How We Will Achieve Our Goals
Our objectives are ambitious; our operating environment and data collection are very decentralized; and our resources are limited. So we must become more efficient. We must streamline our processes and the make best use of information technology.
Moreover, since most transportation-related data are collected by others, we can accomplish our work only with their support. We can garner this support by establishing a more prominent role for BTS-one of natural leadership. Such a role requires us to:
- develop a reputation for excellence,
- provide value to our partners, and
- stimulate demand for our help.
Finally, in order to assess our effectiveness, we must measure progress toward our objectives. These must be put into measurable terms and tracked, and then we need to intervene if problems arise.
Our strategies are aimed at helping to leverage resources, establish a leadership role, and manage for results. Collectively, these strategies will enable us to carry out our mission and realize our vision.
To Build the Organization.
- Retain a staff of strong methodological experts in statistics and economics, and functional experts in all key areas of transportation, information technology, and geospatial information systems - to serve as consultants, to improve the quality of transportation data and analysis, and to guide all BTS contract efforts.
- Develop broad information technology (IT) expertise among all BTS staff to help identify opportunities for leveraging technology in our work. Ensure that all professional staff have some knowledge of database design and statistical tools.
- In coordination with RITA, continuously evaluate the internal functioning of BTS through an employee survey, assessment, and improvement. This would include assessing the work environment, generally, as it relates to the overall performance of BTS. Use the results of this evaluation to improve processes, then re-measure and repeat. Coordinate with other federal statistical agencies for potentially useful comparisons.
- Develop the learning environment to enhance professional development opportunities for the BTS workforce.
To Build the Programs.
- Expand our statistical research and data evaluation capability to better inform the design of surveys, the development of links across data sets, and the exploration of transportation indicators.
- Develop a transportation statistics discipline that is recognized for its quality by federal, academic, and private sector statistical communities - because we cannot do all analysis ourselves.
- Continually refine and market guidelines for good statistical practice. These guidelines should address the "life cycle" of our data (including collection, documentation, presentation, and interpretation) and the key attributes of our data as reflected in BTS' six strategic goals. We should also add substantially to the body of knowledge to help establish BTS' credibility with other statistical agencies.
- Lead the DOT effort in compiling, organizing, and analyzing system performance data for the DOT Performance and Accountability Report and in measuring progress against the department's strategic goals and objectives.
- Develop a set of key indicators for transportation that provide interesting and useful information to stakeholders.
- Focus resources and plans on meeting critical informational needs. Adapt our existing surveys and data collections where practical, or develop new data collections to meet the most pressing needs of our customers and stakeholders. Make it a priority to work with other administrations to identify gaps in data and determine how to fill these gaps.
- Advance the National Transportation Library by expanding the national network of libraries it created among the transportation libraries in the public, academic, professional, and private sectors, in order to increase timely access to the information that supports transportation policy, research, operations, and technology transfer activities.
- Advance our Geographic Information Systems to increase the accuracy and resolution of the data; expand the scope of data collection to represent all transportation infrastructure of national interest and all DOT-funded projects; and make linkages with related data easy. Coordinate geospatial activity throughout the Department.
- To work with the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that DOT activities and OMB requirements are met.
- Continually review to improve BTS products through user feedback.
To Build Relationships.
- Develop lines of communication and good, collaborative working relationships with other DOT offices-including both operating programs and data programs. This will help us keep in touch with the major issues others are facing and better understand their needs and constraints.
- Expand our outreach efforts to develop stronger relationships with our stakeholders-especially top policy and decision makers-and the media, and to improve the flow of feedback from users. Seek their advice on concepts, methods, data, and products, and integrate their advice into products and processes. Develop cross-functional teams for outreach.
- Find better ways of measuring customer satisfaction with BTS products and services. Seek OMB approval to measure customer satisfaction.
From this strategic plan we will develop an annual performance plan with detailed measures to gauge progress against the strategic objectives.