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2017 N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 867 Keeping What You Paid Forâ Retaining Essential Consultant-Developed Knowledge Within DOTs Frances D. Harrison Spy pond partnerS, LLC Arlington, MA i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Myra Howze Shiplett randoLphMorgan ConSuLting, LLC Falls Church, VA Malcolm T. Kerley nXL ConStruCtion ServiCeS, inC. Richmond, VA Subscriber Categories Administration and Management â¢ Data and Information Technology â¢ Education and Training Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research is the most effective way to solve many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation results in increasingly complex problems of wide inter- est to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Recognizing this need, the leadership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in 1962 ini- tiated an objective national highway research program using modern scientific techniquesâthe National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). NCHRP is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of AASHTO and receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was requested by AASHTO to administer the research program because of TRBâs recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. TRB is uniquely suited for this purpose for many reasons: TRB maintains an extensive com- mittee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; TRB possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, univer- sities, and industry; TRBâs relationship to the National Academies is an insurance of objectivity; and TRB maintains a full-time staff of special- ists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief administrators and other staff of the highway and transportation departments, by committees of AASHTO, and by the Federal Highway Administration. Topics of the highest merit are selected by the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation (R&I), and each year R&Iâs recommendations are proposed to the AASHTO Board of Direc- tors and the National Academies. Research projects to address these topics are defined by NCHRP, and qualified research agencies are selected from submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Academies and TRB. The needs for highway research are many, and NCHRP can make significant contributions to solving highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement, rather than to substitute for or duplicate, other highway research programs. Published research reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 867 Project 20-104 ISSN 2572-3766 (Print) ISSN 2572-3774 (Online) ISBN 978-0-309-44669-3 Library of Congress Control Number 2017959579 Â© 2017 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied committees, task forces, and panels annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 867 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Andrew C. Lemer, Senior Program Officer Sheila A. Moore, Program Associate Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Heidi Willis, Editor NCHRP PROJECT 20-104 PANEL Field of Special Projects Shane Brown, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR (Chair) David M. Jared, Georgia DOT, Forest Park, GA Lyris Anne Bauduy Liautaud, Massachusetts DOT, Boston, MA Donald A. Gutkowski, Wisconsin DOT, Madison, WI Diana L. Long, Rahall Transportation Institute, Charleston, WV Gene Shin, Battelle, Charlottesville, VA Katherine A. Petros, FHWA Liaison Anna R. Okola, World Bank Liaison Thomas Palmerlee, TRB Liaison
NCHRP Research Report 867: Keeping What You Paid ForâRetaining Essential Consultant- Developed Knowledge Within DOTs presents guidance for state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other agencies for the use of knowledge capture and active learning to ensure that essential, mission-critical knowledge is maintained within the agency when a contrac- torâs work is finished, particularly in those program areas that pose the greatest risk to the agencyâs performance. Knowledge capture is the process of transforming human knowledge into codified information (for example, through documentation of interviews with key con- tractor personnel) and making the information available to others. Active learning occurs when DOT staff work directly with contractors or consultants. The guidance and background information presented here will help to ensure that DOT staff and others responsible for system management, emergency response, and other critical components of the agencyâs mission have access to the knowledge they need to be effective in pursuit of that mission. Any large organization necessarily relies on the knowledge of its employees who pursue the organizationâs mission and accomplish its objectives. In a state DOT, respon- sible staff from various parts of the agencyâengineering, finance, project management, among othersâdevelop and apply mission-critical knowledge. In this context, the term âknowledgeâ refers to what exists inside the human brain, and it is built over time through education, work experience, and interactions. Knowledge facilitates effective decision making. For DOTs, some knowledge is critical to the agencyâs mission. Whether it concerns the technologies of transportation and infrastructure systems; management and administration of projects for planning, design, construction, operation, and main- tenance of these systems; or the on-the-job experience gained though actual project development, response to emergencies, interactions with the public, and the likeâsuch knowledge is essential. DOTs increasingly have utilized external consultants and contractors to supplement their employee workforce. Completion of contractor engagements and changes in contractor per- sonnel can create knowledge gaps similar to those associated with personnel retirements and workforce reductions. Such gapsâfor example, unfamiliarity with the reasons for important design decisions or inability to properly use and maintain software and equipment provided by contractorsâcan be costly and pose risks to the DOTâs ability to fulfill its responsibilities to the public. Knowledge can be transferred among people through the medium of recorded informa- tion (for example, reports, photographs, videos, drawings, and maps) or active learning (for example, teaching, mentoring, apprenticeship, or on-the-job training). Essential technical and experiential knowledge in such areas as large-scale emergency response, large- F O R E W O R D By Andrew C. Lemer Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
scale maintenance outsourcing, system planning, and facilities design and construction (especially under design-build and other such procurement mechanisms) may be devel- oped and retained by the external contractorsâand lost to the agencyâunless the agency takes explicit action to avoid or minimize employee knowledge gaps. The objective of NCHRP Project 20-104, âCapturing and Learning Essential Consultant- Developed Knowledge Within Departments of Transportation,â was to develop guidance for DOTs on how to capture, learn, and maintain essential, mission-critical knowledge from the work of external consultants and contractors. The guidance, while emphasizing project development and delivery, is meant to be applicable across all DOT program areas. The guidance will assist agency personnel to identify and focus on those areas where knowledge gaps associated with work done by consultants and contractors may represent the greatest agency risk. The research was conducted by a team led by Spy Pond Partners, LLC. The research team reviewed the literature and conducted focus groups to review current practices in a range of organizational settings. The team developed a framework for guidance suited to the needs of DOTs and then undertook case studies of organizations that have successfully adopted practices for capture and active learning of essential knowledge developed by contractors and consultants. NCHRP Research Report 867, the primary product of this research, describes the nature of the problem and methods for avoiding and minimizing gaps in mission- critical knowledge. For those seeking additional information on these topics, the guidance is supplemented by background information and references documented in Web-Only Document WOD 238: Developing the Guide to Retaining Essential Consultant-Developed Knowledge Within DOTs; this supplementary document is available for download from http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/177048.aspx.
Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions. 1 Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Challenge: Sustaining and Building Agency Capabilities as Reliance on Outsourcing Increases 3 1.2 Terminology 4 1.3 Target Audiences 4 1.4 Guide Content and Organization 5 Chapter 2 Framework for Capturing and Learning Consultant-Developed Knowledge 5 2.1 Overview 5 2.2 Identify Needs for Knowledge Capture and Learning 7 2.3 Develop Knowledge Capture and Learning Objectives 12 2.4 Identify Knowledge Capture and Learning Strategies 14 Chapter 3 Techniques for Knowledge Capture and Learning 14 3.1 Types of Knowledge Capture and Learning Techniques 15 3.2 Documentation and Handoffs 16 3.3 Capturing and Learning Lessons 18 3.4 Mentoring and Interaction 20 Appendix A Case Studies 22 Colorado DOT 27 Oregon DOT 35 Virginia DOT 45 Michigan DOT 51 Tennessee DOT 57 Alberta Transportation 61 Philips Innovation Services 65 Appendix B Resources 65 CDOT Example NIMS General Message Form (Form 213) 66 Virginia DOT Design Quality Assurance Form 69 Virginia DOT Lessons Learned Example 70 Philips Innovation Services Knowledge Element Template 73 Philips Innovation Services Leaving Expert Interview Report C O N T E N T S