How to deliver a solution addressing transport challenges

Delivery means outlining the approach to deliver a solution to address transport challenges, including consultation, coordination and subsequently evaluating the results.

Delivery is really best practice project management and involves translating planning and thinking to execution.

Transport projects fail because they either could not be implemented as designed (program failure) or they were executed as designed but did not produce the desired result (theory failure).

Project management involves two levels – ‘what’ has to be achieved and ‘how’ to achieve the results. For large projects the disciple of project management becomes very sophisticated and employs systematic approaches like PMBOK or PRINCE2.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (includes Steven Covey’s son Sean as a co-author), proposes that to ensure successful project management requires Focus, Leverage, Engagement and Accountability.

  • Discipline of Focus: be clear about what matters most – narrow focus on the top priority goals 
  • Discipline of Leverage: use the 80/20 principle and focus on the 20% – with unlimited time and resources, you could accomplish just about anything! 
  • Discipline of Engagement: you have the authority as a project manager to make things happen, but you can’t do everything yourself – you need to ensure that the deliverables of key partners are aligned. 
  • Disciple of Accountability: you are measured on results, unfortunately this is like driving a car looking in the rear-view mirror – so identify and act on a few leading measures which are predictive of the outcomes.


In the delivery of transport solutions, you need to engage in consultation with key stakeholders and ensure effective coordination of efforts, particularly across government.

Success in delivery depends on maintaining the commitment and confidence, gaining the agreement and responding to interests of partners and stakeholders.

There are five levels of engagement, depending on the importance of the partner: inform, consult, involve, collaborate, and empower. You need to determine the appropriate level of engagement for each key stakeholder.


The area that is frequently neglected is the subsequent evaluation of the results of a transport initiative.

Evaluation can consider different measures of success including appropriateness, effectiveness, including cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Benefits realisation is another discipling that seeks to assess benefits realised.

The key is to agree on the evaluation criteria to assess success, preferably in the initial stages of planning the project.

Key Concepts

  • delivery requires best practice project management
  • successful project management involves the four disciplines of execution
  • delivery failure is either program or theory failure
  • need to ensure effective coordination of key stakeholders
  • agree on the evaluation criteria to assess success
  • subsequently evaluate the results of a transport initiative.

See previous articles on Addressing Transport Challenges

PS. Check out TFI Online Courses, in particular Addressing Transport Challenges, and also the Mobility Trends mini-course –both help you address transport challenges.

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