Document current reality
The Technical Plan represents a setup phase and provides the specification for the various approaches, data and systems that your organisation will need to deliver the Business Plan. It is recognised that this is likely to require a series of steps to transition from current practices to more contemporary digital services.
As such the first play to define your Technical Plan would be for ANSA Digital to run tailored SWOT sessions to help capture your organisation's current reality and then undertake the subsequent analysis and reporting.
The session and analysis is expected to follow a similar process to that defined previously but tailored to the needs of the Technical Plan.
Define ways of working
The Technical Plan will define the ways of working for your organisation that can optimise your delivery working within the culture and behaviours you desire.
This will effectively be an extension of the SWOT analysis focused on the operational side of your planning services.
There are many options to consider and ANSA Digital would work with you to explore what approaches and technologies best meet your needs.
Define contractual terms & conditions
To help promote the culture and behaviours you desire, and to protect your organisation, ANSA Digital can also help you review your contractual terms and conditions required for working with suppliers and for sharing information.
This will require input from your legal team and could require input from a legal consultant.
However, there should be opportunities to share information from organisations like the Open Data Institute and organisations that have recently been considering similar updates, for example Transport for the North.
Establish development environment & coding standards
It is likely that you will need to develop data and planning tools to meet your requirements.
ANSA Digital can help you establish the optimum development environment and coding standards for development activities, including setting design principles.
To enable collaboration, and maximise the benefits of sharing, this should be an open and transparent environment.
Furthermore, it will be important to find collaborators and check your systems are compatible.
ANSA Digital can help establish collaborations and shared systems, and bring in lessons learnt from organisations like Transport for the North.
Develop data management & data dictionary
Collaborating around data can be a key aspect of many of your services. Working with fellow collaborators to develop a strong culture for data management and a strongly defined data dictionary will bring many economies of scale.
This area has been identified by other organisations as a key ingredient to achieving higher levels of data interoperability and could represent an early building block for aspects of future mobility like Mobility-as-a-Service.
ANSA Digital can not only help with finding and arranging collaborations but can also help deliver new or updates to any existing data management or data dictionary.
Define computer resources & management systems
Integral to enabling the various aspects of the Technical Plan is transitioning to more contemporary computer systems.
ANSA Digital can help you chose the best option for your organisation, leveraging experience from other organisations. This includes data storage and working with relevant suppliers to help optimise your system.
This also includes helping organise different roles for the various 'actors' who will use your system, organised by different 'system use cases'.
Define quality assurance
Development of data and planning tools will need you to consider a proportional approach to checking quality and good workmanship, and in the context of more digital systems.
ANSA Digital can advise on approaches to follow, leveraging experience from other organisations and how best to use external experts and any overseeing organisation, for example the Department for Transport.
This is another area where finding and arranging collaborations could add significant value to your services.
Justify software choices
It is also likely that you need to make a choice on a number of different third-party software solutions.
ANSA Digital can provide impartial advice on the optimal solution, presented as a business case with pros and cons to meeting your requirements and the benefits of sharing.
Develop analytical framework specification & operating model
The Technical Plan will also need to specify the design ‘blue print’ for data and planning tools captured within your analytical framework for producing evidence to support your investment and policy decisions.
This is a complex aspect of the Technical Plan and needs to provide a strong alignment to your requirements, in particular to ensure it can provide the evidence for your Strategic Plan.
This activity also needs to consider the data and software architectures and includes taking a systems view of how data flows through your planning services, which will be captured in your system's Operating Model.
Due to the rapid changes in traveller behaviour and desired outcomes, the Technical Plan needs to be able to handle change and generally the analytical system should follow the classic V-Model system development lifecycle.
Developing the design will require working with other levels of government to ensure consistency and to help find substantial efficiencies. In particular this will build on significant learning from the development and application of the Analytical Framework for Transport for the North.
ANSA Digital has significant experience in all aspects of this activity, including contemporary approaches to levelling-up, future uncertainty and future mobility, and can tailor the specifications to meet your needs and provide best value.
This is a key area for automation and collaboration. ANSA Digital can advise on various existing data transformations and automated model builds that will provide further efficiencies for your organisation.
ANSA Digital can also help you find and arrange collaborations and ensure that you can maximise the benefits of sharing and stimulate innovation.
Develop mapping, dashboards & visualisation tools
ANSA Digital can also provide an advisory and support service for developing your mapping, dashboards and visualisation tools.
This includes providing the specifications for different systems and advising on external support.
Business Plan and Technical Plan alignment
The Business Plan and Technical Plan are closely linked and will need developing side-by-side.
Importantly the Technical Plan will need a list of requirements from the Business Plan and the Business Plan will need an understanding of the resources and programmes for delivering the Technical Plan.