Transportation show and tell
In February, the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) launched a website to publish detailed reports about DDOT construction projects in an effort to increase communication with residents and improve the transparency of department operations. The site also is helping the department comply with reporting requirements for projects funded by the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The District Transportation Access Portal (dTAP) was created to support Mayor Adrian Fenty’s goals of improving government transparency and connection with the public. Before dTAP, information about DDOT projects was not widely published online, and the information that was published was only static content and not interactive in any way.
In April 2009, DDOT contracted with Atlanta-based Innovative-e, Inc., to design, construct and implement dTAP to publicize the progress of the initial 15 projects funded by ARRA in the city. The district wanted the system to increase project management consistency and promote transparent budgeting so that public dollars would be used effectively and tracked accurately.
DDOT already used Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Project 2007, so the company designed a portal that combines those programs with project management software from Carlsbad, Calif.-based EPM Live and dashboard software from Toronto, Canada-based Dundas to monitor project budget and schedule performance. To use the site, DDOT project managers load their Microsoft Project plans into the system, and when they are ready, they “publish” the project information to the public. Approximately 30 project managers use the system now, and eventually that will increase to about 200.
Once the initial site design was accepted in summer 2009, DDOT managers requested to expand the site to cover the organization’s entire portfolio of approximately 500 projects. So far, 44 projects have been loaded into the system, and DDOT plans to eventually load all projects into the site.
Site visitors can access projects by clicking on a map on the home page, or select projects from a list. Clicking on any of the projects displays a template of information, including project budgets, schedules, scope of work and other details. In addition, studies or related websites and documents about the project are available.
Project: Transportation project website
Jurisdiction: District of Columbia
Agency: Department of Transportation
Vendor: Atlanta-based Innovative-e
Date completed: February 2010
Cost: $150,000 to $200,000