Strategies for Measuring Success

9:50 AM - 11:15 AM

Balcony A

How do agencies define successful outcomes? Developing, tracking, and reporting outcomes for agency performance is an important aspect of R&D resource management and improvement. The session will identify best practices for setting goals and performance measures at all levels; identify techniques for working with qualitative and quantitative measures; how to overcome barriers to aligning performance measures with strategic goals; and identify evidence needed for assessing outcomes.


Santiago Navarro,


will highlight how DOT reviewed, developed, and implemented new guidance for its R&D programs to align its research budget with technology transfer/deployment and evaluations, along with key performance indicators that support strategic goals.

[presenter materials]

Marina Volkov,


will discuss will discuss ongoing efforts at NIH to better capture the outcomes of NIH-funded biomedical research.

[presenter materials]

Tim Watkins,


will discuss the EPA Office of Research and Development’s efforts to develop and implement a strategic measure for it research programs. The US EPA’s Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 includes organizational goals, objectives and strategic measures. EPA’s Lean Management System is focused on achieving these goals, objectives, and measures.

[presenter materials]

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some examples of meaningful performance measures or strategies used to improve operations? Briefly describe how your agency actively uses this information to drive internal decision-making?
  • How do R&D missions fit within the larger goals of the agency and what are the implications for developing performance measures?
  • How do you best align long-term goals and outcomes with short-term variations in agency priorities and leadership change? What are the barriers and solutions to do this effectively?
  • Performing or sponsoring Technology Transfer/Deployment activities and program evaluations require dedicated funds. How can you align them with research budgets and get everyone to agree? Does it apply to intramural, extramural, or both? Agencies have strategic plans, goals, and objectives in place. What are some strategies that lead to desired behaviors across the organization, and how do you know – what processes do you have in place for assessing efficacy?
  • How have you developed and implemented agency-wide performance measures? How were the challenges addressed, and how does your agency use the data to make investment decisions or improve operations?