The National Academies

NCHRP 20-44(02) [Active]

Implementation of the AASHTO Guide for Enterprise Risk Management
[ NCHRP 20-44 (Moving Research into Practice ) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Staff Responsibility: Ann M. Hartell
Research Agency: StarIsis
Principal Investigator: Ms. Shobna Varma
Effective Date: 4/2/2018
Completion Date: 4/1/2020

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide for Enterprise Risk Management (the Guide) explains how state departments of transportation (DOTs) can establish and benefit from an enterprise risk management program. The Guide defines enterprise risk management as “the formal and systematic effort to control uncertainty and variability on an organization’s strategic objectives by managing risks at all levels of the organization.” The Guide explains how the managing of risk at the enterprise level provides agencies with new insights and management and analysis tools designed to increase the likelihood of achieving strategic objectives, thus complementing related management tools such as strategic planning and performance management. The Guide describes how to manage risks at four levels: enterprise, program, project, and activity. It also includes extensive summaries of how risk management is being successfully applied nationally and internationally to typical transportation program areas. Although the Guide is quite extensive, without implementation assistance its full potential may not be realized by state DOTs for many years.
The Guide is available from the AASHTO Bookstore:
The Guide was produced under NCHRP Project 08-93, “Managing Risk Across the Enterprise: A Guide for State Departments of Transportation.” More information is available at the NCHRP project web page:


The objective of this project is to develop and execute a dissemination and implementation plan to create awareness of the Guide, and facilitate successful implementation of enterprise risk management by state DOTs. For purposes of this project, “successful implementation” is the documented adoption and use of the research products presented in the Guide by practitioners within at least three state DOTs.

NCHRP anticipates that a dissemination and implementation plan generally will specify (a) a well-defined strategy for dissemination and application of the research results, (b) immediate actions to be completed as a part of the current project, and (c) longer-term actions that may be taken following the completion of this project. The plan shall include at least the following components:
  1. Identification of individuals from state DOTs who will participate in the project as early implementers of the Guide; these individuals will partner with the contractor team, the project panel, and other relevant stakeholders to form an implementation team;
  2. Description of the audience(s) or "market(s)" for the Guide and a value proposition that clearly articulates the benefits of implementing the results;
  3. Realistic assessment of impediments and drivers (i.e., Competency, Organization, and Leadership Drivers as described in "NCHRP Active Implementation" available at:  http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf) to successful implementation of the enterprise risk management approach presented in the Guide;
  4. Targeted activities to achieve the project objective, such as demonstration or pilot projects in host agencies, regional workshops, peer exchanges, development of promotional materials, or the creation and cultivation of a “community of practice” for enterprise risk management.
The immediate and longer-term action components of the plan should be detailed (e.g., number of workshops, participants, pilot projects, presentations, etc.), and explicit regarding the purpose, anticipated outcomes, and responsibilities of the members of the implementation team.  
NCHRP intends that individuals from at least three state DOTs will participate in the project. The NCHRP Project 20-44(02) panel has identified individuals from several state DOTs who have indicated interest in spearheading their agency’s participation in this project. The panel will work with the contractor to select participating agencies. The contractor shall be responsible for recruiting implementation team members and ensuring that they agree to their responsibilities, which may continue beyond the contract period of the project.  
These individuals will constitute a core community focused on enterprise risk management. Establishing this community will require exchanges (e.g., electronic, by telephone, and/or in-person) among implementation team members within each participating state DOT as well as exchanges across the participating states. Activities designed to expand the community to include additional states may also be planned, and these activities may be scheduled in tandem with appropriate meetings (e.g., conferences or AASHTO meetings).

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