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12-04 — Advances in Transportation Agency Knowledge Management

Over the next decade, transportation agencies will be faced with the challenge of losing a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge due to increased numbers of retirements of long-term employees and decreases in staffing levels. There is a renewed importance in mentoring and training staff and effectively documenting and transferring knowledge to a workforce that is more highly skilled at information retrieval and access. This scan seeks to learn best practices from agencies that have already begun to formalize their information sharing, coaching, and knowledge management processes to ensure that their staffs continue to maintain proficiency in providing high levels of service.

Scan Results and Report

Implementation and Impact

Following the scan workshop in November, 2013, the scan team worked at the state and national levels to advance the scan findings. Highlights of follow-up activities and outcomes:

  • The scan developed a significant amount of interest in knowledge management at state transportation agencies across the country. Several DOTs are applying the results of the scan, including the final report, to the development of knowledge management initiatives. John Halikowski and Frances Harrison provided a presentation to Utah DOT on the results of the scan. Utah DOT submitted the problem statement for the scan.
  • The scan team held a webinar giving an overview of the 12-04 on November 15, 2016, with 43 attendees.
  • The September-October 2016 issue of TR NewsApplying Knowledge Management, is informed by Scan 12-04 and includes articles on the implementation of scan findings written by scan team members John Halikowski, Maureen Hammer, Frances Harrison, and Leni Oman, as well as NCHRP Project 20-68A Senior Program Officer Andy Lemer.
  • WSDOT received a $750 thousand grant from the FHWA's Accelerating Innovation Deployment demonstration programfor a project titled “Deploying Practical Solutions with Lean Techniques and Knowledge Management.” Scan team member Leni Oman is the project manager, and the program has been informed by the results of 12-04. This project will be completed June 30, 2017.
  • The scan informed development of NCHRP Report 813: A Guide to Agency-Wide Knowledge Management for State Departments of Transportation, and the scan's final report was referenced in this Guide.
  • Two videos produced for the scan by Arizona DOT feature ADOT Director and 12-04 Chair John Halikowski. In the first video, he answers a number of interview questions about knowledge management and 12-04, including the scan's background, participants, and findings. In the second, he addresses a small group to discuss knowledge management and best practices for implementing it within organizations.
  • The TRB Task Force on Knowledge Management is chaired by scan team member Leni Oman. Its website includes knowledge management related news and resources.
  • AASHTO is initiating development of a Knowledge Management Committee.
  • WSDOT and MnDOT are piloting development of knowledge books using the Method to Analysis and Structure Knowledge (MASK). This method was introduced to the transportation sector through Scan 12-04.
  • Scan team members made 12-04 related presentations at: TRB Annual Meetings between 2014 and 2017; AASHTO RAC and HR subcommittee meetings; the MAASTO annual meeting; Utah DOT; their own departments of transportation; and at other state and regional meetings.

Scan team members continue to work closely within their own states and nationally to monitor needs and identify opportunities to communicate and implement advances in knowledge management.

  • Scan Members

    • John Halikowski, Arizona DOT, Scan Chair
    • Becky Burk, Maryland State Highway Administration
    • Lori Dabling, Utah DOT
    • Arthur "Turo" Dexter, FTA
    • Anne Ellis, Arizona DOT
    • Maureen Hammer, Virginia DOT
    • Carin Michel, FHWA
    • Leni Oman, Washington State DOT
    • Lee Wilkinson, Iowa DOT
    • Frances Harrison, Spy Pond Partners, Subject Matter Expert

    The prospectus above includes a membership roster with contact information.

    Workshop Participants

    This scan was held as a workshop in Baltimore, Md. from November 19 to November 22, 2013. In addition to the scan team, workshop participants included:

    • Accenture
    • Alaska DOT&PF
    • Alberta Ministry of Transportation
    • Federal Aviation Administration
    • Georgia DOT
    • Kansas DOT
    • Kent State University
    • Kraft Foods
    • Missouri DOT
    • National Aeornatics and Space Administration
    • Wisconsin DOT