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4.11 Example Projects

The following tables describe the degree of systems engineering that would be applied to three example ITS projects. These tables also provide a guide on the level of effort required for each phase of the project. It should be noted that these are estimates and that each project [even if they are similar to the ones listed] will need to be evaluated on its own merits. The following is a brief description of the projects listed in the following tables:

Project Example 1 Adding field elements to an existing system: this example adds changeable message signs to an existing system. The point of this example is to show that cost is not necessarily a driver in the amount of systems engineering needed. A 10 million dollar project may need less systems engineering than a $500K project. Also, this example applies to field cameras, ramp metering, intersection controllers, or detection.

Project Example 2 Adding new functionality to an existing system: this example builds on example 1 – the changeable message signs, we add another requirement of sharing control of the signs with a partnering agency. In this example, the existing control software was not designed for this requirement and injected typical institutional issues that ITS projects face in developing regional systems. The point of this example was that the requirement for sharing adds significant risk the project. Even though the estimated cost of the software is small compared to the cost of the changeable message signs, the project risk is driven by the upgrade to the controlling software and the institutional issues. This example also applies to the sharing of field devices, such as cameras, signal systems, or the integration of bus priority with signal systems.

Project Example 3 implementing a new central management system: This example upgrades a signal system. This is a typical project. It provides a good example of the nominal amount of systems engineering required when using a COTS product.

These are typical activities and estimates of effort. This should not be taken as a "script" to follow. These projects, in any given environment, may require more or less systems engineering effort.


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