The guidebook introduces the Agency Capability Building (ACB) framework, which provides a big picture view of the workforce, information, and technology trends and challenges DOTs face in developing and maintaining crucial capabilities. It was developed to help digest everything that goes into an organization’s capabilities. The ACB framework consists of three components:

  • Change Forces are external factors and trends affecting DOTs. They are either positive or negative disrupters that impact an agency’s ability to deliver value to their customers, such as the national performance management requirements in MAP-21/FAST performance-based planning and programming requirements.
  • Needs are defined as the things that DOTs must be able to do to respond to the change forces. Capabilities are closely related to organizational needs, with the needs providing clues to capability gaps. In this sense, organizational needs serve as the gaps between the current state capabilities and those required to adapt to change forces. Building on the previous example, MAP21/FAST challenged some state DOTs to use data-informed decision-making in ways that were beyond their existing data analysis capabilities.
  • Strategies are ways that DOTs can respond to the needs and strengthen the required organizational capabilities. Strategies are used to strengthen existing capabilities and develop new capabilities to adapt to change. In the previous example, a state DOT might use workforce management approaches to recruit and retain staff with data analysis skills.