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How Do I Use INVEST to Score a Project?

This section describes the suggested process for scoring an agency's transportation system planning activities and utilizing INVEST as a sustainability resource.

Effectively using the Project Development (PD) module involves much more than answering a series of questions. The steps in this section outline a suggested approach for scoring a project. The process includes reviewing the PD criteria to determine which are relevant, gathering information about your program, and then scoring your project. INVEST should be seen as a resource to improve the incorporation of sustainability into ongoing projects as well as a tool to evaluate the performance of a completed projects.

The approach described is similar to the process followed during pilot testing with some modifications based on lessons learned. Note that to use the Score function of INVEST; the user must first login so their project information can be stored for future use and revision.

Suggested Approach for Using the Project Development Module

Step 1: Explore INVEST Criteria and Web-based Tool

The project owner should identify an appropriate transportation engineer or project manager to conduct and lead the INVEST self-evaluation process (referred to here as the project manager). This person should orient him/herself with INVEST and navigate through the INVEST website to familiarize him/herself with the content and tool prior to beginning the evaluation. It may be helpful to create a test project in order to navigate the score tab and practice scoring; to do this enter sample data in the project registration fields. Once comfortable with the tool, the project manager should register the project to be evaluated.

Step 2: Select a Scorecard and Find Relevant Criteria

Considering the location and type of project, select the scorecard that is most relevant to the project (see prior section on selecting a scorecard). Then, using the Browse tab to navigate through the criteria and find relevant criteria for the project. Each criterion contains a title, goal, point ranges, sustainability linkage (to the triple bottom line principles), brief description, scoring requirements, and scoring sources.

Initially, criteria should be evaluated to determine if they are applicable to the project. The project manager should identify criteria that may have been or potentially may be incorporated into the project. It is not expected that one project will meet all the sustainability criteria included in INVEST because the context of each project is unique and applying each criterion may not fit each project’s scope.

Step 3: Assemble a Cross-Discipline Scoring Team

Finding the relevant criteria in Step 2 will help the project manager begin Step 3. The project manager should now assemble a scoring team to conduct a scoring workshop. The team should be comprised of cross-discipline members who were actively involved in developing the project; who are generally knowledgeable about the environmental documentation completed or to be completed; and who are knowledgeable about the design elements included in the criteria identified in Step 2. The team members identified should be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Participate in a workshop discussion;
  2. Conduct the online web scoring;
  3. Summarize and record the team’s scoring interpretation and thought process; and
  4. Provide detailed knowledge of the agency’s transportation plans and programs as they relate to the Project Development module.

Additionally, participants in the pilot testing remarked that it may be useful to invite specific subject matter experts on the agency’s staff, as needed, to participate in the discussion and evaluation for some of the more complex criteria.


Next > What Does the Project Development Score Mean?