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24 Changes to the plan's strategies and targets that are identified Keys to Success and Lessons Learned are brought to executive management for approval. The agency's mission, vision, and strategic plan are clearly understood by all levels of management and employees. The Plan Implementation budget and the long-range business plan are linked to the strate- gic plan. Strategies are viewed from a cross-functional team For implementation, DART uses a "Leadership System" based basis and are measurable and driven through the organization. on the concept of strategic alignment; a process designed to ensure that employee jobs and performance are aligned with DART's initial effort in developing the strategic plan was the agency's mission, direction and board goals, and policies. much more detailed--more of an action plan. It had to be This system is illustrated in Figure 3. changed more often than desired as projects were completed. DART therefore created a more "global," usable plan that The annual budget and capital program are directly would serve the agency for a longer term. linked to the strategic plan. The agency rates itself as "fairly effective" in terms of implementation (a rating of 3 on a Originally DART's major challenge was in being able to scale of 1 to 5). obtain all the necessary information on a timely basis from the numerous individuals involved. Currently, deadlines are set and individuals are designated with oversight responsibility Significant Benefits to provide the required information within the time frame. The strategic planning process is considered to be "very use- ful" (a rating of 4 out of 5) as a management tool for holding LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN departments accountable for results based on performance TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY metrics that are linked to strategies. One specific benefit cited Agency Description was its use during a major cost-cutting effort, when staff was able to show the board the impacts on the plan if cost-cutting LACMTA is one of the biggest transit systems in the coun- measures the board was recommending were to be adopted. try. It serves one of the largest and most populous metropol- More generally, the plan has provided a tool for prioritizing itan counties--9.6 million people and 1,433 square miles. It projects and making management decisions based on their operates more than 1,900 buses and 60 miles of rail service, impact on the plan. and employs more than 9,000 individuals. Board Policy Management Action Plans Employee and Direction and Performance Measurements Performance Mission Statement Vision Statement DART's and Values Sr. Mgt's PMP* Purpose Vision of Success and FY Business Plan Agency/Modal Scorecards How We Treat Each Projected Operational and Departmental Scorecoards Board Goals Other Financial Performance Work Program Initiatives Broad Agency-wide Competencies/KSAs** Objectives Organizational Values Strategic Plan System Plan Management's FY Budget Commitments on Strategies to Achieve Revenues & Expenses Employee PMP* Future System Board Direction Variance Explanations Regular Assignments (Section Build-out Scorecards) Financial Plan Work Program Initiatives 20-year Projections Competencies/KSAs Financial Standards Other Strategic Input Sources/Uses of Cash Organizational Values Expected Business Ext. Climate Review Affordability of Plans Results and Surveys Debt Limits Texas Quality Feedback Business Results * Performance Management Plan Benchmark Studies Board Policies ** Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Broad Direction on Certain Issues FIGURE 3 DART's leadership system and strategic alignment process (Source: DART FY 2004 business plan).
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25 In addition to operating an extensive transit system, LACMTA also funds 16 municipal bus operators and a wide Vision array of transportation projects that include bicycle and pedes- trian facilities, local road and highway improvements, goods Developed by movement, and the Freeway Service Patrol and call boxes. Management, Mission The agency is unusual in that it also serves as the federally Approved by CEO required MPO for the region. Core Values Strategic Plan Document Goals LACMTA developed its first strategic plan (called a Strate- gic Business Plan) for the FY 0103 period. It included a mission, vision, and goals. The goals were organized in a bal- Objectives anced scorecard framework with each supported by more Developed by detailed goals and objectives. Management, Strategies Approved by CEO The strategic plan (now called a Strategic Performance Actions Program) was redone for FY 0307. It retained much of the structure of the previous strategic plan; that is, a mission, Key Performance vision, and goals; detailed objectives; and KPIs. However, a Indicators new element was the inclusion of agency "core values." In addition, it began to move the organizational goals and objectives down to the departmental and individual levels. Service Delivery and Evaluation LACMTA regards its strategic plan as a "living docu- Implementation & Managers and ment" and "evolving plan," not as a rigid or fixed document. Accountability Supervisors The plan is updated on an annual basis. Individual Performance Plan Development Development of the most recent plan began in January 2002 FIGURE 4 LACMTA strategic planning process (Source: MTA when the CEO initiated an internal process that involved a Strategic Performance Program, FY 20032007). cross section of 70 team leaders. This group met on six dif- ferent occasions to discuss the agency's services, programs, possible strategic approaches, and how the success of the agency's efforts could be measured. The following seven Plan Implementation organization-wide strategic goals were developed: To help move from planning into implementation, the agency 1. Create a "safety" conscious culture throughout the MTA used several noteworthy strategies: and its customers and business partners. 2. Improve transit systems. · The CEO held an all-hands meeting of key management and staff to communicate the details and importance of 3. Attract, develop, and retain employees. the strategic plan. Television monitors were used for 4. Create a positive image of the MTA. staff who could not physically attend. 5. Deliver quality capital projects on time and within · Each business unit was also asked to hold an all-hands budget. meeting to communicate the strategic plan. Each unit 6. Provide leadership for the region's mobility agenda was given a video presentation in which the CEO empha- through responsive planning and resource allocation. sized the importance of achieving the strategic business 7. Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency. goals of the agency. · The strategic goal teams met monthly or bi-monthly Specific objectives were identified for each goal, and with facilitators from the Organizational Development implementation strategies, action plans, and KPIs were then and Training Department, who coached them in regard developed that assigned responsibility to key "management to goal attainment. owners" and "team support partners." A consultant was used · Executive management held quarterly review sessions during the planning process to help facilitate the strategic plan- where goal team members were recognized for their ning meetings. The process is shown graphically in Figure 4. accomplishments and for meeting their milestones.
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26 · The KPIs are reported to the chief financial officer on a · Provision of a foundation for how the agency will meet quarterly basis as part of the operating management and Los Angeles County's transportation needs. budget process. · Identification of the goals, objectives, strategies, and action steps required for the agency to be successful. This process is depicted by the Leadership Model that · A description of where the agency wishes to be, what it LACMTA uses to "cascade and communicate" the strategic does, and how it will conduct day-to-day business. plan agency-wide (see Figure 5). Its purpose is to help ensure that the strategic plan is understood at every level and across More specific benefits described were: all transit modes, and to encourage the commitment, energy, and hard work of all agency employees. It shows how the · Introduction of "Safety First" as a new program initia- agency-wide vision, mission, and values are used to provide tive to reduce accidents and injuries by 51% (an out- a framework for strategic goals and objectives, and these are growth of Strategic Goal 1). in turn integrated with the budget and performance manage- · Development of a Return-to-Work Program for former ment processes. This includes a linkage to each employee's LACMTA employees (an outgrowth of Strategic Goal 3). role and responsibilities and to his or her compensation. · Creation of a more positive image for the agency, includ- ing a Metro logo and a new brand marketing approach The agency has recently developed performance appraisal to improve the public's perception of the agency (an forms that are directly tied to the strategic plan goals. Each outgrowth of Strategic Goal 4). year the agency reassesses its performance, goals, and objec- · Improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of tives in view of its budget appropriations. The respondent the agency including streamlining of the top internal rated the agency as "very effective" in terms of implement- processes (e.g., payment of bills, procurement, and ing the strategic plan (a rating of 4 on a scale of 1 to 5). employee recruitment and selection) (an outgrowth of Strategic Goal 7). Significant Benefits Keys to Success and Lessons Learned The survey respondent believes that strategic planning has been "extremely useful" at the agency (a rating of 5 on a Part of the success of the agency's strategic planning process scale of 1 to 5). Key benefits cited included: is attributed to its collaborative and cross-functional nature. Communicate Agency-wide Vision, Mission & Values Cascade to Middle Management & Frontline Supervisors Integrate Strategic Goals and Objectives into Communication and Teamwork Budget and Performance Management Process Reinforcemen t Produce an Integrated Strategic Plan for Agency Linkage to Performance-based Compensation Oversight & Monitoring--Develop and Coordinate Action Plans to Support Goals & Objectives Employees--First Point of Contact with Clients and Customers Goal Achievements Identification of Every Employee's Individual Roles & Responsibilities Teamwork and Responsible for Implementing Goals Teamwork Accountability Responsibilities Performance-based Compensation Assessment of Individual Contributions and Attainment towards Supporting Agency Goals and Objectives Planning Oversight and Monitoring FIGURE 5 LACMTA leadership model (Source: MTA Strategic Performance Program, FY 20032007).