Process mapping for road works planning and coordination

Purpose Diminishing local government budgets and the need to reduce highway works activities necessitate cost effective and efficient processes. This paper investigates streamlining road works administrative processes to enhance coordinated working at Derby City Council. Design/methodology/approach Case study research of a local authority was undertaken using Business Process Mapping. Specifically, Swimlane analysis enabled re-engineering of business processes from design stage, to works permit issuance. Process improvement recommendations were validated by nine industry experts through a focus group and semi-structured interviews. A logic map was developed for transferability to other Councils, identifying key attributes for a successful administrative road works management process. Findings Research revealed inherent silo working and processes built around fragmented IT systems creating process inefficiency. Validation found numerous practices and management styles were culturally embedded and common across Councils. Peer reviewed recommendations are made to improve working practices, including improving IT systems, removing process bottlenecks, and training staff. Research implications Whilst road works management policy is generally under-researched, it’s strategic and negative impacts are widely acknowledged. This study highlights the day-to-day operational problems which are interconnected to the strategic impact, bridging an important gap in knowledge, as well as adding to Business Process Re-engineering literature. Originality/novelty The research adds to a limited of body of road works management policy research, and also presents a high-level logic map for Councils to adopt as appropriate.