Key Competencies

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Key Competencies

Part of building a strong TAM team is seeking skills that will help to advance practices rather than sustain the status-quo. For example, implementing a TAM program relies on data accuracy and strong data analytic skills. Typically, when an agency starts its TAM journey, data accuracy is an issue. When data is not accurate, people may lack the confidence necessary to use the data for making decisions.

Advancements in technology are changing the way data are collected, processed and analyzed, as well as how work is planned and carried out. As automation increases, certain routine tasks become obsolete, while it becomes necessary to acquire new skills to take advantage of improvements. With tools that produce more robust analysis, agencies will need fewer people who crunch the numbers but more people to interpret and communicate the results. As processes become more complex, new skills are needed to monitor and carry out checks and balances. TAM aims to cut across traditional silos, which gets complicated as more units and stakeholders get involved. Therefore, TAM units benefit from people who are comfortable dealing with complex processes.

Successful TAM practice relies on a number of key competencies:

Leadership: ability to establish a vision and motivate others to work towards achieving that vision.
Management: ability to make sure that the multiple activities in a TAM program are planned, coordinated, aligned and tracked.
Engineering: ability to understand the fundamentals of transportation asset and system design, construction, maintenance and operation.
Environmental: ability to analyze/ develop prediction models to measure how environmental changes may impact highway infrastructure
Financial planning: ability to understand financial planning basics and an awareness of funding sources and financial tools
Planning: ability to understand a DOT planning process and the constraints of that process.
Strategic planning: ability to understand strategic planning and how TAM fits into an agency’s business activities.
Problem solving: ability to work through inevitable conflicts and issues that arise in the process of working across agency silos.
Relationship building: ability to get different units in an organization to collaborate.
Analytical capabilities: ability to design and apply appropriate methodologies to gain key insights from available information.
Computer know-how: ability to work with a variety of software and comfortably navigate common operating systems.
Data know-how: ability to understand data structures, assemble and manipulate data in a variety of formats, and assess data quality.
Communications: ability to keep communication in forefront of everything that’s done; always aiming to make others understand what TAM program is trying to do. This is important when convincing individuals of change, or helping stakeholders understand TAMP long-term deliverables.
Positive attitude: in large-scale organizational change, taking a positive attitude is crucial to having people accept the change that will help strengthen the program, and convincing them that the solutions are the right ones.

A job description portal is a part of AASHTO’s Organizational Capabilities Management Portal. This is an excellent tool for sharing TAM job descriptions and competencies information.