Making Targets Matter: Managing Performance to Enhance Decision-Making

NCHRP Research Report 993: Managing Performance to Enhance Decision-Making: Making Targets Matter provides state departments of transportation (DOTs) guidance on the performance management process. This guide reveals important elements of the feedback process, examines the role of feedback within transportation agencies, and provides practitioners with concrete strategies for improving the feedback process. The guide includes illustrations which assist readers in visualizing major concepts and explaining the foundational aspects of improving feedback. This report should be of immediate use to practitioners responsible for target setting and performance reporting. Transportation agencies increasingly are adopting Transportation Performance Management (TPM) principles to ensure that good resource allocation decisions are made concerning system development and operations to produce the performance outcomes desired by the agency, its external partners, elected officials, and the public. A core element of TPM is defining performance targets that connect investment decisions to system results in a manner that is transparent to all stakeholders. Targets are used to assess progress toward achieving strategic goals, guide planning efforts, inform programmatic decisions and adjustments, and communicate with stakeholders. Target setting and performance reporting practices can help determine whether targets are being met, to communicate with stakeholders, and to help determine whether current funding levels are adequate. Despite progress in developing such resources, practitioners nevertheless lack adequate tools and methods for establishing an effective feedback loop between observed performance and agency performance management decisions. Under NCHRP Project 02-27 “Making Targets Matter: Managing Performance to Enhance Decision-Making”, High Street Consulting Group was asked to (1) assess the state of transportation agency practices regarding use of targets in transportation performance management (TPM); and (2) develop resources that agency practitioners can use to implement and maintain a process of monitoring performance and making management decisions. The team conducted a survey, peer exchange series, and interviews with over 150 practitioners to develop a guide on how feedback can be used to improve the performance management process. Final deliverables from this research include a guide, final report, technical memorandum providing recommendations for implementation, and a presentation of project results. These materials are available at: Phase II - Implementation is complete and produced the following deliverables including an addendum to NCHRP Research Report 993, Agency's final report documenting Phase II - Implementation, and the survey result from a peer exchange conducted under Phase II.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $530000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 02-27

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Harwood, Leslie

  • Performing Organizations:

    High Street Consulting Group

    6937 Blenheim Court
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  United States  15208
  • Principal Investigators:

    Crossett, Joe

  • Start Date: 20190211
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220630
  • Actual Completion Date: 20220630

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01669533
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 02-27
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 21 2018 9:20PM