The objectives of this research were to (1) describe emerging issues and societal and technological trends likely to influence the ability of DOTs and other government transportation agencies to develop and maintain the essential capabilities they need to fulfill their missions; (2) engage senior agency leadership and others in discussion of the leadership challenges these issues and trends represent; and (3) provide guidance on strategies agencies may pursue—for example through active management of their workforces and knowledge bases—to understand and meet these challenges.
The research--bridging knowledge management and workforce development issues--was conducted in several phases. In Phase 1 the research team used a review of literature and interviews with organizational psychology and human resources experts to gain insights on workforce trends, capabilities building, and organization management strategies and then develop an initial capability analysis framework for characterizing and assessing transportation agency capabilities and identifying and evaluating management strategies for developing and maintaining organizational capabilities. The team conducted organizational capabilities workshops in conjunction with the four AASHTO regional meetings in the summer of 2017, to solicit comment on the initial agency capability analysis framework and insights into what characteristics of the project's research products would be most useful to DOTs, considering trends likely to have impact on state transportation agency business activities in the future, current agency organizational capabilities, and management strategies for developing and maintaining organizational capabilities.
Phase 2 and 3 commenced in Fall 2018. The products of these phases were (1) guidance on strategies agencies may pursue to develop and maintain the essential capabilities they need to fulfill their missions and (2) initiation of a community of interest, agency professionals engaged in development of the guidance and prepared to disseminate and use the guidance for their agencies' benefit. The products were delivered to AASHTO to be made available on that organization's members-information portals.