TRACS Best Practice Guidelines and FAQs
Performance Matrix Key Terms and Concepts
The Matrix Toolbox
The Matrix Toolbox contains resources and tools to help users translate objectives into a TRACS-ready format. The TRACS Working Group, comprised of 29 state and federal representatives from all regions and programs, developed the Performance Matrix to standardize performance metrics. The Matrix Toolbox contains the Performance Matrix, Objective Builder Tool and strategy fact sheets, which all contain the same information and can be used interchangeably. These documents are periodically updated so access the latest version on the TRACS Resources and Jobs Aids page.
- Performance Matrix: The Performance Matrix lists the standardized strategies, objectives and activities that meet grant requirements. Click Ctrl + F to search these documents by keyword. The Performance Matrix is available for download in a PDF or Excel version.
- Objective Builder Tool: The Objective Builder Tool is a guided "build your objective" drill down. It must be accessed from the WSFR Training Portal since it is not available for download.
- Strategy Fact Sheets: The Strategy Fact Sheets are helpful reference guides for each of strategy, available for download as a PDF and as a bundle of PDFs.
A strategy is a high-level category that is used to define the type of work. Each Strategy has one or more standard objectives, which include a unit of measure, a target date and one or more activity tags that further define the objective. For some activities, the system asks for the target species or target habitat type(s), real property and/or facilities information.
All of the activities funded by WSFR grants are organized by 14 Strategies listed below:
- Coordination and Administration
- Direct Habitat and Species Management
- Environmental Review
- Facilities and Areas Construction, Renovation or Acquisition
- Facilities and Areas O&M
- Outreach and Communications
- Real Property Acquisition
- Research, Survey, Data Collection and Analysis
- Species Stocking
- Stakeholder Involvement
- Technical Assistance
- Training and Education
Objectives state the desired outcomes of the project and are meant to be realistic targets or benchmarks that, if achieved, will resolve the need.
The goal is to set up objectives for your grant that are standardized, specific and quantified. To help with the development of SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound) refer to the performance matrix and strategy fact sheets. These documents provide details on each strategy, including the standardized objectives tied to the strategy and the recommended format for the objective title.
- The format of the standard objective title in TRACS is “Action verb + unit of measure + target date.”, e.g. “Stock 10 million fish by Dec. 31, 2021.” Refer to the Matrix and Strategy Fact Sheets for the preferred written format for each objective.
Activity Tag 1 and 2
An activity further describes the objective. For each standard objective, a user must select one or more activity tags. Activity “tags” describe the level, such as activity tag level 1 and level 2, with level 2 being more specific.
Some activities also have additional requirements in the project statement and for reporting, such as identifying target habitat(s), target species, facilities and/or real property records.