The National Academies

NCHRP 23-31 [Pending]

Strategies to Foster the Implementation of Knowledge Management

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Contract Time: 24 months
Staff Responsibility: David M. Jared


State departments of transportation (DOTs) began to explore knowledge management (KM) in the early 2000s. Since then, several state DOTs and U.S. DOT administrations have implemented KM activities and programs. The transportation community has conducted several research projects that examined how other industries have adopted and implemented KM. Also, NCHRP and others have published reports on the value of KM, including NCHRP Report 813, A Guide to Agency-Wide Knowledge Management for State Departments of Transportation (https://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/173082.aspx).  

Despite substantial research on the use of KM in transportation, loss of institutional knowledge due to retirements and turnover, and other workforce changes, state DOTs have not widely adopted formal KM practices. Some state DOTs are trying to develop KM practices to capture this institutional knowledge quickly but need more resources and strategies for KM implementation. 

Research is needed to document the evolution of KM stewardship at state DOTs and insights into their successes and challenges in adopting and implementing KM. Strategies are needed to help state DOTs foster KM investment, development, and sustainability.


The objective of this research is to provide strategies and proven approaches to foster KM investment, development, and sustainability. The research shall, at minimum, (1) include a summary of the evolution of KM stewardship at state DOTs, and (2) identify and analyze successes and challenges state DOTs have encountered in adopting and implementing sustained KM programs. 



Task 1. Conduct a literature review. The review should focus on the history and evolution of KM stewardship within state DOTs since the early 2000s. As possible, the review should identify the state DOTs that have implemented KM and the units of these DOTs involved in KM stewardship.

Task 2. Develop a stakeholder outreach plan. The primary purpose of the outreach is to identify lessons learned from KM implementation, including challenges and obstacles, and specific factors that contributed to the success or demise of KM at state DOTs. Outreach should include, but not be limited to, KM experts and decision-makers with authority over KM programs within state DOTs. The plan shall be submitted to NCHRP for approval. NCHRP approval is required before work on subsequent tasks begins.

Task 3. Conduct stakeholder outreach. Collect input from stakeholders as outlined in Task 2 using digital and/or in-person methods. Identify stakeholders interested in participating in a practitioner workshop in a later task. 

Task 4. Submit an interim report. The report shall summarize findings from Tasks 1 to 3. The report shall also include recommendations for strategy development in Phase II. Findings from the report shall be presented to NCHRP at an in-person meeting. Travel expenses for panel members are covered by NCHRP. NCHRP approval of the report is required before work on subsequent tasks may begin.  


Task 5. Develop draft strategies. The strategies should be suited to state DOT capabilities, inclusive of lessons learned, and structured to advance KM investment, development, and sustainability within state DOTs. NCHRP approval of the developed draft strategies is required before work on subsequent tasks may begin.

Task 6. Conduct an online workshop for practitioners. Host the workshop for practitioners to evaluate the draft strategies. In addition to state DOTs, encourage participation by AASHTO/TRB committees, industry, and academia, especially by those involved in state DOT KM programs. Refine strategies per input obtained from the workshop. Submit a technical memorandum on workshop findings and any proposed revisions to the strategies for NCHRP approval.

Task 7. Submit draft final deliverables. Deliverables shall include (1) conduct of research report summarizing the research effort, (2) strategies finalized in Task 6, (3) an implementation plan, and (4) a slide summary of the research.


STATUS: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP.  The project panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work. 

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