Measuring GIS Effectiveness: Exprodat’s GIS Maturity Matrix Approach
How do you measure how well your company has implemented GIS? How do you benchmark your GIS both internally and externally against your peers? How do you develop a strategy for developing your GIS, and measure how effective it has been? Exprodat developed the GIS Maturity Matrix to help provide a framework for addressing these questions.
Measure it and manage it: the Maturity Matrix
The GIS Maturity Matrix model is based on the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) developed by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The model attempts to define the characteristics of each ‘maturity stage’. It also provides a prescriptive approach to enable an organisation to benchmark their GIS and develop a plan to progress from one maturity stage to another. This includes:
- Typical characteristics: of the each stage.
- Key steps: What should an organisation focus on in order to move to the next stage?
- Critical success factors: What factors should an organisation be aware of in order that the move to the next maturity stage can be as smooth and as easy as possible?
- Business impact: How will moving to the next stage of GIS maturity affect the business?
Maturity Matrix categories
Each stage is defined by the characteristics and issues observed in six key GIS strategy categories:
- Business awareness and governance: How aware is the business and management of the potential role of GIS? Is there a governance model for GIS activities, and are they aimed at delivering a coordinated GIS strategy?
- Spatial data management and integration: What level of data management framework (corporate/project data definition, standards, procedures, roles and responsibilities) has been defined for GIS? Are key workflows and data flows well understood and managed? What standards compliance measures are there in place?
- Use of GIS within the organisation: How widespread is the use of GIS in terms of the E&P value chain, as well as data usage?
- GIS technology: How is GIS technology licensed, deployed and managed? How easy is it to access?
- GIS support: How is GIS supported and how is the effectiveness of this support measured?
- GIS training/communications: How are skills developed and best practices communicated across the business?
How far are you down the road? Maturity stages
The stage of maturity of an organisation in each of these areas is measured by response to a detailed maturity assessment questionnaire. The key characteristics of each stage in the model are summarised below:
Stage 1 – ‘Initial’
GIS is not used or only occasionally used within an organisation. Sometimes organisations at this stage use GIS technology but may not know they do, or may not even use the word “GIS” to describe what they are doing. There is little awareness about the potential for GIS. If GIS is used, there are few, if any formal standards or processes and there is little or no provision of support, skills development or organisational learning.
Stage 2 – ‘Recognising’
A few key individuals or teams start to lead the way in understanding the potential of GIS and bring it to the attention of the wider organisation, including management. Some ad-hoc processes and standards may develop, leading to isolated examples of best practice in specific functions/assets. However, most GIS use will be for low-level tasks eg base mapping. There may be a basic set of controls and measures in place, but these are unlikely to be standardised across the organisation. There is likely to be a significant risk of duplicated effort, data replication and diverging approaches to applying GIS to key workflows, or for managing GIS and spatial data. Training, support and knowledge sharing will probably be ad-hoc in nature, although there may some dedicated GIS resources in the organisation. There is a significant risk that GIS projects will not deliver full value to the organisation because of their isolated nature and a silo approach to GIS implementation.
Stage 3 – ‘Defining’
There is a growing awareness at management levels and within the business about the potential of GIS. A set of processes and standards around key workflows will develop and be shared more widely across the organisation, leading to improved return on project investment and lower project risk. Spatial data infrastructure standards will have been defined and shared between some parts of the organisation. Training and support models will have been defined, and need for governance of GIS activities recognised. This may all start to be integrated under a more structured strategy for GIS implementation.
Stage 4 – ‘Managing’
This stage is all about ensuring the framework defined at stage 3 is embedded as part of an organisation’s standard operating procedures, and measuring the outcomes in terms of standards compliance, systems quality and project effectiveness. There will be strong management support for new GIS initiatives, and GIS will be seen as a core technology component with appropriate levels of funding, support and skills development. At this stage, an organisation is ready to start leveraging more widespread use of some of the higher value GIS functionality, such as spatial analysis and spatial data mining.
Stage 5 – ‘Optimising’
Now the focus is on using the measures established in stage 4 to drive continuous improvement in the GIS system, including standards, processes and innovation. Systems will be changed to meet changes in business circumstances, to expand in to new areas, without disruption to the business. This is the stage in which the entire organisation is linked in some way a common pervasive GIS framework.
Using the results: strategy development and benchmarking
For each stage and for each category, the model describes a) the key steps to progress from one stage to another and b) the critical success factors for that progression. This provides a structured framework for defining and developing a coherent strategy, including consistent current and future state descriptions, and a structured roadmap for implementing the strategy.
The Maturity Matrix model supports repeat analysis at regular intervals. This allows an organisation to compare their position and progression along different stages both internally (across different parts of the business) as well as externally (peer reviews) as they execute their strategy.
As an example, the following diagrams summarise the results of a recent multi-client benchmarking exercise:
In our next blog on this subject (next week), we’ll take a look at the key results of this benchmarking review in more detail.
Posted by Gareth Smith, Managing Director, Exprodat.