Operations Performance Measurement Program
photos of traffic merging on a multi-level freeway interchange, traffic near a construction zone, variable message sign, train at a crossing, traffic on a river bridge, and a rural highway
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Performance Measurement Fundamentals

Performance measurement is the use of statistical evidence to determine progress toward specific defined organizational objectives. This includes both evidence of actual fact, such as measurement of pavement surface smoothness, and measurement of customer perception such as would be accomplished through a customer satisfaction survey. In a service industry such as transportation, the performance measurement process starts by defining precisely the services that the organization promises to provide, including the quality or level of service (e.g. timeliness, reliability, etc.) that is to be delivered. The performance measurement process starts by defining the services that the organization promises to provide. There are often good opportunities for collecting feedback from system users in "real time," since the transportation service is often "consumed" at the same time it is "produced." Performance measures provide information to managers about how well that bundle of services is being provided. Performance measures should reflect the satisfaction of the transportation service user, in addition to those concerns of the system owner or operator. (Source: NCHRP Project 8-32(02), Multimodal Transportation: Performance-Based Planning Process, 1998)

The National Performance Review provides a complimentary definition of performance measurement:

"A process of assessing progress toward achieving predetermined goals, including information on the efficiency with which resources are transformed into goods and services (outputs), the quality of those outputs (how well they are delivered to clients and the extent to which clients are satisfied) and outcomes (the results of a program activity compared to its intended purpose), and the effectiveness of government operations in terms of their specific contributions to program objectives."

Additional Fundamentals

View Relevant Resources and Publications for more information and resources on performance measurement.

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