'His recommendations will help us implement change and strengthen operations where necessary. It also affirms that ITD is a sound department that has an opportunity to become even better.'
– Transportation Board Chairman Frank Bruneel
The Idaho Transportation Department is a dynamic institution that functions in a constantly changing environment. It not only is appropriate, but imperative, that leaders assess the department’s strengths and weakness and respond accordingly, explains Board Chairman Frank Bruneel.
A report by former ITD Director Darrell Manning outlined organizational and management improvements that can improve the department’s efficiency and provide direction for the immediate and distant future. Manning presented the report to the Transportation Board July 21 in Coeur d’Alene.
“General Manning’s report offers us a chance to reflect on the things we do well and identifies areas in which we can improve,” Bruneel says. “ITD is in the process of considerable change, in terms of technology, project funding, staffing and budget. Change must be driven by and shaped by an objective performance evaluation, whether you’re operating a public agency or a private business.”
Manning interviewed more approximately 60 ITD employees or former employees to arrive at his roadmap for change. The process began before Bruneel was named chairman of the Transportation Board. But the new chair values the input and will consider the recommendations as steps toward improvement.
The report included specific measures ITD management can take to improve efficiencies and service. It included an analysis of the relationships between each of the six districts and Headquarters, encouragement to put employees into positions where they can be most productive and best use their talents, and consideration of creating new relationships with other state departments.
Better internal communication will create a positive environment for change to occur, Manning suggests. Improvement will help board members conduct meetings more effectively, will help management provide a strong sense of direction and help employees feel informed and empowered.
Manning recommends increased interaction among the director, managers and employees; expanding the employee recognition program; more strategic direction from the Transportation Board; addressing starting salaries for skilled positions; and enhanced training opportunities to keep up with the department’s needs.
His closing recommendations included:
“We appreciate General Manning’s dedication and thoroughness,” Bruneel said. “His recommendations will help us implement change and strengthen operations where necessary. It also affirms that ITD is a sound department that has an opportunity to become even better.”