Phase 3: Rollout and Refinement
The third phase in implementing an SDI will need to include a process for rolling out the SDI throughout the USGS and a process for fine-tuning the program. To ensure that people are properly informed and trained, an institution-wide training program will need to be in place before the SDI is unveiled, and retraining will need to be offered periodically for users to understand the system better. The SDI program will need to implement follow-up metrics that feed back into review and planning (Phase 1) to determine how well it is being executed to meet its strategic goals. On the basis of findings gathered with those metrics, there will need to be a process whereby adjustments can be made to serve users and fulfill USGS priorities.
A designated project official would need to be identified early in the process to oversee SDI implementation. The SDI implementation program will require the efforts of a full-time staff officer, and the USGS could explore whether such an official should be placed at the executive level so that information would be clearly articulated both in and outside the Survey.
An oversight body would also be essential in advising the SDI staff official on strategic goals for SDI development and implementation. Oversight could take the form of a board of experts and could include key external stakeholders inasmuch as it would be important to determine how an SDI would best serve the needs of its users and to solicit input from external stakeholders.
SDI implementation would need to have high priority with USGS leadership. The SDI staff official would need support from all levels of leadership—from senior managers to the USGS director—and would need to be given commensurate authority to develop and deploy standards. Doing that will require a sense of ownership on the part of all levels of staff and a fundamental shift in corporate culture that will be partly driven by bringing employee rewards and incentives in-line with SDI goals.
The relationship between the considerations above and ongoing efforts at data integration and SDI development at the USGS will need to be determined early in the process. The National Map currently forms a central part of the SDI at the USGS, but the USGS also has many other data infrastructures, such as the National Biological Information Infrastructure, and these multiple SDI’s would need to be incorporated into the coherent SDI envisioned in this report. The newly created USGS Directorate for Core System Science appears to be a