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NHTSA Strategic Planning


Week 3


Introduction .1

Case Study: NHTSA .2

Conclusion .3


NHTSA Strategic Planning
Introduction .1

Strategic planning refers to formulation of policies which facilitate in shaping the

direction for achieving corporate goals. Literature contains numerous definitions of
strategic planning. Grant (2003) has contributed in reviewing strategic planning in the
realms from “long range planning” to the contemporary discussion between “strategic
.”management” and “strategic thinking

’Strategy and performance measurement

According to Neely (1999), the evolution of performance measurement has undergone

an extensive investigation and discussion. As per Ittner and Larcker (2003)
performance measurement is undertaken to

Facilitate distribution of resources•

Analyze and reflect progression towards the goals•
.Analyze the performance of managers•

In the context of performance measurement, Neely et al. (1994) argue that it

reflects performance standards of each employee for managerial review•

highlights the return over investment•
facilitates direction of achieving individual goals•
Keeps a check on the performance of the business by ensuring corporate•
.management intervenes if the business goes off track

Dyson (2000) and, McAdam and Bailie (2002) claim, the literature unveils the
significance of aligning the organizational strategies with their performance
.evaluation systems

Case Study: NHTSA .2

NHTSA Strategic Planning

Since 1992, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has
ensured strategic planning and was known as a “Government Performance and
Results Act” pilot agency. NHSTA’s first plan was disclosed in Nov, 1994 which has
come up with the 3 plans under performance arena and two reports on performance.
The aim of this study is to stress the significance of planning and implementation of
.the Governments’ pilot act at NHTSA

Strategic Plan and Strategic Execution Plan Development

The Process

It was in January 1992 when the planning process took off following the formation“
of separate department for strategic planning. Prior to this, the strategic planning was
at the embryonic stage in the Transportation division that originated from the National
Transportation Policy (NTP)”. It was stated by NTP that DOT would “put in place
formal and lasting mechanisms to ensure that the strategic planning perspective is
integrated into the legislative, budgetary, and regulatory planning and decision
making within each modal administration at DOT, and also across the individual

When the NHSTA initiated its strategic planning process, the seeds of this kind of
planning were already growing in the Federal Aviation Administration and the
Federal Highway Administration. The commencement of strategic planning at FAA
took place in 1987, finally concluding into the first publication containing the details
of the place in August 1990. It was between Dec, 1990 and May, 1992 when the
.evolution of first strategic plan at FHWA took place

As a part of the initiation at NHSTA, there occurred numerous rounds of discussions

with the experts. This path was considered to be the most optimistic to be followed
under the given circumstances of motor cycle safety problems. The scenario
development process undertaken as the premises for the plan facilitated handling
.various sorts of problems

The Plans

NHTSA Strategic Planning
To clearly reflect upon the mission and vision of the strategic planning, 11 goals and
41 objectives were formulated to realize the prime aim. These were considered to be
.the initiation forces for the agency for ten years to follow

The main goals of NHSTA as a part of its mission is the prevention of accidents, loss
of lives and minimize economic costs related to health care. As a part of the vision
.statement, the prime aim is to create the highest level of road safety

The following targets are a part of the NHSTA Strategic Plan. “While most of them
assist in achieving agency’s outcome goals (OG), some are referred as intermediate
goals which aim to minimize the occurrence of crashes (RO), to minimize the impact
of crashes (RC), and assist in imparting quality services to the customers (SC).
.”Remaining are known as program support (PS) to realize the outcome goals

The GPRA and Performance Measurement at NHTSA

The Process

When NHSTA was chosen as the first strategic planning act, the papers on strategic
planning were issued, the comments of the SP Federal Register were reviewed, and
second SP contractor formulated the executive retreats to frame the plan. The director
of this plan initiated the preparation of annual performance of the plan for the year
.1994, to be submitted to OMB in 1995

A list of measures was already drafted by the agency with some addressing the
outcome and others were program goals. The aim of reducing accidental situations
due to alcoholic consumption to 43% by 1997 serves as an example for the former
while the goal of agency to enforce helmet laws by 1994 in 44 states forms the
example of the latter. It was imperative that the measures drafted were modified in
accordance with the changes and needed to be arranged in the manner as to ensure
their alignment with the outcome of the program. The director of the project worked
in close association with the officers in order to frame and modify the measures for

NHTSA Strategic Planning
the strategic planning. Since the commencement, the SPD organized and clearly
.expressed the implementation of the GPRA pilot phase

Lessons Learned

In the course of invention, NHSTA has received many useful feedbacks for
improvement. The initiatives of the management have faced a tough resistance.
However, with the time and greater participation of employees and customers the
level of resistance has witnessed a significant reduction. In line with the previous
discussion, it is inevitable to ensure integration of the initiatives of management with
the Strategic Planning used as a premise for the same. In order to ensure the latter,
centralization of responsibilities play a lead role in realizing the aim of integration.
Thus, NHSTA’s Office of Plans and Policy worked as a centralized body leading the
.Strategic Planning Process

Another lacuna in the formulation of the agency’s plan lies in its non-hierarchical
structure with the goals remaining unorganized while the GPRA plan calls for a
hierarchical structure with the goals and activities arranged in a hierarchical fashion
and thus producing intermediate outputs. This may be used as an example for
.formulating other programs aiming at the development of GPRA strategic planning

Conclusion .3

Evaluation of performance is discovered to be one amongst the four significant factors

which form the basis for contemporary strategic planning. The analysis of the former
unveiled its inevitability in inspiring the firm in achieving its strategic goals and
providing greater efficiency to the process of strategic planning. While this holds true,
it did not have an influence in the shaping the strategic planning into a successful


Dyson, R.G. (2000), “Strategy, performance and operational research”,.1

.Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 51, pp. 5-11

NHTSA Strategic Planning

Grant, R.M. (2003), “Strategic planning in a turbulent environment: evidences.2

\.from oil majors”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 491-517

Ittner, C.D. and Larcker, D.F. (2003), “Coming up short on nonfinancial.3

performance measurement”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 81 No. 1, pp. 88-

Neely, A. (1999), “The performance measurement revolution: why now and.4

what next?”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management,
.Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 205-28