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If you're headed to the Esri Federal GIS Conference next week, and are a current, or future, leader, please consider attending this session that Gerry Clancy and I will be presenting on Wed. Jan. 30 from 5:15-6:15 PM in Room 209C:


GIS for Leaders: Seven Elements of a Successful Enterprise GIS


It takes more than technology for an enterprise GIS to be successful. It requires business and IT management skills. This session will review the seven elements of a successful enterprise GIS and provide strategies how GIS Managers can implement them. The seven elements are:

  • Vision and Leadership
  • Understand how GIS can contribute to your organization’s success
  • Develop and maintain a GIS Strategic Plan
  • Implement effective governance
  • Implement evolutionary approaches (change management)
  • Deploy engaging apps
  • Recruit, develop and maintain good staff 

Join us next week at FedGIS for the spotlight talk: Geospatial Strategy: An Introduction. It'll be held Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 11AM in the Implementing ArcGIS area of the Expo Hall. This content will also be presented this year at DevSummit and UC in case you're not in DC next week! Here's a little preview... 

Technology professionals face a constant barrage of requests to implement and deploy applications to meet the needs of various parts of their organization.  Without a formalized process to direct traffic in the flurry of application requests, things can get messy fast; leading to frustration, lack of trusts, and siloed technology adoption.    Leveraging some of the baseline principles from change management frameworks, you can provide some structure to this to receive and send the information needed to set realistic expectations on deployment capabilities.

One excellent way of prioritizing is understanding the level of value and effort for the applications to be deployed.   Value and effort are evaluated from many perspectives, so having a solid understanding of your stakeholders is critical to conduct this sort of analysis.   This methodology is easy to remember with the LOVE acronym: 







Where do I start?

Step 1: Determine the level of value by strategically evaluating the business implications of implementing the GIS application, technology, and/or information.  Some example questions to consider include:

  • How does this support our strategic goals, objectives, initiatives?
  • How will this help us in the long term and short term?
  • What parts of our organization can/will benefit from the adoption of this application?

Keeping this simple is key, as it will need to be actionable.  For example, ranking from 1-3 or Low-Medium-High value.


Step 2: Determine the level of effort for deploying AND maintaining the GIS data, information and/or application.   The level of effort can be determined by answering questions such as:

  • How much time will this take our IT team to develop, test, and deploy?
  • What training/skills gaps exist that need to be considered?
  • Will my team be willing and able to adopt this into their workflows?

Use the same scale that you used in step 1 for the sake of consistency and simplicity.  (i.e. rank 1-3, or low-medium-high)


Step 3: Evaluate the results from Step 1 and Step 2 to determine where you have high value and low level of effort.  These will be imperative to establish quick-wins and build momentum for your transformation.   The high value, high level of effort initiatives are candidates for doing formal change management and project plans.  They’ll require a more significant planning effort, but since they are high-value, the ROI makes it justifiable. The image below is a good reference for putting this to use:


These 3 steps are often things we think about but don’t formally document.  By having this documented, assumptions are avoided and collaboration with stakeholders is encouraged. 

Please check out my latest post as a GovLoop Featured Contributor. This one discusses the Esri Maps for Public Policy site: 

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