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2018 Francis B Francois Award

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Francis B. Francois Award Guidelines

 Basic Information:

  • The innovation must be something worthwhile that establishes, increases, or enhances value to the public or the transportation industry.
  • If your State has more than one application, conduct a review and submit the best choice.
  • Read through all instructions for the award.  

Specific Information and Help:

  • Your Application will not be scored without the senior leader’s name and title.  We want to ensure that the agency head is aware of the nomination. 

Help on the questions:
1.    Describe the innovation (define the problem, why this innovation was pursued and what made it innovative):

In this area, define what the problem was that got you thinking about an innovative solution.  If you believe your innovation is not related to a problem, we recommend using some type of root cause analysis tool to identify a cause.  Turn the cause into a problem statement.  

Explain the potential solutions to the problem you identified.  Explain why you opted to use the innovative approach rather than one or more of the other options for solution. Be sure to link your narrative to something worthwhile for the public.  

 Explain what it was that made your application topic innovative.  Be sure your narrative does not lead a reader into thinking that the innovation was just an improvement.  New ideas score higher.  

 2.    How was the innovation shared?

In this area be specific about how the innovation was shared.  Explain the communication method used.  We are interested in how deep into the industry you have shared your innovation.  Be sure to mention what you did to share the innovation.  Be sure to include things like: being published in a trade journal, Standing Committee Newsletter, Conference presentation, State level presentation, scanning tours, etc.

3.    Describe the solution or approach to solving this problem:

In this area we are looking for information about how you determined how to solve the problem. Be sure to include any problem-solving tool used (brainstorming, cause and effect diagram, fault tree analysis, etc.).  Be sure to include the solution and any alternates you considered.  

 4.    Describe the implementation of the innovation used in solving the problem: 

Briefly explain what you did to implement the innovation.  A basic plan-do-study-act approach works well.  We want to avoid throwing a possible solution out for implementation without knowing the risks of failure.  Success should be planned.  This area is used to explain how you planned to do something for the good of the public, by implementing your innovation.

5.    What were the results?

We have selected three key areas for you to report:

1. The first area to report results is cost. We selected cost as the first area because cost is emerging as a serious influence in future Transportation related activities. There are numerous costs reporting options.  Some approaches to reporting cost follow:

Benefit – Cost Analysis

  • Identify the benefits of the innovation
  • Express the benefits in a dollar amount (Label as B)
  • Identify the innovation cost factors
  • Express the costs factors in dollar amounts (Label as C)
  • Calculate the net gain or loss by subtracting C from B (B – C = X)
  • Report your findings.

Benefit Ratio

  • Identify the benefits of the innovation
  • Express the benefits in a dollar amount (Label as B)
  • Identify the innovation cost factors
  • Express the costs factors in dollar amounts (Label as C) • Calculate the ratio by dividing 
  • Report your findings.

There are many situations that will generate costs worth reporting.  Some suggested areas follow:

  • Scrap                                            
  • Overtime 
  • Re-work                                       
  • Material costs
  • Labor costs                                   
  • Contract cost
  • Average hourly cost
  • Prevention costs to include activities s done to prevent poor quality in a product or service
  • Appraisal costs to include activities specifically done to measure, assess, inspect, or audit
  • Failure costs to include bad products, unusable material, rework or mistakes.

2.      The second area to report results is time. Every activity takes time.  We recommend collecting the amount of time related to your innovation prior to your worthwhile act, then after the implementation.  Comparing the two measurements will yield time data.  Do not report timesaving, and then use the same data for cost savings.  If you turn time into cost savings, use the data in one area for results.

3.      The third area to report results is quality.  The user (customer) determines quality through specific measurable expectations.  There are many different interpretations of what a quality measure could be.  Your problem statement may identify a quality attribute worth measuring.