex intelligent transportation projects.

This Guidebook describes the detailed process steps for Intelligent Transportation Systems. Major phase decision points are noted by the “Stop” signs at these points in the life cycle where a major decision is made e.g. the continuation of the project or a major procurement. 

After the introduction, Chapters 3.2 to 3.9 provide a detailed look at each phase in the life cycle model and cross-cutting activities as follows:

Chapter 3.2 Phase [-1]: Regional Architecture and interfacing it with systems development.

Chapter 3.3 Phase 0, Concept Exploration: Concept exploration and benefits analysis.

Chapter 3.4 Phase 1, Planning & Concept of Operations: project planning, systems engineering management planning, and concept of operations.

Chapter 3.5 Phase 2, Systems Definition: requirements development, high level design, and component level detailed design.

Chapter 3.6 Phase 3, Systems Development and Implementation: hardware & software development, integration, verification, and initial deployment.

Chapter 3.7 Phase 4, Operations & Maintenance: Validation, operations & maintenance, changes & upgrades.

Chapter 3.8 Phase 5, Retirement and/or Replacement of the system or major sub-systems.

Chapter 3.9 describes the cross-cutting tasks that apply to one or more phases of the project life cycle: stakeholder involvement, elicitation, project management practices, risk management, project metrics, configuration management, process improvement, control gates, trade studies, and technical reviews.

Compares three lifecycle models: 1] Capital Project Development, 2] Information Technology, and 3] Intelligent Transportation System.  Shows the phases of this guidebook that corresponds to the Intelligent Transportation System lifecycle.  Major phase decision points in the lifecycles are also noted.

Figure 3-1 ITS Program Life Cycle Framework

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