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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-24(37)F [Completed]

Establishment of Comparative Performance Measures Program Infrastructure to Support National System Performance Data Collection and Analysis
[ NCHRP 20-24(37) (Measuring Performance among State DOTs: Sharing Good Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $50,000
Research Agency: Spy Pond Partners, LLC
Principal Investigator: Frances Harrison
Effective Date: 6/17/2010
Completion Date: 8/16/2011

NCHRP Project 20-24(37) activities are undertaken generally to support development of a commonly accepted set of measures state departments of transportation (DOTs) would use to assess system and agency performance; a single common data standard for each measure; a simple and reliable data submission process; and a basis for identifying, validating, and sharing best management practices that support high performance. Studies of specific aspects of performance entail comparison of data provided by several states and documentation of practices underlying best performance among participating states. 

Projects in the 20-24(37) series have been well received by the DOT community but have highlighted a need for a support infrastructure and well defined process for data collection and management and for analysis, reporting, and sharing performance information and best practices. Such an infrastructure and process would accommodate data collected in research already completed or ongoing in the NCHRP 20-24(37) series and provide a framework for future comparative performance research and benchmarking. The infrastructure and data-management process would then ensure a consistent, reliable source of data for comparative performance measurement, analysis and research.   The database and infrastructure ultimately may incorporate performance measures addressing transportation system safety, preservation, congestion, system operations management, freight and economic development, and environment, as well as project delivery and other agency business practices.  The objective of this project was to develop a conceptual framework and functional description of a comparative performance database and analysis infrastructure to support benchmarking and management strategy formulation by DOTs and others. The envisioned database and infrastructure, realized according to the concepts developed in this research, will be managed and maintained by AASHTO or another suitable organization.

The project entailed consideration of such factors as (a) the number and range of performance measures adopted or being considered by AASHTO committees, federal agencies, and others that could be subjects for benchmarking and management strategy formulation that would be incorporated in the database; (b) the range of agencies (for example, metropolitan planning organizations, interstate corridor coalitions, and toll authorities, as well as DOTs) that might become participants and users of the performance benchmarking and analysis capability the database supports; (c) access, security, and ease of use issues associated with a web portal and database management capable of providing the functionality envisioned in this research; (d) costs for initial implementation, maintenance and operation, and subsequent expansions; and (e) other factors shaping the database and infrastructure design. The research team considered how AASHTO or another suitable organization would implement and maintain the comparative performance benchmarking and analysis database and infrastructure, including where in AASHTO implementation and maintenance responsibilities might be assigned, the degree to which operations maintenance might be outsourced, and what other organizations might be suitable. 
 
The research team's final report documenting the project is meant to serve as a prospectus to be used by AASHTO or others in subsequent development efforts.  The final report has been delivered to AASHTO and is available for download by clicking here

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