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A -- Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects

Notice Date
Notice Type
Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
541712 — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)
Contracting Office
The National Academies, Transportation Research Board, Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2), 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20001
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Archive Date
Point of Contact
James Bryant,, Phone: 202-334-2087, Linda Mason,, Phone: 202-334-3241
E-Mail Address
jbryant@nas.edu, lmason@nas.edu
Small Business Set-Aside
SHRP 2 Request for Proposals Focus Area: Renewal Project Number: R10 Project Title: Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects Date Posted: March 10, 2009 SHRP 2 Background To address the challenges of moving people and goods efficiently and safely on the nation's highways, Congress has created the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2). SHRP 2 is a targeted, short-term research program carried out through competitively awarded contracts to qualified researchers in the academic, private, and public sectors. SHRP 2 addresses four strategic focus areas: the role of human behavior in highway safety (Safety); rapid highway renewal (Renewal); improved travel time reliability through congestion reduction (Reliability); and transportation planning that better integrates community, economic, and environmental considerations into new highway capacity (Capacity). Under current legislative provisions, SHRP 2 will receive approximately $150 million with total program duration of 7 years. Additional information about SHRP 2 can be found on the program's Web site at www.trb.org/shrp2. Focus Area Background The U.S. highway system is aging and must be rebuilt while we are driving on it and living next to it. Research in the SHRP 2 Renewal focus area therefore addresses the need to complete highway projects quickly, with minimal disruption to the community, and to produce facilities that are long-lasting. Identifying new technologies for locating underground utilities; developing procedures to speed the evaluation of designs and the inspection of construction; and applying new methods and materials for preserving, rehabilitating, and reconstructing roadways and bridges are among the goals for this focus area. Alternative strategies for contracting, financing, and managing projects and mitigating institutional barriers also are part of the emphasis on rapid renewal. Project Background This project will address the managerial, engineering, overall coordination, and workforce challenges associated with rapid renewal projects. Rapid or accelerated projects typically involve complex logistical requirements, contractual procedures, and restrictive regulatory requirements that need careful planning and execution from inception to construction completion. Rapid renewal projects may range in size from moderately small to very large complex megaprojects - each requiring a unique set of skills and approaches to ensure success. Larger projects may require multiple contracts which further complicate these efforts. Projects can be complex in size, scope, and level of coordination required. Transportation agencies (TAs), contractors, consulting engineers, and other stakeholders will have to ensure that strong partnerships are in place that may be very different from traditional approaches. For example, the roles of the TA in the design-build process, implementation and execution of project warranties, implementation of full road closures, and other unique approaches, are very different from the traditional organization approaches in highway construction. The decision-making practices and commitments of each of these entities must be harmonized to promote cooperation and efficiency. A systematic research effort is required to study the unique requirements of rapid renewal projects. The research should describe how TAs, contractors, consulting engineers, and other stakeholders work together on such projects including how they: 1. Configure lines of communication and authority 2. Organize to promote harmonization of project activities 3. Utilize decision-making mechanisms to promote efficiency and ensure that appropriate project decisions are made at appropriate levels and times 4. Establish streamlined processes to minimize the impact of state and federal requirements. 5. Develop common goals and approaches to meet those goals Project Objective The objective of this project is to provide transportation agencies with tools that can be used to develop innovative and effective project management strategies that will accelerate sound decision-making during rapid renewal projects. The tools will include:  A guidebook for innovative project management  Example case studies of project management strategies for complex projects  Workshop and training packages to support adoption of these management strategies by all stakeholders. Tasks Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. SHRP 2 is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meet the research objective(s). Phase I Task 1: Review national and international literature and survey public and private agencies for project management strategies for complex transportation projects in a rapid renewal environment to establish the state of the practice. The review should include transportation agencies that vary in function and projects from a broad spectrum of project delivery methods (e.g., PPP, design-build, design-bid-build, etc.) that are geographically diverse and vary in size from moderately small to large mega projects. Task 2: Analyze the project management approaches documented in task 1 and determine best practices. In addition to organizing best practices by project delivery method, identify those best practices that are common success factors across all delivery methods. The analysis should clearly define innovative implementation strategies, methods, and tools that led to successful outcomes. Examples of categories of successful outcomes may include but are not limited to: managerial, engineering, overall coordination, and workforce challenges associated with rapid renewal projects. Compile common lessons learned from all approaches. Task 3: Develop and submit a Phase I interim report detailing all of the work conducted in the preceding tasks and provide a work plan for Phase II. Include in the work plan a discussion on the rationale and criteria that will be used to select the case studies. The Phase II work plan should present a detailed description of how all of the tasks in Phase II will be accomplished, and a tentative list of potential case studies that will be developed in Phase II. The Phase I report for this project will be reviewed by SHRP 2 to consider the proposed work plan for Phase II, and to determine whether this contract should continue into Phase II. Phase II After approval of the work plan developed in Phase I and on receipt of notice to proceed to Phase II, conduct the following tasks: Task 4: Develop case studies based on literature review and interviews with transportation agency, contractor, and consultant personnel to expand on the successful project management strategies assessed in Phase I. The case studies should indentify the barriers to implementation and the tools and methods that were used to overcome those barriers. Task 5: Document and analyze the information from the case studies and provide a detailed review of the elements of each project that lead to success. Task 6: Develop and present an outline of the draft guide, workshop materials, and workshop approach on effective project management strategies. It is anticipated that the researcher will present the outline to a SHRP 2 designated committee via a web conference for review, comment, and approval prior to drafting the guide. The presentation should contain relevant information from the previous tasks. Approval from SHRP 2 is required prior to developing the draft guide and workshop materials. Task 7: Develop a draft guide and workshop materials on effective project management strategies for complex transportation projects in a rapid renewal environment. Task 8: Conduct pilot workshops at a minimum of two TAs to test the applicability of the guide. The workshops shall include a cross section of TAs functional staff and project managers with varying levels of project management experience. Attendees to these workshops may include transportation agency, contractors, consultants, and other key stakeholders. Task 9: Refine guide and workshop materials based on feedback received from pilot workshops. Task 10: Submit a Phase II interim report detailing all work accomplished in Phase II and provide a work plan for Phase III including the workshop format and approach. The Phase II report for this project will be reviewed by SHRP 2 to consider the proposed work plan for Phase III, and to determine whether this contract should continue into Phase III. After approval of the work plan developed in Phase II and on receipt of notice to proceed to Phase III, conduct the following tasks: Phase III Task 11: Conduct a one-day regional workshop for each AASHTO region. The attendees should include project and program managers who are responsible for making project management decisions. The attendees should include both TA and contractor personnel. Task 12: Refine guide and workshop materials based on feedback from the regional workshops and develop a training program consistent with the National Highway Institute course development protocols http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/resources.aspx. Proposers should discuss their approach to meet NHI requirements. Task 13: Prepare and submit a Final Report documenting the entire project. Deliverables 1. Phase I Report and Phase II Work Plan 2. Case Studies (Task 5) 3. Outline of draft guide and workshop materials. 4. Phase II Report and Phase III Work Plan 5. Guide, workshop materials, and training program 6. Final Report 7. Monthly and Quarterly Progress Reports 8. Three (3) interim team meetings with SHRP 2 staff, two (2) in Washington, DC, and one (1) at the contractor's facility 9. One (1) interim meeting with the TCC in Washington, DC; Irvine, CA; or Woods Hole, MA 10. Telephone conference calls and web meetings as needed. Special Notes: Note 1: The research approach section of the proposal is limited to 20 pages. Note 2: The biographical information, resumes and CVs are limited to 1 page per team member. Note 3: The researcher should consider the current travel constraints on transportation agencies when developing the approach for the workshops. Funds Available: Total: $1,250,000 Contract Period: 30 Months for the entire project Responsible Staff: Dr. James Bryant, jbryant@nas.edu, 202-334-2087 Authorization to Begin Work: September 2009, estimated Proposals (20 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on April 21, 2009 This is a firm deadline, and extensions simply are not granted. In order to be considered, all 20 copies of the agency's proposal, accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or they will be rejected. Delivery Address PROPOSAL-SHRP 2 ATTN: Neil F. Hawks Director, Strategic Highway Research Program 2 Transportation Research Board 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Phone: 202-334-1430 Liability Statement The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for SHRP 2 to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement. Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement ( http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/shrp2/LiabilityStatement.pdf ). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com. The Liability Statement is included as Figure 1 in the Manual for Conducting Research and Preparing Proposals for SHRP 2 referred to in General Note 4. General Notes 1. Proposals will be evaluated by SHRP 2 staff and Expert Task Groups (ETGs) consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the SHRP 2 Oversight Committee, based on the recommendation from SHRP 2 staff and the ETG. The following factors are considered: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experimental design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the proposer's plan for participation by disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs)-small firms owned and controlled by minorities or women; and (5) the adequacy of facilities. TRB and the SHRP 2 Oversight Committee strongly encourage the significant participation of DBEs in SHRP 2 research contracts. Although no quota is specified nor is DBE participation mandated, the proposer's plan for involvement of DBEs is a factor in contractor selection, and the contractor's adherence to its DBE plan will be monitored during the contract period. Contractors are required to submit periodic reports comparing actual with proposed payments to DBEs. The Contractor Expression of Interest section of the SHRP 2 website is a resource for proposers interested in participating on research teams. This database is being enhanced and will be renamed the Research Team Builder. 2. Any clarifications regarding this RFP will be posted on the SHRP 2 Web site ( www.TRB.org/SHRP2 ). Announcements of such clarifications will be posted on the front page and, when possible, will be noted in the TRB e-newsletter. Proposers are advised to check the Web site frequently until March 26, 2009, when no further comments will be posted. 3. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability. 4. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the Manual for Conducting Research and Preparing Proposals for SHRP 2 ( http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/shrp2/PreparingSHRP2Reports.pdf ). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section IV for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform to these requirements will be rejected. 5. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected. 6. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals. IMPORTANT NOTICE Potential proposers should understand that the research project described herein is tentative. The final content of the program depends on the level of funding made available. Nevertheless, to be prepared to execute research contracts as soon as possible after sponsors' approvals, the Strategic Highway Research Program is assuming that the tentative program will become official in its entirety and is proceeding with requests for proposals and selections of research agencies.
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