U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Casey Emoto, P.E.
We have used systems engineering here at VTA on our ITS projects since the inception of FHWA’s New Rule and FTA’s New Policy that included the requirement to use a systems engineering approach on ITS projects.
A major benefit of the systems engineering approach is that it allows for early identification of items that need to be considered in the planning, development, implementation and maintenance phases for an ITS project. We have had our share of ITS efforts in our county with late identification of project issues. Using a systems engineering approach to look ahead probably would’ve helped to address issues earlier to minimize their complexity.
The use of a systems engineering approach has allowed us to anticipate and plan for project issues. Using a systems engineering approach has also allowed us to develop projects on an agency-wide consensus-based manner in which staff have worked together in a very much collaborative fashion.
We have found the traceability aspect of the process to be one of the more helpful aspects. This aspect of the process has allowed us to link outcomes for a project back to stakeholder needs, which in turn has allowed us to better keep to the intended scope of a project (i.e., prevent scope creep).