Implementing AASHTOWare Project Construction & Materials™ with Missouri DOT

November 19, 2019

Observations, lessons learned, and advice from the implementation process

There’s often hesitation when implementing new software. Will it work as well as the old system? Will a learning curve cause delays? Is it worth the effort of upgrading? In hectic state agency environments, such reservations are reasonable. However, the benefits of upgrading outweigh the potential costs of the process. Missouri DOT (MoDOT) recently implemented AASHTOWare Project Construction and Materials™ with relative ease and took five key lessons away from that process:

  1. Take a Lean Approach to Implementation: Rather than dragging out the implementation process by including every desired additional feature, MoDOT focused on getting up and running first. Their goal was to set up AASHTOWare Project Construction and Materials to be similar to AASHTOWare Project SiteManager™ while creating a backlog of additional features like unattached items to implement at a later date.
  2. Set a Drop-Dead Date for Migration: Without a concrete deadline, state agencies risk dragging their feet as contracts are finalized in the old system. To simplify the process, MoDOT started by migrating 15 contracts that are still in the early phase, with a goal to add 20 more long-term contracts by their drop-dead date. The rest of their open contracts will be completed in SiteManager before the required date.
  3. Understand the Time and Personnel Commitment: MoDOT stressed that state agencies must have a clear understanding of the implementation process before committing to it. Going into implementation with high-level organizational support is essential, as team members will need to devote time outside of their typical duties to facilitate implementation. MoDOT’s implementation staff included six full-time employees and one former retiree that worked on implementation in addition to their normal workload. Overall, implementation can take months and even years to complete.
  4. Have a Dedicated Project Manager in Place: Though most agency staff will assist with implementation as an additional duty, having a dedicated project manager can take a massive weight off their shoulders. With at least one person committed to implementation efforts full-time, other staffers can focus solely on their individual tasks – like setting up Agency Views.
  5. Make Use of Shared Agency Views When Applicable: Out of MoDOT’s seven personnel dedicated to implementation, three honed in specifically on Agency Views. Because of their specific processes, MoDOT used AASHTOWare Project SiteManager™ as a design template for most of their Agency Views, setting up nearly 200 during implementation and migration. However, the team did make use of the T-27 template funded by the AASHTOWare Project Task Force (PTF), modifying it to meet their needs. Additionally, MoDOT uploaded their finished views to for any interested agency. One of the PTF’s goals is to encourage interstate collaboration, and it’s great to see it in action.

Currently, MoDOT has about 400 users now in production with AASHTOWare Project Construction & Materials with about 140 estimates running through the system. The agency was able to stay on schedule throughout the process, only delaying to wait for the release of AASHTOWare Project 4.0.

If you have any questions about the implementation process, please contact your Account Manager or feel free to reach out to your colleagues in states like Missouri.

By: Charles Groshens, PTF, Project Website Subcommittee Chair, Minnesota DOT; Jeremy Kampeter, Missouri Construction Management Systems Administrator; Russ Barron, Director, Program & Project Management at Infotech

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