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PLANNING FOR THE USE OF GIS SYSTEMS AND ITS EFFECT ON AN ORGANIZATION.

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Presentation on theme: "PLANNING FOR THE USE OF GIS SYSTEMS AND ITS EFFECT ON AN ORGANIZATION."— Presentation transcript:

1 PLANNING FOR THE USE OF GIS SYSTEMS AND ITS EFFECT ON AN ORGANIZATION

2 INTRODUCTION The adoption of technological innovations such as GIS is not always a straightforward process. The adoption of GIS into an organization introduces fundamental change into the organization in its thinking about data. A needs assessment is the first major step in implementing a successful GIS within an organization. A needs assessment is a systematic look at how departments function and the spatial data needed to do their work. Conducting a GIS needs assessment: fosters cooperation and enhanced communication among departments by working together on a common technology and new set of tools activity itself serves as a learning tool where potential users in each participating department learns about GIS.

3 KEY QUESTIONS The proper implementation of a GIS does require a mind shift regarding organizational work flows, processes and data collection methods and ICT procedures. Answer the following questions: What do we want to achieve with GIS? Where and how do we want to employ GIS in the organizational structure? What kind of data do we want to populate the GIS with? Where do we find this data? What kind of data analysis do we want to do? Where will we store this data? Who will take responsibility for the GIS and who will be the data custodian? What kind of census and survey methodology do we want to employ? What does our users expect from us? What kind of dissemination do we want to do? Who will carry the purse?

4 MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES AND ISSUES One has to prepare for the effect a properly implemented GIS has on your organization. For organizations that utilized a single department's capabilities of providing data, a GIS can become the driving force that ties your organization together. Where as in the past departments worked autonomously, GIS utilizes the information and capabilities of each department, combining these resources to develop a more detailed and reliable information than ever before. But increased capability carries with it greater management challenges... An important role for any manager is to build a bridge between policy makers, their goals, and the technical staff. In the context of a GIS, managers must have a strategic approach for implementing GIS. And the implementation should reflect the importance of existing organizational elements.

5 KEY MANAGEMENT ISSUES Unify your organization Elicit interest, understanding, and support for a GIS from your organization's various departments. It is management that ultimately is responsible for successful implementation. Know your environment Each department is likely to have a different approach to managing their information. Because a GIS combines all information, managers must work closely with existing information structures. Knowing your organizations needs, constraints and operating environment is important when enhancing the management of information for your organization. Expect and prepare for change GIS will change your organization's structure. Be open to new relationships and structures. Also, be prepared for conflict as tensions between departments can quickly develop. Create an environment of trust and openness, encouraging the different groups to work together, not against the common goal.

6 KEY MANAGEMENT ISSUES Delegate authority Encourage the flow of information by giving departments the authority to manage their own information systems based on the unit of work and the actual flow of information. Know who's who -- basic organization Understand the different perspectives and responsibilities for your organization: executives -- high-level, visible, but distanced from operations. executives have a broad vision. service providers -- service oriented, no influence over users and managers, familiar with all departments. department heads -- responsible for the day-to-day operations, maintain budgets, and have a lack of organization-wide perspective. the gis management must be able to organize, develop, and nurture the relationships between these basic levels of an organization. Keep the primary applications in focus Make sure that the organization's primary application drives the GIS. The needs assessment will have clearly identified the priority application.

7 KEY MANAGEMENT ISSUES Follow your development plan A good development / implementation plan establishes a clear set of tasks and responsibilities. Breaking these down into identifiable and manageable steps will keep your GIS on course. The plan also works as a performance indicator that can be used to triumph your process or inform you of failures to correct.

8 CURRENT OPTIONS AND SOFTWARE ASSESSMENT Always the first question The number of GIS software offerings is approximately 10 if one eliminates the following : the university based research software, which tends to lack full integration and usually has narrow channels of functionality; the CAD vendors, who like to use GIS jargon but often cannot provide full featured functionality; And the consulting firms, that will provide or customize selected modules for a GIS but lack a complete product. One of the problems in evaluating the functionality of GIS software is the bias one gets from using one system or another. Comparing similar functions between systems is often confusing. Like any software, ultimately some do particular tasks better than others, and also some lack functionality compared to others. Due mostly to this diverse range of different architectures and the complex nature of spatial analysis no standard evaluation technique or method has been established to date.

9 CURRENT OPTIONS AND SOFTWARE ASSESSMENT Any GIS should be evaluated strictly in terms of the potential user's needs and requirements in consideration of their work procedures, production requirements, and organizational context! The experienced GIS consultant can play a large and valuable role in the assessment process. Development of the benchmark user needs should include a consideration of other roles within your organization that may require integration with the GIS technology.

10 JUSTIFICATION AND EXPECTATIONS GIS is a long term investment that matures over time. The turnaround for results may be longer term than initially expected. Quite simply, GIS has a steep learning curve. The realization of positive results and benefits will be not achieved overnight. Both initial investment funding and continued financial support are major determinants in the success or failure of a GIS. Most often the justification and acquisition of a GIS centers on technical issues of computer hardware and software, functional requirements, and performance standards. But experience has shown that, as important as these issues may be, they are not the ones that in the end determine whether a GIS implementation will succeed or not.

11 JUSTIFICATION AND EXPECTATIONS A GIS implementation plan must address the following technical, financial, and institutional considerations : system acquisition tactics and costs; data requirements and costs; database design; initial data loading requirements and costs; system installation tactics, timetable, and costs; system life cycle and replacement costs; day-to-day operating procedures and costs; staffing requirements and costs; user training and costs; And application development and costs.

12 JUSTIFICATION AND EXPECTATIONS Potential GIS buyers should be aware of the necessary investment required in hardware, software, training, supplies, and staffing. Certain considerations of data longevity, data capture, personnel hiring, etc. are the practical concerns of GIS implementation. The longer term implications, such as hardware/software maintenance and replacement, should also be considered. The acquisition of GIS technology should not be done without seriously considering the way in which GIS will interact with the rest of the organization. It is simply not enough to purchase a computer, a plotter, a display device, and some software and to put it into a corner with some enthusiastic persons and then expect immediate returns. A serious commitment to GIS implies a major impact on the whole organization.

13 IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES The mere presence of an implementation plan does not guarantee success. Most organizations do not have sufficient staff to cope with the commitment and extra work required when introducing a GIS to existing operations. GIS implementation must also consider all technology transfer processes.

14 IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES: COMMON PITFALLS Failure to identify and involve all users Users in an operational GIS environment consist of operations, management, and policy levels of the organization. All three levels should be considered when identifying the needs of your users. Failure to match GIS capability and needs. A wide spectrum of GIS hardware and software choices currently exist. The buyer is presented with a significant challenge making the right choice. Remember, the right choice will be the one which serves both your long and short term needs best. Failure to identify total costs. The GIS acquisition cost is relatively easy to identify. However, it will represent a very small fraction of the total cost of implementing a GIS. Ongoing costs are substantial and include hardware and software maintenance, staffing, system administration, initial data loading, data updating, custom programming, and consulting fees.

15 IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES: COMMON PITFALLS Giving the GIS implementation responsibility to the wrong department. Because of the distinct differences of the GIS from conventional data processing systems, the GIS implementation team is best staffed by non-data processing types. The specialized skills of the 'GIS analyst' are required at this stage. Reliance on conventional data processing personnel who lack these skills will ensure failure. Failure to consider technology transfer. Training and support for on-going learning, for in-house staff as well as new personnel, is essential for a successful implementation. Staff at the three levels should be educated with respect to the role of the GIS in the organization. Education and knowledge of the GIS can only be obtained through on-going learning exercises. Nothing can replace the investment of hands on time with a GIS!.

16 THE LEARNING CURVE Contrary to information provided by commercial vendors of GIS software, there is a substantial learning curve associated with GIS. It requires an understanding of geographical relationships accompanied by committed hands-on time to fully apply the technology in a responsible and cost effective manner. Proficiency and productivity are only obtained through applied hands on time with the system! The following figure presents the typical learning curve for GIS installations.

17 THE LEARNING CURVE The learning curve is dependent on a variety of factors including : the amount of time spent by the individual with hands-on access; the skills, aptitude and motivation of the individual; the commitment and priority attached to GIS technology dictated by the organization and management; the availability of data; And the choice of software and hardware platforms. A critical requirement for all GIS implementations is that adequate education and training is provided for operational staff, as well as realistic priorities are defined with which to learn and apply the technology. A focused and properly trained operations staff that has consistent training will result in greatly reduced turnaround times for operations, and ensure consistency in quality of product.

18 THE LEARNING CURVE The flat part of the learning curve can be shortened if proper training is provided, data is available for use, the right software and hardware is acquired, AND IF CONSULTANTS AND DONOR AGENCIES FOCUS ON CAPACITY BUILDING AND PROJECT MONITORING RATHER THAN ON DOING THE WORK THEMSELVES The data hurdle is often a stumbling block for many GIS users.

19 THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY DATA GIS is a long term investment that matures over time. Data is the framework for successful application of GIS technology. In this respect, the investment in establishing a solid data platform will reap rewards in a short term timeframe for establishing a cost-effective and productive GIS operation. The availability of quality data supplemented by a planned implementation strategy are the cornerstones of achieving a productive and successful GIS operation. A robust database should be considered an asset!

20 THE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN GIS is a multi-faceted system of Hardware, Software, Data, People, and Methods. Implementation has been described as the act of combining the Technology with people and methods. Implementation consists of six general phases of development. These phases are a framework for developing a GIS in your organization. PHASE 1: CREATING AWARENESS PHASE 2: IDENTIFYING SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS PHASE 3: SYSTEM EVALUATIONS PHASE 4: JUSTIFYING THE SYSTEM ACQUISITION PHASE 5: DEVELOP IMPLEMENTATION PLAN PHASE 6: OPERATIONAL PHASE


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