GIS Manager/Leadership Resources

09-18-2019 07:00 AM
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Esri Regular Contributor
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A common request I get from people in the GIS industry that are current, or future, managers/leaders is: where can I go to find some resources to help me with the business/culture/people/management side of GIS? I have found no single place that contains the most useful information I know of, so I thought I would share a list of resources I have collected over the years, in no particular order. Please feel free to join the discussion and add your own resources to share.

  • Follow, and participate in, the Implementing ArcGIS community on GeoNet. Implementing ArcGIS is a public community group to gain tips and advice on implementation best practices, discuss challenging topics, learn from the innovative minds of GIS professionals, share your experiences and stay connected. It covers six categories:
    • Strategy & Planning
    • Architecture & Security
    • Geodata Engineering
    • Configuration & Integration
    • Workforce Development
    • Operational Support
  • One of the most important documents Esri has produced is Architecting the ArcGIS Platform: Best Practices - this document is updated at least once a year, so be sure to keep up with the latest version.  Reach out to your Esri Account Team for additional guidance on how to implement these.
  • Every organization that uses GIS needs a Geospatial Strategy in order to maximize the impact the technology can have on the organization. Check out this Introduction to Geospatial Strategy presentation from the 2019 Esri International User Conference, to learn more on the best practices Esri has learned from our work with customers across the globe over the years.  Reach out to your Esri Account Team if you'd like to learn more about this.
  • Consider some assistance with Change Management, it is "people-focused planning that drives technology adoption."
  • Join, and participate in, the Managers in GIS group on LinkedIn.
  • The GIS Success program provides a lot of great content. It is "a blog where together, we’ll leverage Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Strategies, Technologies, and Techniques to stimulate opportunities to advance GIS in the local government." It includes webcasts, training and free guides.
  • URISA runs a GIS Leadership Academy (GLA) that provides "five days of targeted GIS leadership training taught by GIS leaders."
  • Here are eight videos from the GIS Manager Track from the 2018 Esri International User Conference covering:
    • Enterprise GIS: Strategic Planning for Success
    • Communicating the Value of GIS
    • Architecting the ArcGIS Platform: Best Practices
    • Increase Adoption by Integrating Change Management
    • Governance for GIS
    • Moving Beyond Anecdotal GIS Success: An ROI Conversation
    • Workforce Development Planning: A People Strategy for Organizations
    • Supporting Government Transformation and Innovation
  • This is a great article: GIS should be about digital transformation
  • This is an excellent report from Esri Canada, Winning with Location Intelligence: The Essential Practices.
  • Read the articles from these people, and follow them on social media:
  • GIS maturity models can be helpful with identifying ways to improve. Here are three to investigate:
  • Keep your eyes open for:
    • A GIS Manager/Leadership Workshop near you,
    • GIS Manager/Leadership sessions at GIS events,
    • And if you're headed to the Esri International User Conference, consider attending the GIS Managers' Open Summit (GISMOS).
  • My own resources include:
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).