Operations Strategic Review


Case Studies

On December 1, 1969, TriMet began public transit bus operations for the Portland, Oregon metro area. Since then, TriMet has grown into a multimodal transit agency that provides quality, accessible public transportation across a 533-square-mile district with options that now include bus, light rail, commuter rail, and paratransit services.  

While their attention was focused on service and infrastructure, their internal training structure was growing organically. So, beginning in April 2020, we partnered with key stakeholders to perform a Strategic Review and develop a high-level corporate Strategic Plan for improving the Operations Training function. 

This project was organized into six clearly defined tasks:

  • Task 1 – Assessment Plan
  • Task 2 – Review existing Information
  • Task 3 – Stakeholder Engagement
  • Task 4 – Existing Conditions and Analysis of Operations Training
  • Task 5 – Recommendations for Improvements to Operations Training
  • Task 6 – Implementation Plan

Working through the COVID-19 pandemic meant we switched up our original plans and conducted our work virtually. For example, stakeholder interviews were organized into groups to focus the conversations within two-hour virtual interviews and in-person classroom sessions were recorded and sent to us for analysis. All relevant data — existing training, performance metrics, standard operating procedures, etc. — were all examined virtually.

Once all our analysis was complete, we assembled our recommendations for building a strong Operations Training program and an Agency Learning Division. This work resulted in a scalable five-year Strategic Plan structured in three distinct parts:

    1. Foundational Projects (staffing, change management, strategic alignment, operations learning needs analysis & curriculum development)
    2. Transition (staffing, operational standards)
    3. Learning Culture (staffing, change management, agency learning needs analysis & curriculum development)

    We look forward to seeing this comprehensive Strategic Plan come to life and all the great things TriMet will be able to achieve as they continue to connect people with their community, while easing traffic congestion and reducing air pollution — making the Portland area a better place to live.

    Idea Learning worked with us through a strategic review process that resulted in a comprehensive work plan for our department. We began the review process just before the Covid-19 pandemic began. Due to the pandemic, there were several items in the process that needed to be updated in real time. For example, the Idea Learning team worked with us to conduct stakeholder interviews remotely, which was not the original plan. The final comprehensive work plan delivered by Idea Learning was shared with internal partner stakeholders, as well as leadership. Idea Learning was proactive with all communications, met all deadlines, they were organized and professional in delivery of all project requirements. On top of all their work deliverables, they were agile in navigating the review during a pandemic. They were a joy to work with.

    MiMi Bernal-Graves, MS, PHR

    Project Manager, TriMet Operations Training

    Categories Strategy

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