1
Introduction

Michael Cohn

National Research Council


The National Research Council’s (NRC’s) involvement with the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) started in 2000 with a three-year review and assessment of the PATH program. The resulting report, Promoting Innovation: 2002 Assessment of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing,1 included a series of recommendations regarding the focus of the PATH program’s goals and the performance measures used to manage the program and assess progress in its formative years. Subsequently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) asked the NRC to convene a workshop to assess PATH’s most recent draft strategy, operating plan, and performance measures to determine their responsiveness to the recommendations in the 2002 Assessment and their suitability for guiding PATH into the future.

The Workshop Planning Group includes members of the 2000-2002 NRC assessment committee as well as new members who offer a fresh look at the PATH program. Experienced in housing design, development, construction, real estate, research, and performance evaluation, they planned the workshop and will also lead the workshop discussions.

The workshop is focused on the draft PATH Program Review and Strategy, Performance Metrics, and Operating Plan, which all participants had a chance to review.2 Workshop participants will comment on a number of questions: Do the goals of the PATH program convey a clear idea of what PATH is trying to achieve? Are the performance measures effective in assessing progress toward the goals? Do the goals and measures provide an adequate indication of innovation in the housing industry? Workshop participants will also discuss possible strategies for improving communication among all the players in housing and housing innovation.

The workshop begins with an overview by Carlos Martin, PATH program manager, who will describe why HUD sponsored this activity. Manny Gonzalez, from KTGY Group, Inc., will summarize the NRC’s 2002 Assessment recommendations and HUD’s response. Sarah Slaughter, from MOCA Systems, will address the grand ideas that shape innovation in home construction and the role that government programs play in promoting innovation. Mel Mark, from Pennsylvania State University, will discuss overarching issues related to performance measures and why they are important to PATH and the success of the program. These presentations are intended to frame the workshop issues and set the stage for the workshop discussions of PATH’s draft strategy, operating plan, and performance measures.

The workshop discussions will focus on the three major PATH goals, with each session led by a member of the planning group and including several people who were instrumental in producing studies and reports that are referenced in the PATH strategy. The final discussion will focus on the path forward and how the goals and performance measures can be improved to increase the probability of the success and growth of PATH.

1  

National Research Council, 2003, Promoting Innovation: 2002 Assessment of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.

2  

The draft document (version 8/26/05) that was provided to workshop participants is forthcoming at PATHNET.org.



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Proceedings of a Workshop to Review PATH Strategy, Operating Plan, and Performance Measures 1 Introduction Michael Cohn National Research Council The National Research Council’s (NRC’s) involvement with the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) started in 2000 with a three-year review and assessment of the PATH program. The resulting report, Promoting Innovation: 2002 Assessment of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing,1 included a series of recommendations regarding the focus of the PATH program’s goals and the performance measures used to manage the program and assess progress in its formative years. Subsequently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) asked the NRC to convene a workshop to assess PATH’s most recent draft strategy, operating plan, and performance measures to determine their responsiveness to the recommendations in the 2002 Assessment and their suitability for guiding PATH into the future. The Workshop Planning Group includes members of the 2000-2002 NRC assessment committee as well as new members who offer a fresh look at the PATH program. Experienced in housing design, development, construction, real estate, research, and performance evaluation, they planned the workshop and will also lead the workshop discussions. The workshop is focused on the draft PATH Program Review and Strategy, Performance Metrics, and Operating Plan, which all participants had a chance to review.2 Workshop participants will comment on a number of questions: Do the goals of the PATH program convey a clear idea of what PATH is trying to achieve? Are the performance measures effective in assessing progress toward the goals? Do the goals and measures provide an adequate indication of innovation in the housing industry? Workshop participants will also discuss possible strategies for improving communication among all the players in housing and housing innovation. The workshop begins with an overview by Carlos Martin, PATH program manager, who will describe why HUD sponsored this activity. Manny Gonzalez, from KTGY Group, Inc., will summarize the NRC’s 2002 Assessment recommendations and HUD’s response. Sarah Slaughter, from MOCA Systems, will address the grand ideas that shape innovation in home construction and the role that government programs play in promoting innovation. Mel Mark, from Pennsylvania State University, will discuss overarching issues related to performance measures and why they are important to PATH and the success of the program. These presentations are intended to frame the workshop issues and set the stage for the workshop discussions of PATH’s draft strategy, operating plan, and performance measures. The workshop discussions will focus on the three major PATH goals, with each session led by a member of the planning group and including several people who were instrumental in producing studies and reports that are referenced in the PATH strategy. The final discussion will focus on the path forward and how the goals and performance measures can be improved to increase the probability of the success and growth of PATH. 1   National Research Council, 2003, Promoting Innovation: 2002 Assessment of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. 2   The draft document (version 8/26/05) that was provided to workshop participants is forthcoming at PATHNET.org.

OCR for page 1
Proceedings of a Workshop to Review PATH Strategy, Operating Plan, and Performance Measures Peter Drucker, the management guru, highlighted the importance of performance measures when he noted, “You can’t manage it, if you can’t measure it.” However, this simple truth often causes a dilemma because, as Albert Einstein pointed out, “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” HUD is looking to this group to discover the truth that will help solve this dilemma.