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116 Training and Implementation This chapter: â¢ Provides recommendations on how best to put the research findings/products into practice, â¢ Identifies possible institutions that might take leadership in applying the research findings/products, â¢ Identifies issues affecting potential implementation of the findings/products and recommends possible actions to address these issues, and â¢ Recommends methods of identifying and measuring the impacts associated with implementation of the findings/ products. This information is presented as the following implemen- tation plan with sections on each topic. 5.1 Implementation Plan To put the research findings/products into practice, a well- developed implementation plan will be important for the successful implementation of the research products. Issues that need to be addressed in the implementation plan include defining the research product market so that the appli- cability of the research product to improving current practice can be communicated. A realistic assessment of impedi- ments to successful implementation, along with identifica- tion of marketing opportunities and potential deployment leadership, will also be conducted. Finally, tactical items that will need to be addressed in the plan will include revi- sions of related policies, standards, and guideline documents and training and knowledge transfer for stakeholders at multiple levels. Knowledge transfer for this study began during the project at multiple technical meetings and con- ferences that helped promote interest and understanding along the way. For any new test method to be used as part of the bid documents for a construction project, the equipment asso- ciated with the new test methods will need to be available commercially. The research team has been contacted by two potential equipment manufacturers to date, demonstrating an interest in commercial production of the equipment. Since ruggedness experiments were performed for the proposed test methods that were developed in AASHTOâs standard format, the only item needed to complete them is follow-up, complete ILS studies; submission to AASHTO for balloting can then occur. The market for the research products is primarily the AASHTO member states; other public agencies; FHWA, to some degree; and other industry stakeholders. It includes highway agencies and other entities involved in specifying, accepting, and paying for construction materials. The market for the presentation materials includes the broader industry stakeholders and specifically those entities and individuals that will serve as deployment leaders. Every state, county, and city road agency, and many other agencies, are stake- holders and potential users of the products of this research. These stakeholders need to be engaged in the process of implementation by recognizing the benefits the research will provide them. Communication and dissemination of the research products to stakeholders are essential for successful implementation. This involves development of knowledge- transfer materials that can be used by agencies, contractors, universities, local technical assistance program centers, and trade organizations such as ARRA. These will be in the form of the technical memoranda and the revised test methods. Dissemination of the research results will need to occur through the presentation and publication of research find- ings at conferences such at the TRB Annual Meeting; in peer reviewed journals; and presentations of the research findings at expert task group meetings, annual user-producer groups, and other industry meetings. C H A P T E R 5
117 5.2 Potential Institution and Individual Research Product Deployment Leaders Potential institution deployment leaders include the proj- ect research team, ARRA, AASHTO, consulting engineering firms or consultants that specialize in pavement engineering, and FHWA. AASHTO will be a key institution since the proposed guide specification and test methods will need to be published as AASHTO standards for ultimate implemen- tation of the research findings. FHWA has historically played a significant role in knowledge transfer, training, and imple- mentation support. ARRA also has a significant knowledge transfer and implementation support function that should be leveraged. FHWA has a cooperative agreement titled Development and Deployment of Innovative Asphalt Pavement Tech- nologies that has as its purpose to stimulate, facilitate, and expedite the deployment and rapid adoption of new and innovative technology relating to the design, production, testing, control, construction, and investigation of asphalt pavements. It is structured in tasks, and a task could be pro- posed to assist with implementation. Finally, NCHRP could play a role with a subsequent implementation support project that provides for training materials and regional workshops. Potential individual deployment leaders include key staff at the institutions referenced previously. 5.3 Assessment of Impediments to Successful Implementation Impediments to successful implementation would be those typical of most change-management activities and could be grouped into the following categories relative to the research outcomes of this project: policy and documentation, knowledge transfer and training, and operational stakeholder impediments. 5.3.1 Policy and Documentation Policy and documentation impediments are items that would need to be developed, revised, or deleted for success- ful implementation. Examples are revisions or updates to existing agency policies, standard specifications and special provisions, standard test methods, and acceptance-related documents such as quality-control plan requirements and acceptance criteria. Change does take effort, and at some public agencies there may be a desire not to make changes. 5.3.2 Knowledge Transfer and Training Knowledge transfer and training are central to the success- ful implementation of any new technology. They will need to take place with management, engineering and operational agency staff, and other industry stakeholders. Fortunately, the research topic is of significant interest, and industry will likely be supportive of agency changes to implement the products. Therefore, knowledge transfer and training will need to be developed in such a manner that they are scalable to the audience and include easily communicated examples. Delivery will have to be done in such a manner that the interest of stakeholders is maintained, including practitioner audiences using appropriate materials and communication techniques. Past FHWA and National Highway Institute knowledge transfer relative to specifications has been effec- tive. Many of the techniques historically used by them could be used successfully to assist with implementation of the research products. Knowledge-transfer opportunities to con- sider include: â¢ Webinars; â¢ Presentation conferences or meetings at the national, regional, state, and local government levels and industry trade association events; â¢ Workshops; and â¢ Demonstration projects. 5.3.3 Operational Stakeholders Impediments at the operational level would likely occur because of resistance to change and lack of understanding as to why the change is needed. A practical example of this at the construction-project level would be changes in test- ing requirements. Additional testing would be required to perform shear and raveling tests. Some contractor staff could interpret this as additional work with no value to them. They could also view the change as additional risk in that proj- ects could get delayed if the time to opening were extended compared to current practices. However, with an explanation that the time would be reduced relative to the times in most specifications today (i.e., a specified number of days before opening to traffic or surfacing), the perceived risk would be reduced, and transition to the new testing approach would be embraced. 5.4 Methods of Identifying and Measuring the Implementation Impacts The ability to measure impacts associated with implemen- tation of the findings and products of the research is straight- forward. The following is a list of key measurable impacts: 1. Do the three documents delivered in AASHTO stan- dard format (AASHTO Standard Guide Specification,
118 AASHTO Standard Method of Test for Evaluating Shear Resistance, and AASHTO Standard Method of Test for Evaluating Raveling Resistance) as part of the research ultimately become published AASHTO documents? 2. Does one or more equipment manufacturer produce commercially available shear and raveling fixtures? 3. How many agencies make documented changes to require- ments associated with: â The findings/products of the project, â Standard test methods used, â Quality control requirements, and â Standard specifications related to time to opening to traffic or surfacing?