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23 CHAPTER 6 Implementation Plan In some respects, implementation of Transportation Know- Providing efficiencies and preventing duplication of effort ledge Networks is already under way, albeit at a relatively mod- by sharing information that addresses needs that are com- est level of activity. As additional resources become available, mon across transportation agencies; implementation can be stepped up to the level necessary to Addressing the loss of institutional knowledge related to make a noticeable improvement in information access as per- turnover of highly experienced employees; ceived by transportation professionals. Steps 14 below could Supporting innovation and high-priority program areas-- be undertaken immediately by existing bodies such as the NTL, helping organizations learn from each others' successes in the current regional TKNs, the AASHTO RAC TKN Task order to improve performance in areas such as transporta- Force, and the Library Connectivity Pooled Fund Study tion safety, emergency preparedness, and organizational project to continue to make progress in building knowledge efficiency; and networks and communicating their purpose and potential Filling gaps in current information availability by allowing value to the user community. When and if additional funding easy sharing of a broader set of resources, including con- becomes available for TKNs, steps 58 outline the activities sultant studies, data, software tools, and current contact needed to initiate and sustain delivery of the products and serv- information. ices outlined in the business plan. However, given the extremely tight funding situation and multiple competing needs among existing programs, building Step 1: Refine and Expand the a stronger and broader base of support will require extensive Communications Toolkit communication about TKN products and services and the value they provide. Key questions and concerns raised were: Communication materials developed for this project should be made available as resources for continuing outreach efforts. This initiative may be perceived as adding one more infor- These materials include the audio testimonials, the one-page mation source to the already large pool of sources. How overview of the business plan, the narrated presentations, and will this be different? the Web portal mock-up. These materials can be expanded What mechanisms will be used to provide comprehensive (as resources permit) to add testimonials, case studies, and and unbiased information on the portal and to keep it from more detailed fact sheets on different components of the busi- getting stale? ness plan. What incentives could be provided to people to get them Future communication activities should refine key messages to share information, which takes time and effort and does based on what was learned from the outreach phase of this proj- not benefit them directly? ect. The outreach activities indicate recognition of the need for The initiative is very broad and should be more narrowly improved information sharing and access and general support focused on particular sub-communities, topic areas, and for the concept of TKNs. The most compelling arguments for types of information. investment in TKNs, defined as those that resonated most with Greater specificity behind the estimates of funding require- the stakeholders interviewed by the research team, were: ments is needed. Providing critical information in time-sensitive situations Based on these comments, future outreach activities for such as weather emergencies or economic crises; TKNs should emphasize that the purpose of this initiative is to