The Path from GIS Manager to GIS Leader - Part 2

06-03-2020 04:00 AM
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This is a continuation of The Path from GIS Manager to GIS Leader - Part 1

The five pillars of Location Intelligence from the Esri Canada and IDC report, Winning with Location Intelligence: The Essential Practices.

The second of my important numbers (64, 76, 78, 84, 84) based on my research of 800+ GIS practitioners across the United State over the last two years, refers to the second pillar of location intelligence, Organization:

76% of organizations that use GIS do not have formal governance in place

While Organization covers many aspects of enterprise GIS, let's focus on Governance.  In this context, governance refers to the organizational structure for GIS within the organization.  GIS governance is a critical ingredient for any successful enterprise GIS.  If your organization does not have formal GIS governance, you should consider creating it.  Here are some resources to assist:

You should also reach out to your Esri Account Team for assistance and other examples of successful enterprise GIS governance.

The third of my important numbers mentioned above, refers to the third pillar of location intelligence, Technology & Data:

78% of GIS practitioners have not read the Architecting the ArcGIS Platform: Best Practices document

While Technology & Data covers a wide area, let's focus on Best Practices.  This Architecting the ArcGIS Platform: Best Practices document is one of the most important documents produced by Esri, and it is updated at least three times a year.  Following and implementing best practices are another key ingredient to a successful enterprise GIS.  They are called best practices for a reason.  They are designed to help you learn from the missteps of others.  Many of the best practices in this document follow those established by the IT industry.  By implementing these best practices, your GIS will become stronger, more stable and effective.  Please work with your Esri Account Team to implement those that are applicable to your organization.

The fourth of my important numbers refers to the fourth pillar of location intelligence, Culture:

84% of organizations that use GIS do not have, and maintain, a Change Management Plan

While Culture covers a wide area, let's focus on Change Management.  According to Prosci, Change Management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.  The biggest challenge for a successful implementation is not the technology, it's the people.  The technology is the easy part.  You can deploy the best GIS app ever, but if nobody uses it, it's of no value.  Change management can really help technology adoption.  According to Prosci, organizations that combine a people-focused change management plan with a project plan are up to six times more likely to achieve their project goals.  Here are some resources to help you implement Change Management:

Please work with your Esri Account Team and our Esri Change Management Consulting to learn more about GIS and Change Management. 

The fifth of my important numbers refers to the fifth pillar of location intelligence, Literacy:

84% of organizations that use GIS do not have, and maintain, a Workforce Development Plan

While Literacy covers a wide area, let's focus on Workforce Development.  GIS is changing rapidly.  Everyone that uses GIS in an organization should be receiving some GIS training annually.  Getting financial support for training can be a challenge, as can figuring out what GIS training options to take in what order.  As an Esri customer, you have access to an Esri Training Consultant.  These Training Consultants can create a custom workforce development plan for you at no cost.  This plan will create learning pathways for each GIS user in your organization based on their roles, responsibilities and use of ArcGIS technology.  Once you have a workforce development plan, it can help you get budget to support this critical need.  There are also a collection of Learning Plans available on the Esri Training website.  Contact your Esri Account Team to get connected to your Training Consultant.

This discussion continues in Part 3...

About the Author
GIS practitioner for over 30 years. Grew up in Florida. I'm the Public Works Industry Specialist. Been at Esri since 2008. BA in Geography and MA in Urban & Regional Planning from University of Florida. Formerly GIS instructor and Planner. Varied background includes applying GIS and related spatial technologies to complex, award-winning projects across the globe in the realms of planning, transportation and environmental sciences. Experience includes the public sector, business and academia. I have achieved certification as an Urban Planner (AICP) and GIS Professional (GISP).