IT | A View on GIS Capability Maturity Model (GISCMM)

IT | A View on GIS Capability Maturity Model (GISCMM)

IT | A View on GIS Capability Maturity Model (GISCMM)


The GIS Management Institute® developed a tool to assess levels of capability and maturity of an organization’s GIS operations. The model was originally developed with a focus on local governments but is intended to be applicable to any enterprise GIS. 

The notion of a capability maturity model was originally developed by the Software Engineering Institute. The capability maturity model is based on the characteristics of the organization’s approach to individual defined processes.

Local Government GIS Capability Maturity Model

These processes are usually defined as:

Level 1 – Ad hoc (chaotic) processes-typically in reaction to a need to get something done.

Level 2 – Repeatable processes–typically based on recalling and repeating how the process was done the last time.

Level 3 – Defined process–the process is written down (documented) and serves to guide consistent performance within the organization.

Level 4 – Managed process–the documented process is measured when performed and the measurements are compiled for analysis. Changing system conditions are managed by adapting the defined process to meet the conditions.

Level 5 – Optimized processes–The defined and managed process is improved on an on-going basis by institutionalized process improvement planning and implementation. Optimization may be tied to quantified performance goals. The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) identified in 2010 seven categories for which GIS capability maturity should be measured:

(1) people,
(2) data,
(3) processes,
(4) policy,
(5) strategy,
(6) technology, and
(7) legal

Within these seven categories, the GMI chose to assess GIS organizations' maturity on a 7-point scale in 56 specific detailed characteristics based on their current implementation of each characteristic. 

The GIS Capability Maturity Model assumes two broad areas of GIS operational development: enabling capability and execution ability. Enabling capability can be thought of as the technology, data, resources, and related infrastructure to support typical enterprise GIS operations. Enabling capability includes GIS management and professional staff. However, the ability (execution capability) of the staff to utilize the enabling technology at its disposal is subject to a separate assessment as part of the model.

To learn more about GIS CMM, Kindly download the 
(Introductory Paper)


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