The National Academies

NCHRP 08-36/Task 047 [Completed]

Effective Organization of Performance Measurement
[ NCHRP 08-36 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning) ]

  Project Data
Funds: 100000
Research Agency: Cambridge Systematics
Effective Date: 10/15/2004
Completion Date: 3/15/2006
Comments: Completed---Final report sent to AASHTO

The growing practice of performance measurement has been applied in different ways and at different levels of transportation organizations, with varying success in affecting management decision making. Little systematic information has been compiled on how the performance measurement function itself is effectively carried out. This study will document and assess, first, how organizations structure the performance measurement function, and second, how they organize and deliver performance information and analysis to guide decisions at levels from top management down to operations.

The objective of this study is to document and assess contrasting approaches to organizing performance measurement functions and delivery systems and to summarize their strengths and weaknesses. The project will provide a broad overview of the characteristics of successful practice. In addition to assessing a sample of governmental transportation organizations, consideration should be given to drawing information from the private sector and the general management literature. The assessment could include but not be limited to the following issues:
  • What is the appropriate source of leadership for integrating and managing performance measurement in transportation planning and decision making?
  • What is the location of performance measurement functions in the organization relative to other planning and management functions? What core staffing is required?
  • What is the degree of centralization or decentralization of performance measurement and analysis responsibilities?
  • What is the level of integration into core management processes and procedures (strategic plans, transportation plans, budgeting, asset management, operations management)?
  • Who participates in analyzing performance information and recommending action?
  • What frequency and regularity of reporting is effective?
  • How are data stored and distributed for optimum use?
The contractor's final report was sent to AASHTO and is posted at

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