6
Implementation of SHRP 2
Principles and Key Strategies

This chapter articulates principles and key strategies for the implementation of SHRP 2 research products that serve as the foundation for the implementation approach presented in Chapter 7. The chapter begins by reviewing challenges and opportunities that serve as the context for the implementation of innovations in the highway industry. This is followed by a look at lessons learned from implementation of the first SHRP. These lessons inform the ensuing discussion of principles and strategies for SHRP 2 implementation.

INNOVATION IN THE HIGHWAY INDUSTRY: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Innovation in the highway industry has been a subject of some interest over the past two decades (Bernstein and Lemer 1996; Bikson et al. 1996; Byrd 1989; Civil Engineering Research Foundation n.d.; Gittings and Bagby 1998; Hodgkins 1989; Scott 1999; TRB 1994; TRB 1996; TRB 1999). The spread of innovations in the industry is characterized by a number of challenges and opportunities that must be understood in the context of the public policy decisions and trade-offs that characterize public infrastructure. Highways and roads are usually under the stewardship of the public sector, which owns and often operates them. However, the private sector has always played a significant role as designers, builders, manufacturers, suppliers, and providers of financial services; it is also playing an increasing role in operating the system through toll roads and high-occupancy toll lanes.

The traditional system of providing highway infrastructure emerged in response to several public policy goals: (a) to provide the infrastructure as



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6 Implementation of SHRP 2 Principles and Key Strategies T his chapter articulates principles and key strategies for the implemen- tation of SHRP 2 research products that serve as the foundation for the implementation approach presented in Chapter 7. The chapter begins by reviewing challenges and opportunities that serve as the context for the implementation of innovations in the highway industry. This is followed by a look at lessons learned from implementation of the first SHRP. These les- sons inform the ensuing discussion of principles and strategies for SHRP 2 implementation. innovation in the highway industry: challenges and opportunities Innovation in the highway industry has been a subject of some interest over the past two decades (Bernstein and Lemer 1996; Bikson et al. 1996; Byrd 1989; Civil Engineering Research Foundation n.d.; Gittings and Bagby 1998; Hodgkins 1989; Scott 1999; TRB 1994; TRB 1996; TRB 1999). The spread of innovations in the industry is characterized by a number of challenges and opportunities that must be understood in the context of the public policy decisions and trade-offs that characterize public infrastructure. Highways and roads are usually under the stewardship of the public sector, which owns and often operates them. However, the private sector has always played a significant role as designers, builders, manufacturers, suppliers, and provid- ers of financial services; it is also playing an increasing role in operating the system through toll roads and high-occupancy toll lanes. The traditional system of providing highway infrastructure emerged in response to several public policy goals: (a) to provide the infrastructure as 94

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 95 widely as possible, (b) to do so at a reasonable cost, (c) to apportion this cost in an equitable manner, (d) to allow for broad participation by the private sector in competing for highway contracts, (e) to ensure that qualified con- tractors win the jobs, and (f) to ensure that the price paid for their services is both fair to the contractors and a responsible use of public funds. This context helps explain some of the challenges to innovation in the highway industry: • The decentralized nature of the industry: Fifty states and thousands of local governments own and operate highways, each having its own pro- curement regulations, specifications, organizational structure, and specific scope of responsibility. There are also thousands of private firms of all sizes, from local to international, that provide products and services to these government entities. This characteristic of the industry slows widespread implementation. While efforts to centralize product testing and evaluation facilitate the use of innovations, they do not guarantee that individual state and local agencies will accept the results or use the products. • The low-bid system: The practice of awarding highway contracts to the lowest qualified bidder tends to leave little room for a contractor to intro- duce innovation. If an innovation costs more, the contractor will not win the bid even if improved performance justifies the greater cost. Innovative procurement approaches are being used, but they raise issues of risk allo- cation, impact on the competitive position of some traditional or smaller firms, and potential misunderstanding by the public when contractors receive nontraditional payments (such as incentive payments) under such innovative schemes. • Materials and methods specifications: Typically, the low-bid system uti- lizes materials and methods specifications. These prescriptive specifica- tions ensure that all bids are for the same end product and provide a basis for determining whether that product has been delivered. If an innovation fails to follow the specifications precisely, it is not allowed. A way to over- come this difficulty is to develop and use performance specifications that indicate the performance desired instead of prescribing the technologies to be used. However, it has been challenging to establish measures of per- formance for complex, long-lived facilities. • First-cost criterion: Traditionally, agencies have focused on the “first cost” or construction cost of a facility in determining the low bidder. This

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96 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program focus excludes the use of any technology that increases the first cost even if it reduces the cost of maintaining and using the facility over its lifetime or reduces the user and social costs of the infrastructure. Attempts have been made to use life-cycle costs in comparing technologies, but such attempts have raised questions about how to calculate these costs. (Should user costs be included or just agency costs? How should the time value of money be treated?) Another difficulty is more political in nature. If the amount of money available for highway work is fixed for a given year, funding projects with higher first costs means not initiating as many projects—or satisfying as many constituents—in that year. • Prohibition of proprietary products: A related aspect of the procurement process is that proprietary products usually are not allowed because they limit competition and fail to conform to materials and methods specifica- tions. There are usually some exceptions to rules against proprietary prod- ucts, but these exceptions ordinarily allow the product to be used only once or in a limited number of cases. In addition, public agencies are often con- cerned about product liability when they use (or allow their contractors to use) a proprietary product or one that does not adhere to clear standards, guidelines, or approvals from national entities such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). • Risk management: Risk is inherent in trying anything new; some tech- nological and methodological innovations can cause risk to be reallocated among stakeholders in a project. For instance, some innovative procure- ment procedures (such as warranties and use of performance specifica- tions) shift control over, and therefore responsibility for, product quality from the transportation agency to the contractor. Unwillingness or inability to accept increased risk can be an impediment to implementing an innova- tive approach. Because of their responsibility to the public and the incen- tive structure they face, highway agencies tend to be risk averse. At both the individual and agency levels, there is little reward for success in innovation, and there are potentially huge penalties for failure. • Vested interests: In some geographic areas and some product catego- ries, particular industries or firms exert significant political influence over agencies’ technology choices, so that even a willingness to innovate will

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 97 be thwarted by pressure to use technologies offered by politically favored industries or firms. • Staffing challenges: Transportation agencies nationwide have been experiencing staff reductions in recent years due to both political pressures to reduce the size of government and the retirement of the large cohort of employees hired to plan, design, and build the Interstate highway system. Decades of experience and expertise are being lost with these employees, who could have helped identify and implement the most effective innova- tions. At the same time, many agencies find it difficult to attract, train, or retain the expertise required to implement some new technologies because of salary differentials with the private sector, downsizing of public agencies, and outsourcing (TRB 2003). The combination of outsourcing of technical work, downsizing, and retirement of skilled workers and management can leave highway agencies lacking the experience and skills needed to recog- nize, accept, and promote new ideas and innovations. • Data challenges: The value of many new technologies is dependent on the availability of data in a wide range of areas, including planning, highway operations, asset management, environmental assets, agency and user costs, and safety. Transportation agencies often lack the data they need and cannot afford to collect, maintain, and update those data. In some cases, the data they have are partial, outdated, or incompatible with each other and with new management systems. When the data can be collected or purchased from the private sector, cost and privacy issues can be obstacles. At the same time, the highway industry has a number of favorable charac- teristics from the point of view of innovation. Most of these characteristics mitigate the highly decentralized nature of the community by facilitating the common pursuit of research and development (R&D) and providing mechanisms for information dissemination and learning: • Federal–state partnership: For more than a century, FHWA (and its predecessor agency, the Bureau of Public Roads) has worked closely with highway agencies in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The federal agency’s ability to attract national expertise and support a wide variety of research, development, and technology transfer activities has provided a source of new ideas and support for their implementation

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98 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program that are beyond the reach of many individual state agencies. The promulga- tion of uniform standards for the Interstate highway system raised the level of highway quality for many jurisdictions. • State–state partnerships: While each state has its unique needs, groups of states often pool funds to perform research that meets common needs. Some of these pooled-fund studies focus on research of interest to a specific region or subset of states and may leverage private and academic resources as well. FHWA supports pooled-fund arrangements by facilitating administration of the funding or by contributing additional funds. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program, established in 1962 and administered by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), carries out collective R&D activities under an arrangement that pools funds from all the state departments of transportation (DOTs). AASHTO also provides opportunities for states to leverage their technology investments. For example, through the AASHTO- Ware program, states can pool funds to develop and support software pack- ages they would otherwise have to support individually at much greater cost. AASHTO also promotes peer exchanges between states and coordinates the development of consensus standards and manuals, such as the Policy on Geo- metric Design of Highways and Streets (the Green Book). • University transportation programs: A network of programs across the country—some of which participate in the University Transportation Cen- ters Program—supports basic and applied research yielding new knowledge of highway-related materials, technologies, methods, relationships, and behavior and prepares future transportation professionals. Many state DOTs have a close relationship with the universities in their states. University-based programs often provide a vehicle for broader collaboration with the private sector and local governments. • TRB: A unique national collaboration exists through TRB in which pro- fessionals from federal and state agencies, universities, and private firms work together to identify research needs, disseminate information, sponsor conferences and workshops, and carry out other activities that promote innovation in the transportation sector. • Special-purpose strategic programs: The highway industry has sup- ported a number of special research and technology programs, including the American Association of State Highway Officials Road Test, the first SHRP, SHRP 2, and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program, as specific needs or new opportunities have arisen.

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 99 • Training and technology transfer programs: Federally funded programs, often matched by state funds, provide technology transfer and training to local governments and Native American tribes so that innovations devel- oped at the federal and state levels can be disseminated to these local enti- ties, which typically have little or no money to conduct their own R&D. lessons learned from the original shrp Two of the better known and more widely implemented results of the first SHRP are the Superpave® system for designing asphalt pavements and a collection of methods and technologies that significantly improved snow and ice control on roadways. By 2005, a little more than a decade after the research phase of SHRP 1 had ended, nearly all U.S. state DOTs, as well as several Canadian DOTs and other U.S. agencies, had implemented Superpave to some degree (see Figure 6-1), a remarkable penetration of innovation for this industry. This degree of implementation was projected in 1997 to provide $22.5 billion in savings for public agencies and highway users combined (FHWA 1997a). Half this level of market penetration for SHRP 1 snow and ice control products was projected to save $55 billion per year for agencies, not including improved safety and mobility for high- way users (FHWA 1997b). Activities that supported the implementation of these and other SHRP 1 research products were administered by FHWA with funds authorized in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. During the time that specific funds were authorized for SHRP 1 implementation, FHWA played the lead role in overseeing, coordinating, encouraging, and facilitating widespread deployment of SHRP 1 results. The SHRP 1 imple- mentation experience provides many examples and lessons that could be useful in planning the implementation phase for SHRP 2. These are catego- rized below under research products, implementation agents, implementa- tion mechanisms, and resources. Lessons Learned from SHRP 1 Concerning Research Products Recognize That Research “Findings” Are Not “Products” Research results must be translated into products that a user wants to implement. This translation requires a constant revisualization of the prod- uct; researchers are often not good at this step, so it is critical that users be

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100 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program Canadian Mix used DOTs (10) sometimes Binder used sometimes Mix design in general use Binder in Other U.S. general use Agencies U.S. DOTs 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 figure 6-1 superpave deployment in north america, 2005. Source: TRB 2005. engaged early and often in the process. A research result will sometimes require additional adaptive research and often further development before a usable product is ready for implementation. Recognition of this possibility is important both for planning and budgeting and for managing the expec- tations of users, who may believe that the research program has addressed issues that may not arise until real-world trials are attempted. Recognize That SHRP Products Are Different In both the first SHRP and SHRP 2, the objective has been to create “step function” rather than incremental or continuous improvement. This means that successful implementation of SHRP 2 results may be disrup- tive to existing states of practice: users will be required to think differ-

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 101 ently, act differently, and possibly organize their institutions differently. It is critical that potential users understand this up front and be persuaded that improvements derived from SHRP 2 products will be worth the work involved in implementing them. Some users will see the value immediately and step up to become lead implementers; others will feel that the change is unwelcome and unnecessary. Create Strategic Packages Key to visualizing a research product and its benefits is defining a product as a strategic grouping or packaging of multiple research results. Group- ing related research results helps a user see how the research program as a whole has addressed an array of related concerns. It allows the user to focus on one system rather than a list of distinct products. Strategic packaging focuses on achieving a major objective of critical concern to the user rather than multiple subordinate objectives addressed by the individual research results. For example, the first SHRP encompassed more than 30 individual research projects related to improving asphalt pavements, including design methods, standards, and various pieces of equipment. These were pack- aged as one asphalt pavement design system—Superpave—that promised to save billions of dollars by increasing the life of asphalt pavements by 50 percent. Sometimes strategic packaging is achieved through the use of brief tag lines that condense a complex set of issues into an easily visualized goal. For example, a variety of different innovations aimed at snow and ice control prior to a snowfall, including snow fences, roadway sensors, plows, and forecasting methods, were subsumed by the phrase “get in under the storm.” Similarly, the value of a wide array of materials, methods, and con- tracting approaches for achieving rapid infrastructure renewal is intuitively grasped under the phrase “get in, get out, stay out.” Lessons Learned from SHRP 1 Concerning Implementation Agents Identify the Principal Implementation Agent Early In the case of the first SHRP, the principal implementation agent, FHWA, was not identified until late in the research phase. FHWA received autho- rization and funding to carry out implementation activities only after the research was almost complete. Once the funding had been received, it took

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102 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program some time for implementation activities to become operational. This made it impossible for the implementation agent to work alongside the research- ers to understand the research results and possibly influence how they were packaged to maximize utility for potential users. Cultivate an Array of Implementation Agents While one agent may take the lead on implementation, any new technol- ogy will require the engagement of many users and stakeholders who must be persuaded and empowered to become implementation agents. Formal groups devoted to SHRP 1 implementation in FHWA, AASHTO, and TRB have already been mentioned. Clearly, these stakeholders must be actively engaged in implementing SHRP 2 results. However, many other groups must be brought to the table: local, regional, and state governments rep- resented by the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, the National Association of County Engineers, the American Public Works Association, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and the National Conference of State Legislatures; manufacturers and suppliers, such as the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the American Concrete Pave- ment Association, the National Steel Bridge Alliance, the National Con- crete Bridge Council, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, the American Concrete Institute, and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute; the construction industry, for example, through the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and Associated General Contractors; engineers and designers, through the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and the American Council of Engineering Companies; and environmental and highway user groups, such as the Surface Transportation Policy Part- nership, the Nature Conservancy, the American Trucking Associations, the American Automobile Association, and the Highway Users Alliance. The roles of these groups will vary—from central to ancillary to no role at all—for different types of products. Identify and Address the Concerns of Those Who May Resist Implementation However obvious the benefits of an innovation may appear to be, there will always be some who fear—rightly or wrongly—that the change threatens

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 103 them or is not worth the cost of implementation. It is not always immedi- ately apparent who the threatened parties will be in each case. Communi- cating early and often with the wide array of stakeholders mentioned above should help in identifying those who have concerns about the impact of a new way of doing things. These concerns need to be addressed early, openly and clearly. Sometimes there is no way to avoid a negative impact on some party, but often a mutual agreement can be reached that the innovation is beneficial for all parties or at least is not necessarily a threat to anyone. Communicate Ceaselessly Frequent updates should be provided to all interested parties. Even support- ive stakeholders will need assistance in organizing themselves to facilitate implementation. The implementation of research results can take many years and a significant investment of resources, and it must continuously be accompanied by selling the benefits of the implementation. This is particu- larly true of research products or programs that are designed to last a long time. In the case of the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Program, the selling effort faltered. The result was a significant reduction in funding because the importance of completing the 20-year program was not appar- ent to later generations of professionals who had not been involved at the program’s inception. In SHRP 2, there will be a similar need for long-term support—not for research, but for the maintenance of products (such as software and databases) whose value will increase the more they are used and improved. Lessons Learned from SHRP 1 Concerning Implementation Mechanisms An array of mechanisms will be required to reach all the potential users and implementation agents of SHRP 2 products. Some examples from imple- mentation of the first SHRP are listed here. Make Use of Existing Mechanisms Some groups already have mechanisms in place that SHRP 2 could tap and cultivate as implementation agents. For example, local governments and state DOTs use a network of technology transfer centers that participate in the federal Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and Tribal Techni-

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104 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program cal Assistance Program. LTAP centers are adept at delivering training and other forms of information to county and city transportation officials, as well as state DOT districts. Other institutions listed earlier have technical committees through which new technologies can be made known. Among them are AASHTO, ITE, TRB, and ASCE. FHWA’s National Highway Insti- tute is a well-established training function familiar to state DOTs and others. The Technology Curriculum Coordinating Committee coordinates training across state DOTs and handles certification requirements. Investigate and Work Within Established Innovation Pathways Certain types of innovations have established mechanisms or pathways that must be followed if widespread deployment is to be achieved. Highway construction materials are a good example. A state DOT will not use a mate- rial for which a standard does not exist. Other technologies also require or can benefit from the development of standards by formal standards- setting organizations, such as AASHTO, ITE, and ASTM. Some technolo- gies, such as software and intelligent transportation systems, should be developed according to established architectures that ensure interoper- ability with other related technologies. Highway design innovations (geo- metric, safety, and operational) should be accepted into the Green Book, the Highway Safety Manual, the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and the Highway Capacity Manual. Each of these standard design manuals is overseen by a formal committee or other group that must be engaged at the appropriate moment in the research process to ensure that the results will meet their requirements. Develop New or Special Mechanisms Where Needed In most cases, implementation of research is not the primary occupation of the potential user, and the temptation will be strong to leave the task entirely to existing committees and task forces that already have a full plate of other responsibilities. The AASHTO SHRP Implementation Task Force, the FHWA SHRP Working Groups, and the TRB SHRP and LTPP advisory committees are good examples of specially formed groups that focused on SHRP 1 implementation, a focus that included active coordination with all the relevant existing committees in their respective organizations. Reaching

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106 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program Box 6-1 examples of methods used to implement products of the first shrp • Showcase contracts and workshops • Test and evaluation projects • Demonstration projects • Speakers Bureau • Success stories • Provisional standards • Lead states • Product evaluation committees • Equipment loaner program • Rugged round-robin testing • Pooled-fund equipment purchases • User–producer groups • Staff state visits • Local Technical Assistance Program training • Product catalogue with vendor sources • National training center • State coordinator structure • Exhibits SOURCE: TRB 1998. Implementation Takes Time The highway community is large, complex, and generally risk averse. Its members will usually be quick to implement small innovations with the promise of short-term benefits, but some time will be required to con- vince them to make the changes necessary to realize large, long-term benefits. The process of changing standards, practices, and attitudes can take years, especially when impacts on statutory authority, personnel requirements, and institutional structures are involved. It also takes time for university curricula to reflect innovative practices and new knowl- edge. In an effort to accelerate innovation, the National Highway Insti- tute is developing a course to train highway professionals in a structured approach to implementation.

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 107 principles for shrp 2 implementation The following principles can be drawn from the experience with imple- menting SHRP 1, and they form the basis for the strategies outlined in the next section. Establish a Principal Implementation Agent as Early as Possible to Provide Clear Leadership and Dedicated Staff Support SHRP 2 implementation will involve many research products being adopted by an array of organizations. Effective nationwide implementation will require sufficient human and financial resources and a principal imple- mentation agent, that is, an organization that will lead and support SHRP 2 implementation. This organization should have a national scope, extensive knowledge of the highway field, experience with implementing research results and new technologies, established relationships with transportation agencies, and the ability to provide funding and technical support to state DOTs and other potential users of SHRP 2 products. The implementation agent should be identified as soon as possible, before the research program has been completed, to ensure a smooth transition from research to imple- mentation. To paraphrase Feller (1987), the implementation agent will have several functional roles: adapter, demonstrator, and disseminator of innovations; capacity builder for agencies implementing innovations; and information disseminator, educator, and facilitator. In addition, the prin- cipal implementation agent will be responsible for tracking the progress of implementation. The purpose of measuring the status and performance of implementation efforts is twofold: to determine whether these efforts are making progress toward the goal of widespread implementation and ulti- mately toward achieving the desired outcomes, and to determine and docu- ment which methods work best for specific product–user combinations. Better-informed decision making enables efficient resource allocation and supports the overall goal of accelerating innovation. Involve Stakeholders Throughout the Process Users and others affected by SHRP 2 products or in a position to influence their acceptance should be involved in planning and carrying out imple- mentation activities. Strong partnerships with and among stakeholders build trust and encourage implementation champions.

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108 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program Each focus area within SHRP 2 has its own set of stakeholders. State DOTs and local transportation agencies build, operate, and maintain most of the nation’s highway and road system and purchase and use many products of highway research, making them the primary stakeholders of products from the Renewal, Reliability, and Capacity focus areas. Other stakeholders include metropolitan planning organizations, federal agen- cies, contractors, standards-setting bodies, consultants, and equipment manufacturers. Decision makers at the state and local levels are important stakeholders across all four SHRP 2 focus areas because they determine whether to support the implementation of new technologies. Researchers from the academic, private, and public sectors will use the knowledge and data generated by SHRP 2, in particular the safety data, to further advance highway research and innovation and the development of new approaches or technologies to improve highway safety. Educators, including university professors and training professionals, will use SHRP 2 results from all four focus areas in updating their curricula and course work. Identifying the primary users of a particular technology, as well as those who can be influential in its implementation, is critical to the ultimate success of SHRP 2 products. The ongoing involvement of many potential users in SHRP 2 research is a positive first step; it can be continued and broadened through pilot studies and demonstrations that will familiar- ize potential users with the products of the research and help research- ers focus more clearly on the problems faced by users. Early involvement can also help implementation agents identify potential early adopters who can become strong supporters of or champions for specific technologies, as well as help select appropriate methods for transferring the technologies. Active involvement of stakeholders also builds trust—a fundamental ele- ment of successful implementation in the highway community. The risk- averse culture of the community, derived from its public responsibility and institutional incentives and disincentives accrued over the years, leads it to place much weight on trustworthy experts and on demonstrated experi- ence before trying something new. Communicate Ceaselessly Implementation cannot be reduced to communication—it is not enough to market innovations or to publish reports—but is a critical component. It

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 109 is essential not only to provide information and answer questions but also to listen: to discern what users want, what they need but cannot articulate, where resistance may lie, and what positive lessons it can yield. Communication must be a two-way process: the principal implementa- tion agent must seek information from potential users about incentives and challenges they face and work cooperatively to leverage the incentives and overcome the challenges. The temptation to hear only from supportive stakeholders must be avoided; those who resist an innovation often have good reason for doing so, and much can be learned from them to make an innovation more attractive to more stakeholders. Communication must also be maintained throughout the implementation process. In addition to hearing about innovations when they first become available, stakeholders will want periodic updates on the progress of implementation; success sto- ries; challenges overcome; and, most important, benefits achieved. Many communication mechanisms should be used to describe research results and products, to report on implementation activities, and to share infor- mation among users of SHRP 2 products. These mechanisms can include extensive electronic information in e-newsletters and searchable websites, face-to-face interaction in workshops and focus groups, webinars, and wikis (websites that allow users to add and edit content). Emerging transporta- tion knowledge networks are an important potential resource for SHRP 2 communication and information sharing (TRB 2006). Prioritize Products for Optimal Implementation Success An early task is to identify SHRP 2 products with the most potential for suc- cessful implementation, where success means both widespread use and sig- nificant benefits. Feedback from the communication efforts discussed above should be used in the prioritization process to support the allocation of resources and inform decisions on how to support implementation. Setting and revising priorities are part of a continuing process that requires specific guidelines and procedures both to carry out the implementation effort and to monitor progress toward goals. Priority-setting guidelines form a framework for decision making. Such factors as the strategic goals of the U.S. Depart- ment of Transportation and AASHTO, expected technology benefits, the extent of user interest, the need for financial incentives, potential product commercialization, and opportunities for private-sector partnering can form

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110 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program the basis for setting priorities. The principal implementation agent will have to make critical choices about where and how resources will be used. The priority-setting process should be transparent and based clearly on the input of key stakeholders, such as FHWA, state and local DOTs, and other potential supporters, and it should be subject to independent external review. Market and Package Products to Facilitate User Acceptance A large array of individual research products can be daunting for busy users to navigate. Packaging products that work together and branding systems or suites of products helps streamline users’ understanding of the products and their benefits. Choose the Right Implementation Strategies The implementation strategies discussed in the next section have all shown themselves to be successful. However, this does not mean that every strategy is appropriate for every product or user audience. For example, materials technologies usually require consensus standards; construction technologies are well suited to demonstration projects; and computer pro- grams require beta testing and user support. Likewise, different training programs are better at reaching different audiences. Some products call for more practical training, while other products require changes to university curricula. Industry structure and economic incentives can also influence the specific strategies adopted: some products may involve intellectual property that must be protected, some may attract interest in private- sector commercialization, and others will need more public-sector support. It is important that the principal implementation agent carefully study the SHRP 2 products and potential users to determine which strategies are most likely to be effective in each case. Balance Divergent and Convergent Approaches Successful innovation strategies should allow for and encourage both diver- gent and convergent approaches. Divergent approaches provide intellectual space and resources for ideas and experiments to follow different paths and make serendipitous discoveries, building on the knowledge produced by research. Investigator-driven research programs are examples of divergent

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 111 mechanisms. Convergent approaches focus on particular goals and objec- tives; plans, products, and resources are aligned with achievement of these objectives. Ultimately, innovation and widespread implementation involve an interplay between divergent and convergent approaches—openness to the unexpected as well as disciplined planning. As a general though some- what oversimplified rule, the balance shifts from divergence to convergence as one moves along the continuum from basic research, to applied research, to development, to implementation. At no stage is one mode exclusively in play, however. In the case of SHRP 2 implementation, the products to be implemented will be given—the time for divergent ideas about what SHRP 2 research goals should be or what products should result will be past. SHRP 2 implementation will involve prioritization of activities, plans, and programs and allocation of budgets in accordance with these priorities. Nevertheless, there will be avenues of implementation and perhaps even users of SHRP 2 products that the managers of the implementation effort will not have foreseen. The program should be open to new paths when they arise and have sufficient flexibility in its planning and budgeting to take advantage of promising opportunities. key implementation strategies Several key implementation strategies emerge from the experience with implementing SHRP 1, as reflected in the principles outlined above. To be successful, these strategies must be supported by a strong knowledge management infrastructure that provides tools and expertise, especially in the area of information technology (see Box 6-2). Two of the strategies dis- cussed below—training and education and long-term stewardship of infor- mation repositories—are themselves key elements of knowledge manage- ment. All the strategies involve communication and collaboration among users and other stakeholders. The full range of knowledge management tools should be employed, as appropriate, to advance these strategies. Strategic Packaging and Branding As suggested above, the benefits of some SHRP 2 products may be opti- mized by combining the results of several related research projects into a unified package with unique branding, as was done for Superpave.

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112 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program Box 6-2 knowledge management Knowledge management is key to facilitating the translation of research results into successful implementation. It is a broad concept that encompasses access to and sharing of information, networking and collaboration, and stewardship and archiving of data and information. It is dynamic and responsive, going beyond informal, work group, and project exchange of knowledge. It includes reposi- tories of written information, as well as the collective knowledge of individu- als, together with methods for accessing the information. Organizations today recognize the need to go beyond traditional information-sharing methods to ensure that widely dispersed project teams can communicate and share essential information. Knowledge management is supported by and carried out through an array of methods and technologies. These include traditional methods, such as classroom instruction, workshops, and other face-to-face learning and collaboration activities. Information technology tools can significantly increase the scope, scale, integra- tion, and timeliness of these methods. Electronic databases and archives, including many that can be searched online, make entire libraries available. The Internet enables nearly instantaneous communication with colleagues around the world. Online conferencing tools, backboards, and wikis provide for information sharing and collaboration among dispersed individuals and groups and can be tailored to be as open or as restrictive as users wish. The value of all these methods, whether traditional or high-tech, lies in their ability to promote and facilitate learning. When people are asked to change—as is often the case in improvement or technology adoption efforts—they are being asked to learn, not abandon what they have learned. The high failure rate of busi- ness process innovations [estimated at 70 percent (Wellins and Murphy 1995)] has been attributed in large part to the lack of a connection between technology adop- tion and learning. Paying attention to how people learn reinforces effective change management. Generally, learning takes place in organizations through training, professional development, lessons-learned documents, war stories, and knowl- edge or information repositories—all forms of knowledge management. Because people learn in different ways, there is room for many different knowledge man- agement approaches in an implementation program. In the end, a learning orga- nization must adopt good practice in teaming, education, information sharing, (continued)

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 113 archiving of lessons, and corporate memory, all in a manner that is coherent yet streamlined and accessible. A central principle of knowledge management is that organizations can fos- ter the capture and exchange of knowledge through communities of practice— professional networks that identify issues, share approaches, and make the results available to others. A community of practice is a virtual community of members with similar interests and expertise connected electronically. Members of a com- munity of practice can contribute papers, technical briefings, product evaluations, and other reports, as well as experiences, good practices, and information, to fill knowledge gaps. Such information is stored in the knowledge repository for the par- ticular community and available to the members. Because the knowledge network is electronic, accessible at any time, and available to many, it can provide high-level service to its users. Technical Assistance Most of the implementation practices described here need to be accom- panied by various forms of technical assistance. Users will require access to the skills and ongoing advice of persons with expertise related to each product or group of products arising from SHRP 2. Lead users may need assistance tailored to unique issues encountered by early users. The princi- pal implementation agent for SHRP 2 will also need technical assistance in developing and delivering the implementation program. Websites, includ- ing wiki sites, and real-time, online expertise can provide technical assis- tance quickly when travel to a user’s site is not really necessary. Standards, Specifications, Guidebooks, and Manuals Some products will not be used by public-sector agencies unless they con- form to an established standard, are based on a specification that has been accepted in the industry, or are included in a standard design manual. Implementation of such products will require that SHRP 2 identify appro- priate specifying or standards-setting organizations and work with them to convert research results into formal standards and specifications.

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114 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program Follow-On Research, Testing, and Evaluation However much effort is put into a research program of finite time and resources, there will always be areas in which additional research is needed to support implementation. Such research may be required in response to changing or unique user needs, unforeseen gaps in the research plan, or new opportunities. In addition, pilot testing and evaluation of research products may need to be conducted before products are ready for full-scale implementation. Lead Users and Demonstration Projects Certain products are complex enough that users will want to see a full- scale, real-world demonstration to be convinced that the products work. Demonstrations will be undertaken by lead users, who may also participate in other ways, such as training and giving advice to other users. Lead users will exhibit the innovation success factors discussed above. Innovative individuals can lead stakeholder groups and champion implementation in their own organizations. They can undertake demonstration projects and serve in roles similar to those of the Lead States in the first SHRP. Internet portals can be established to provide a space for lead users and other users to exchange experience and advice. Lead users who host demonstration projects may require financial assistance to cover the difference in cost, or delta cost, associated with demonstrating a new technology. Delta costs can include the increase in cost for first-time prefabrication of bridge or pavement systems, use of high-performance materials, purchase of equip- ment for nondestructive evaluation, mobilization of new equipment, and costs associated with increased contractor risk, among others. Training and Education Training and education are a necessary part of every implementation effort. Some SHRP 2 products will call for the development of new levels of exper- tise and skill beyond what standard training programs typically provide. Sabbatical opportunities, intensive summer courses, executive courses, and other techniques may be considered. New knowledge and practices resulting from SHRP 2 must be incorporated into university classrooms so future transportation professionals can become familiar with them from

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implementation of shrp 2 | principles and key strategies 115 the beginning of their careers. Use of webinars and other electronic tools can make training opportunities available to many more potential users without requiring them to travel. Long-Term Stewardship Certain products—such as databases, archives, software packages, and websites—require a long-term “owner” to maintain and update them and provide customer support. references Abbreviations FHWA Federal Highway Administration TRB Transportation Research Board Bernstein, H. M., and A. C. Lemer. 1996. Solving the Innovation Puzzle: Challenges Facing the U.S. Design and Construction Industry. ASCE Press, Reston, Va. Bikson, T. K., S. A. Law, M. Markovich, and B. T. Harder. 1996. NCHRP Report 382: Facilitat- ing the Implementation of Research Findings: A Summary Report. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Byrd, L. G. 1989. NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 149: Partnerships for Innovation: Private-Sector Contributions to Innovation in the Highway Industry. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., Dec. Civil Engineering Research Foundation. n.d. Partnership for the Advancement of Infrastruc- ture and Its Renewal Through Transportation (PAIR-T). White paper. http://fire.nist.gov/ bfrlpubs/build98/PDF/b98086.pdf. Feller, I. 1987. Technology Transfer, Public Policy, and the Cooperative Extension Service– OMB Imbroglio. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 307–327. FHWA. 1997a. Summary of SHRP Research on Economic Benefits of Asphalt. Roadsavers series. Dec. FHWA. 1997b. Summary of SHRP Research on Economic Benefits of Snow and Ice Control. Roadsavers series. Dec. Gittings, G. L., and J. W. Bagby. 1998. NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 265: Manag- ing Product Liability to Achieve Highway Innovations. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Hodgkins, E. A. 1989. NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 150: Technology Transfer in Selected Highway Agencies. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.

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116 implementing the results of the second strategic highway research program Scott, S., III. 1999. NCHRP Report 428: Guidebook to Highway Contracting for Innovation: The Role of Procurement and Contracting Approaches in Facilitating the Implementation of Research Findings. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Wash- ington, D.C. TRB. 1994. Special Report 244: Highway Research: Current Programs and Future Directions. National Research Council, Washington, D.C. TRB. 1996. Special Report 249: Building Momentum for Change: Creating a Strategic Forum for Innovation in Highway Infrastructure. National Research Council, Washington, D.C. TRB. 1998. Letter report of the TRB SHRP Committee to Mr. Kenneth R. Wykle, Admin- istrator, Federal Highway Administration. Dec. 1. TRB. 1999. Special Report 256: Managing Technology Transfer: A Strategy for the Federal Highway Administration. National Research Council, Washington, D.C. TRB. 2003. Special Report 275: The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies. National Academies, Wash- ington, D.C. TRB. 2005. Superior Performing Asphalt Pavement: Superpave: Performance by Design. National Academies, Washington, D.C. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/sp/ superpave.pdf. TRB. 2006. Special Report 284: Transportation Knowledge Networks: A Management Strategy for the 21st Century. National Academies, Washington, D.C. Wellins, R. S., and J. S. Murphy. 1995. Reengineering: Plug into the Human Factor. Train- ing and Development, Vol. 49, No. 8, pp. 33–37.