Research Program Design---Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies. Leading in Lean Times: Maximizing Resources in a Constrained Environment

State departments of transportation (DOTs) increasingly are required to develop programs and projects, and to operate and maintain facilities and services with both reduced budgets and staff. For example, 21 states are reducing appropriations for transportation infrastructure programs in the current fiscal year. Several DOTs already have implemented reductions in force, staff furloughs, and substantial restructurings, and more are likely to do so. Managing in such lean times calls for resourceful and imaginative leadership. Senior DOT officials seek strategic examples and role models as well as specific tactics and tools they can use to ensure that agency resources are effectively deployed to deliver the greatest possible benefit to their customers. Leaders in other organizations have faced similar challenges. Pressures of global competition, technological innovation, shifting resource costs, and workforce evolution have given rise to the need to enhance productivity and to new organizational structures, procurement practices, compensation policies, and project management tools. Knowledge gained from documentation and analysis of experience from private sector enterprise and other public-sector organizations worldwide can inform DOT leaders. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) seeks to make such knowledge about leading in lean times available to senior DOT managers in formats that encourage thoughtful exchange among peers and creative transfer of useful lessons from practical experience. The objectives of this project were to (1) prepare a critical review of current research and experience regarding management tactics and specific tools and techniques leaders of large public and private organizations use in managing limited resources most effectively to achieve strategic business goals; and (2) plan, conduct, and document a workshop to present and discuss how DOT leaders can use such information to lead their agencies in lean times. The project entailed a review of literature and current research and practice in large enterprises to describe management tactics and specific tools and techniques leaders of such enterprises use in managing limited resources most effectively to achieve strategic business goals. The review was intended to present current thinking and case studies in such areas as resource acquisition and productivity-control techniques, work-flow streamlining, and data acquisition and information reporting internationally. A workshop was then planned and held to engage senior leaders from a number of DOTs with selected strategic management experts in a setting selected to facilitate thoughtful information exchange.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-24(81)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Performing Organizations:

    ICF International

  • Principal Investigators:

    Park, Hyun-A

  • Start Date: 20110927
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120627
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38732

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01549552
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-24(81)
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2015 1:00AM