Stage 1: Aims and Objectives

Strategic Actions associated with this stage. Through this stage all the different users needs for the pilot will be identified. These will be used to determine clear aims and objectives and the overall scope for the pilot. The identification, initial communication, liaison and consultation with the various stakeholders associated with the innovation will be established. Options for the preferred procurement method and risk identification and mitigation would also be considered. At the completion of Stage 1 consideration must be given to the ongoing attainability of piloting the innovation. This will be summarised within the outline business case confirming the preferred way forward. The extent and depth of this review will be appropriate for the scale of the innovation under consideration. The review should demonstrate that the overall aims and scope of the pilot have been clearly defined and that these are attainable within the agreed financial and other limits identified within the feasibility study. Typical outputs that might be expected from this stage. Stage 0 Stage 5 Stage 2 Yes No

Step 1.1 - Determine Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives Stage 1 of the pilot progresses following the successful review of the feasibility Stage 0.

Obtaining and recording a clear understanding of the requirements of all the various users for an innovation is the essential first step in the development of a pilot. It is important to appreciate that the term ‘users’ is used collectively to encompass all those potentially impacted by the pilot, including those directly using or influenced by the innovation and other decision makers and stakeholders.

In this context users could include network managers, system or service managers, drivers, passengers, commercial drivers, fleet operators, police and emergency services, HA traffic officers, freight operators etc. Decision makers could include a range of local and national government departments or agencies, system providers etc. It is also necessary to take account of other stakeholders needs including for example, local residents who may not use the HA network but may be affected by a pilot.

Through the identification of these user needs the pilot’s aims and objectives and its scope can be clearly defined, i.e. what is and equally importantly what is not, included within the scope of the pilot. From the consultation process and workshop [HA 2006A] a major concern with delivering pilots has been the expansion of its scope with consequent impact upon timescales, costs and outputs. Whilst there may be understandable reasons for the modification of a pilot’s initial scope and objectives, any changes particularly those from the initial feasibility stage, must be fully justified and their implications reviewed and confirmed.

It is against the aims and objectives that the success of a pilot will be ultimately determined and assessed. The development and agreement of these, particularly for a larger pilot, is likely to include representatives from each of the HA directorates.

The process of collecting and applying user information through, for example, interviews, group discussions etc., will:

An essential element of the user needs analysis is due consideration of the overall strategy and vision of the HA in developing services to deliver safe roads, reliable journeys and more informed travellers.

The European Commission: ‘Guidebook for User Needs Analysis’ [EC 1998A] , through the use of a framework and checklist, ensures that the essential elements of a user needs analysis are covered. The guidebook is particularly useful for HA practitioners involved in the delivery of pilots as it provides definitions, principles, guidelines and methods for user needs analysis and these are supplemented by case studies. This guidebook will support user needs analysis activities from the outset of a pilot and ensure consistency across the range of HA pilots.

In an ideal situation any pilot design would start with the user and their needs however it is more likely to start from either:

When developing a pilot’s objectives these should always be defined to be SMART; that is to say:

In determining objectives for an HA pilot, it is useful to have appropriate cross directorate input and to include specialists who can provide advice on the likely measurability of a specific outcome. Workshops have proved an effective way in the past in establishing HA pilot objectives. The Highways Agency ‘M1 Junctions 6A-10 Improvement Works - Proposed Pilot HOV Lane’ [HA 2006E] provides a good example of a pilot for which clear objectives have been established at an early stage.