What does WSDOT see when it looks in the mirror?

By guest blogger Joe Irwin

Our performance publication. Think of it as our quarterly look in a full-body mirror.
Sometimes everything goes great and we look like we just completed a 90-day routine with a Hollywood trainer. Other times, well, it’s not always that pretty, because in the end everything’s out there. Everything shows. And if our abs are fab but our arms have flab, well that shows too. We work hard so it doesn’t, but unfortunately, it happens. When it does, we know we have to work even harder to get our programs and the delivery of our projects back in shape.

We can also determine what’s working and use these lessons learned to help move the agency toward what the taxpayers really expect of us: absolute perfection.

Lofty? Yes. Unattainable? Maybe. But something we shoot for nonetheless.

Our quarterly performance publication goes beyond that of a typical report. It’s meant to be used as a tool of sorts – a map to help show where we’ve been, how we got there and the best path to get to our destinations.

In order to do this well, the tool has to be refashioned from time to time.
In the 50th edition, we slimmed down considerably to 54 pages (from about 90 or so), making it more approachable than say a report the size of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

We provided performance information on subjects at the beginning of articles through “Notable Results” and results-focused introductions. We also used analogies to better inform readers why the information might be important to them. We expanded the use of infographics and added performance highlights to give vital information in the briefest format possible to folks who want to know, but are on the go.

Our publication sets extremely high standards for transportation performance reports, but we’re raising the bar even higher as we continue our efforts to improve. Find out more about WSDOT’s accountability efforts and performance reporting at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/accountability/.