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63 of performance goals for the transportation system, this step this step, champion and stakeholders will review the report would involve defining a commitment to measure and report on commitment performance and determine whether any on those performance goals. If the vision establishes a set of commitments require revisions. quality of life considerations, this step could involve select- After commitment revisions are identified, the lead or other ing indicators that monitor progress toward ensuring com- stakeholders revise any commitments as needed. The exact munity values. details of this process will depend on the structure agreed upon between the champion and stakeholder. In some cases, the organization responsible for tracking the commitments may Assign Roles and Responsibility be responsible for determining when revisions are needed. In In the next step, a specific individual, office, or other stake- other cases, the champion may have a watchdog role and not holder should be assigned responsibility for completing each have authority to revise commitments, or may work with a of the commitment actions. A champion should be identified steering committee on any the details of any revisions. What- who is in charge of tracking commitments at the agency level. ever the details of this process step, the end result is that revi- The champion monitors and reports the progress of commit- sions to a commitment are proposed and approved. ments, actively communicates with commitment owners, and coordinates with stakeholders. Refresh Vision After the commitments have been revised, the vision lead will Communicate Commitments to Stakeholders adjust the vision outputs as necessary. The data that have been This step leverages stakeholder relationships established gathered during the commitment monitoring process will throughout the vision process. Stakeholders should be made indicate how any goals or objectives may need to shift. For aware of the plan for vision implementation through the com- example, a community could face new development pressures mitments that have been made. They should be told who is or opportunities that were not present when the vision process accountable for fulfilling the commitments, and be provided was originally completed. These new conditions may provide with updates as commitments are completed or adjusted. opportunities for economic growth but also could threaten to change a community's character. Depending on existing lead- ership and changes that may have to be made, the vision refresh Monitor Commitment Activities may need to include a stakeholder outreach. After the vision In this step the lead convener, or implementation lead respon- has been refreshed, the commitment tracking process should sible for reviewing commitments, monitors commitment be revised accordingly. The process then loops back to the progress. This activity involves reviewing the list of commit- monitor commitments step, and begins anew. ments and specific actions, and analyzing any progress made since the last update. Application within the Vision Guide Report on Commitment Performance Commitment tracking is relevant at each of the three phases Periodically, the lead party responsible for monitoring com- of the Vision Guide. Consideration of the indicators, data, mitments should generate a report on commitment perfor- and commitments that might be relevant during the Prepar- mance for all stakeholders. The reporting period should be ing the Vision phase will provide a solid foundation and con- agreed upon by the vision lead and stakeholders. Reports sistency throughout the vision process. should list ongoing commitments, commitment status, actions for the commitment, due dates for the actions, and any over- Preparing for the Vision due actions. This first phase of the Vision Guide sets the stage for develop- ing the vision and for commitment tracking of vision imple- Update Priorities and Revise Commitments mentation. Implementation of a commitment tracking process Reporting commitment progress may identify areas in which involves reviewing what has been done, what is important, and commitments are not being met or a commitment needs to even who is involved. The agency already may have experience be modified. For instance, if construction of a new facility with commitment tracking for plans, programs, and specific is completed, but there are ongoing commitments related projects. This experience can be applied to vision commit- to maintenance of the facility, it may be necessary to trans- ment tracking. The only difference is that vision tracking may fer responsibility for the commitment to another party. In be done at a slightly higher and broader level. Also, the various
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64 stakeholders may be able to offer certain goals or actions they within the commitment tracking process is associated with one would like tracked. The most significant step in preparing for of the activity areas. The text below provides the Vision Guide the vision may be to develop the overall approach to commit- context for the model commitment tracking process. ment tracking. How Will We Realize Our Vision? What Is Our Approach? The initial step in the process is to use the output from the Agencies may have more commitment tracking experience at visioning process to establish a set of commitments. Addi- the project level and somewhat less at the plan level. This tional effort may be needed to translate outcomes into a set experience may be applicable to vision tracking, or at least be of commitments, and to gain consensus on what organiza- beneficial from a lessons-learned standpoint. The vision lead tions or agencies are responsible for commitment fulfillment. should spend time during this activity area mapping out a process that will provide inputs to the commitment track- How Will We Stay on Track? ing process as the vision moves forward. A commitment tracking process implemented in support of visioning should Performance indicators for each action should provide a be comprehensive, and should not be limited to only those schedule for implementation, which is then monitored. Some commitments made during visioning. During this activity actions will take longer to implement than others. Actions area, all partner agencies can explore any existing commit- that require new legislation may take a while. ment tracking frameworks that may be relevant to the vision process. In particular, other commitments made through the Assign Roles and Responsibility agency environmental and project development processes A specific party should be assigned responsibility for com- should be included in the commitment tracking process. pleting each of the commitment actions. Also, no later than this step, a champion should be identified who is in charge of tracking commitments at the agency level and who monitors Creating the Vision and reports progress and actively communicates and coordi- Once a vision's goals have been developed, the agency should nates with stakeholders. begin to develop performance indicators that will monitor and track implementation of actions. Those responsible for Communicate Commitments to Stakeholders implementation need to be involved in developing perfor- This step leverages stakeholder relationships established mance indicators and establishing commitments for each throughout the vision process. Stakeholders should be made step in this phase. aware of the plan for vision implementation through the com- mitments made. They should be told who is accountable for fulfilling the commitments, and be provided with updates as How Will We Get There? commitments are completed or adjusted. This area of the vision process should list activities necessary to accomplish the vision, such as goals and actions. These will What Have We Accomplished? be used to develop performance indicators and commitment tracking processes. For example, if the vision includes the goal Progress on implementing the vision, goals, and actions should of enhancing the environment, then one of the actions might be monitored on a regular basis. Given that visions are normally involve implementing an ecological approach to mitigation. implemented over the long term, the actions may be monitored Actual implementation of this action may require changing and reported on an annual or semiannual basis. Commitments agency policies, modifying legislation, or increasing fund- at the project level, such as environmental commitments, may ing for advance mitigation of entire watersheds, as opposed be reported on more often. A periodic review system should to project levee mitigation. Therefore, implementation of such be established that includes a list of commitments indicating an action may need to track a number of indicators, such as what already has been implemented, what is in progress, what agency policy making, legislative activity, and budget initia- is overdue, what is planned, and if there have been any modi- tives for mitigation. fications to the commitment. Monitor Commitment Activities Implementing the Vision In this step, the lead convener or implementation lead respon- The model commitment tracking process discussed previously sible for reviewing commitments monitors commitment provides a framework and related activities for implementing progress. This activity involves reviewing the list of commit- the vision. Figure 8.2 illustrates how the model commitment ments and specific actions, and analyzing any progress made tracking process interfaces with the Vision Guide. Each step since the last update.
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65 Establish Commitments Assign Roles and Responsibilities Communicate Commitments to Stakeholders Monitor Commitment Activities Report on Commitment Performance Update Priorities/Revise Commitments Refresh Vision Refresh Vision Figure 8.2. Relationship between implementing phase and model commitment tracking process. Report on Commitment Performance acceptable, or the proposed budget adjusted. A person must Periodically, the lead responsible for monitoring commit- be identified who is responsible for monitoring implementa- ments should generate a report on commitment performance tion and notifying stakeholders of progress and status on a for all stakeholders. The reporting period (e.g., biannual or regular basis. annual reports) should be agreed upon by the vision lead and stakeholders. Reports on commitment performance Update Priorities and Revise Commitments should list ongoing commitments, commitment status, actions The report on commitment progress in the previous activity for the commitment, due dates for the actions, and any over- may identify areas in which commitments are not being met due actions. or a commitment needs to be modified. Upon reviewing the commitment performance report, the process champion and stakeholders will determine whether any commitments require How Do We Maintain Our Vision? revision. After commitment revisions are identified, the lead or As described previously, implementation of the vision and its other stakeholders will revise any commitments as needed. specific goals and actions should be monitored regularly, so that any necessary adjustments will be recognized and action Refresh Vision taken. Likewise, the action may be modified to ease imple- After the commitments have been revised, the vision lead will mentation, or the schedule may be adjusted. For example, if adjust the vision outcomes as necessary. Data gathered dur- the action requires new legislation, the language in the pro- ing the commitment monitoring process will indicate how posed legislation may need to be modified to make it more goals or objectives may need to shift.