An online roading tool built by Hamilton software specialist Company-X has won a national innovation award.

The One Network Road Classification Performance Measures Reporting Tool (ONRC PMRT) recently won the Roading Asset Management Innovation Award. Road Efficiency Group Data Work Group chair Dawn Inglis received the award, for the development and implementation of the web-based tool across the national roading sector, at the Road Infrastructure Management Forum in Auckland.

A “stoked” Inglis received the award on behalf of the Road Efficiency Group (REG) after giving a presentation on the tool. The award recognised the significant innovation in national road asset management the group had accomplished with the tool. The award also recognised the contribution to every Road Controlling Authority (RCAs) that makes up New Zealand’s roading sector. RCAs are usually city and district councils but there are also others such as the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the Department of Conservation.

“Developing new resources to support new methodologies can be a gamble, so it’s great to know the tool is working for RCAs,” Inglis said.

The tool, developed by Company-X over 18 months, is helping RCAs understand their roading data and use it to make more informed decisions regarding their roading networks.

The tool currently delivers a score of reports on different safety, resilience, amenity, accessibility and cost efficiency measures, formulated by the REG. Tool users can either look at data for their own roading network or, at the click of a button, see how it compares with their neighbouring RCAs.

Company-X director Jeremy Hughes was approached to work on the ONRC PMRT project in 2015 after a former client involved in the group put his name forward. Hughes, with the Company-X team of analysts and developers, had an early version of the tool up and running within three months.

Since then Company-X has been adding extra functionality to the tool, through a roading engineer-driven iterative software development philosophy known in the software industry as agile.

The Manifesto for Agile Software Development states: “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work, we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Working software over comprehensive documentation. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan.”

Company-X director David Hallett said the software specialist’s ONRC PMRT team, led by Hughes, had innovated to deliver a tool fit for a government agency and local councils.

“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting this project right, so it’s great to see REG acknowledged by an industry group with the Roading Asset Management Innovation Award,” Hallett said.