VDOT began development of the Asset Management System by revisiting the original requirements of the BPR. In contrast to the single off-the-shelf system envisioned in early efforts, VDOT staff divided the BPR requirements into a series of components that could be developed individually and integrated incrementally. The new Asset Management System has six key components:
As part of previous information technology (IT) initiatives, VDOT has developed agency-wide architecture standards and metadata. VDOT plans to adhere to these standards for all future decision-support systems, including the Asset Management System. Adherence to these standards will help ensure that all of VDOT's decision-support tools are eventually fully integrated.
Work on the first two components of the Asset Management System-the Condition Assessment Module and the Needs-Based Budget Request Module-began in 2003. In developing these modules, VDOT followed a formal systems development process designed to provide consistency between the individual development efforts and ensure that data required for the Asset Management System is fully integrated. This two-phase process consists of the following steps:
From an organizational point of view, key conditions would be required for the success of VDOT's development effort:
VDOT's new data integration strategy has enabled it to make significant progress without waiting for the details of the "target" Asset Management System to be finalized.
The following figure illustrates VDOT's new data integration strategy. Relevant data from various systems are being processed and imported into a data repository. VDOT is proceeding with this work without fully understanding the details of the "target" Asset Management System. This work is independent of what the final system will look like. For example, the final Asset Management System may consist of a series of individual tools, or it may resemble the comprehensive enterprise resource planning system once proposed. It is anticipated that if all relevant data are cleansed, normalized, and stored in a single data repository, VDOT will be able to export data to any future system.
This strategy provides VDOT with tremendous flexibility in designing the final Asset Management System. The design will continue to evolve based on organizational requirements, funding availability, and emerging technologies. In the meantime, this approach has enabled VDOT to make significant progress both in the development of individual maintenance decision-support tools and in the integration of maintenance data, without waiting for the final details of the comprehensive Asset Management System to be developed.
VDOT's Needs-Based Budget Request Module enables users to develop maintenance budgets that reflect the current condition of its assets. In the context of the data integration strategy described above, this system is not the target system: it is an interim module that relies on data stored in the data repository. The architecture of the Needs-Based Budget Module consists of three tiers:
A linear referencing system (LRS) provides the foundation for VDOT's data integration efforts and has three functions:
For the ICAS project, VDOT adopted the standards and methods recommended in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) 20-27 Project on Linear Referencing Systems Implementation. The Highways by Exor program was selected for the ICAS project in part because it meets the requirements of the NCHRP 20-27 data model, and was therefore able to perform the linear data management and temporal data management required by ICAS. VDOT has since implemented the ESRI transportation data model known as UNETRANS, which incorporates elements of NCHRP 20-27 but is also flexible. UNETRANS includes temporal data versioning, which reduces the need for a proprietary program such as Highways by Exor.