About three years ago, Lori Dabling, then-State Project Manager at UDOT and now retired, submitted a unique and timely proposal for the AASHTO Domestic Scan Program. The proposal indicated a need, based on an expected increase in the number of retirees and a decrease in workforce size over the next decade, to speed up how state DOTs transfer knowledge to a technology-savvy workforce. The result was Scan 12-04, “Advances in Transportation Agency Knowledge Management,” funded under NCHRP Project 20-68A. Lori Dabling participated with other Knowledge Management (KM) experts on the scan team.
The scan report is now available online. As stated in the report, the purpose of the scan was to “identify and document successful KM practices…and identify additional needs to advance KM in transportation agencies.” The report has several great examples of KM practices and implementation strategies. It also notes that KM programs can involve both tacit knowledge that is difficult to document and explicit knowledge that has been codified.
With the recent completion of the scan, UDOT and other state DOTs are continuing to benefit from the results of the scan. This past August three members of the KM scan team visited UDOT and presented key results and strategies to interested UDOT leaders and staff.
The visiting scan team members included John Halikowski (Arizona DOT Director), Anne Ellis (Arizona DOT Assistant Deputy Director), and Frances Harrison (Spy Pond Partners). Approximately 40 UDOT leaders and staff attended between the two presentations given by the scan team. The presentation to leaders included discussion of the KM value proposition. Mr. Halikowski emphasized that KM processes can enable a state DOT to “act as intelligently as possible as an organization” and recommended prioritizing KM efforts to align with a state DOT’s top organizational needs. Ms. Harrison provided highlights to leaders and staff about public and private-sector organizations which are having great success with KM practices, including Kraft Foods and some state DOTs such as Virginia DOT.
We look forward to hearing and sharing more success stories about KM techniques being implemented within UDOT. The scan report and strategies described in it will certainly become valuable resources for us all in this process.
This guest post was written by David Stevens, P.E., UDOT Research Program Manager, as was originally published in the Research Newsletter.