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OCR for page 96
II-26 Guide for Target-Setting and Data Management trend with the baseline assumptions and predictions may help to identify where and why the deviation from the intended track has occurred. Check Validity of Performance Measures and Assumptions The performance measures and analytic procedures and assumptions should be reviewed peri- odically for currency and relevance, even when targets have been met. For example, performance measures may need to be updated to reflect changes in policy or governing standards. Assump- tions (e.g., regarding population, demographic characteristics, use of different modes, and other factors driving travel demand or supply) likewise should be reviewed in light of current economic, social, technological, political, and financial trends. These are analytic checks and adjustments; the following step describes policy adjustments with respect to the performance targets. Reporting Part of tracking progress also involves communicating this performance in terms that are read- ily understood to the agency's executive decision-makers, other stakeholders, and the public, so they also can track progress towards targets; this is particularly necessary in a collaborative process, such as "Customer Feedback" or "Expert Opinion," in which others are directly involved in the target-setting process. Communicating targets in a manner that makes sense to the general public seems to be a strong indicator for the success of PBRA and the integration of target-setting. Coral Springs "rolls up" an extensive series of performance measures into 10 key composite meas- ures, referred to as the city's Stock Index, summarizing, at-a-glance, city performance; Hennepin County uses a Balanced Scorecard approach in which numerous measures are evaluated and tracked in terms of multiple perspectives (customer, finance, internal process, learning and growth) and simplified into tables of information providing "warning lights" for areas in need of improvement. Setting targets and monitoring achievement of targets is a powerful motivator for behavior: "success breeds success." Mn/DOT prepares a one-page "snapshot" with performance measures and red, yellow, and green colored shapes to represent annual progress relative to targets, by state and by district. The snapshot graphically illustrates the trend direction and projects next year's forecast. Other agen- cies use annual attainment reports (MDOT). Step 6--Adjust Targets Over Time Performance management is a dynamic process in which performance measures and targets evolve over time. The key to this evolution is periodic assessment of the impacts of the measures and targets on actual investments. The Performance Management Framework itself is an itera- tive process. Agencies should explicitly include the adjustment of targets over time within the feedback loop of the Framework. Factors driving a possible need to adjust targets from a policy perspective include the follow- ing examples: Changes in the level of funding or in rules governing project eligibility to receive certain pro- gram funding. These changes can work in positive or negative directions, and program targets may need to be adjusted up or down to reflect these updated expectations of how and where program funding is to be applied.

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Guide for Target-Setting II-27 Changes in state or Federal policy, or in program priority, as affected by executive or legisla- tive action. Existing performance targets may need to be adjusted, and new targets created, to address new or revised policies and priorities. Changes in the behavioral characteristics of the transportation system assets and vehicles. For example, greater use of hybrid vehicles may eventually cause a revision in environmental miti- gation targets. Use of innovative materials may allow a refinement of asset preservation targets. Introduction of new inspection technologies may require the creation of new performance mea- sures and associated targets. When adjusting, agencies also should consider the following items: Adjust performance targets only after sufficient time has passed to accumulate sufficient time- series data and to make necessary checks and adjustments, such that a reliable trend has been developed. The trend should provide a fair and reasonable indication of current transporta- tion system behavior and be one that can be supported by facts, analyses, customer surveys, and other sources of information. Resolve factors such as model updates, data collection methodologies, etc., that may be influ- encing the calculation of the target, as opposed to the influence of the actual investment itself (refer to Step 3) Account for interagency responsibilities in monitoring and tracking performance [e.g., coor- dination with MPOs and Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs)]. These interactions should be reflected in the monitoring plan. Agencies that are only at the beginning of implementing a performance-based process gener- ally have less complete and less sophisticated target-setting processes. In general, there is a typi- cal evolutionary path that agencies follow. A corollary to this evolution is the emergence of an agency's data sophistication. Iterations of long-range planning cycles (MTC, Mn/DOT), a solid history of performance data, and managerial comprehension and appreciation of that data allows managers to discern what they can or cannot control (WSDOT). During the development of each long-range plan, agencies can reassess what has worked and what has not, adjusting measures and targets accordingly. Targets can be reassessed on a more frequent basis depending on the level of integration of the Performance Management Framework into an agency's planning and internal processes. MLIT's annual Performance Measures Report/Planning Report monitors the bureau's progress towards its annual and 5-year targets. If targets are not met for a program, then a closer review is performed to determine how the processes for that program may need to be revised, or if a new program may need to be developed to address those performance needs. Conversely, if tar- gets are consistently met earlier than anticipated, target deadlines or measures are reset to reflect more accurate expectations. Targets at the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) not met are used in lessons learned: the Authority evaluates what happened and why it did not reach the target. The following questions should be asked: Were there areas within the target that didn't work? Is the Authority attempting to set too high a target? Is the Authority measuring the wrong component?