The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is the largest and most complex transportation system in the nation, managing more than 50,000 miles of California’s freeway lanes with a mission “to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability.” The organization’s goals are to meet transportation challenges of modernization in order to position Caltrans as a “world-class Department of Transportation.”
Caltrans shares transportation information online that is critical to California’s safety and economy. Site visitors include local partners, the California State Transportation Agency, the legislature, the public, the Governor’s Office, and many others. Caltrans website was built on legacy technology and lacked a content management system (posing a risk for duplicate, conflicting, and/or outdated information) and provided limited functionality for mobile and assistive technologies. In 2018, Caltrans set out to make its online presence accessible to all site visitors and launched the Caltrans Web Accessibility for All (CWAA) initiative. At the time, it had over 2.7 million online documents and webpages and 300+ web applications.
With over 9 million new users every year, and almost 1 in 4 adults in California with some type of disability, this was a critical endeavor that went beyond legislative mandate. With Caltrans’ size (20,000+ employees), distributed organization structure (12 Districts, 15 Business Programs), 200+ webmasters, and hundreds of content creators across the state who partake in updates for public consumption, innovation was critical for success. This project met the Assembly Bill 434 (AB 434) mandate to certify compliance with WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Conformance Level AA standard, reinforcing ADA (Americans with Disability Act) Section 508.
Delegata partnered with Caltrans to tackle four main workstreams: file remediation, application remediation, website development, and content migration. With 800+ locations in California, Caltrans’ new website development effort involved significant complexities of scale. A comprehensive governance structure was established with a dedicated and active Executive Steering Committee leading enterprise-wide decisions and providing necessary support and resources to lead Caltrans to a successful launch on June 28, 2019.
Caltrans Information Technology (IT) Program partnered with districts and program areas across California to provide the technology foundation, innovation, infrastructure, and program management to conduct multiple concurrent website update efforts in a short period of time.
Labs and knowledge sharing sessions were provided, offering support in remediation and document compliance, and the platform of the new content management system. Training was offered both online and in-person, and webmasters were equipped with a Webmaster Survival Kit and a Web Content Agreement that clarified new roles and required a commitment from supervisors and Chief Deputies to uphold digital ADA compliance. A dedicated website on the internal secure network was created to provide project updates, resources, and helpful guides. Finally, an Accessibility Compliance Reporting Dashboard was developed that tracks—at the file and webpage levels—the performance of all web content.
The most immediate impact of this initiative is to dramatically improve access to transportation information for mobile device and assistive technology users as well as provide enhanced visibility and controls for content owners, webmasters, and leadership. Website content is now more relevant and navigable with approximately 4,000 webpages and 15,000 documents as well as 57 web applications. The new, modern, citizen-centric website now provides information integrated with assistive technologies, enhanced security, and a more intuitive user experience.
In expanding its role for administering policies and procedures for Caltrans’ IT portfolio of projects, the Information Technology (IT) Enterprise Technology Investment Division (ETID) was increasingly challenged to continue to provide services necessary for successful project delivery. This was felt most acutely by the Project Management Office (PMO) and it was found that portfolio selection methods were not aligned with IT; in short, there was a need for integration of IT planning and Enterprise Strategic Planning.
Delegata performed an assessment of IT project management and worked to identify and address gaps in their methodology and project oversight. We adapted proven Diamond methodologies to increase project success rates as well as provided governance and partnership training for ETID. Moreover, Delegata developed a strategic roadmap to assist ETID in implementing the recommendations and tested these recommendations against complexity, portfolio lifecycle management, and change readiness and user adoption.
Caltrans benefitted from the improvement of IT Business Services for high value IT Business Planning. Delegata helped ETID identify and develop the management requirements for successful IT project execution, and also set the framework for continuous improvement and organization maturity by facilitating the use of data gathered for Enterprise IT Strategic Planning. The project was completed with knowledge transfer and an assurance that ETID leadership could effectively use the strategic roadmap to continuously tune processes.
Caltrans is upgrading their Integrated Maintenance Management System (IMMS) from their current Hansen version 7.0 to a web-based Inform Public Sector (IPS) version 8.0. The Division of Maintenance’s (DOM) current IMMS employs generic terminology and work flows, therefore, allowing for only a limited amount of customization. Updating the IMMS will help solve these issues but also creates a need for organizational change management.
Delegata is working with Caltrans to identify a proper methodology for managing change, as well as helping Caltrans to employ effective organizational change management strategies. Included in this process will be identifying stakeholders, utilizing stakeholder mapping, and developing and employing an effective communication plan. Once the strategies and change have taken place, Delegata will report on the impact of the change and plan for a proper transition which will include the completion of a final evaluation of the Organizational Change Management effectiveness.
As the Division of Maintenance’s (DOM) primary asset management tool, the IMMS is responsible for providing the foundation for data collection as well as providing a platform for planning, budgeting, scheduling, reporting, and evaluation of field maintenance work. Properly transitioning Caltrans employees, processes, culture, and strategy will help to ensure the success of the IMMS upgrade, thus providing Caltrans supervisors with a more efficient system and a better overall return on the investment. This then offers supervisors a more effective capability to record the hours and dollars invested across the state highway system, as well the capability to better plan and budget future work.
Caltrans – District 11, serving San Diego and Imperial counties, had an existing website that provided users with local area travel information. As is, however, they found the look and feel of the website to be dated—needing updates to meet web standards set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California State Governor. Moreover, the website needed a structural reorganization to make it more user-friendly and to make information easier to access.
Delegata partnered with Caltrans – District 11 for the initiation, planning, and design phases of the redesign project, which involved the development of standardized templates and style sheets as well as an analysis of the functional design and web infrastructure. The resultant design and data migration guidance by Delegata allowed Caltrans – District 11 to successfully complete the redesign project.
By developing new templates for consistent and compliant design of new content, the redesign resulted in organized content that met ADA and CA Governor standards. Moreover, the in-depth analysis that Delegata performed allowed Caltrans – District 11 to look toward the future with preparation for new projects (such as a Content Management System) and other useful services more quickly adopted as a result of strategic planning.