The operational reality that dominates organizations can inhibit their ability to document recurring work processes, which is instrumental in defining work responsibilities, incorporating quality assurance, evaluating lead time, eliminating inefficiencies, and developing workforce training requirements. The authors describe the application of process modeling tools to address this problem within a state transportation agency using a set of maps—relationship maps, cross-functional maps, and flowchart maps—in the form of process mapping. This study involved mapping a process used by California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to identify high collision concentration locations (HCCLs) across California. Questionnaires, stakeholder interviews, and data assembly across multiple iterations were used, and the outcome includes documentation of the overall process to identify HCCLs, as illustrated in three different maps. Each map indicates a different detail level of the process. In addition to the ability to determine the relationship between entities, the findings include facilitation for improving communication regarding individual roles and responsibilities, as well as opportunities to enhance, modify, and update priority safety programs to better meet the needs of state transportation agencies. Further, the study can potentially aid researchers and practitioners—both inside and outside the transportation sector—to discern the type of map that is most relevant for an analysis of a given process.
November 12, 2020