Typical strategic management strategies include:
Creating agency business plans to guide development and investment. Useful for addressing time, resource, expertise, coordination, and change challenges.
Establishing objectives and measures at the agency, business unit, and employee level and a tool to provide focus and guide improvements. Most valuable for coordination and change challenges.
Providing an integrated view of agency business process, data, application, and information technology infrastructure that will support the agency’s desired level of integration and standardization. Applicable to time, resource, coordination and change challenges.
Enterprise Risk Management
Instituting systematic practices to control uncertainty and variability on strategic objectives by managing risks at enterprise, program, project, and activity levels. Helpful for time, resource, coordination, and change challenges.
Forming the decision-making structures, roles, and responsibilities used to make enterprise level decisions within the agency business, information technology, and management programs. Very useful in addressing time, resource, coordination, and change challenges.
Strategic Management References
Below are key references available if a deeper understanding or application of strategic management is needed.
- NCHRP Report 331: Strategic Planning and Management Guideline for Transportation Agencies
- NCHRP Synthesis 326: Strategic Planning and Decision Making in State DOTs
- TCRP Synthesis 59: Strategic Planning and Management in Transit Agencies
- NCHRP Project 20-24(83): Alternative DOT Organizational Models for Delivering Service
- NCHRP Report 08-93: Managing Risk Across the Enterprise: A Guide for State DOTs
- NCDOT Research Report: Adapting a Culture for Performance Management at the Nevada DOT
- FHWA Noteworthy Practices: North Carolina Refining a Performance Management System
- Harvard Business Review Press: Enterprise Architecture as a Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution
Agency and IT strategic planning are useful to assess the current state of the organization and develop strategies to move forward, tracking progress towards a desired state.Agency Strategic Planning
Utilize agency strategic planning to understand the current situation and future outlook. Identify strategic issues to address, seek input from stakeholders, customers, and employees, and synthesize current strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Then create or update the agency’s mission, values, vision, goals, and objectives. Develop agency wide strategies to achieve the objectives and cascade these down to the Division and Program levels. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure progress and establish a schedule for monitoring and updating the plan. Communicate the plan across the agency.IT Strategic Planning
Develop an IT strategic plan following a similar process as described for agency strategic planning, building off of those outcomes. Assess the current state, identify issues and trends affecting future needs, and establish goals, objectives, and supporting strategies and tactics. The IT strategic plan should identify categories of investment needed to achieve objectives and provide guidance for project selection – it should not be a fixed project list. An IT strategic plan may also address workforce capacity building needed to successfully meet future needs.
Develop performance measures, targets, and management plans, and track and communicate KPIs indicating progress towards performance goals.Transportation Asset Management Plans
As a part of (or in addition to) creating federally required Transportation Asset Management Plans, agencies may establish a TAM policy or strategic to set priorities for investment, identify key infrastructure management and service delivery processes, define roles and responsibilities, and set direction for continuous improvement of TAM practices.Performance Dashboards
Create performance dashboard communicating KPIs that can be reasonably measured and tracked to provide a meaningful indication of progress towards agency strategic goals and plans. Consider using a balanced scorecard approach to include multiple perspectives on performance: financial, customer/stakeholder, internal process efficiency and quality, and organizational capacity, learning, and growth. Establish a desired reporting interval and put in place measurement and reporting processes. Acquire or build tools automating data processes, and provide online access. Communicate how and why the dashboard was created and how it should be used.
Clarify the desired level of business process integration and standardization across the agency (the Operating Model) and use this to drive identification of core business and supporting IT capabilities. Use these capabilities to guide prioritization and selection of strategic initiatives to strength the agency’s foundation for execution. Train and integrate architects within the project teams. Create models of as-is and to-be business capabilities, processes, data, applications and technology infrastructure to support transition from the current to desired future state.
Define responsibilities and processes for identifying, tracking, and mitigating risks at the agency, program, project, and activity levels. Use an established risk management framework (e.g. ISOP 31000) to establish standard risk management processes, including risk identification, risk analysis (identify root causes and assess likelihood and consequences), risk evaluation (ranking), taking appropriate action (mitigation, termination, acceptance, transfer, and communication and monitoring.
Establish agency decision-making bodies, roles, and responsibilities. Develop charters to ensure clear process and procedures for reaching consensus and mechanisms for escalation where consensus cannot be reached. Engage stakeholders to ensure informed participation and decision-making, and regularly evaluate decision-making authority to ensure it is meeting current agency needs and is aligned with strategic vision and enterprise architecture.