Measuring smart mobility initiatives is critical to success.
Transport agencies and companies are accountable for the return on investment funds and it is in their interest to demonstrate the success of past investment in moving towards desired transport outcomes, when seeking funding for future programs.
However, post-evaluation of transport projects is rarely conducted.
The logic of connecting the investment in a smart mobility program to desired outcomes needs to be carefully thought through.
Transport programs can be developed either as a response to transport problems or issues (bottom up approach), or to move towards future strategic objectives (top down approach). The best approach is a combination of both.
Role of Program Logic in Smart Mobility
Logic program development has been in use since the 1960’s, so it is not a new concept. Logical Framework Analysis aims to make investment more effective and accountable, by providing greater rigor in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating programs. Logic Mapping is a similar approach.
The basic concept of program logic is that delivery of projects is a systematic, sequential process: plan – manage – review; based on assumptions from past experience, delivery of a transport project or service will result from responding to problems, using resourcing provided, with infrastructure and service outputs expected from these planned actions, and desired transport outcomes, such as reduced congestion or improved safety, predicted based on those outputs.
Each step along the sequence should be monitored to ensure an initiative is tracking towards desired objectives, rather than waiting for everything to be finished and some years down the track before being able to measure outcomes.
Measure Outcomes: designing program logic for smart mobility
Sir Winston Churchill quoted “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
Designing program logic for smart mobility initiatives and identifying performance indicators for each stage of the sequence of events, ensures there is a clear focus on what is important. If we know that what we are doing is going to be measured and reported, we will ensure they are closely monitored.
It is worth remembering the adage “what gets measured gets done”.
Program logic can help establish success criteria, and also identify data and information needed to assess progress, as well as help communicate the benefits to key stakeholders. The bonus of using this approach is it makes it easier to get projects funded.
Decision-makers can readily understand what a project or program is about, what it will deliver and how it contributes to desired objectives, as the logic process enables a clear, concise summary to be presented.
If well done, the program logic approach also gives decision-makers confidence that assumptions and risks have been adequately considered and that a performance monitoring framework is available.
As transport professionals, let us commit to measure and report the success of smart mobility initiatives.
How should we monitor and report the success of smart mobility?
What are measures of success?
Should there be independent verifiers and reporters?