What does the AASHTOWare ProjectTM Task Force do?

February 28, 2018

In previous newsletters, featured articles provided an overview of the responsibilities of the AASHTOWare Project Task Force (PTF). This article continues the discussion, outlining the role the PTF plays on the Technical Review Teams (TRT) and Technical Advisory Groups (TAG).

To begin this discussion, let’s explore the distinction between a TRT and a TAG, and the specific role of each group:

The PTF is charged with providing the strategic direction for the AASHTOWare Project software. The PTF is generally responsible for overseeing development and enhancement work on the software, but to ensure enhancements are successful, the PTF assigns a TRT to oversee a specific portion of the enhancement. The TRT will meet as needed to review and test new developments and features in the software to provide feedback to the PTF regarding the quality, reliability, and usability of the new features.

​The TRT serves in an advisory role to the PTF. Members of the TRT are appointed by the PTF, and there may be only one member on the TRT from each agency. A PTF member serves as the Chair of each TRT.

The TAGs serve as advisors to the Project Users Group (PUG). The PUG represents the software user community at large and serves as a forum for the collective user community to direct the course of the software and ultimately report this information to the PTF. Each TAG consists of a group of subject matter experts for the specialty area of that TAG. This group meets on a regular basis to advise the PUG Board on the priority of maintenance, enhancements, and support needs.

Each agency can have one voting member in a TAG, and membership must be approved by the PUG Chair. There are currently nine TAGs active in the PUG:

  • Civil Rights and Labor Management
  • Construction Management
  • Cost Estimation
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Warehouse
  • Field Management
  • Information Technology
  • Materials
  • Preconstruction

The PTF is directly involved in the oversight of the TRT, but makes an effort to remain actively involved in both of these groups. PTF members are members of TAGs, and also try to participate in various TAG meetings to serve as liaisons between the TAG and the PTF.

The TRT and TAG are very similar groups, both serving to evaluate the technical aspects of the various parts of the software. However, the two also serve very different purposes – the TRT serving to test what’s been added, and the TAG providing guidance regarding what should be done in the future.

– Jamey Wilhite, Arkansas Department of Transportation.