7.2.2 Presenting agency performance against key result areas
The assessment of agency performance against the different key result areas identified in their asset strategies is an ongoing critical exercise in information dissemination to the community at both a network and project level. The key result areas of agency performance (TAC 2006) are usually broadly classified as follows:
- system condition and preservation
These key result areas are usually expressed in terms of individual KPIs which in practice are assessed by various types of measures that vary between jurisdictions. It was concluded by the TAC (2006) that no one measure, or set of measures, can be considered ‘best’ for all cases. In addition, benchmarking of one agency’s performance against another can be problematic (Austroads 2002b), although the reasons for measuring and reporting performance to the community are compelling in terms of maintaining and enhancing the public image of the road agency as a sound manager of the infrastructure.
TAC (2006) also concluded that outcome measures of performance should be included along with the designated KPIs where these outcomes relate to activities an agency undertakes in achieving its strategic goals. Consequently, both output and input measures that reflect the resources dedicated to, and products of the total needs program, can be included as part of the reported performance measures.
In providing performance measures of outputs at a network level to the community, these measures need to be relatively broad and summarised for major road links or strategic road lengths, otherwise an overwhelming amount of detail will be presented and a clear communication of agency performance will not be provided at this level. The transformation of the designated KPIs into broader and simpler measures is a specific task for each agency aimed at providing the community with the information it is entitled to know without requiring any special technical knowledge to understand the information. Usually road agencies use their annual report to provide this information. In other cases, road agencies may use special publications, media releases, social media and newsletters, which focus on the achievement of particular strategic goals, to provide this performance information.
At a project level, performance information provided to the community may need to be tailored to suit the specific nature of each project. In this context the usual KPIs may still need further transformation into easily understood measures, or ratings, that clearly and simply communicate the outcomes to the local community without them requiring any special technical knowledge to interpret them. Road agencies should use media focused on the local community to provide this performance information.