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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-24(37) [Completed]

Measuring Performance among State DOTs: Sharing Good Practices
[ NCHRP 20-24 (Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $115,000
Research Agency: TransTech Management, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Joe Crossett
Effective Date: 3/19/2004
Completion Date: 1/31/2006

Transportation agencies are increasingly using performance measurement to solve complex management challenges. As applications of performance measurement have increased among state departments of transportation (DOTs), senior managers and technical staff have increased their interest in learning from the performance of their peer agencies that share similar goals and objectives. Comparative performance measurement offers a way to share DOT performance data and knowledge about best practices among agencies, and in turn to enhance managers' ability to judge their own agencies' effectiveness in program and system management.  Identifying "best-in-class" practices and "lessons learned" facilitates managers' efforts to learn from experience. 

The NCHRP 20-24(37) project series was requested by state DOT CEOs, who recognize that comparative performance measurement is a tool with potential to help improve their organizations. The initial development of the series explored the concept, opportunities, and obstacles for  comparative performance measurement through discussions in a series of regional workshops held in summer 2004 that brought together representatives of DOTs from across the country and in interviews with senior DOT staff in selected states .   A  subsequent test of actual comparative measurement engaged seven volunteer states and served as the prototype for the project series.

The approach that emerged from the workshops, interviews and prototype testing relies on groups of volunteer state DOTs working together to establish meaningful performance measures and then sharing data to enable an individual agency to compare its own performance to the range of experience represented in the data set.  Analysis of the data set is typically undertaken to identify typical- and best-performance experience without identifying the specific performance experience of any particular agency.  Guiding principles for the program include a strong emphasis on overall integrity of comparisons, reliance on existing data, and avoidance of additional bureaucracy.  The agency's final report describing the activities that led to the NCHRP 20-24(37) series has been published by AASHTO and is available on the website of the AASHTO Standing Committee on Quality. <http://quality.transportation.org/sites/quality/docs/MeasuringPerformance.pdf>

Each of the projects in the NCHRP 20-24(37) series is selected to address a single important aspect of performance or to provide the framework for a consistent approach to state DOT's measurement and reporting of performance.  NCHRP works with the AASHTO Standing Committee on Performance to ensure that performance measurement is an informative and effective management tool for DOT officials, transportation system users, and the public.

20-24(37)A Measuring Performance among State DOTs: Sharing Good Practices -- Construction Project Cost and Schedule

20-24(37)B Measuring Performance among State DOTs: Sharing Good Practices based on the International Roughness Index

20-24(37)C Measuring Performance Among State DOTs, Sharing Best Practices -- Safety

20-24(37)D Measuring Performance Among State DOTs, Sharing Best Practices--Operations Performance Using Incident Response Time

20-24(37)E Measuring Performance Among State DOTs, Sharing Best Practices— Preservation: Comparative Analysis of Bridge Conditions

20-24(37)F Establishment of Comparative Performance Measures Program Infrastructure to Support National System Performance Data Collection and Analysis

20-24(37)G Technical Guidance for Deploying National Level Performance Measurements

20-24(37)H Workshop on Transportation-System Performance Measures Suitable for National Use

20-24(37)I Measuring Performance among State DOTs: Sharing Good Practices -- Congestion

20-24(37)L National Report on Transportation System Performance -- State DOTs Telling the Story

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