California Department of Transportation

Project Management

1995 Performance Report



A.  Background

In February 1994 SRI International issued its final report Evaluation of the Organizational Structure and Management Practices of the California Department of Transportation. It recommended that the Department embark on an effort to develop appropriate performance measures that could be used for regularly tracking achieved performance against targets. We embraced the recommendation and began the process of developing an effective performance measurement system during calendar year 1995. However, we determined early on that developing measures for the sake of measurements was not adequate. We needed to focus on using performance measurement tools to measure results of high level priorities identified in our strategic plan and of significance to external parties.

Our plan is to have a three-tiered system of measures consisting of:

1.A limited number of corporate measures that focus on the overall health of transportation in California.


2.Program measures that focus on the health of each of the Department's programs. The measures identified in this report for capital support are at this second level.

3.Operational measures at the point where delivery of a product or service occurs.

While we have made significant progress on a measurement system and have developed a number of good program and operational measures, we are not yet done. We continue to refine the measurement process as well as the measures themselves. We intend to complete this effort by the end of the 1995-96 Fiscal Year. SRI recognized the challenge in developing appropriate measures when it said "we anticipate that in the first couple of years, the set of measures will change somewhat as individual measures and ratios are found to not provide the expected incentives or information." They described this as a "trial-and-error stage." We concur with these statements and expect to make adjustments as necessary to develop good measures that can be used to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of our operations.

Our plan to roll out performance measures also entails linkage of performance measures with other key initiatives and products in the organization such as strategic planning, budget development and legislative proposals. We will also focus on the development of reporting systems that will help us communicate results both internally and externally.

Legislative Requirement

This report responds to item 2660-001-042 of the supplemental report language to the 1995 Budget Act, which reads:

Caltrans shall, by December 1, 1995, provide a report to the Legislature that proposes and evaluates performance measures for all major capital outlay support functions, including project studies, project development, right-of-way acquisition, and construction oversight. The department shall propose measures that (1) provide an accurate measure of annual efficiency, as well as (2) provide a consistent basis for year-to-year comparisons, and (3) evaluate both the department's cost and its timeliness in completing work. Furthermore, the department shall demonstrate that each measure that it proposes can be accurately generated from the department's existing or planned information systems.

Summary of Proposed Measures

  Capital Support in Context
Major Projects
Project Development Construction
Quality     1 1
Time Growth   2 1 3
Capital Cost Growth   1 2 3
Capital Delivery   1   1
Support Cost 2 1 1 4
Total 2 5 5 12

The following section provides detailed descriptions of the measures.

Although Capital Support has many parts, the most significant of these is Major State Program Projects. Most Capital Support effort is expended on these projects. The program measures therefore focus on them because they are the area in which performance measures offer the greatest potential benefit.

We propose twelve program performance measures for Capital Support. The breakdown for these measures are as follow:

B.  Proposed program Performance Measures for Capital Support

1.Capital Support in Context

a."Pie" Charts showing program context

i.PY and dollar expenditures for:

The Department's four programs.

The elements of the Highways program.

The parts of Capital Support.

These would be expressed as percentages using 'pie' charts.

System Needs: Data is available from the Transportation Accounting and Management System (TRAMS).

b.Capital Support as a percentage of Capital Outlay

ii.Total Capital Support (See footnote 1) expenditures in a particular year as a percentage of the total Capital Outlay (See footnote 2) expenditures in that year. Both Capital Support and Capital Outlay would exclude expenditures on Locally Funded State Highway Projects (See footnote 3). Capital Support would also exclude Owner-Operator expenditures (See footnote 4).

This gives an approximate relationship between support costs and capital costs. This relationship should not be considered alone. Most capital projects take several years to develop. As a result, most current capital support effort is committed to projects for which there has not yet been any capital outlay.

System Needs: Data is available from TRAMS.

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