The Washington State Geographic Information Council (WAGIC) sponsored a Strategic Business Planning Workshop on October 12 and 13, 1998 at the Snoqualmie Summit Inn. Approximately 20 organizations were represented at the workshop. The intent of the workshop was to begin formulating the requirements and action items needed to develop a new strategy for GIS in Washington State. The plan, which is the first of its kind in Washington, is intended to guide state GIS policy into the next century. Bruce Westcott has been assisting WAGIC throughout the project. Bruce has many years of strategic planning experience as the past director of the Vermont Center of Geographic Information.
Nancy Tosta from the Puget Sound Regional Council and Karen Terwilleger from the Department of Fish and Wildlife kicked off the workshop by giving brief presentations. Nancy discussed GIS issues related to developing a transportation plan for the Puget Sound corridor. She stated the challenge will be to get all the different organizations and jurisdictions to work together on this plan. Karen discussed the Salmon Recovery plans for the state. There is a sense of urgency to restore salmon levels in the state. It is hoped that GIS will be an important tool to address this complex natural resource problem.
On the first day of the workshop the group identified high-level GIS business and technology needs and issues. During the second day the group identified the short and long-term action items needed to meet the business needs and technology issues in Washington State. The needs have been linked to the action items, categorized and prioritized.
Following this workshop, the planning committee and consultant have been working to provide a first DRAFT of the "Strategic Business Plan" which is ready for review and comment by the Washington GIS community. Please take an opportunity to review this document and send your comments to Bruce Westcott. It is important that we work together to complete the strategic plan as a state plan and not a WAGIC document.
Larry Sugarbaker, WAGIC Chair