U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
|This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information|
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-133
Date: December 2005
Enhanced Night Visibility, Volume II: Overview of Phase I and Development of Phase II
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CHAPTER 6—ACTIVITY 5. DEMONSTRATION/IMPLEMENTATION
To achieve successful, full deployment of the technologies being researched, each level of the research process needed input from the stakeholders who would have a crucial role in the final deployment. Although the real-world implementation of the technology was a separate project milestone, it was a vital part of the research throughout the project. Stakeholders were accorded a much higher degree of ownership in the process than is typical of basic research.
For the first year of the project, the implementation team was charged with the fulfillment of two objectives:
The first implementation team objective for milestone 1, Performance of Design Objectives, in year 1 was to initiate primary stakeholder involvement through the research advisory board and begin disseminating information regarding the project's purpose and goals as well as any preliminary results. It was hoped that this process would guide the performance and design objectives toward the needs of applicable Federal and State agencies and especially the automotive industry. Indeed, eventual commercial deployment of UV–A and fluorescent technologies had become the project's focus so much so that the research team did some major rethinking regarding the state of current UV–A technology as applied to automotive lighting systems. The automotive and lighting manufacturers gave impetus to this repositioning, which called for reconceptualization of the project. This was not seen as a setback. Indeed, such a refocusing was exactly the purpose of the implementation team: to focus the project on the necessary precursors to actual market deployment of UV–A and fluorescent technologies. In other words, if certain aspects of the project had to change, it was because input from the potential commercial market indicated that such change was necessary.
As mentioned, automotive and lighting stakeholders, as well as VDOT, played a key role in decisionmaking in the first year of this project. To that point, the following major stakeholder groups were incorporated in the evolving approach:
The research team determined that the foremost problem in getting UV–A headlamps incorporated into passenger cars would be acceptance from automobile manufacturers. The eventual successful deployment of this technology would depend largely on the automotive manufacturers' perception of the potential benefits and costs (in terms of the automotive manufacturing process, electrical system impact) of this technology. With this in mind, even though original plans for the first year called only for detailing how the project team would go about making contacts with the automotive industry, the project team started building such connections early in the process. The importance of automotive manufacturer support for the team's design of the experiment was simply too great to address later in the project. The team conducted many phone conversations with both automotive industry and lighting industry executives. In addition, the team traveled to Detroit to discuss in detail the purpose and structure of the project with USCAR. The input from USCAR was significant, and resource support for this project from USCAR seemed likely.
It also became apparent during the first year of this project that the major lighting manufacturers would also play a key role in any successful deployment attempt; it is the lighting manufacturers who must decide that the potential benefits of producing this technology for the automotive industry is worth the cost and risk of major factory retooling and manufacturing process reengineering. Given that these lighting manufacturers rely heavily on input received from the major automakers, the project team decided that both of these stakeholder groups must be approached and worked with in tandem. To that point, the approach proved fruitful. The project team believed that UV–A headlamp fixtures would be produced for project testing. Support for this production would come from both the original project budget and, potentially, resources from USCAR.
The implementation team's second Phase I objective was to produce a detailed plan for the construction of a larger UV–A and fluorescent implementation network—a stakeholder network of industry representatives, government representatives (Federal, State, and municipal), and nongovernment organizations such as public safety interest groups (e.g., Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the American Association of Retired Persons) focused on successful deployment of UV–A and fluorescent technologies. The following paragraphs describe the plan for extending the existing network. While the plan called for full development of an implementation network during the remainder of the study, the implementation team was to focus on completing just task 5.1; tasks 5.2 to 5.4 were to be completed in a follow-on effort.
TASK 5.1: ASSESSING POTENTIAL SUPPORT NETWORK FOR NATIONWIDE DEPLOYMENT
Network Market Assessment
The implementation team was to assess potential economic support from a possible system of stakeholders and the implementation network. Support—monetary or willingness to actively participate in the network—could come from key organizations.
The implementation team was to conduct a first-level assessment of the potential network market using a modified Delphi technique. Participants were to be existing research board members and representatives from already established stakeholder groups (automotive and lighting manufacturers). The results of this technique were to give the team an initial read on where the network stood and what actions would best expand it.
Following this initial assessment, secondary resources were to be studied, including printed and electronic reports, articles, books, dissertations, and other sources that could be analyzed to discern the probable position of potential stakeholders before communication with those stakeholders was initiated. Much indirect research had already been conducted, and a list of potential stakeholders to be contacted had been produced and made available on the project team's Web site. Organizations on that list and the assessment of individual stakeholder organizations were to grow and become more detailed following initial assessment and more indirect research.
Following these first two steps of the network market analysis, the implementation team was to begin direct research, including directed individual interviews (semisurvey type), close-ended surveys, and, if appropriate, focus group interviews.
Finally, all qualitative and quantitative information was to be synthesized to produce a single comprehensive assessment of the potential avenues to pursue to maximize likely support, and therefore, success of an ENV implementation network. This assessment was to give the team a good first look at the panoply of stakeholders who might have been involved in the deployment efforts over the following decade or so. From this assessment, the team was to take its direction for expansion of the existing core set of stakeholders.
To address the technical questions relating to the effective identification and management of relevant stakeholders in the ENV project, the implementation team was to identify all potential stakeholders who might have had a vested interest in the development and deployment of UV–A headlamps and related technologies. This database, already under development, was to be compiled using Web-based research, literature searches, and interviews with project members. This stakeholder database was to contain the following information about the potential stakeholders:
The implementation team was to identify all potential stakeholders who may have had a vested interest in the development and deployment of UV–A headlamps and related technologies. This database, already under development, was to be compiled using web-based research, literature searches, and interviews with project members. This stakeholder database was to contain the following information about the potential stakeholders:
Each potential stakeholder was to be analyzed and categorized as either having or not having power, legitimacy, or urgency. After this preliminary determination, an overall assessment was to be made classifying the stakeholder based on its combination of characteristics.(5)
The power dimension is based on the probability that the stakeholder would have influence on another agent. The legitimacy dimension is defined as a generalized perception or assumption that the stakeholder has a right to participate and is relevant. The urgency dimension is related to time sensitivity and criticality of the stakeholder.
A stakeholder judged to have all three characteristics would have been classified as a definitive or primary stakeholder. Dominant stakeholders would have been those considered powerful and legitimate. Dependent stakeholders would have been both urgent and legitimate. Dangerous stakeholders would have had both the urgent and powerful attributes. Classifying stakeholders as dangerous would not automatically imply that they should be excluded from the process; some dangerous stakeholders were to be critical to the process. How and when these types of stakeholders would be included ultimately would depend on the needs and the stage of implementation. Dormant stakeholders would score only in the power dimension. Discretionary stakeholders would score on legitimacy only. Demanding stakeholders would have been those who were neither powerful nor legitimate but perceived a deep sense of urgency about a particular issue.
Building the right network structure was an important aspect of this project. Based on an assessment of a stakeholder’s willingness to cooperate and its potential to become a threat to the organization, there were four categories or types of stakeholders, which can explain and deepen the discussion of primary and secondary stakeholders (see table 3 and table 4).(6)
A stakeholder scoring high on potential for cooperation and low on potential for threat would be a supportive stakeholder. The team's strategy was to involve these stakeholders in the network's activities. A stakeholder scoring high on potential for threat and low on potential for cooperation would have been a nonsupportive stakeholder. With these stakeholders, the team was to take a defensive stance or attempt to move these stakeholders' positions toward the network (this would have been especially true of those stakeholders who ranked as both definitive and nonsupportive). Stakeholders who scored low on both potential cooperation and threat would have been marginal stakeholders. The team was to monitor these stakeholders for any changes. Mixed-blessing stakeholders would have scored high on both potential for threat and potential for cooperation. The most appropriate strategy in these cases was to solicit collaboration with the stakeholder.
The potential primary, cooperative stakeholders identified in step one were to be contacted and invited to participate in the project. Depending on the relationship that the implementation team had with the particular stakeholder, one of three approaches was to be used to make initial contact:
Contacting primary stakeholders and inviting their participation was an essential first step to bring together primary, cooperative stakeholders. This was the level where initial decisions needed to be made about how to develop and promote this technology.(7) At this goal-setting level of network development, it was critical that the stakeholder representatives who were invited to participate had autonomous decisionmaking authority in their organizations.
In the research team's experience, the tool most effective at stimulating participation from top-level individuals in an implementation network was the prototype demonstration with sample real-world data and reactions. Accordingly, three demonstrations or field tests were planned. Two of these field tests were to be conducted in Montgomery and Albemarle Counties, VA. These two tests were to give the team real-world data on the effects of UV–A lighting on nighttime driving in rural, mountainous, and foggy conditions. These findings were to supplement the findings from controlled testing conducted on the Smart Road.
In addition, the project team had planned a demonstration-of-concept field test in the Northern Virginia metropolitan area, most likely to follow the two other field tests. While this demonstration was to enhance the data collection efforts by providing some data on real-world urban driving effects, the overriding value of this demonstration was to be the ability of major project stakeholders, many of whom resided in the greater Washington, DC, area, to see a live, working prototype of the system under study. Having access to the information provided by a live demonstration, these major stakeholders would have had the ability, and hopefully the inclination, to participate more fully in the implementation network.
After the participation of the goal-setting network was secured, stakeholder involvement in a strategic planning session was to be requested and coordinated. The goal-setting stakeholder was to be invited along with a member of his or her organization who represents the program level. Goal and program were matched to ensure that after a goal was set, there was someone from each organization who would then be in charge of carrying that goal out at the program level. Here was the first link from the goal-setting network to the program-level network discussed in the next section.
In preparation for this strategic planning session, the implementation team members were to formulate preliminary questions designed to stimulate and facilitate the discussion. These questions included, among others: What is the goal of the project? What tasks and resources are necessary to reach this goal? Who will be responsible for supplying the resources and carrying out the tasks? These questions were to provide a framework for the discussion but were not to stifle the energy and ideas that evolved from the participants. The vision and action plan that was to emerge from such a strategic planning session needed to be owned and supported by the stakeholder representatives because they were the individuals who were to champion the vision in their own organizations.
During the ENV strategic planning session, stakeholders at the goal-setting and program levels of their organizations were to begin formulating goals for the implementation of ENV technology. The group was to accomplish the following tasks:
Each issue covered during the session was to be captured and recorded on flip charts and in meeting minutes. The minutes were then to be circulated to every participant. It was very important at this point in the process to create a joint vision and action plan and then to provide the group with a written record of their contribution and commitment to that plan.
After the strategic planning session, members of the implementation team were to synthesize its results, from which they were to formulate a proposal for implementation.
TASK 5.4: NETWORK FACILITATION II—ESTABLISHING PROGRAM-LEVEL NETWORK BY TRANSLATING GOALS INTO ACTIONS
This stage of network facilitation involved the creation of program and operating plans designed to reach the goals established at the goal-setting-level strategic planning session and outlined in the proposal. The participation of a program-level representative in the strategic planning session is essential; although goal setters set the vision for the project, the program representatives likely do the daily work toward goal realization. The implementation team was to ensure that participation and understanding at the program level was secured from the beginning.
This program-level network was to be larger than the goal-setting network and require more time and resources to develop. This phase was to involve working out the details among the goal setters and determining how the goals translate in terms of time, staff, and resources into actions at the program level. This program level development was to involve obtaining formal commitments of resources from the various organizations. After resources were committed, the project team was to educate the program-level network about the project and define how they and the resources they oversee fit into it. This effort was anticipated to be time consuming but essential to successful implementation.
When the program gained more detailed definition, the implementation team was to reflect on and evaluate the process to determine if any necessary organization had been excluded. The team considered that partnership or collaboration with another organization would enable them to carry out an action more efficiently or effectively. The process was intended to be a continual cycle of planning, acting, reflecting, and adjusting the plan to ensure that the set goal is realized.
TASK 5.5: NETWORK FACILITATION III—ESTABLISHING OPERATIONAL NETWORK THROUGH IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACTION PLANS
The operational network was to perform the various procedures and routines for deployment, dissemination of information, and client monitoring. Participants at this level were to synthesize development and planning from the goal-setting and program network developments and could have worked iteratively with a number of agents from either network to further define how they should put into operation the tasks handed down to them. This stage was to address line-level implementation issues and allot resources to carry out each task.
Task 5.6 was to determine the plausible scenarios and key events that will allow for adoption or rejection of the UV–A and fluorescent technology. To address this task, the expanded cost-benefit analysis needed to be addressed first. In addition, the finding was to depend on published studies on the introduction of innovations such as seat belts and air bags, car manufacturers' estimates of the market response, and a survey of state highway agencies. The findings were to be applied considering that the necessary changes were made to predict the rate of acceptance of UV–A and fluorescent technology given the costs and benefits estimated previously.
Some of the team felt much uncertainty about the rate of public acceptance of UV–A headlamps in the marketplace, and a certain amount of uncertainty also surrounded the rate of political acceptance of fluorescent pavement markings and delineation systems among State and local highway agencies. It was assumed to be most useful to model the introduction of UV–A and fluorescent technology over time as a stochastic process whose ultimate cost-benefit outcome depended on a sequence of intermediate outcomes that were unknown at the start. Also, it was considered useful to identify the indicators that were to provide the earliest news of those future outcomes.