Performance Management Framework
As discussed in Chapter 2, transportation agencies have embraced the use of performance data to drive investment decisions. A performance-based management approach enables agencies to select and deliver the most effective set of projects for achieving strategic objectives, while also improving internal and external transparency and accountability.
A typical performance management framework includes:
- A clear idea of the agency’s strategic objectives.
- The use of performance measures to assess performance.
- Methods to evaluate and monitor performance results.
- The evaluation of factors with capacity to improve long-term performance.
- The allocation of funding to achieve agency objectives.
- Ongoing processes to monitor and report progress.
A fundamental component of the framework is the use of performance measures to evaluate system performance and the importance of establishing business processes to evaluate, monitor, and use the data to influence agency decisions. These are achieved by aligning decisions at all levels of the organization with the agency’s strategic objectives and ensuring that the right performance measures are being used to drive decisions. This alignment helps to ensure that resource allocation decisions and the day-to-day activities of agency personnel support the agency’s priorities and the interests of external stakeholders.
The existence of a regular, ongoing process to monitor and report results is critical to identifying and implementing improvements to system performance or to further the effectiveness of the performance management process. The continual monitoring and update of a performance management framework is reflected in Figure 6.1, which illustrates inputs to performance targets and how ongoing monitoring and adjustments are fed back into the framework to adjust future targets. The surveys conducted regularly to support a pavement, bridge or maintenance management system are examples of the types of performance monitoring activities fundamental to an effective performance management organization.
Agencies with a performance management framework in place have benefited from:
- Maintaining a clear and unified focus for making agency decisions based on agency priorities, public input and available resources.
- Using available funding more effectively to preserve or improve system performance while lowering life cycle costs.
- Allocating available resources based on analysis of past performance and expected conditions to address areas most in need of attention.
- Having the data to confidently defend funding requests or explain the impact of reduced budgets.
- Building a transparent and accountable organization by communicating the basis for making resource decisions.
- Meeting legislative requirements.