Caltrans Division of Engineering Services (DES) OE/OBEO Process Improvement Study

In November 2014, the US Department of Transportation issued a Final Rule related to the Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) program that had the potential to generate an increase in workload for the Office of Business & Economic Opportunity (OBEO) and Office Engineer (OE) with respect to contractor submittals, the evaluation of those submittals, and reconsideration meetings.

VMS conducted a study that focused on the OBEO process evaluation of the DBE program as it applied to the award process. This included evaluating the roles and responsibilities between OE and OBEO with respect to setting contract goals, exchanging information on contractors’ evidence of meeting DBE contract goals, good faith effort evaluations and resulting write-ups, and reconsideration committee meetings.

VMS also conducted two, multi-day workshops. Activities included defining the current workflow, performing a SWOT analysis with each Senior level staff via interviews, creating a new, more defined workflow based upon study findings, and shared these documented findings with Senior staff and Chiefs. VMS assisted the workgroup in creating a list of key agreements which covered topics such as roles and responsibilities, communication methods, conflict resolution tactics, shared group values, and desired group norms.

Study Objectives

  • Improve DES-OE/OBEO processes to accommodate growth in the workload.
  • Refine roles and responsibilities.
  • Improve communication, decision making, and conflict resolution.
  • Identify efficiency improvements.
  • Create a matrix of activities, timelines, and responsible offices.

Study Outcomes

  • Developed Action Plan around goal setting and commitments to evaluation process improvements.

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