Our operational process
In order to ensure relevant services and offers to our members we are a project oriented organization. We believe this is a crucial step for our ability to deliver and meet member needs i.e. a condition for our long term credibility.
Our operation and development since the start has been carried out by relevant working groups required for fulfilling member needs with support from the secretariat. The working groups have been established continuously by member meetings or by the board. The working group have for a long period been the core of NTM ongoing maintenance and development. Until now they have been:
- Goods and logistics
- Transport procurement
An important part of the working group’s activities has been voluntary and important input by member representatives supported by their employer. As we see diminishing resources at member organizations as well as increasingly specialized issues working group’s activities has decreased. Today our activities are commonly carried out through projects and activities by external expert consultants.
Operation, maintenance and development
The daily operation is carried out through a small secretariat staffed by the following functions:
- Managing director being responsible for the daily operation, reporting to the board
- Accounting administration responsible for book keeping and invoicing
- Communication internally and externally (planned)
- Auditors as member representative and as authorized externals auditor
An essential part of the daily operation is to secure sufficient financial resources for daily operation and development. Ensuring member needs fulfilment through relevant tools and events will hopefully motivate member ship which is the core financial revenue. To further develop tools and services activity financing from individual or groups of organizations is an important part that supports specific development needs.
A crucial part of this work is to accomplish cumulative learning. This means that NTM participates in a number of externally financed projects together with other organizations where results as new data and methods can enrich and improve the tools of NTM. We call this the “book shelf principle” where the aim is to make research work publicly available through our tools, i.e. make them better and in return give credit to researchers for their work by making them visible and not only ending up in a book shelf in a University library. In this way it becomes attractive to apply for activity financing together with NTM and where dissemination becomes a natural part through the practical use of our tools.
A consequence of more external experts being involved in our development process the board has decided to update our present working procedures. The idea is to run all development in in projects in contradiction to previous working groups. The aim is to increase the speed of our development through more clear definitions of objective and resource allocated to the project. Our focus areas will remain as Goods & logistics, Travel, Fuels and Transport procurement as well as facilitating a natural meeting spot on sustainable transport. In the board there will still be focus area responsible persons.
Below is an overview of our present development projects and activities.
Formal process for deciding on new data and methods
Using the best available data and methods has ever since the start of NTM been an objective. When better and/or more accepted data and methods have been found NTM normally make use of this new information. Much of this work has been initiated and decided by each working group. In the new way of working there is a need to update this formal process of continuous shifting towards new data or methods.
Based on strategic discussions and improvement proposals where our issue tracking system plays a significant role, development projects and activities are initiated. Hence the decision process on new development requires a clear decision process in order to secure continuity, anchoring and robust solutions.
NTM is primarily acting to establish methods and data that supports providers and users of transport services to make active choices that improve environmental performance. Thus NTM is not a scientific research organization rather a more pragmatic organization that aims to include new findings and knowledge in balance with present needs and solutions. Below is the decision hierarchy of NTM.
|Level||Decision level||Advisor||Example of question|
|1||Member meeting||Reference group 1||All other issues|
|2||Board||Reference group 1||Energy carrier questions|
|3||Focus area responsible 2||Reference group 3||Allocation rules for a passenger train|
|4||Traffic mode expert 4||Reference group 3||Energy use for a specific locomotive|
All decisions must be aligned with the above level if there is uncertainty or controversies
- The reference group is linked to projects or activities and can support in difficult questions.
- Focus area responsible in the board i.e. Goods & logistics, Travel, Fuels and Transport procurement
- The project group replaces the present working group, but is fundamentally the same function. The main difference is that after finalized project the project group is terminated.
- The traffic mode expert for each mode of traffic is presently being appointed. It is likely that more than one expert is needed e.g. trucks, buses and cars.
Project- and activity management
The aim of the new organization is to focus more on required needs and thereby increase development pace. This will in addition improve control of time lines and resource use. At present we do not have yet defined projects and activities which however will be done in a near future. Our projects and activities will tentatively include:
- Ordering part/Steering group
- Reference group (when needed)
- Project and activity responsible persons
- Timeline, milestones and deliverables
- Final reporting requirements
The project must fit into the total annual budget of NTM that is determined by the board and members.