Business Center

Knowledge Share Project Helps Region 2 Right Of Way Team Streamline Processes

By Jean Anselmi, Process Improvement Intern
July 29, 2019

Sometimes when we think of constructive changes in an organization, we presume the value of the adjustment is proportionate to the magnitude, that only big changes have big benefits. However, Region 2’s (Southeast Corner of Colorado) Right of Way (ROW) Team is proving that wrong with their Knowledge Share Project. A year ago, Nancy Hazlett, former R2 ROW Appraiser, realized that when employees like her retire in the next couple of years, a large amount of knowledge will be lost. The ROW team took it upon themselves to solve this problem, and that is exactly what the project is accomplishing. In addition to that, it is helping them improve training and streamline their processes.

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How are they doing it?

Once the need for this project was realized, the next step was to figure out which processes needed to be documented. The ROW team came up with about 14 processes and got to work. They detailed procedural processes, starting in a Google Drive folder for accessibility. Once the documentation is finalized, it gets published as a PDF. From there, documents are housed in Projectwise.

For example, warrant requests are when CDOT acquires property and the ROW team has to get a payment for the possession of that property. This procedure has been mapped out via this project, detailing necessary paperwork, who needs to be involved, and everything to get the job done.

How is it helping?

As expected, this project is helping to preserve the institutional knowledge within the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Right of Way Group. By having these processes so well documented, it will make bringing on new employees easier. There is now one centralized place for new ROW employees to go for the knowledge they don’t yet have.

It is also helping in other ways too. By mapping out and brainstorming the way a process is done, it’s easier to identify unnecessary steps and streamline said process. Amber Billings, a project team member said, “Honestly, it makes you think through your current process, and contemplate if there are ways that we can be doing things better? And so we've already changed a couple of our typical processes. As we've talked through them, we found different ways to do it. It's made us look at the way we do things and make them more efficient.” By streamlining their processes, the team is saving time. This in turn saves CDOT money. All Team CDOT members feel great when they can provide value and savings.

What's next?

Michelle Malloy, the project mentor, said, “This is a great example of how a simple project can have a large impact. This team has hit it out of the park with their enthusiasm and commitment to improve their work.”

Currently, this project is only implemented in Region 2’s Right Of Way department, but it is easy to see how it could benefit other departments in CDOT. The team has already presented it to the Right Of Way managers from all regions and headquarters. There was a lot of interest generated and other regions are thinking about leveraging the results to use it in their own areas. Region 2 is working on offering a presentation and training so that others can use this approach to retaining knowledge and at the same time streamlining processes.

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Project team left to right: Michelle Malloy, TJ Thiebaut, Amber Billings, Nancy Hazlett, Amy Cawlfield, Paul Mandarich. Not shown in photo: Dru Marshall, Tom Adams

Want to learn more about Change Management at CDOT?
Check out our improvement efforts at the Office of Process Improvement’s website! Or, for CDOT employees, stop by the Change Hub on our Intranet!