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Version 1.3

INVESTing Time

The amount of time required to use INVEST varies greatly by agency and application.  The first time an agency uses INVEST there will be a learning curve to become familiar with the tool. Subsequent evaluations will see a significant decrease in time. A typical process for using INVEST first requires a point person to browse the tool and become familiar with how it works. This typically takes about a day. After that, the person will need to identify subject matter experts and have them gather supporting documents that they will each use to develop an initial score. The agency may then choose to hold a workshop so that all experts and stakeholders can reach consensus on their scores and discuss options for sustainability improvements. Finally, the agency can use this final score and the options for improvements discussed, to develop, analyze, and implement recommendations for improving future sustainability practices at their agency. Since INVEST is very much a learning tool, the time spent discussing sustainability, specific scores on criteria, and practical changes for the future is very valuable.

A more intensive use of INVEST could include detailed analyses of the costs, benefits, and implementation considerations for sustainability practices.  Transportation agencies could also choose to spend more in-depth time to rescore and re-analyze a project using INVEST at certain milestones. Tracking performance in this way can provide long-term benefits for an agency and ensure that sustainability practices are continuing to be implemented. The graphics below showcase the wide variety of time that INVEST users spend on scoring projects through the PD module and plans through the SP module (Version 1.1).