Agency Capability Building: Transforming Agencies to Address Future Trends

Welcome to the ACB Blog!

Welcome to the Agency Capability-Building Blog! Our blog is here to help your agency prepare for the future by responding in an agile and resilient way to emerging societal, economic, and environmental trends. These trends include changes in the workforce, new technologies, climate change, and shifts in agency roles and focus (e.g., becoming more community focused}.


We understand these trends are having a significant impact on transportation agencies’ ability to adapt. For example, agencies are striving to become more transparent, agile, and resilient in the face of new technologies. They are adjusting operations and focusing on attracting and retaining talented individuals with the right skills to address new challenges that often extend beyond transportation organizational boundaries.

To close these resource gaps, agencies need to develop fresh organizational, workforce, information, data, and knowledge management strategies and work more closely with public and private sector stakeholders. With our help, you can inspire and empower your agency to achieve its goals and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

The first set of outreach materials has been distributed to build awareness of the framework and guidance. A community of practice (COP) was launched November 14, 2023. The COP members, representing a broad range of transportation professionals with an interest in organizational capabilities, provided their initial input on the ACB framework, COP schedule and activities, and planned stakeholder engagement opportunities.

COP Feedback and Findings:

The COP indicated more work is needed to provide agencies with potential use cases for piloting the ACB portal and making it easier to zero in on the exact resources needed to address specific issues.

Member polling showed the change forces that directly affect agencies’ most critical outcomes are legislation, regulation, and funding, followed closely by technology advancement and workforce evolution. Members ranked the most critical outcomes for their agencies as safety, mobility, economic development, agency efficiency, and effectiveness. Members emphasized the impact of an organization’s culture on innovation, operations, and workforce demographics in a post-COVID world also need to be addressed.

The most pressing shared challenge faced by members is the need to attract and retain a skilled workforce while aligning their skills to organizational needs. Resource gaps like technology adoption and transparency were identified as more easily resolved. Some other important organizational needs members want included are leadership development, ways to attract and retain talent, ensuring a healthy and thriving culture, how to adopt changes, and the fear of not doing the right thing.

Members of the COP also shared their opinions on the most important strategies, and both organizational management and workforce management were deemed crucial. They stated their go-to tactics for improving capabilities include training, professional and leadership development, hiring consultants, and relying on HR divisions. The choice of strategies is influenced by several factors, such as urgency, convenience, readiness, risk tolerance, resources available to address the issue, and orientation toward firefighting. They also emphasized the importance of change management as a critical lever.

COP members then provided feedback on possible communications media, and reacted positively to a variety of media options, including testimonial videos, job aids, infographics like carousels and other micro-learning media, and blogs. They also highlighted the significance of engaging with agency leadership in building awareness. Several members of the group invited the research team to speak at upcoming meetings and webinars.


We will continue to communicate what’s happening with the project, and the feedback that is helping to shape implementation of the resources. We hope you join us as we continue to build awareness, engagement, and participation and begin to see agencies rewarded in the form of enhanced and new capabilities as they contribute to the resource base on the ACB Portal.