As described in Chapter 2, strategies are the active management of the agency’s: organization; workforce; knowledge; information; data; and partnerships/ relationships with its stakeholders. Chapter 2 presented these strategies at a high-level, in the context of the ACB framework. It described strategies as the ways State DOTs can respond to needs and opportunities by strengthening existing capabilities or building new capabilities to close gaps in the agency’s critical capabilities needed to address change.
The strategies detailed in this chapter are major topics in management science and a wealth of resources about them is readily available. The approach used in this chapter will be to describe how to apply the strategy in the context of agency capability building and will point to available resources. It will also use practice examples to illustrate how these strategies have been applied to increase capabilities. This chapter outlines the mechanics of the strategies in more detail and references existing guidance and tools that can be used in conjunction to build essential capabilities.
The activities associated with these strategies comprise the methodologies, practices, professional development and other general approaches used. Each category of strategies includes a list of subcategories that clarify what is included and examples of capabilities that are developed through these strategies.
Capability-building is not one-size-fits-all. Organizations at a low level of capability in any of these areas may not be able to employ the same strategies as those at a moderate level of capability because they have a bigger gap to close to get where they want or need to be. Having a range of strategies available for transportation agency leaders and practitioners helps all agencies understand what is needed to advance the practice generally across all maturity capability levels, and provides a roadmap for closing the gap more specifically within each individual agency.
Each category of strategies includes a case study to illustrate how an agency used that strategy to build a capability.