GIS Project Implementation

project managementCritical success factors for implementation of comprehensive GIS systems within a municipality, whether a small town or a large city, will represent a large investment in staffing resources and funding as an Information Technology (IT) project. The implementation process must be recognized as such, therefore being managed like any major IT project to achieve optimal benefits and results.

MIMS will consult with the Municipality and guide the project utilizing the following success factors;

Success Factors

  1. Project Manager
    • Strong project management to oversee the GIS implementation -Assume responsibility for deliverables, monitor the project schedule and be the primary liaison between staff and management communicating project results
  2. Steering Committee
    • As GIS benefits many areas of the organization it is important that the Municipality implement a steering committee that represents the key stakeholder groups. They will identify and set priorities on implementation strategies by essence of their direct needs.
  3. Phased Implementation
    • Establishing a phased plan that provides short term deliverables that are limited in scope. This plan will make provision for the loading of databases and the development of specific applications that will have an immediate benefit to the Municipality. Identified priorities by the steering committee will align the short-mid-long term goals
  4. High Level Audit of Technologies
    • MIMS will utilize our I.T. expertise and our proprietary audit methodologies to identify the applications of the Municipality enabling the successful interfacing requirements and strategies in the GIS system.
  5. Data Capture and Standards
    • MIMS utilizes both mobile mapping technologies and UAV (unmanned aviation vehicles) to capture imagery and lidar. MIMS will set a data standard for the GIS spatial and attribute databases and all future integrations.
  6. Provincial & Regional Data Sources
    • Leverage Provincial data sources currently established for base layers. Establish Regional Municipality cost sharing, data sharing agreements and arrangements.
  7. Functionality Audit
    • MIMS will utilize our expertise and proprietary audit methodologies to develop specific functionality specifications for the Municipality’s applications and databases specific to thier direct needs.
  8. Communication
    • GIS implementations will impact many parts of the Municipality. It is a high profile project and all staff, management and the publics expectations are high. MIMS will supply absolute care to ensure that the proper expected communication of project results takes place, and that the visible signs of phased progress are achieved.

Steps for implementation

  1. Conduct a initial needs assessment while including both a “technical perspective” and a “business perspective” through our proprietary audit methodologies.
  2. Describe the GIS application requirements that support the business functions and activities of the Municipality
  3. Define the data required from the results of the “business perspective” in step 1
  4. Research the availability of existing digital base mapping for the Municipality. Analyze the data storage requirements for both short and long term ranges.
  5. Identify the networking and configuration of hardware equipment, software and the resourcing expertise to provide the “business” functions. This will include all cost forecasts for the initial budget
  6. Prepare your Implementation Plan that sets the stage for your specific functions of the GIS system and the required software functionality expected. MIMS will also include deliverables such as data maintenance, staff training, integration with other applications such as administration and accounting/billing or your own customized application requirements.

I.T. Implementation Issues

With all GIS implementation plans for Municipalities, IT issues will surface and the following identifies a number that are very common across all IT/GIS projects

  1. Systems Administrations
    • Including troubleshooting network problems, installations of computers, operating systems maintenance’s, data file back ups, software upgrades for end users.  A LAN in place for connectivity and any software application in place on the network. Municipalities must provide access to the databases across their organization.
  2. Database Management
    • The attribute databases that underlay the GIS implementation are required to be stored within a database management system. If the Municipality has an active environment then the GIS system must be able to interface with the database.
  3. Security
    • Providing restricted access on layers and features. This will limit update capabilities to the maintenance of map layers and attributes.
  4. Physical
    • A GIS implementation may require investment in additional hardware and location facilities