An Update on the AASHTOWare Project Strategic Plan

February 25, 2021

The AASHTOWare Project Strategic Planning Subgroup was created to ensure AASHTOWare Project maintains a proactive, strategic alignment with AASHTO, the annual Maintenance, Support, and Enhancement (MSE), the Special Committee on AASHTOWare (SCOA), and the Technical and Application Architecture Taskforce (T&AA). This subgroup is responsible for developing, evaluating, and aligning the AASHTOWare Project Strategic Plan. The Strategic Planning Subgroup partners with our official contractor, Infotech, and identifies AASHTOWare Project goals surrounding business and technology needs. The annual cycle goal-setting process includes reviewing and drafting goals that align with the AASHTOWare Strategic Plan 2025 and bringing them forward to the AASHTOWare Project Task Force (PTF) for review and approval for the next fiscal year MSE. The Strategic Planning Subgroup meets at least once a quarter to review and update the status of current year goals, assess if refinements are needed, and prepare goal status updates for presentation during the PTF’s quarterly meeting.

This article will review the progress on the strategic goals for FY21 (7/1/2020-6/30/2021) and the next steps for FY22 (7/1/2021-6/30/2022).


Implementation Planning Guide Assessment

In alignment with SCOA’s AASHTOWare Project strategic objective, “establish efficient methodologies for implementation using current best practices and technology,” the PTF approved conducting an Implementation Planning Guide assessment as a FY21 goal. This goal was completed early in the current fiscal year and the recommendations are being implemented. In the coming year, the goal is to have 25% of AASHTOWare Project SiteManager™ and AASHTOWare Project FieldManager™ agencies implementing AASHTOWare Project Construction & Materials.


Product Improvement Initiatives

In alignment with SCOA’s AASHTOWare Project strategic objective, “enhance core product development while supporting advancements in technology and changing business processes,” the PTF set several goals for FY21:

  • Begin work on an approved bundle of product improvement initiatives
  • Achieve Safari compatibility for web-based software
  • Conduct research for converting AASHTOWare Project Bids™ to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform
  • Provide an Estimating Summit to discuss improvements for the AASHTOWare Project estimating tools
  • Prioritize TMRs from Alternative Contracting and Insufficient Materials Summits and identify target releases

Currently, the PTF has approved a subset of 11 TMRs from the Alternative Contracting and Insufficient Materials Summits to be included in the release of AASHTOWare Project 4.6. The remaining TMRs will be tackled in future releases. The AASHTOWare Project Bids™ to SaaS research project is complete, as is the product improvement assessment. The PTF has requested a proposal for AASHTOWare Project Bids to SaaS development and recently approved an initial bundle of product improvement research tasks. The Safari compatibility task is in progress, with a goal of completion by Q4 in FY21. The Estimating Summit is on hold pending the feasibility of an in-person meeting.


Leveraging Tech and Innovation

Ongoing innovation and researching emerging technologies are a central focus of the PTF’s goals. Under the banner of leveraging research on current technology to promote innovation, the following goals were set:

  • Complete GIS proof of concept (POC) and identify next steps
  • Implement dashboard framework
  • Continue to evaluate new innovations

Under the PTF’s guidance, Infotech partnered with Esri and completed a GIS POC. This report validated the technology and data that exist for AASHTOWare Project to capture real-world coordinates and make the information available to agency background processes for geo-processing. The POC results were submitted to the PTF for consideration. Currently, two dashboard TMRs are scheduled for release in AASHTOWare Project 4.5. Two additional dashboard TMRs are slated for release in AASHTOWare Project 4.6, and another two dashboards are slated for release in AASHTOWare Project 4.7. Using Power BI, these sample dashboards will provide agencies the ability to create their own dashboards. For example, agencies may create dashboards to track the status of lettings and contracts.


Partnerships and Integrations

Partnerships and integrations with other transportation technology vendors create efficiencies within agencies and reduce data input errors and labor hours. Last October, AASHTO kicked off an AASHTOWare Partnership Program, and members of the PTF and Infotech attended. The PTF is monitoring the program to assess potential partnerships that benefit AASHTOWare Project. The PTF and Infotech are also monitoring and attending meetings for another important AASHTO project, the AASHTOWare Standard Data Integration Framework initiative. As progress is made with both of the AASHTO initiatives, the PTF will collaborate with other AASHTOWare partners and vendors to support high-value integrations. Finally, as part of assisting agencies with improving asset management, the PTF approved a FY21 goal creating a road map to facilitate AASHTOWare Project data sharing with an agency’s asset management system.


Product Training

The PTF understands the importance of promoting AASHTOWare Project functionality in the user community as well as potential users. To promote the capabilities of AASHTOWare Project, the PTF is working with Infotech and creating informational webinars and virtual generic training courses as methods to engage AASHTOWare Project users. Infotech is working to implement training initiatives selected by the PTF with input from the User Community. Currently, four training sessions DTCs are complete, with the resulting tasks to be completed by the end of FY21. The Website Subgroup is crafting a long-term training strategy to be further developed in FY22.

The PTF will continue to coordinate with Infotech and other vendors to strategically plan the future of AASHTOWare Project, execute that strategic plan, and enhance the AASHTOWare Project user experience. If you have any questions about the current strategic plan and next steps, reach out to the PTF or your Infotech Account Manager.



Jamey Wilhite, Engineering Systems Administrator, Arkansas DOT

Elizabeth Rodgers, PMP, Senior Strategy Analyst, Infotech