I finally got a chance to finish reading the last group of case studies in Measuring Up: The Business Case for GIS. I had started reading the book a few months ago, while embroiled in some of my current GIS Architecture efforts - while I enjoyed the case studies, I was at the time looking for some good meat for building up business case documentation, to also include regulatory compliance, discussion and analysis of requirements and use cases, cost-benefit analysis, and, in general, a lot more technical material and discussion of business case approach, development and documentation.
Unfortunately this book does not provide much depth in those areas. What the book does provide, however, is a robust and broad collection of case studies, much like the ESRI Map Books or several of Winnie Tang's books.
Back in February or so, the book came recommended to me by EPA GIO Brenda Smith - and indeed it is a great idea book, to illustrate by example how business cases can be met by GIS.
The book presents about 75 case studies, arranged topically as follows:
- Save money/cost avoidance
- Save time
- Increase efficiency
- Increase accuracy
- Increase productivity
- Increase communication and collaboration
- Generate revenue
- Support decision making
- Aid budgeting
- Automate work flow
- Build and information base
- Manage resources
- Improve access to Government
- Enterprise GIS
The authors, Christopher Thomas and Milton Ospina additionally ensured they also had a good mix of industries, such as Business, Government, Natural Resources, Transportation and Utilities.
In general, I have typically seen the two key drivers to be savings / cost avoidance and legislative or other regulatory mandate. Beneath these, some of the others, such as automation of workflow, increased efficiency and productivity, increased accuracy typically fall, as a means to the higher ends. In planning Enterprise GIS implementations, however ALL should be considered, and then plugged in wherever they may support direct drivers, as aforementioned.
Since quickly perusing the book and reading many of the case studies back in February, I am glad I was able to slow down enough to pick it up again and look through it in detail again. However, at some point it would be great to see some good material available on how to thoroughly develop the business case, in terms of cost-benefit analysis, use case analysis, requirements analysis, and the like.
For anyone else who may find it of use, I pass along the details:
Measuring Up: The Business Case for GIS
Christopher Thomas and Milton Ospina
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Esri Press (September 28, 2004)
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