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Roadmap for Small GIS Projects




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This whitepaper provides a roadmap for implementing small GIS projects that support conservation organizations and other NGOs engaged in citizen science projects.  Typical implementations of such GIS projects include the increasingly common web mapping applications many conservation organization use to provide data discovery services and mapping tools to geographically visualize a wide variety of environmental data.  By their very nature, these applications support diverse user communities and may need to be stood up or adapted rapidly based on changing needs. 

The practical guidelines and examples in this project implementation roadmap are intended to help managers of small GIS projects strike the right balance between management and technical tasks, so a project team can deliver effective and timely solutions with a planned level of effort of 250 hours or less. 

To illustrate how GIS project implementation principles can be successfully applied to these types of projects, The Trust for Public Land’s (TPLs) Conservation Almanac – a recently released web mapping application, will be used as an example.


Roadmap Techniques :

In applying the roadmap to the implementation of this successful project this white paper specifically demonstrates how project management principles can be applied successfully to small projects through a few simple yet effective techniques:

- Define succinct project goals, and objectives up-front. The roadmap provides a charter template and sample project work plan and schedule to facilitate this process.

- Define the level of effort for each task to set boundaries. The roadmap provides a sample work plan, schedule, and guidelines on the relative level of effort specific tasks steps should take in relation to the overall budget.

- Encourage collaboration between project team members in all project stages. The roadmap defines roles and responsibilities for the typical project team and who does what in each task.

- Use hands-on workshops with stakeholders for buy-in on requirements and design. The roadmap emphasizes the use of storyboarding and screen mockups as the essential artifacts to document requirements and design specifications.

- Coordinate development and testing to streamline deployment. The roadmap provides guidelines and checklists to facilitate the set-up, configuration, and deployment of small web mapping applications.

- Hold regular project reviews to demonstrate progress to the technical team and the customer. The roadmap provides simple status reporting templates to facilitate this process



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