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39 APPENDIX D Selective Survey Questionnaire Selective Survey of Agencies The Institute for Transportation Research and Education, North Carolina State University, was selected to conduct a Synthesis project under the federal Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). The purpose of the project is to look at the use of strategic planning and management in the transit industry. We will examine the extent of the use of strategic planning, the various methodologies that have been used, and how effective it has been. For the purposes of this survey, strategic planning is defined as a process used to define an organization's vision, mission, challenges, and opportunities; establish long- and short-range goals; guide business processes; and measure performance. It helps an organization anticipate the future rather than just react- ing to it. It helps to integrate the organization's various activities and programs and to better align the orga- nization with stakeholders. For example, when strategic planning is linked with stakeholder interests, bud- geting, service deployment, and performance measurement, it can be a very powerful method for effective and efficient strategic management of an organization. Note: this questionnaire can be filled out electronically and returned, or it can be faxed or mailed to the address below. There is a continuation sheet at the end of this questionnaire that can be used if neces- sary for your answers to the questions. Your name: Title: Name of agency: Phone: E-mail: Does your transit agency currently perform a strategic planning/management process (or a similar process by another name) or has it done so in the past? (This does not include the development of the federally-required Long-Range Transportation Plan/TIP.) ___ YES ___ NO If you performed "strategic planning" in the past but no longer do so, please describe why the practice was stopped? ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ If you no longer perform strategic planning, you may stop here and return the questionnaire to: Jud Lawrie Institute for Transportation Research and Education North Carolina State University Centennial Campus, Box 8601 Raleigh, NC 27695-8601 Phone: 919.513.3482 Fax: 919.515.8898 E-mail:

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40 I. Plan Development 1. How long does your "strategic planning" process typically last from start to finish (with "start" being the beginning of the planning process and "finish" being the production and/or approval of the plan)? ____________________________________________________________________________________ 2. If your process goes by another name than strategic planning, what is it called? _________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 3. How frequently is a "strategic plan" developed? __ Annually __ Every ___ years with an annual update __ Intermittently (please describe the frequency over the last five years): ___________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ __ Other (please describe): __________________________________________________________ 4. What is the time period (number of years) covered by your strategic plan? ______________________ 5. What were the drivers for creating the strategic planning process?_______________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Is there an external requirement that strategic planning be performed (e.g., state legislation), or is it an inter- nal decision? __ Internal decision __ Externally required (Note: federal planning requirements for a Transportation Plan/TIP are not considered a requirement for a strategic plan.) 6a. If an internal decision, who made it? (the board? management? other?) ____________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 6b. If externally required, who/what requires it? __________________________________________ 7. Is there a specific department and/or individual that is charged with strategic planning responsibilities? __ YES __ NO. If yes and this is not you, please provide the information below: Individual's name: _________________________________ Phone: _______________________ Title: __________________________________________________________________________ Department: ____________________________________________________________________ 8. On a scale of 15, how useful do you think strategic planning has been at your agency: __ 1 (Not at all useful) __ 2 (Somewhat useful) __ 3 (Fairly useful) __ 4 (Very useful) __ 5 (Extremely useful) What is the basis for this opinion? ________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

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41 9. Who is involved in your process? (Check all that apply.) __ Board of directors __ Executive management __ Strategic planning staff __ Other management __ Line and staff departments __ Other (please describe): ________________________________________________________ 10. If the Board is involved, please describe its role: _____________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 11. Does your process involve board and/or management retreats? ___ YES ___ NO If yes, please describe briefly: ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 12. Was a consultant used to help in the planning process? ___ YES ___ NO If yes, please describe its role: ________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 13. Who approves your strategic plan? _____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 14. Please indicate the content of the strategic planning product or document(s); e.g., does it include: __ A vision statement? __ A mission statement? __ An external environmental scan (e.g., opportunities and threats)? __ An internal environmental scan (e.g., strengths and weaknesses)? __ The identification of strategic issues and/or initiatives? __ Recommendations? __ Action plans, etc.? __ Performance measures? __ Other (please describe)? _________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 15. What are the "keys to success" of your strategic planning process? ___________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ 16. What pitfalls or obstacles have you typically encountered? __________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ 17. How have these pitfalls/obstacles been overcome? ________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ 18. What other lessons have you learned about performing strategic planning more effectively? _______ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

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42 II. Plan Implementation/Management 1. How do you move from planning to implementation? What happens to ensure that the plan is executed, that it becomes reality? _________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What have been some of the significant impacts that the strategic planning process has had on your agency's direction, goals, priorities, or programs? Please describe at least three specific impacts where possible. ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 3. On a scale of 15, how effective has your agency been at implementing strategic plan recommendations? __ 1 (Not at all effective) __ 2 (Somewhat effective) __ 3 (Fairly effective) __ 4 (Very effective) __ 5 (Extremely effective) Please explain your answer briefly: _____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Is the strategic planning process linked in any formal way to other key organizational processes? Please indicate which processes (Check all that apply.) __ Operations/service planning __ Budgeting __ Capital planning/programming __ Financial planning __ Information technology planning __ Performance measurement __ Organization development __ Other (please describe): __________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 5. If your strategic planning process includes the use of performance measures, please describe how and by whom these are identified. ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Please list the most important performance measures used and, as appropriate, how/why they are used: ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

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43 III. External Relationships 1. Please indicate if other agencies are involved in your strategic plan development or approval. (Check all that apply.) Development Approval MPO (metropolitan planning organization) ___ ___ A regional transit agency ___ ___ Municipalities and/or counties ___ ___ Other (please describe): ___ ___ ________________________________ ___ ___ 2. Please describe the involvement of any agencies checked above: ________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ IV. Plan Evaluation Is there any mechanism for evaluating the "success" of your strategic planning efforts? For example, is there a performance monitoring process that tracks whether the plan's goals and objectives are being met? If so, please describe this mechanism briefly: _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ ********************************************************************************** Do you have any final comments that would help us understand your process better, its strengths or limitations? ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Finally, would you please send us a copy of your latest strategic planning documents, including the plan itself and, if available, any other pertinent documents such as instructions to participants, etc. (see address information on first page of survey). Based on responses to this survey, we plan to select from 3 to 5 agencies for more in-depth case studies. Would you be willing to serve as a case study if selected? ___ YES ___ NO Thanks very much for your help! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.