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Supporting the Transformation of a Major Geospatial Program with our end-to-end Consulting services

The Organization: U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Program (NGP)

usgsThe USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP), considered the most critical civilian geospatial program in the U.S. Government, is responsible for such activities as The National Map, Center of Excellence in GIS Academic Research, Hazards Response, and data acquisition partnerships as well coordinating multiple operation centers such as National Geospatial Technical Operations Centers and EROS. NGP, oversees $100 million budget for program, operations, as well as Federal, State, and local partnership grant annual budget planning.

The Problem and Solution: Redesign program around data lifecycle and gain major program efficiencies and product qualities.

In the early-mid 2000s, the program was under extreme pressure to deliver the data, become more flexible, drive down cost, reduce cycle time, and improve services. Communities demanded they introduce the right-level of innovation and organization approaches. Workforce Models dramatically changed due to technology in data acquisition and new product requirements. With lots of staffing, innovation, management and leadership gaps, NGP needed help in a post A-76/MEO collapsed environment to execute the re-development of The National Map, including hydrography, imagery, elevation, land cover, US Topo, and Common Vector Features.

NGP requested Xentity services during a 5 year phase to help through the transition of the 130-year old mapping program.  Xentity played a key design, architect, analysis, and communication role in advancing, . As a trusted partner of the USGS, Xentity provided support for the National Geospatial Program (NGP) across Project / Change Management, Financial Management, Investment Planning / Management, Enterprise Architecture, Solution Architecture.

Solutions included:

  • Strategy – Design advisory, support, and migration to the target business model and defining metrics and implementing tracking tools to evaluate performance of strategy, operations, quality, and workforce.
  • Design – Conducted architecture assessment and recommendations collaboratively with NGP Management and Operations staff developing a five-year roadmap and governance implementation for National Geospatial Program (NGP).
  • Communications – Performed strategic communications through Creating documentation for and presenting alongside client stakeholders at agency events / meetings, supported video production to articulate mission and direction of USGS National Geospatial Program Product lines.
  • Strategy & Design – Established a Budget Formulation model that aligned products and services, tied in activity-based costing, and established requirement management.
  • Strategy & Design – Supported the establishment of program management office to drive the implementation of transformation milestones in NGP operations.
  • Design – Evaluating impact of migrating technical operations to cloud computing model including: Analysis of all candidate systems for migration, Financial impact models, and Cloud computing proof of concept
  • Solution – Developed multiple pilot solutions in Basemaps, applications, Services, and inventory.
  • Design – Supported Solution Architecture for Delivery Services for viewers, services, download, catalog, and search including release requirements, working with EROS and NGTOC management and contract staff, conducting and documenting quality assurance, developing prototypes, and supporting Agile project lifecycle.
  • Design & Operations – Facilitated implementation of commercial best practices in IT for data lifecycle management, geospatial product management, agile project management, requirements management, customer service desk operations, etc. Guiding USGS NGP through the transition to new management approaches (Agile, ITIL)
  • Operations – Supported Governance, PMO, Product Management, and Agile Project management teams through Training, Administration, and PM services.

The Outcomes: NGP completely redesigned their data lifecycle approach in less than 5 years

USGS NGP shifted to a prioritized stakeholder-driven model to help better invest in data, product, and service content and features the users want/need.

Services Transformation

  • NGP produces over 2 million data products across 12 themes in myriads of data formats on a smaller IT and workforce footprint.
  • The entire delivery model reduced tenfold the points of entry, IT Server and Storage Footprint while increasing usability and access.
  • The blueprint recommendations are being manaded under a Program Management Office and Governance construct initially stood up and supported by Xentity with the Architecture staff.
  • Prior to these architecture and communication solutions, in 2008, usage was actually on the decline. By moving to a central, easy to use download capability for products, downloads have been up as high as 10% each month since 2009 and continues to increase.

Operations and Management

  • Operation Centers have taken to using new internal management processes and toolsets such as online document management collaboration and wikis, online issue/task tracking, migration for some NGP products and services to an ITIL Service Desk “triage” model with a much shorter and reasonable response period.
  • The program and operational centers transformed to coordinated development effort with a well-defined agile development methodology
  • Data Production line processes, staff, and tools are being integrated in line with workforce brain drain plans and annual product plans.
  • NGP Senior Leadership implemented some organizational management improvements based on the resource management roadmap that have changed lines of ownership and reduced time and costs.

Communications

  • In the area of Communications, Xentity provided multiple very well received brand treatment for end-products such as the U.S. Topo, 3D Elevation Program, standard product styling for all product lines, and developed event strategies and supported the few hundred person inaugural The National Map user conference.
  • Product Leads have received multiple communication training sessions which concepts included coach Influencing/Sales skills to P&S Leads. Xentity has developed over 4 videos to highlight the key Product lines for National Hydrography DatasetNational Elevation DatasetUS Topo, and The National Map program.
  • With events tied to call to actions, such as after the The National Map User Conference, program usership and product access also was observed as much as 3 times, but generally as 25% uptick in usage. All while decreasing the IT footprint, simplifying points of entry, and increasing service operation qualities using ITIL concepts.

They focused on the “I” in IT first, and now are addressing more powerful computing solutions with reproducible data practices i.e., increasing use of amazing new sensors like LiDAR, and making more data available faster via cloud services. This whole period was very trying on the organization, but they came through with a relevant valuable product for the citizen, industry, and partner government institutions.