The six best practice essentials for success
Transport planners are facing the competing demands of delivering better mobility vs tightening budgets.
How can we as transport professionals meet these challenges?
The key is to employ best practice integrated transport planning. This entails using a systematic, sustained and accountable framework, that clearly addresses community (customer) needs.
So what are these best practice essentials?
1. Results Focus
A clear and accountable focus on results is the first essential requirement.
What are you really trying to achieve? What do ‘customers’ want?
When you have an answer to these questions then go and test with customers and key stakeholders. Be prepared to make changes.
Build on a consensus of the major challenges being faced and having a strategic direction will drive a series of progressive actions.
To get the best return on resources invested requires identifying where the greatest impact can be achieved with least effort – a 80:20 focus – delivering solutions to 20% of challenges returns 80% of the potential benefits.
A results focus can be as broad as a regional multi-modal integrated transport plan or as specific as a local interchange. These actions need to be achievable, challenging, cost-effective and ultimately acceptable to the public. Embedded in this process is a performance framework that ensures an ongoing monitoring of results against targets.
2. Policy Context
Having an established policy framework, a regional transport strategy, plan, legislation and/or regulations, defines the mandate, provides the scope of activities and sets targets for the future.
Without a mandated policy context there is a need to establish one – at the very least an agreement with delivery partners and key stakeholders.
The orchestration and alignment of deliverables by key partners is critical to success.
Effective integrated transport planning requires shared responsibility by key stakeholders, with the lead agent adopting a guiding, encouraging and catalytic role.
This requires accountable governance mechanisms between the lead agency and key delivery partners and regular coordination to enable agreed roles, coordinated actions, agreed funding, programs and accountability through regular reporting.
Having resources is obviously an essential for success. A sustainable funding basis, using accepted resource allocation processes to achieve the desired results is required. This means building a strong business case based on sound economic appraisal principles to demonstrate cost-effectiveness evidenced by research.
Sustained communication is essential, with key delivery partners and government, but also with the travelling public is vital to ensure shared responsibility for achieving the desired results.
Fostering key stakeholder professionals involvement from relevant partner agencies, is an important means of generating a shared vision of success.
6. Monitoring Outcomes
Systematic measurement of key outputs and outcomes against agreed targets is needed to achieve the desired focus on results. Publish results at regular intervals, for example in terms of mobility, safety and environmental impact to the community.
Evaluation of key initiatives, such as before and after studies, assessing what was achieved against the proposal, and at what cost, provides the basis for future investment.
What do you think are the essential success criteria for integrated transport?