Peer Exchange 2020 Action Plan

Based on the insights and lessons learned from the peer exchange, DDOT has developed a series of actions to improve the Research Program over the next 3-4 years. Each topic area has a series of action identified, grouped into timeframes.

TermCore ProgramKnowledge ManagementBuilding ConnectionsStrategic PlanningRapid Response
Immediate (2021)
  • Revise call for research projects approach to allow for identification of PIs earlier in the project development cycle if the project champion wants that.
  • Implement improved tracking for intern projects to allow for better integration into overall program reporting.
  • Revisit internship feedback processes for interns and managers and make sure surveys and/or feedback sessions are used again this year.
  • Develop a summary for leadership on the knowledge management opportunities and gaps within DDOT to familiarize them with the opportunities
  • Explore the creation of a “who’s who of DDOT” tool that will allow individuals to self-identify as interested in research and flag areas of expertise and other interests
  • Include an overview of the library and research services in the on-boarding process
  • Revisit Research Program and Library marketing materials and build on examples seen during the peer exchange.
  • Review existing research roadmaps from TRB (mostly cooperative research programs) and other states to identify opportunities and overlaps with our agency interests.
  • Work with leadership to identify agency priorities to link research activities back to; this may be related to what comes out of moveDC as well as the revised agency vision, mission, and equity statement.
  • Review pilot intake process to make sure we are getting the information we need during intake, revisit the questions Mark framed in his presentation.
  • Conduct pilot policy framework project proposed in FY21 Work Program

Progress Notes

updated: 10/18/21

  • Call for project revisions will wait until university contract is re-solicited.
  • Revised intern projects page to be better able to follow. Waiting as well to see what will come out of research project tracking system pooled fund to see if that can help with intern project tracking
  • KM summary drafted, socializing with other internal partners (L&D, CIO) to prepare to move forward.
  • "Who's who" idea is under discussion with ASD and John Thomas. Restarting conversation to add new CIO, Khaled Falah, in October.

  • Pilot policy framework project is moving through procurement.
Near Term
  • Review the most recent round(s) of research projects to determine what factors are driving project costs and timeframes (including our delays in getting underway).
  • Implement project implementation tracking with help from university partner, as outlined in new support contract solicitation.
  • Update the library strategic plan
  • Continue to support other program areas in setting up their wiki presence. Explore with other wiki stakeholders the idea of templates for basic program area summaries.
  • Create and distribute a DDOT wide user-survey to engage with employees on how the Library can best serve them, and what materials we should focus on acquiring.
  • Set up a mechanism to keep senior leadership informed about Research Program activities.
  • Create an internal affinity group of research experts (e.g. those with PhDs) who can assist project managers on more technical research project aspects and help build awareness and interest in research among their programs. This could replace the older “research subcommittee” that has long been defunct.
  • Test out the “research roundtables” idea from MassDOT to build connections between researchers and DDOT staff before the call for research projects cycle starts each year.
  • Identify the right partners nationally with whom to explore the idea of a subject matter expert “rolodex.”
  • Look at moveDC and talk to leadership to identify strategic directions to focus and guide the Research Program’s work.
  • Explore development of an initial strategic research plan and/or mini research roadmap within DDOT for one high priority area (e.g. safety).
  • Revisit prioritization process/guidance for research project selection to incorporate better guidance on strategic priorities.
  • Initiate a new round of needs identification with agency staff.
  • Identify where Research Program can and should support program evaluation efforts identified in moveDC.
  • Initiate a conversation internally about who leads on innovation more broadly, work to support whoever is identified as the best lead.
  • As DCQI effort expands, figure out how that might interact with an innovation conference like other states are doing.
Progress Notes

Medium Term
  • Conduct post-project process reviews with project managers to determine what is and is not working and determine steps to improve our research projects (both in terms of process and technical outcomes).
  • Create a knowledge/information management plan, with the hope of clarifying what types of documents/data go on what platform.
  • Explore creating something similar to the widely-used Ask a Librarian service used by other government libraries, which may help the Library and Research generally centralize things like market scan/literature review/general online research questions. This could possibly be done through the Wiki at no extra cost to the agency
  • Expand the network of researchers partnering with DDOT, per the process to be defined in the new university research program support contract and with particular emphasis on research in areas defined as high need for the agency. This can build on the research roundtables idea and also the strategic planning work.
  • Continue needs identification and consider a process for systematizing these conversations based on what is and is not working this round.
  • Explore systematizing development of strategic research plans and/or mini research roadmaps within DDOT for high priority areas, based on progress from near term efforts.
  • Support and participate in any national urban transportation research roadmap efforts (ongoing).
  • Work with partners internally to start tracking innovations more holistically in the agency. Explore the use of innovation capture methods (e.g. MnDOT’s survey mechanism)
  • Look at requests we are getting for funding for pilots and other quick response efforts and figure out if there are better ways to program for those costs.
Progress Notes