Business Center

CDOT’s Innovation Feast

CDOT’s Innovation Feast: How Employee Ideas are Contributing to a Bountiful Future

By Niles Koenigsberg, Process Improvement Intern
Posted: November 14th, 2018

thanksgiving meals

At the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), we do our best to acknowledge and recognize our employees on a daily basis, as it is the essence of our People value.

In 2018 alone, over 125 ideas have been submitted to the Lean Everyday Ideas program by our employees. These innovations aim to improve customer service, increase the value of our work, and eliminate waste in the workplace; we’re very thankful for each employee idea that we receive and we want to recognize our staff for their wonderful contributions. Our employee innovations fall into several categories -- Administration, Environmental, Facilities, Construction Engineering, Pre-Construction Engineering, Maintenance, and All of CDOT.

This year, we would like to give thanks with a playful Thanksgiving feast metaphor. Bon appetit!

A Feast of Innovations


Turkey--All of CDOT innovations

The turkey is, of course, the most iconic piece of any Thanksgiving feast. It’s the main course, the anchor to the meal. Like turkey, some innovations anchor CDOT and are applicable across departments, divisions, and disciplines. Terrific innovations, such as updated intranet pages, safety alert systems, or idea binders, greatly benefit CDOT as a whole and can feel like main course ideas.


Stuffing--Maintenance innovations

Stuffing is the understated winner of any Thanksgiving meal. No stuffing? No Thanksgiving! The same can be said for maintenance. No maintenance? Forget about our great transportation system! The maintenance staff of CDOT handle the necessary, difficult, and physical tasks to keep Colorado moving. Terrific innovations, like a guardrail carrier, an oil tram system, and the concrete slab lifter, improve maintenance operations, make day-to-day tasks easier, and save CDOT time and money. Without the proper maintenance of our transportation network, Colorado would come to a standstill, and without proper stuffing, Thanksgiving’s main course would feel a bit empty.


Mashed Potatoes and Gravy--Engineering innovations

Plenty of pre-work goes into the mashed potatoes, but the gravy on-top is just as important for the entire meal. Pre-Construction and Construction Engineering are a bit like that, too; our construction projects greatly depend upon the work of our engineers leading up to, and during, construction. Brilliant pre-construction and construction engineering innovations, such as site data collection apps, the standardization of best practices, and digital tape measuring tools, have been outstanding improvements to CDOT operations and have been laying the groundwork for future bountiful feasts, for years to come.

green beans

Brussel Sprouts & Green Beans--Administration innovations

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the meal we love today without the nitty-gritty greens, which may be offsetting at first, but are necessities that can be delicious and incredibly nutritious. Our administrative staff work tirelessly to support the rest of CDOT operations, and their innovations help expedite processes, save taxpayer dollars, and reduce frustration. Their innovations could be as simple as organizational charts or as complicated as a new payment processing software. Even an innovation such as this automated training and testing process improvement, can save hundreds of hours for CDOT staff while still supplying those necessary daily nutrients for CDOT operations.


Buttermilk Biscuits--Facilities innovations

An often overlooked, but integral part of any feast, the biscuits are the freshly made warm side dish that complements the other dishes in diverse ways. They can soak up the left-over gravy remaining on your plate or they can make the perfect turkey sandwich. Facilities might be overlooked, but they’re not to be forgotten! Our facilities staff develop innovations to improve our workspaces every day, thereby improving our daily bread. Check out some of our facilities improvements, like a drain filter improvement, reflective bay posts, or emergency contact numbers.


Pumpkin Pie--Environmental innovations

Nothing is better than a cherry on top, or in this case, a pumpkin pie. The delicious dessert that finishes the feast and eases us into a contentful slumber, no one can forget the pumpkin pie and CDOT certainly doesn’t forget about Colorado’s beautiful environment. Our Environmental group does their best to ensure environmental considerations are taken into account and our innovative best practices are applied to every construction project.

We strive for excellence on a daily basis, and our Environmental staff ensure we’re on the right track with streamlined clearance requests, improved protecting processes for endangered species, and collaborating with Google Earth to meet quality standards.


Thanks for a Bountiful Future

Without the tireless efforts and innovations of our staff, CDOT wouldn’t be on track to be the best DOT in the country.
We extend our sincere thanks, gratitude, and appreciation to every one our CDOT innovators for their diligent work!

Interested in looking through more innovations?
Head to the
Lean Everyday Ideas website and you can browse through hundreds of unique innovations developed by CDOT employees.