Operations Lead
The Operations Lead for the State DOT. This role is typically played by a Deputy Director with responsibility for traffic engineering, operations, and maintenance, or the Chief Engineer.
Challenges and Opportunities
In your role, what are the most critical challenges and opportunities? Looking across the agency, what capabilities are required to successfully take them on? How can you help build the necessary capabilities? The first step is to understand these challenges and opportunities in terms of the major change forces that are driving them.
Change ForcesChallenge/OpportunityYour Responsibility
Shift in Role and FocusMaintenance and operations are increasingly important and visible agency functions.Operations Focus. Strengthen the system operations function of the agency to make best use of available capacity.

Attracting and Retaining. Build a team with the skills and background needed for Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) strategy planning and implementation.
Public ExpectationsThe traveling public expects reliable travel and seamless connections across modes.

Public expectations are growing for real time information about the status of the system.
Operations Focus. Implement programs targeting improvements to travel reliability (e.g. incident management), and work with partner agencies to enhance intermodal transfers.

Transparency. Partner with other agencies and with private sector data providers to make real time information available to the public.
Technology AdvancementA wide array of transportation technologies, including those related to connected and autonomous vehicles offer opportunities for improvements to safety and operational efficiency.Technology Adoption. Monitor early adoption efforts and proactively develop a strategy for taking advantage of new technologies.

Aligning Skills to Needs. Assess and fill gaps in workforce skills to implement currently available operations technologies.
Strategies and Resources

What strategies can you apply now to meet today’s challenges and prepare for future opportunities? What resources are available to help support these efforts?

Where to Begin

  • Identify high impact operations strategies for implementation
  • Track emerging technologies that could enhance efficiency or effectiveness of transportation systems operations
  • Create a committee to discuss the implications of advancing operations technologies and identify a future implementation strategy for the agency
  • Work with the HR lead to fill current gaps in skills needed for effective system operations management
  • Pursue partnerships with other agencies to enhance mobility and safety


Information and Data Management

  • IT Strategic Planning – to plan for adoption and use of new operations technologies and real time data streams.
  • Services – to support sharing and integration of real time system information with partners and travelers

Organizational Management

  • Change Management - to help the agency integrate system management and operations strategies into planning, programming and project development processes.

Workforce Management

  • Recruitment and Retention – to attract employees with skills needed for operations.
  • Professional Development – to build skillsets of existing staff.

Knowledge Management

  • Social and learning communities – to provide a forum for exchange of information about operations strategies and technologies.


  • Public/private partnerships – to implement coordinated operations strategies