Modelling: Pain points and success factors review | Ted Huxtable Grant awarded for research
John Trieu and Callan Stirzaker of WSP have been awarded AITPM's inaugural Ted Huxtable Grant for research.
Their winning project "Modelling: Pain points and success factors review", kicked off this month with a presentation to the AITPM Public Sector Knowledge Sharing Workshop.
Transport modelling has become an integral function within the field of transport planning, management and design; particularly as our transport systems networks become increasingly congested and complex. This comes with challenges, and anecdotal evidence suggests that commonly cited pain points relate to technical specifications, scope, data sources, processes, stakeholder influence, range of technical knowledge, timeframes and budget/cost; to name a few.
Looking towards the future; over the next 10 years, it is anticipated state and federal governments will invest over $75 billion in new nationally significant transport infrastructure. In addition, the ongoing spending for locally significant projects, network management, planning and policy will continue. These projects range from $10 thousand to $10 billion in magnitude with a high proportion of these projects, particularly the larger more significant investments, are likely to require some level of transport modelling to help support the project shaping to the political system, financiers, or to support the design development itself. Furthermore, emerging trends relating to data availability and travel behaviour change and economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to add to the underlying need for transport modelling.
Poorly managed transport modelling projects result in poorer outcomes and repeated cycle of failed activities. The negative outcomes then result in poor business case decision making, lesser infrastructure design outcomes and/or reduced reputation of the transport modelling profession. Conversely, successfully managed transport modelling projects generally result in better outcomes, with improved support to business case development, network and infrastructure design process, policy development and reputation of the profession.
This research project aims to conduct a review and research on the factors which have led to successful/unsuccessful outcomes on modelling projects such that these can be shared across the industry and action taken to address/promote common themes.
The research project will not aim to define ‘success’ as an outcome as this will be subjective to each participant and functionality of the model. We will however aim to rate the relative impact of each item.
The objective of the research is to investigate pain points and success factors from the perspective of project delivery. It will not review the technical details of these and how these relate to best practice (for example).
The project will explore the influence that external forces that data, guidelines, software/tools and frameworks can have on projects, but it will not (unless overwhelming evidence exists) detail the specifics of these.
The project will aim to be agnostic with respect to model types, software, however, should the need arise to link common themes, then this may be necessary.
The research project will involve interviewing owners, custodians, project managers, at government agencies that can successfully articulate the ‘pain points’ and ‘success factors’ of their recent transport modelling projects. The aim is to speak to representatives from each state and territory in Australia, and time permitting, New Zealand. We will also seek to discuss this topic with a number of national bodies. The outcomes of this research will be used to help inform possible strategies to maximise the benefits of success factors, and minimise the impact of pain points. They will also look to validate research findings through the online AITPM platform with the broader industry. All research data points will be anonymised.