The development of an ITS Strategy or Framework Plan needs to bring together the main stakeholders and agencies involved in deploying future ITS systems and services. To win their support, it is helpful to have clear vision of how ITS should develop. ITS needs technical and political champions who will generate support for the vision. Whoever champions the realisation of that vision will need advice to fulfil their informed customer role in the face of rapidly changing technological capabilities.
Mature, integrated ITS services and service markets are something that evolves over a period of time. Countries, regions, and cities can lay the foundations by developing a strategic framework and a common plan to provide direction to ITS deployments locally - or by organisation. A national, regional or local ITS policy framework provides an opportunity to analyse the requirements for deploying ITS, and to assign roles and responsibilities, budgets and priorities. It should reflect the market, policy and political perspectives as the context for the deployment.
A policy and coordination framework is aimed at coordinating the actions of the lead actors on the basis of a mutually-agreed vision of the future. To guarantee buy-in by all the stakeholder groups, the planning process must involve the representatives of those groups. Examples of ITS deployment strategies developed in a multi-stakeholder cooperation include the US ITS Strategic Plan (See the U.S. ITS Strategic Plan) from 2009 and its planning workshops (See ITS planning workshops), the EU ITS Action Plan from 2009 (See EU ITS Action Plan) and the Finnish ITS Strategy from 2013. (See Finnish ITS Strategy)
A well-developed ITS Framework will provide the basis for specifying ITS system architecture and for considering the ways in which individual ITS systems can be integrated. The deployment path is likely to be a set of upgrades or improvements to existing systems and services - as well as deployment of completely new systems and services. Prudent ITS implementation will be based on an evolutionary strategy that begins with small steps whilst keeping the future big picture in mind and maintaining at all times the provision of services under improvement. By choosing "early winners" - initial deployments that are relatively small and have a high probability of early success - it will be possible to show the efficiency and effectiveness of ITS investments early on to ensure the continuing interest and support of key stakeholders.
The ITS strategy should also consider the role of private, commercial ITS services as well as public ITS services. The benefits of inter-agency and inter-jurisdictional discussions, negotiations, and agreements should also be analysed.
In developing the ITS strategy and policy framework, it is advisable to establish today's situation - as a quantified baseline for future evaluation. To be meaningful, the progress of the plan needs to be assessed periodicly - around every 3-5 years. Priorities should be based on the results of evaluations of ITS deployments as well as the results of research, development, pilot projects and field operational tests (See Project Appraisal and Monitoring and Evaluation). A good example of a local ITS strategy is provided by Seattle in the USA. (See Seattle ITS Strategic Plan 2010-2020 and Strategic ITS Plan)