Determine work distribution for the ITS project when selecting an appropriate procurement package.
Experience from a review of ITS contracting methods and practices. Step 2 of the Decision Model.
- Utilize a single contract, if possible. Multiple contracts necessitate increased project management resources. However, as noted below, there may be reasons to consider multiple contracts.
- Utilize multiple contracts if there is significant software and systems development, in addition to field construction. This research concluded that a key factor in the success of a project is the ability of the agency’s project engineer to interact directly with the contractor whose work represents the highest risk to the project’s success (software development). This may require the use of multiple contracts. For example, if the largest dollar amount of an ITS project is in field construction, but the project also requires a significant amount of software and systems development, then multiple contracts are advised so that the systems developer can be assigned as the prime contractor.
- Distribute work to multiple contracts if the likelihood of selecting a satisfactory prime contractor for the overall project is uncertain.
- Utilize multiple contracts if "politics" requires that the work be spread around. This may be particularly true if the project involves significant field construction.
- Utilize multiple contracts if the project requires significant outside expertise. A complex project may require the assistance of supporting contractors who have specific expertise.
Careful consideration of the work distribution is an important step performed early in the decision model process and contributes to the agencies' selection of an appropriate procurement package. By adhering to this step and subsequent steps in the model, agencies can experience cost as well as time-savings in the procurement of ITS. Moreover, an efficient procurement process can significantly influence the ultimate success of the ITS deployment.
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