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CHAPTER IV Assessing Your Capabilities As you define the activities associated with the new system, you need to understand the capabilities of your office and the capabilities available to you from broader agency resources and, possibly, from other state agencies. This assessment includes consideration of: Hardware and software: including desktop computing, servers, operating systems, and Internet/ intranet connectivity Applications: including existing right-of-way support applications, database systems and management tools, document management systems, GISs, CADD, financial tracking appli- cations, project management applications, and other information and/or decision support systems such as environmental and planning tools Data: including their availability, who maintains them, where they are maintained, policies associated with accessing and updating them, and available and required metadata Agency IT policies and procedures related to application development and management, data and metadata, hardware and software management, and updates Because of the dynamic nature of technology and its implementation, this assessment should be revisited periodically through the implementation process; typically, this reassessment is one of the functions of the Working Group members. One thing to be aware of is the potential for project creep associated with new technologies. Where you start in the implementation process depends on where your office and your agency currently are. Assessing existing capabilities encompasses several aspects of doing the business of acquiring real property, including the current level of use of information technology, avail- able data, available information systems, and institutional culture. Current Right-of-Way Applications Within your office, you will want to identify what systems are already being used. These sys- tems include any central office-wide applications, any external systems such as an electronic mul- tiple listing service (MLS), and any task-specific tools such as spreadsheets with hyperlinks to useful websites, or reporting tools or templates. You will want to include linkages in your new system to any applicable external systems, if practical. Any functionality that has proved useful in other tools and localized applications may be transferred to or implemented in the new system design, so knowing what exists is important. You may want to expand an information management system that you already use that serves some or all of your activities. You will want to identify exactly what functions are already covered in the existing system so that you know what additional work you want to design based on your 23