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Ellis Sou Sop Fin

How trends in TxDOT’s shift toward standardization of the environmental process conflicts with national trends toward project-specific environmental processes as well as TxDOT’s adoption of the Primavera V.6 project management system. Proposes the use of compliance action plans as a tool for adapting standards to project-specific needs.

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Ellis Sou Sop Fin

  1. 1. Standards of Uniformity/ Standard Operating Procedures Program G. Lain Ellis, Ph.D. Environmental Affairs Division (View in Notes Page mode for script)
  2. 2. Quote of the day We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. Benjamin Franklin
  3. 3. What happens next <ul><li>A little bit of history </li></ul><ul><li>An initial challenge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we reconcile standardization with need for project-specific documents? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An additional challenge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we help Project Managers under P6? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A shift to Compliance Action Plans </li></ul>
  4. 4. A little history <ul><li>1997-99: 1 st standardized specs for archeology </li></ul><ul><li>1999-2006: standardized specs for others </li></ul><ul><li>May 2006: SH 130 Seg. 5 & 6 negotiations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CZ wants increased predictability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ENV/CZ agree to develop standards for submissions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>June 2007: ENV/CZ kick off SOUs and Compliance Action Plan (CAP) for SH 130 </li></ul>
  5. 5. SH 130 Compliance Action Plan <ul><li>Set of triggers for environmental compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Set of actions required by each trigger </li></ul><ul><li>For project managers, not environmental specialists </li></ul><ul><li>CAP: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers post-NEPA portion of the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Programmatic approach to multi-decade program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Generic plan to deal with unknown issues </li></ul>
  6. 6. A little more history <ul><li>2005: Audit shows uneven performance on local government CMAQ projects </li></ul><ul><li>2005-2008: Local Government Project Procedures (LGPP) Task Force </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SOPs and training program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Early 2009: LGPP implemented and ongoing </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental section of LGPP is a CAP </li></ul>
  7. 7. LGPP CAP <ul><li>Like SH 130 CAP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set of triggers and corresponding actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Made for project managers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unlike SH 130 CAP: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers project development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applies to long-/short-term projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Generic plan to identify and resolve known and unknown requirements </li></ul>
  8. 8. Just a little more history <ul><li>March 2008: ENV proposes decentralization of PCE approval based on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SOUs to promote successful 1 st -time review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Programmatic QA/QC to monitor performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Early 2008: ADMIN considers regionalization </li></ul><ul><li>March-July 2008: Development and initial rollout </li></ul><ul><li>October 2008: Regionalized PCE review </li></ul>
  9. 9. A common thread <ul><li>All are imperfect </li></ul><ul><li>They all work anyway </li></ul><ul><li>An emerging theme: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mutually shared expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased standardization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased predictability of outcome </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Back to the present <ul><li>ENV expanding scope of SOUs/SOPs, but: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More complex projects harder to standardize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FHWA/AASHTO moving to tailored documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FHWA proposing project-specific EIS/EA teams </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Broader context not moving to standardization </li></ul>
  11. 11. The challenge <ul><li>Need more standardization for CEs, EAs, EISs </li></ul><ul><li>But, need project-specific compliance solutions </li></ul>
  12. 12. New kid on the block <ul><li>Primavera 6 becoming primary project management tool </li></ul><ul><li>Project Manager has to assign resources/dates </li></ul><ul><li>Initially uses standard template that includes resources whether needed or not </li></ul><ul><li>Adapts template to specific projects to avoid over-/underprogramming resources </li></ul>
  13. 13. No pressure, but… <ul><li>Everybody’s success boils down to success of Project Managers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They need right resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They don’t need surprises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They need reliable estimates of resource needs/availability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And they need these estimates early. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can we help ensure their success? </li></ul>
  14. 14. The modified challenge <ul><li>Reconcile standardization with project-specific compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Give Project Managers what they need for planning and executing specific projects </li></ul>
  15. 15. Back to SOU/SOP program <ul><li>SOU concept can be stretched only so far </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t want to stifle innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools for successful deliverables </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SOPs play a major role </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define roles, responsibilities, and sequences of actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools for meeting mutual expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But SOUs and SOPs are not plans, and Project Managers have specific risks to address </li></ul>
  16. 16. Re-enter the CAP <ul><li>Recall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SH 130 CAP post-NEPA only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LGPP CAP adds project development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both are generic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both require effort to adapt to specific activities </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Push the CAP concept once more <ul><li>Start with generic CAP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add project-specific risk analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify project-specific compliance needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add named resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add scheduled dates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Two birds, one stone: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project-specific plan for Project Managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project-specific process/document for FHWA </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Some things best done with CAPs <ul><li>Start this project right </li></ul><ul><li>Identify compliance tasks for this project </li></ul><ul><li>Manage environmental risk on this project </li></ul><ul><li>Find resources for this project </li></ul><ul><li>Agree who does what when on this project </li></ul><ul><li>Roll with the punches on this project </li></ul><ul><li>Establish accountability on this project </li></ul>
  19. 19. Hang together, or hang separately? <ul><li>Adoption of project-specific risk-based CAP addresses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs of Project Managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basis for resource sharing in regionalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental management system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persistent sources of conflict late in process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May help us avoid the noose altogether </li></ul>
  20. 20. Questions?

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