2017 Project Users Group (PUG) Conference

August 25, 2017

We are in the final stages of preparing for next month’s PUG User Conference.  The agenda is being finalized and things are looking great.  The host agency, the Montana Department of Transportation, has been doing a great job helping the PUG Board plan and set up another great conference to be held in Kalispell, Montana.

There are representatives from over 30 AASHTO member agencies registered so far and many more that are still obtaining approval to attend. We do not get many opportunities to share knowledge and experiences with so many people, from different agencies, with varying areas of expertise, with all having AASHTOWare ProjectTM in common; no other conference is as productive.

The conference is not all about sitting through presentations made by a few people. There are presentations made by and for our peers as well as the AASHTOWare Project software development contractors, and the AASHTOWare Project Task Force’s leadership. There are training sessions on current and upcoming functionality in the system and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) sessions where users discuss the software enhancements (TMRs) we will be voting on after the conference as well as other current issues.

Furthermore, there are additional networking opportunities outside the conference. Who knows who you will visit with during the meals and breaks or the lasting friendships you will make while sharing issues and stories around the campfire each night.

This year’s conference is looking to be a very memorable experience and I hope to see everyone there!

To help you prepare for the conference, we wanted to highlight some important groups and activities that make the conference successful. 

The PUG Primer:

The Primer is an opportunity for attendees to learn about the PUG and the groups that work closely with it. It is also a chance  to see old friends and make new ones.  This year’s Primer will have representatives from the different groups (PTF (Project Task Force), TAG, AASHTO, Info Tech, PUG Board and TRT (Technical Advisory Teams)) available at 6:30 PM on Saturday, September 23, to visit with new attendees.  Following this, there will be an ice-breaker for all attendees at 7:00 PM.  The Primer is always a fun and informative event, make sure you don’t miss it.

Benefits for Attending the PUG Conference:

  • Sharing technology and expertise between agencies
  • Sharing best practices with other users and software experts
  • Learning methods and processes to effectively plan for future upgrades
  • Ensuring that your agencies has a voice in influencing software development and decision-making
  • Forming contacts for future questions and information sharing
  • Providing continuing education benefits to participants by engaging with subject matter experts

TAG:  Technical Advisory Groups

The PUG currently has nine (9) active TAGs.  Each TAG acts as an advisory to the PUG and the AASHTOWare Project Task Force on the AASHTOWare Project module they represent.  Each TAG has an elected coordinator that helps guide the groups in their review of the software and acts as a liaison to the PUG Board of Directors.

The Project Users Group encourages all member agencies to participate in all TAGS.  In the interest of fairness there can only be one authorized representative from each agency in each TAG.

TAG Coordinators will be available to go to lunch with people on the first day of the PUG conference, Sunday September 24, 2017.  This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and network with others who do the same type of work as you. If you’re interested in a particular TAG, or if you’re new to the conference, take advantage of this opportunity.

Here is a list of the current TAGs and their coordinators.

  • Civil Rights & Labor Management – Advisory for the AASHTOWare Project Civil Rights & Labor module
    Coordinator:  Tammy Mancinelli, Virginia DOT
  • Construction Management – Advisory for the AASHTOWare Project Construction Administration, AASHTOWare Project SiteManager, and the construction portions of the AASHTOWare Project Construction & Materials module
    Coordinator:  Ellis Holder, Indiana DOT
  • Cost Estimation – Advisory for the AASHTOWare Project Cost Estimation, AASHTOWare Project Estimator, AASHTOWare Project Estimation, and AASHTOWare Project TRACER modules
    Coordinator:  Alan Ellis, Vermont DOT
  • Data Analytics – Advisory for the AASHTOWare Project BAMS/DSS module
    Coordinator:  Charles Nickel, Louisiana DOTD
  • Data Warehouse – Advisory for the most effective use of the data collected by the suite of AASHTOWare Project products via AASHTOWare Project BAMS/DSS
    Coordinator:  Mike Jenkins, Indiana DOT
  • Field Management – Advisory for the AASHTOWare Project FieldManager suite of software
    Coordinator:  Guy Berthiaume, Maine DOT
  • Information Technology – Advisory for the technical and infrastructure aspects relating to the enhancement, maintenance, and development of all AASHTOWare Project components and functional areas
    Coordinator:  Joe Bruewer, Michigan DOT
  • Materials – Advisory of the materials portions of the AASHTOWare Project Construction & Materials and AASHTOWare Project SiteManager software
    Coordinator:  Tyler Carlson, Nebraska DOT
  • Preconstruction – Advisory of the AASHTOWare Project Preconstruction, AASHTOWare Project Expedite, and AASHTOWare Project Bids modules
    Coordinator:  Jason Dunlap, Louisiana DOTD​

Don’t forget to attend the 2017 PUG Conference in Kalispell, Montana the week of September 23 – 27, 2017.  You can check out the conference website  for more information.​

– Ellis Holder, 2017 PUG Chair, Indiana DOT