Spy Pond Partners, LLC is committed to helping transportation and public works agencies optimize use of scarce resources and improve delivery of transportation capital improvements, maintenance and operations services. We support agency executives and technical staff in implementing improvements to business processes and associated information systems. Through many years of experience, we have built specialized knowledge in many areas of transportation and infrastructure management. Our team members are known for their exceptional level of responsiveness and ability to develop practical yet innovative solutions to challenging problems.
Many agencies undertake periodic strategic planning efforts to guide and focus activities towards achievement of a vision, mission and set of supporting goals and objectives. Even where formalized strategic planning is not done, agency leaders must choose where to focus their energies to have maximum impact with limited time. We work in partnership with executives to clarify critical objectives, identify constraints and opportunities, and articulate realistic strategies and actions. We support both formal and informal strategic planning processes through:
- Assessments: Documentation of current practices and performance, including identification of critical issues and opportunities for improvement.
- Decision Briefs: Synthesis of research and analysis to present relevant facts and experience in an easily digestible form – including trends, projected costs and revenues, customer perspectives, and peer comparisons.
- Facilitation: Provision of expert facilitation that brings concerns and ideas of key players to the table. We work behind the scenes to ensure common understanding of objectives and identify and elevate issues of concern. We provide a neutral, external perspective that balances competing needs.
In today’s evolving funding environment, agencies must meet growing expectations for demonstrating effective use of resources and linking expenditures to results. We offer a complete set of performance management services that help organizations to develop appropriate performance measures, assess baseline performance, and identify and monitor strategies for performance improvement. Specific services include:
- Program Design: Development of performance management plans linking agency goals and objectives to performance targets and measurable indicators of performance. We identify both lagging indicators that show results achieved as well as leading indicators that can trigger management intervention. We identify measures that can be implemented immediately using existing data as well as measures for future implementation, in conjunction with new data collection, analysis and information system support enhancements.
- Benchmarking: Targeted research briefings that identify peer agency performance trends and identify key contributing factors for success.
- Dashboards: Requirements, design and development of performance dashboards that can be used to monitor lagging and leading indicators and understand factors contributing to results. We can take complete responsibility for development or work as part of a team to integrate the dashboard with existing systems.
Quality data provides the foundation for a wide range of agency decisions – from budgeting and program development to deployment of crews for maintenance. We offer specialized services to help organizations target data investments and gain maximum value from the data that they acquire:
- Assessments: Identification and assessment of existing information. We inventory current data sets and information systems used for data maintenance and reporting. We assess their value and shortcomings based on interviews to determine how information is used within agency business processes and what information is needed but not available.
- Data Business Plans: Development of strategies and actions to maximize data value. We identify data needs associated with core agency business processes, and work with agency staff to identify a realistic action plan to achieve improved data quality, access and integration.
- Data Communities of Interest: Facilitation of cross-functional teams that identify and prioritize common data needs. We support the process of gaining consensus on core data needs, and identifying priority data improvements for enhancing decision making across multiple business units.
- Data Management Program Support: We assist with design and implementation of business data catalogs, data marts, specialized reports, metadata repositories, and master data management processes.
Transportation and public works agencies face major challenges in stretching available resources to address a growing backlog of asset maintenance and rehabilitation needs. We help our clients to strengthen their ability to make difficult resource allocation decisions within and across different classes of assets – and to make the case for additional resources. We draw upon a rich set of tools, techniques and best practices for optimizing investments in physical assets. Services include:
- Asset Management Plans: Development of agency asset management strategies and processes. We conduct assessments of existing asset management practices covering organizational alignment, resource allocation and programming processes, and information availability and application. We work with clients to identify priority improvements to data, tools, techniques and business processes. We collaboratively develop new processes and support their implementation – through documentation, training, and mentoring activities.
- Asset Management Systems Implementation: Support for road inventory, pavement, bridge, transit and other asset management system upgrades and off-the-shelf software acquisitions. We help agencies to define their needs and requirements, and evaluate options including in-house, custom and off-the-shelf system acquisition. We support the system upgrade/implementation process by ensuring that requirements are met and facilitating business process changes to take advantage of new system capabilities.
- Analysis Tools: Predictive models for asset resource allocation and treatment assignment. We develop and refine existing analytical approaches for prediction of deterioration, treatment costs and benefits associated with achieving a state of good repair.
Many organizations are facing a brain drain due to retirements of senior staff. Staff turnover at all levels is disruptive at best, and at worst can result in permanent loss of valuable institutional knowledge. We help our clients to document core business processes and implement programs for knowledge capture and transfer. Specific services include:
- Risk Mitigation Strategies: Identification of key areas of vulnerability to loss of expertise and hard-to-replace institutional knowledge, and development of targeted strategies for minimizing impacts on the organization.
- Process Documentation: Mapping of current business processes and associated policies and procedures. This provides a valuable resource for bringing new employees up to speed, and supports a common understanding of core processes for all employees.
- Knowledge Portals: Development and deployment of searchable web sites that provide easy access to specialized bodies of knowledge to support employees within specific functional areas of the organization.