Procuring, Managing, and Evaluating the Performance of Contracted TMC Services
particularly if incentives are met, so the specifics should be developed carefully and with sufficient regard to budgetary considerations. Other types of incentives that could be used include contract length or scheduling adjustments.
Remember that performance measures need to have a purpose. Just because a TMC can collect data and create a measure doesn’t mean they should. If there is no reason for a measure; it simply becomes a reporting exercise that nobody pays attention to. Use a small set of meaningful measures as opposed to a larger, more cumbersome collection which neither the contractor can afford to support and which the TMC doesn’t use in the evaluation of contracted services.
Finally, the process and its implementation must be regularly reviewed. A TMC may want to refine their set of measures, refine incentives tied with the measures, or examine other aspects of the process. Using a pre-established periodic review allows the opportunity to examine the program, its impact, operations, and areas for potential improvements. Involving the contractors in the review process also provides increased transparency for both establishing and evaluating contracted services and also moves the contractors towards a partnership relationship.
Ensuring Quality in the Evaluation Process
Apart from the selection of appropriate measures, there are many other aspects of the performance measurement process that can contribute to its success when used for the evaluation of contracted services. Data collection and analysis procedures are an obvious and relatively self-explanatory aspect. However, beyond the data needs, understanding the ramifications of other components of performance measurement, such as sampling procedures and reporting periods, is critical to writing contractual requirements that accomplish exactly what the agency wishes. Other aspects of contracted services deal with the resolution to problems or associated risks, where contract language can also be critically important.
Understanding Sampling Procedures
The method of assessing the performance of various aspects of contracted services can vary significantly, depending on the type of service. An agency may want to look at the effectiveness of their maintenance contract or the quality of their courtesy patrol. Each of those evaluations will involve significantly different types of data and data sources. However, consistently collecting and analyzing all of the available data is typically a very expensive proposition. We can therefore use well-known sampling techniques to take a few measurements from a process and make statements about the behavior of that process. Understanding the fundamentals of how to sample the data to obtain insight into the contractor performance is a key aspect of any evaluation. A key aspect of any sampling strategy is a comparison to ensure that the sample is representative of the entire population. Without this check, results based on a sample may not be
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