What are the key steps in managing transport outcomes?

In a constrained transport funding context, it is more and more important to be able to manage projects and programs to achieve the greatest impact and make efficient use of limited resources.

This requires us to identify and manage transport outcomes, do more with less, and ensure the greatest value for money.

At the whole of government level, the benefits or the outcomes are under three main categories: economy, society, environment – the triple bottom line.

Measuring benefits

For the transport system, we are measuring the benefits or outcomes that contribute to the whole of government or the community.

In economic terms, this relates to the efficient movement of people and goods to sustain economic development.

In social terms, this relates to issues such as providing a safe transport system and providing accessibility and mobility users.

Environmental impacts referred to reducing the impact of transport on the natural and built environment.

To achieve more with less requires consideration of the following key steps: an outcome orientation, policy options, the 80:20 rule, and managing for results.

1. Establish Outcome Orientation

The first step in performance management is to have clearly articulated the outcomes and objectives to measure performance against.

What this means is that a project or program delivers benefits or outcomes that are a government priority. This requires identifying the appropriate transport system outcome that a project is contributing to and not just the outputs or deliverables

It is critical to provide a line of sight through to the strategic objective of the agency and the whole of government that a policy initiative or project is responding to.

For example, a key transport objective is efficiently moving people and goods. It is also important to ensure that interventions result in safe, sustainable outcomes, with minimal environmental impact.

So how does your policy initiative or project further that objective?

2. Review Policy Options

The key to obtaining value for money is to identify different ways required outcomes can be delivered, i.e. a range of alternative solution options.

This requires us to be able to step back and look at a range of innovative solutions, think outside of the box about what is required and how it can be delivered in a cost-effective way.

3. Focus Priority: the 80:20 rule

A key concept that can be used here is the 80:20 rule, which means that roughly 20% of initiatives result in 80% of the benefits.

Identifying where to focus your effort and investment to deliver the greatest benefit for taxpayer funds – this enables you to achieve more with less.

4. Managing for Results

Having identified the key priorities to be achieved, ensure that the focus of the delivery and the results are aligned with the outcomes.

Provide a focus on managing for results, which requires identifying performance indicators and measures and regularly reporting progress.

Doing more with less is required as demands on the forward budget greatly exceed available funds. Developing an outcome orientation and making more effective use of scarce resources is a key requirement for today’s transport professionals.

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