Assessing and Measuring the Business Value of Knowledge Management

About 40% of the workforce in most state departments of transportation (DOTs) will be eligible for retirement within a few years, taking with them significant institutional knowledge. Collaboration and interdisciplinary work are also increasing the need for effective, efficient, and timely knowledge transfer. State DOTs and other transportation agencies can benefit from knowledge management (KM) techniques and practices to help identify, capture, and transfer institutional knowledge and support continuous learning. State DOTs use metrics to measure and monitor the effectiveness of activities conducted by their organizations, including KM. According to NCHRP Report 813: A Guide to Agency-Wide Knowledge Management for State Departments of Transportation, “knowledge management” is a general term for techniques used to preserve and enhance the knowledge of an organization’s employees and effectively employ that knowledge as an asset. KM comprises the set of principles and practices an organization can use to identify, capture, organize, preserve, disseminate, and apply critical knowledge in pursuit of the organization’s strategic mission. The goal of KM is to enhance organizational effectiveness and efficiency by facilitating mobilization and productive employment of this knowledge. KM includes people, processes, technology, and content (i.e., data and information). KM also includes tangible and intangible benefits, e.g., increased productivity, reduced costs, institutional knowledge retention and transfer, organizational resilience and agility, and employee job satisfaction. Many state DOTs implement elements of KM using strategies such as workforce and succession planning, learning communities, networking, knowledge sharing, and information technology. Federal agencies and the private sector have experience with KM, and many have established methods and metrics for managing their KM programs. While state DOTs are making progress with integrating KM practices into many of their business practices, they generally lack experience with measuring the effects of these new activities and understanding what obstacles exist to successful deployment, e.g., cultural factors and unfamiliarity with KM benefits. Research is needed to identify useful quantitative and qualitative approaches for assessing and measuring KM. The objective of this research is to create a guidebook that will help state DOTs: (1) develop KM assessment and measurement methods relevant to state DOT business practices; (2) improve agency leadership understanding of KM connections to other organizational practices; (3) identify options for placement of KM programs within organizational structures; and (4) foster internal partnerships that support knowledge retention, sharing, and development in state DOTs.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $550000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 23-17

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Jared, David

  • Performing Organizations:

    Iknow, LLC

  • Principal Investigators:

    Palowitch, Bernard

  • Start Date: 20230613
  • Expected Completion Date: 20250613
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739665
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 23-17
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 21 2020 10:16AM