B.T. Harder presentation-

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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 24, 2014 Madison, Wisconsin
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?
B. T. HARDER, INC.
2
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 longstanding practice
B. T. HARDER, INC.
* Harder presentation at RAC Annual Meeting St. Louis, 2000
3
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 20-63 
RPM Website; serious responses to MAP-21
B. T. HARDER, INC.
4
DIDN’T WORK TO WORK =>
GROWTH AND PROGRESS
Implementation
Marketing and
Communications
Performance
Measures
5
B. T. HARDER, INC.
ID 20798224 © Aboli Champhekar | Dreamstime.com
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
B. T. HARDER, INC.
6
IMPLEMENTATION
• 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)
Research funds
for research only;
implementation
is not research
B. T. HARDER, INC.
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 implementation
Growing
understanding;
implementation is
integral to
applied research;
limited funds
available for
implementation
Recognition of
need for
specific
implementation funding
aligned with
research
funding
7
MARKETING &COMMUNICATIONS
Greater agency-wide effort to
THE CHALLENGE
inform decision-makers,
stakeholders & customers about
• Marketing perceived as
being something akin to usedstewardship of resources, safety,
car sales
and mobility  more
• Communication skills not
acceptable activity
developed in engineering
MOVING FORWARD
programs – most researchers
were engineers
• Recognition of multiple skills required to
manage research programs and
• Researchers may have
projects
fostered the “Ivory Tower
Syndrome”
• Cycles of “want” and “less want” for
• Few skills and even less
resources and skills; contracting out
management resources to
seen as viable option
“tell the story”
• Emerging sophistication with electronic
media; cost effectiveness
• Research successes are good news
B. T. HARDER, INC.
8
PERFORMANCE MEASURES
Quantitative vs. Qualitative
Gaining better
understanding of
metrics and their
uses
Effort for fully
quantitative
Qualitative
some
quantitative
B. T. HARDER, INC.
Higher level of
quantitative,
qualitative not
given sufficient
cred
Working
toward getting
adequate
resources to
do the job
9
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
B. T. HARDER, INC.
10
THANK YOU!
Barbara T. Harder
B. T. Harder, Inc.
[email protected]
215-735-2482
11
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