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About MetroGIS > Business Planning

MetroGIS 2008-2011 Business Plan

MetroGIS 2003-2005 Business Plan (February 2001 to October 2002)
MetroGIS 2000-2003 Business Plan (November 1999 to April 2000)
Fair-Share Financial Model and Organizational Structure Study (October 1998 to October 1999)

MetroGIS 2008-2011 Business Plan (November 2005 to October 2007) Top of Page
Project Manager: Randall Johnson, MetroGIS Staff Coordinator
Consultant Team: Richardson, Richter and Associates, Inc.
Responsible Advisory Team: Business Planning Oversight Workgroup



The MetroGIS 2008-2011 Business Plan was adopted by the MetroGIS Policy Board on October 17, 2007.

Preparations for the next-generation MetroGIS business planning process included two educational/learning forums and a Strategic Directions Workshop. A summary of the result of each these events is provided below. In addition, the findings of the Metropolitan Council's examination of MetroGIS’s policies related to governance, funding, and accountability, completed on June 28, 2006 with a formal resolution of continued support, is also playing an important role in the pending MetroGIS business plan update process.

Next-Generation Business Plan Update Process
Direction received at Strategic Directions Workshop was presented to the Policy Board for comment on April 25, 2007. The Policy Board endorsed suggested next-generation vision and mission statements, principles to guide operations, and several strategic activities as “works in progress”. This draft policy foundation can be viewed here. These directives, in turn, provide the framework from which to develop a Business Plan for the next 3 to 5 years for which work was initiated in May 2007. Concrete strategies to achieve the desired outcomes, along with implications for operations, were presented to the Board and adopted on October 17, 2007.

Once major outcomes are fully defined and agreed upon, work will be initiated to update MetroGIS’s Performance Measurement Plan to insure MetroGIS’s performance measures are in lock-step with the outcomes defined in the new Business Plan


Strategic Directions Workshop

This workshop marked the official beginning of the process to update the 2003-2005 MetroGIS Business Plan. This workshop was held on February 8, 2007. Its purpose was to obtain clear strategic direction on desired policy modifications and program objectives to guide MetroGIS’s efforts for the next 3-5 years. This “Strategic Directions Workshop” was attended by 32 individuals who represented all interests believed to be important to the long-term success of MetroGIS as it entered its second decade of effort.

Numerous desired outcomes, and strategies to achieve those outcomes, were identified in this day-long event. As a group, the 32 participating policy makers and managers identified the following outcomes and activities as those of the most importance to them for the next 3-5 years. (This was a straw polling activities to provide a direction for a more in-depth evaluation and priorities are intended, as formal priority setting is the province of the Business Planning.

Major Desired Outcomes:

  • Solve Real World Problems
  • GIS Recognized as an Essential Activity/Service

  • More Efficient/Effective Government

  • Expanded Resource Availability Through Partnering

  • Improved Reliability and Availability of Geospatial Services Through Partnering

  • Better Decision Being Made

  • Broadened Participation

  • Achieve Common Funding Strategies


Major Desired Activities (Strategies):

  • Support and Develop Applications/Services
  • Continue To Develop Regional Data Solutions To Common Information Needs

  • Continue To Provide A Forum For Knowledge Sharing

  • Build Infrastructure/Promote And Develop Technology Enhancements

  • Expand And Diversify MetroGIS Stakeholders

  • Improve Marketing And Advocacy

  • Funding Priorities To Get The Most Efficient And Effective Use Of Taxpayer’s Money

Click here for a detailed summary of the February 8, 2007 MetroGIS Strategic Directions Workshop discussions, participants, and outcomes. This document also describes the efforts made by the support team to distill the results into definitive statement of policy to share with the Policy Board for comment at it s meting on April 25, 2007.


Preparation Event #2: Potential of Geospatial Technology

The second of the two preparatory educational/ learning events was held on June 1, 2006. The purpose was to learn from respected visionaries where geospatial technology may be heading in the next 5+ years. The event, entitled “Imagining Possibilities: The Next Frontier for Geographic Information Technology”, was attended by 230 individuals who represented a wide range of government, academic, non-profit, and for-profit interests, and the full spectrum of job responsibilities – policy maker, manager, and technologist. An amazing array of possibilities (big ideas) were shared that will provide substantive food for thought as MetroGIS leadership set priorities for the next 5 years of collaborative work to resolve geospatial common needs. Click here for links to the summary report and other related documents.


Preparation Event #1: Potential for Partnering with Non-Government Interests

The first of two education forums was held on November 15, 2005. Its purpose was to investigate partnering opportunities between MetroGIS’s local and regional government interests and non-government entities to achieve priorities important to the seven county, metropolitan area community. The forum was entitled "Beyond Government Users: Future Directions for MetroGIS". The final report can be viewed at

In summary, 45 candidate ideas for potential collaboration between government and non-government interests were identified in three broad topical areas:

  • How can we work together to reduce costs?
  • What innovations can we work together to develop?
  • How can we promote a statewide GIS cooperative effort?

A follow-up workgroup synthesized the 45 candidate partnering ideas into following five “opportunities”, which hold the most promise for substantive and achievable initiatives:

  • Expand Policy Board membership to include non-government interests
  • Foster an Open Source Data Model
  • Foster a Marketplace for Geospatial Data Resources
  • Implement ApplicationFinder concept
  • Foster statewide adoption of Principles that Underpin MetroGIS.

The workgroup then prepared a written statement summarizing the fey ideas for each of these prospective partnering “opportunities”. These “opportunity statements” were included in the materials shared with the Policy Board at its January 2007 meeting for comment in preparation for the February 8th Strategic Directions Workshop . Each provided the framework for evaluation relative to the following principles previously endorsed by the Board at its January 2006 meeting:

  • Value added to public sector assets is encouraged provided it does not detract from the public sector objective.
  • Contribution of assets to a collaborative solution assumes all parties view the transaction as equitable and relevant to their needs.
  • Contributions can be comprised of funds, data, equipment and/or people.
  • Equity is defined on an organization-by-organization basis and exists if the collaborative solution is more efficient than pursing the solution on one's own.

The results of the evaluation of how each of the “opportunities” matches up against the stated evaluation principles will be a discussion item at the Strategic Directions Workshop or during the subsequent Business Plan Update process.


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