Last Lecture

Audience listens lecturer at workshop in conference hall, rear view

Retiring employee, or an employee with expertise who is leaving a position, is given the opportunity to conduct a last lecture to share their experiences through a final presentation. The employee describes “what really happened” to give context, provides an example of program success or innovative process, or reflects on their experience of a particular topic to provide information that would otherwise be lost.

LAST LECTURE

WHAT

  • Retiring employees give a presentation on a program, process, or procedure that they oversaw or with which they are familiar.

WHY

·        To capture knowledge of an individual retiring or leaving a position or the agency.

·        To explain something

WHEN

  • In a staff meeting and/or lunchtime talk

HOW

  • Face to face, in a webinar, or via video.
  • The presentation should be recorded and posted for future access.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Make the presentation relevant to employees’ experience

LINKS & RESOURCES

Knowledge Management Toolbox, Last Lecture. NJDOT Technology Transfer. Website. Retrieved at: https://www.njdottechtransfer.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/STIC-Q2-Feature-Presentation-Operations-Apprenticeship-Program.pdf

EXAMPLES

KM Toolbox: Last Lecture on Operations Apprenticeship Program

At the NJ STIC 2nd Quarter meeting, held on June 16, 2021, Michele Shapiro, Director, NJDOT Human Resources, presented on the Operations Apprenticeship Program as it relates to Strategic Workforce Development, an FHWA EDC-6 initiative. Ms. Shapiro retired from NJDOT in 2021 and her presentation serves as a Last Lecture, a knowledge sharing strategy that provides insight on a particular topic from an individual leaving an agency.
KM Toolbox: Last Lecture on Operations Apprenticeship Program

Knowledge Maps

organization hierarchy concept, business man manage complex logic of mindmap

Knowledge mapping is used to help identify sources of knowledge within an organization and build knowledge networks. The strategy is used to discover the location, form, ownership, value and use of specific knowledge and people's expertise to make better use of knowledge and identify barriers to, and gaps in, knowledge flow.  Knowledge assets can be tacit, such as an employee’s knowledge of a process, or it could be explicit, such as a project report. The mapping process can lead to documentation of tacit knowledge to fill gaps.

KNOWLEDGE MAPS

WHAT

  • Knowledge mapping identifies what each individual/role knows and their daily interactions to characterize their job functions. The map can take different forms (e.g. a network analysis map or matrix) to describe these relationships. Each employee should list any additional people within the agency they contact when a problem or issue arises. This tool is used on a case by-case basis.

WHY

  • Reduces knowledge silos and duplication of effort.
  • Identifies “go-to” people within the agency who play a critical role in knowledge transfer, to ensure continuity
  • Helps to identify knowledge barriers and gaps that slow a process or procedure.

WHEN

  • There is a need to prevent knowledge loss by understanding and building knowledge networks.

HOW

  • Sources can be identified as individuals or as employees in a particular position. Employees identify who they go to for specific information.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Connect together all of your knowledge assets in a visual way to see what knowledge the agency unit has and where there are gaps.

LINKS & RESOURCES

TBD

EXAMPLES

Critical Incident Review / Lessons Learned

Male construction road worker holding a stop sign and directing

Focuses on finding root causes and process issues when a process, procedure, or project implementation has failed or errors have occurred. The review process supports discussion among agency staff who have knowledge of the event concerning what worked, what did not work, and why in order to make improvements. Captured lessons show experienced employees' approach to problem solving. Lessons learned can be reposed in a database or other resource to provide a history of experience that is accessible over time.

CRITICAL INCIDENT REVIEW / LESSONS LEARNED

WHAT

  • A collaborative review of a critical incident, or an error in process, procedure, or project implementation that results in a description of a more efficient way to accomplish a job, or details of how best to avoid an error.

WHY

  • To ensure that errors are not recreated.
  • The process of gathering input from multiple perspectives provides a model practice to problem solving.

WHEN

  • When a critical incident has occurred or at the conclusion of a project.

HOW

  • Include people with whom you worked and who have knowledge of the critical incident, in your unit or in other units, to gather perspectives and insights and to ensure that the lesson is accurate and useful.
  • Make lesson learned accessible to inform future practice.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Define what constitutes a critical incident.
  • Create description of review process.

LINKS & RESOURCES

TBD

EXAMPLES

Mentoring

Hand with marker writing - Mentoring concept

A mentoring program can be an effective recruitment and retention strategy, and as such, should be supported by leadership. A mentor will be a senior staff member who functions as a coach, advisor, and teacher to a new employee or one who requests assistance and guidance in career development or personal growth within the organization. A mentor should be an individual outside of a mentee’s chain of supervision. Both mentors and mentees can benefit from the relationship. Mentors benefit from identification as a role model, and can learn from the mentee’s questions and knowledge.

NJDOT’s Women in Transportation group runs a Department-wide mentoring program to encourage the sharing of knowledge and expertise among employees to build “a stronger, more adaptive organization.”

MENTORING

WHAT

  • Mentoring occurs when senior staff act as mentors who assist individuals in working toward personal and professional goals and in gaining knowledge of the organization. Established mentoring programs can support recruitment, retention, knowledge management and workforce development.

WHY

  • Communicates knowledge of organizational culture
  • Provides a reliable contact outside the immediate work hierarchy
  • Guides individual in achieving career goals
  • Aids in retention of talent
  • Creates connections of trust within the organization

WHEN

  • Individuals may seek a mentor when they wish to advance in a career, and when they need information on “how things work”
  • Mentors listen, question, encourage, assess and help mentees develop greater professional skills to achieve personal and career goals

HOW

  • Mentors should have no performance management interest in the mentee
  • Mentoring may be effective in building stronger ties with new employees by pairing them with senior workers, thereby contributing to retention
  • Participation is voluntary
  • Goals, objectives, and developmental needs identified at outset
  • Meetings and discussions are confidential
  • Ending the relationship at any time should be acceptable
  • Mentoring programs must be supported by leadership

PRACTICE CONSIDERATIONS

  • Mentors should have no performance management interest in the mentee
  • Mentoring may be effective in building stronger ties with new employees by pairing them with senior workers, thereby contributing to retention
  • Participation is voluntary
  • Goals, objectives, and developmental needs identified at outset
  • Meetings and discussions are confidential
  • Ending the relationship at any time should be acceptable
  • Mentoring programs must be supported by leadership

LINKS & RESOURCES

TBD

EXAMPLES

Mentoring in Monroe: An Interview on NJDOT’s Commitment to Communities

We spoke with NJDOT's Dr. Venkiteela about the mentorship process, a capstone project undertaken with students at Monroe Township High School, and what the future may hold for
Mentoring in Monroe: An Interview on NJDOT’s Commitment to Communities

Exploring Strategic Workforce Development in NJ: An Interview with the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey

We spoke with Jill Schiff (Executive Director, Operations) and Darlene Regina (COO) of the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey (ACCNJ) to hear their perspective on
Exploring Strategic Workforce Development in NJ:  An Interview with the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey

KM Interview: Cross-Training in Construction Services

Cross-training involves teaching an employee hired for one job responsibility, to perform the functions and skills of other job responsibilities within an organization. We spoke
KM Interview: Cross-Training in Construction Services

Professional Engineering Design Experience Program Launched at NJDOT – Provides Career Opportunities toward Licensure

NJDOT recently released an interactive website dedicated solely to WIN information, providing all users with statistics, visualizations, and data downloads.
Professional Engineering Design Experience Program Launched at NJDOT – Provides Career Opportunities toward Licensure

Training

Training Concept Highway Sign - 3D Rendering

Training programs are structured to instruct multiple employees on a specific topic, process, or procedure at one time. A subject matter expert relates the information in a single session of short duration (e.g., half day or less) or over several sequential sessions on related topics. This strategy can be employed when introducing a new procedure, updating an established procedure, or refreshing knowledge of an established procedure to ensure that all affected employees have the needed information.

TRAINING

WHAT

  • A training session of limited duration on one specific topic, or a series of sessions on various related topics. A subject matter expert (SME) conducts the training that might address use of a new piece of equipment or a new process, or provides a refresher on some procedure that is applicable to multiple employees.

WHY

  • An efficient way to train employees that gives an opportunity for all attendees to benefit from questions asked and answered. The instructor can gauge the success of the knowledge transfer.

WHEN

  • A new process or instrument is introduced and multiple employees need to learn to use it.
  • Refresher training is needed for effective use of an instrument or process, or changes in a process require updates for users.

HOW

  • Define topic area(s) to be covered, identify a SME to present.
  • Develop presentation materials and assessment measures.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Ensure that the presentation and discussion stays on topic and that the training stays within the designated time frame.
  • Ensure that all affected employees attend training.

LINKS &
RESOURCES

Guthrie, B. M., & Eng, P. (2017, March). Project Management Boot Camps. In TAC 2017: Investing in Transportation: Building Canada's Economy—2017 Conference and Exhibition of the Transportation Association of Canada.

EXAMPLES

The State of New Jersey’s LTAP Local Technical Assistance Program (NJLTAP) is based at Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation. Funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), NJLTAP provides professional development opportunities to local public agencies and consultants conducting work on their behalf. NJLTAP trains approximately 3,000 transportation professionals annually in nearly 200 different courses and workshops sponsored by the FHWA and NJDOT. See LTAP Training and Events

ALSO SEE:

NJDOT Training Database. Program Management Office.
Add a caption about training

Cross Training

Woman feet on bycikle pedal in sunset light

Cross training allows employees to learn about other positions in the organization while maintaining their own position. Cross training programs can share employees across units or within units. Advantages include creation of redundancy for a position. In the case of cross training between units, the practice can improve knowledge of the function of other units and how the work in various agency units fits together, and development of personal connections to other units which can also facilitate knowledge sharing on common tasks or projects. This strategy may assist with knowledge sharing in anticipation of a retirement or other loss of institutional knowledge, or in the event of a short- or long-term vacancy. A successful program requires coordination, supervision, and mentoring.

CROSS TRAINING
(MOBILITY ASSIGNMENTS)

WHAT

  • Training an employee to do the work of another.

WHY

  • An employee familiar with a role can fill in for the permanent employee on a short term or long term basis.
  • This strategy can be used to help employees understand different functions within the organization and gain skills and knowledge.

WHEN

  • In anticipation of a vacancy or other short- or long-term vacancy.
  • Within a structured program, introduces employees to agency functions outside their units.

HOW

  • A structured program will identify appropriate use, timeframe for the training, and evaluation metrics for participants.
  • Within units, training for functional redundancy.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Determine approaches to involve new employees, employees at mid-level, and for leadership development.
  • Ensure that supervisors have adequate time to oversee individuals in a cross training program.

LINKS & RESOURCES

Several state DOTs are employing cross-training as a tool to improve performance, respond to workforce transitions, and support a culture of innovation. Information about how cross-training and related knowledge management tools are being implemented at other DOTs can be found in the Appendix to National Cooperative Highway Research Project Scan 13-01: Advances in Developing a Cross-Trained Workforce.

EXAMPLES

KM Interview: Cross-Training in Construction Services

Cross-training involves teaching an employee hired for one job responsibility, to perform the functions and skills of other job responsibilities within an organization. We spoke ...
KM Interview: Cross-Training in Construction Services

Preparing students for jobs in the skilled trades is a good strategy to provide employment opportunities for all.

Structured On-the-Job Training

Engineer Showing Apprentices How To Use CNC Tool Making Machine

Structured on-the-job training provides a trainee with direct instruction from an experienced worker and hands-on experience of the job at the job site. A structured program defines specific tasks and skills to be learned and a sequence of learning to build on knowledge. Documentation of knowledge transferred is required.

STRUCTURED ON-THE-JOB TRAINING

WHAT

  • Structured learning process that provides hands-on training of skills or procedures.

WHY

  • Provides trainee with job experience. An individual with experience provides training that includes procedural steps and communicates tacit knowledge.

WHEN

  • Practical training is necessary to ensure knowledge acquisition and equipment and materials needed to learn the job are not available in a classroom setting or it is not practicable to teach in a classroom.

HOW

  • Determine knowledge to be shared. Identify trainer.
  • Develop step-by-step instructions.
  • Establish learning objectives and timeline.
  • Present the lesson and have trainee describe the task and perform the task with supervision.
  • Ensure that trainee can perform the task independently.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Instructors should have thorough grasp of the job and should be skilled in teaching and coaching. These individuals may need resources.
  • Develop step-by-step instructions to ensure complete instruction. Follow up with trainee.

LINKS & RESOURCES

TBD

EXAMPLES

Exploring Strategic Workforce Development – Model Programs, Partnerships and Lessons from Oregon

We spoke with representatives from Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) to explore their roles and partnership in funding, promoting, and providing technical assistance for on-the-job training programs, and pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to enter highway construction and other related fields.
Exploring Strategic Workforce Development – Model Programs, Partnerships and Lessons from Oregon

Exploring Strategic Workforce Development in NJ: An Interview with the IUOE Local 825

We spoke with Greg Lalevee, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825. The organization collaborates with Hudson County Community College (HCCC) on a newly established apprenticeship program and undertakes other initiatives focused on workforce development in highway construction and related fields.
Exploring Strategic Workforce Development in NJ: An Interview with the IUOE Local 825

Exploring Strategic Workforce Development in NJ: An Interview with the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey

We spoke with Jill Schiff (Executive Director, Operations) and Darlene Regina (COO) of the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey (ACCNJ) to hear their perspective on pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in New Jersey.
Exploring Strategic Workforce Development in NJ:  An Interview with the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey

Job Shadowing

Serious old female mentor teacher coach teaching intern or student computer work pointing at laptop, mature executive manager explaining online project to young employee learning new skills in office

This strategy can introduce workers to a particular position, and assist them with career decisions by identifying daily tasks, and the education and training required for a position and related positions. Workers will have a broader understanding of roles within the organization. Job shadowing serves as a coaching opportunity rather than a thorough training program.

JOB SHADOWING

WHAT

  • A less experienced staff member follows a veteran staff member to learn the day-to-day procedures of a job, or aspects of a particular task, project or process.

WHY

  • Provides learner with information about the organization and exposure to a particular position, possibly assisting individual(s) with career decisions. May be useful in workforce planning.

WHEN

  • An individual seeks to know about a position in the organization.

HOW

  • Identify experienced staff member and individual(s) who will shadow. Determine knowledge transfer goals and timeline.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Ensure that the experienced staff member is substantially more experienced and can provide, not only information on the job processes, but also job coaching. This is not a substitute for thorough on-the-job training; clarify up front the roles and goals.

LINKS & RESOURCES

TBD

EXAMPLES

Succession Planning Literature Scan

This literature scan highlights examples of succession planning initiatives being undertaken by State DOTs.
Succession Planning Literature Scan

Communities of Practice

People and modern technology connection.

Through regular interaction, participants create a “tight, effective loop of insight, problem identification, learning, and knowledge production” (Burk, 2000 in Hammer 2008). Within these groups, trust develops so that information imparted by participating subject matter experts is considered trustworthy and valuable. This level of trust supports dissemination of information. Informal networks may function within an organization, but the formation of a CoP implies leadership support and acknowledgment of the value of the strategy.

COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE

WHAT

  • Sharing tacit knowledge to support problem solving and collaboration among participants in order to deepen knowledge and expertise.

WHY

  • An efficient way to train employees that gives an opportunity for all attendees to benefit from questions asked and answered. The instructor can gauge the success of the knowledge transfer.

WHEN

  • Organized around a profession, shared roles, and/or common issues
  • May be formed within a unit, with individuals in different units, or with individuals in various organizations
  • Whenever tacit information can be shared to improve individual knowledge and support organization goals

HOW

  • Determine focus of the group
  • Invite subject matter experts within the agency and in affiliate organizations.
  • Determine how often to meet and how meeting will occur

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Leadership must sanction the concept of Communities of Practice
  • Participation is voluntary
  • Management should not be involved in the group
  • Focus is on sharing information, rather than taking action

EXAMPLES

Tech Talk! Data Visualization in Transportation: Communicating Transportation Findings and Plans

The NJDOT Bureau of Research hosted a Tech Talk! event that highlighted research and innovative examples of data visualization methods in use by transportation agencies.
Tech Talk! Data Visualization in Transportation: Communicating Transportation Findings and Plans