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RESEARCH MANAGEMENT TOOLS WHAT WORKED AND WHAT DID NOT AASHTO RAC/TRB State Representatives 2014 Annual Meeting Barbara T. Harder B. T. Harder, Inc. July.

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Presentation on theme: "RESEARCH MANAGEMENT TOOLS WHAT WORKED AND WHAT DID NOT AASHTO RAC/TRB State Representatives 2014 Annual Meeting Barbara T. Harder B. T. Harder, Inc. July."— Presentation transcript:

1 RESEARCH MANAGEMENT TOOLS WHAT WORKED AND WHAT DID NOT AASHTO RAC/TRB State Representatives 2014 Annual Meeting Barbara T. Harder B. T. Harder, Inc. July 24, 2014 Madison, Wisconsin

2 BIG QUESTIONS OF RESEARCH MANAGEMENT Are we doing any good & are we effective? If so, how do we know we are? If WE know (that we’re making a positive impact), how are we making this known to decision-makers, other stakeholders & customers? Are we improving? 2 B. T. HARDER, INC.

3 THESE ARE NOT NEW QUESTIONS Results of First Round of Peer Exchanges* – Top Discussion Topics at Exchanges Implementation of Research Results Marketing and Outreach of Program and Focus on Customer Needs Performance Measurement and Value of the Research Effort NOTE: mutual assistance among RAC members is a long- standing practice * Harder presentation at RAC Annual Meeting St. Louis, B. T. HARDER, INC.

4 THERE IS GOOD NEWS -- WE’RE MAKING PROGRESS Darcy’s and Bill’s presentations; additional efforts by states RAC ad hoc Implementation Group – reflecting institutionalized activity “Research Makes the Difference” since 2009; Sweet 16 Competition highlighted at AASHTO Annual Meeting Performance Measures -- NCHRP  RPM Website; serious responses to MAP-21 4 B. T. HARDER, INC.

5 DIDN’T WORK TO WORK => GROWTH AND PROGRESS ID © Aboli Champhekar | Dreamstime.com Implementation Marketing and Communications Performance Measures 5 B. T. HARDER, INC.

6 WHAT WORKED & WHAT DID NOT? WHAT WORKED AND WHY? WHAT DIDN’T WORK AND WHAT LESSON DID YOU LEARN/HOW DID YOU MEET THE NEED? – Implementation management – Marketing and communications – Performance measures 6 B. T. HARDER, INC.

7 IMPLEMENTATION Research funds for research only; implementation is not research Some tech transfer done with research funds; implementation becoming more acceptable use of research funds High pressure to show research results; no specific funding for implementa- tion Growing understanding; implementation is integral to applied research; limited funds available for implementation Recognition of need for specific implementa- tion funding aligned with research funding Implementation of research results has always been important Some resources for initiating implementation migrated out of operating organizations (budget crunches, staff downsizing) Research and innovation offices are picking up the responsibility (being held accountable for impact of projects and program) 7 B. T. HARDER, INC.

8 MARKETING &COMMUNICATIONS THE CHALLENGE Marketing perceived as being something akin to used car sales Communication skills not developed in engineering programs – most researchers were engineers Researchers may have fostered the “Ivory Tower Syndrome” Few skills and even less management resources to “tell the story” Greater agency-wide effort to inform decision-makers, stakeholders & customers about stewardship of resources, safety, and mobility  more acceptable activity MOVING FORWARD Recognition of multiple skills required to manage research programs and projects Cycles of “want” and “less want” for resources and skills; contracting out seen as viable option Emerging sophistication with electronic media; cost effectiveness Research successes are good news 8 B. T. HARDER, INC.

9 PERFORMANCE MEASURES Quantitative vs. Qualitative Qualitative some quantitative Effort for fully quantitative Higher level of quantitative, qualitative not given sufficient cred Gaining better understanding of metrics and their uses Working toward getting adequate resources to do the job 9 B. T. HARDER, INC.

10 WHAT WORKED & WHAT DID NOT? WHAT WORKED AND WHY? WHAT DIDN’T WORK AND WHAT LESSON DID YOU LEARN/HOW DID YOU MEET THE NEED? – Implementation management – Marketing and communications – Performance measures 10 B. T. HARDER, INC.

11 Barbara T. Harder B. T. Harder, Inc THANK YOU! 11


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