Linking the Strategic Performance Management Framework with an Agency’s Operational Framework

Status: Concept    
Potential Funding Sources: AASHTO Committee Research / NCHRP 20-24 / NCHRP Full Program    
Timeframe: Long-Term
Research Period: months
Funding Estimate: $200,000
Potential Sponsors:


Federal Authorization (MAP-21) and, more broadly, transportation performance management have influenced state transportation agencies to focus on outcome-based performance measures such as fatalities, pavement condition, or congestion. These outcome-based measures do not often align directly with the framework or organization chart of the state agency. The study should highlight best practices of internal and external reporting, focusing on agencies that are able to readily adapt behavior to achieve desired operational performance.

Background

• Federal Authorization (MAP-21) and, more broadly, transportation performance management have influenced state transportation agencies to focus on outcome-based performance measures such as fatalities, pavement condition, or congestion.
• These outcome-based measures do not often align directly with the framework or organization chart of the state agency. How the agency manages daily operations and decision making, therefore, may not directly support achieving these higher level performance targets.
• Metrics that better assess operational performance may be necessary to help modify practices or re-allocate resources. Staff are better able to target metrics that they can directly influence (e.g. Schedule Performance Index for their projects) in their daily behavior than they are to work and manage to fatalities or congestion.
• Linking such operational metrics to the outcome metrics mandated by MAP-21 and desired by other stakeholders can be challenging.

Research Objectives

• This project should identify agencies that report not only common, outcome-based metrics such as fatalities, infrastructure condition, and congestion, but also operational metrics such as On Budget, On Schedule, Contract Processing Times, or Lane Closure Response Times.
• The study should examine the ability of agencies to connect high level organizational goals to operational metrics, and operational metrics to performance of groups within the agency’s organization framework.
• The study should highlight best practices of internal and external reporting, focusing on agencies that are able to readily adapt behavior to achieve desired operational performance.
• The study should draw conclusions of appropriate organizational structures that support differing priorities from agency to agency. For example, does an agency with a stated vision of improving mobility structure itself to clearly define ownership for each of the various aspects of improving mobility?

Proposed Research

1. Literature and Practice Review
- Catalogue of Candidate Practices
2. Template Org Charts that support different priorities
3. Survey of placement for key positions (e.g. What percent of Safety Officers report to the Chief Executive Officer when the agency has “Safety” stated in its vision or mission statement?”)
4. Best practices in linking operational activities to outcome metrics through tools such as annual work plans, dashboards, or performance reviews.
5. Final Report

Potential Benefits

This project will enlighten agencies on the benefits of recognizing and linking input, output, and outcome measures. Lead and lag indicators will empower managers to better communicate with staff the importance of focusing on lead indicators with an understanding of their impact on lag indicators. Individual performance plans can begin to better quantify quarterly or annual targets for staff, and demonstrate how achieving those targets can help a work group achieve its goals and a department achieve its vision.

Implementation and Follow-on Activities

Implementation activities pending.

Related Research

Related Research to be added.

No related research found

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