GEOG 871
Geospatial Technology Project Management

Assignment #1-Project Fit to Organization (Part 1)


Assignment #1-Project Fit to Organization (Part 1)

Assignment #1 (Part 1) Overview

Timing: See Canvas Calendar for timing
Target Word Count: about 2000-3000 words total for Parts 1 & 2 combined
Total Points: 60 points - see rubric for details (scroll to the bottom of this page)

Assignment #1 spans Lessons 1 and 2. The entire assignment will be due at the end of Lesson 2; however, please begin Part 1 of the assignment NOW (by following the directions below) because it is relevant to what we've just discussed in this lesson. Furthermore, starting now will help you to manage your workload! Also, students sometimes need time to gain permission to use a work project as a class assignment. If this is the case with the project you are considering, begin seeking permission early.

Assignment #1 entails examining the fit between a GIS project done by an organization and that organization's mission and strategic goals. In Part 1 (this week's assignment), you will describe a GIS-related project done by an organization. In Part 2 (next week's assignment), you will document the organization's mission and goals and discuss how the project supports that mission.

Your Submittal - Part 1, Assignment #1

For Part 1 of Assignment 1, first identify and describe a GIS-related project--it works best to find a project that has a clear set of deliverables and an organization who benefits from them.

Some examples of GIS projects include:

  1. Aerial or field-based spatial data collection and processing (orthoimagery, field-based inventory of natural resources or utility features) for a local government or utility organization
  2. A GIS program needs assessment carried out as a basis for development of City enterprise (multi-Departmental) GIS program
  3. Design and development of a custom Web-based GIS application
  4. Preparation and specifications for procurement of GIS software and computer server resources
  5. Major GIS software upgrade and re-configuration
  6. Other time-limited projects with specific results or deliverables

After selection of a suitable project, present a summary description of the project that includes the following:

  • Cover page
  • Identification of the organization’s name (identify main organization and specific department or division carrying out the project)*
  • Name of the project (if you cannot find a clear name of the project you select, make up one that describes the work and results)
  • Summary of project objectives, tasks, and deliverables. The summary should be 2 to 3 paragraphs with bullet lists as appropriate. If the project is very detailed (with many tasks and subtasks) it is OK to summarize the project at the major task level. Don't get into too much technical detail.
  • Summary of project timing: Include some key milestones of project execution beginning with project start and some main activities and deliverable completion points. Timing may be expressed by actual dates or as "days from project start".  A bullet list work well for this.
  • Project team: Identify the key team members (including the project manager) as well as other key people on the team.  A positon role in the project (e.g., Project Manager, GIS Analyst, etc.) should be identified.  If project team members come from multuple organizations, the organization affiliation should be noted.
  • Your insights into how the project you described relates to material from Lesson 1 (Canvas material and readings).

*If you choose a project being carried out by a contractor for a client organization (e.g., acquisition and processing of aerial imagery for a local government), it is the client organization (e.g., local government agency) that should be identified. The mission and “project fit” that you will describe in Part 2 should be for the client organization, not the contractor.

You may base your project description on one in your current organization, one you have worked for in the past, or one carried out by a colleague in another organization. Another way to identify and select a suitable project for this assignment is to search the Web for "request for proposals" (RFPs)* or "project plans", "project charters", or "project reports" that summarize objectives, scope, deliverables, schedule for GIS-related projects. If you choose to use this Web search approach, enter such key phrases as "RFP", "project plan", "GIS", "database development", "application", "design", "needs assessment", etc. You may also find some examples of projects by looking at archived presentation summaries from GIS conferences (e.g., URISA GIS-Pro Conference, Esri User Conference). You will find documents for multiple projects that should work, and, in many cases, these documents will provide organizational background, mission statements, etc.  For this assignment, it is acceptable to make edits, revisions, and to modify information of an actual project if necessary (changing or modifying names, deliverables, etc.). The best types of projects to use for this Assignment are those that have clear objectives and deliverables and are not too complex in terms of tasks and the stakeholder environment. Also make sure you can identify the organization that is the source or sponsor of this project (e.g.,  Department in a State or local government) and the organization's  mission and goals. Contact your instructor if you have difficulty selecting a project or questions about the suitability of a project example you have come up with.


  • Regardless of the document(s) that you use as a source for this assignment, you'll need to do some additional research (e.g., about the mission and business focus of the organization) and also make some educated assumptions to add some detail (make up information) to complete the elements of this Assignment.  If an RFP is the main source you use for information about the project, remember that the RFP is NOT the project. The RFP is just a formal vehicle with project information used by an organization (usually a government agency) to procure services from a contractor to carry out the work
  • If you have identified several possible projects and are not sure about their applicability for this assignment, contact your instructor for help. If you cannot find a project that you think will work for this assignment, you may “fabricate” your own fictitious project, but this likely would require more time on your part.
  • For Lesson 1, you should begin Assignment 1—Part 1 as described above. Both parts of Assignment 1 are due during Lesson 2 and should be about 1800 to 2500 words in total.  Part 2 involves a description of project fit for the organization. As is the case for all written assignments, the word count is a target to give you an idea about the level of detail expected. As a general rule, it is best to be concise and as brief as possible while covering the necessary topics. No points will be deducted for submittals if they exceed the maximum word count by a small amount. Your submitted assignment should be formatted as specified in the rubric to earn maximum points. The use of the Outline feature of your word processing software is a good document preparation practice.

For Assignment 1, organize the document in a way that concisely covers the topics described in Parts 1 and 2. There is no prescribed organizational format for the required content (i.e., section and subsection ordering). As in all written assignments, you should include a Cover page with prominent title and all necessary information identifying the course, assignment, author, and date. The main title of the document should be "PROJECT FIT TO ORGANZATION". The Cover Page should also reference to the project name and organization. At the bottom of the Cover Page (right side is best), include the course name and number, assignment number, your name, and date.

See more detailed information about document format and submittal in the Part 2 instructions for this Assignment.

The more information available about the project and the organization, the easier it will be to write. Specifically, in addition to detailed information about a project, be sure that information (mission, strategic goals, etc.) about the organization or the specific department or division carrying out the project is available since you will need this for Part 2. Remember, if you choose a project being carried out by a contractor for a client organization (e.g., acquisition and processing of aerial imagery for a local government), the mission and “project fit” that you will describe in Part 2 should be for the client organization, not the contractor.

Submitting the Assignment and the Grading Rubric

To pace yourself appropriately, complete Part 1 of Assignment #1 during Lesson 1 and move ahead with Part 2 as soon as possible. The grading rubric is below.

Assignment #1 Grading Rubric
Grading Category Basis for Scoring Total Possible Points

Point Award Explanation

A. Inclusion of Required Content
  • Inclusion of assignment elements and required topics in the description.
  • Quality and correctness of description and presentation of topics.
  • Insightful content with illustration relating to course materials.
  • Suitability of project choice.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 17 to 18 points if all required elements and topics are covered with a complete, correct, astute, and well-worded presentation.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points if the majority of content is missing and description is not complete or correct.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 16 points for lack of inclusion of content and/or quality/correctness deficiencies between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
B. Overall Document Organization
  • Cover Page (see explanation above)
  • Effectiveness of document organization including section and subsection arrangement.
  • Logical progression of content allowing reader to easily follow discussion.
  • Support of ideas from external references and/or other sections of the report.
  • References are properly cited.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 11 to 12 points for an extremely well-organized and presented document that easily conveys meaning, supports arguments and conveys a clear message to the reader.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points if organization and logical progression, is so deficient that content and message is significantly lost on the reader.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 10 points for organization and/or logical progression deficiencies between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
C. Quality/Clarity of Writing Writing quality and clarity effectively uses words and sentences to convey meaning to the reader including the following:
  • Statement of purpose and introduction that sets context for rest of document.
  • Good, appropriate choice of words.
  • Sentence construction and lack of grammar and syntax problems.
  • Concise and to the point without redundancy.
  • Length appropriate to the stated requirements without significantly exceeding stated word count.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 17 to 18 points for a very clear, extremely well-written document, with no or insignificant problems in word choice, grammar, etc.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points with significant, frequent problems in introduction, word choice, sentence construction, grammar, and length
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 16 points for deficiencies in writing quality of clarity between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
D. Format Quality Well-formatted document helps convey content and meaning to the reading. Important format parameters include:
  • Inclusion of cover page with all necessary information about the title of the document, course, assignment, author, and date.
  • Use of numbering and naming for sections and subsections headings.
  • Choice of fonts (type, style, size for headings and body).
  • Page numbering.
  • Table and figure format (consistent and easy to read and digest).
  • Tables and figures are named, numbered, and referenced in the body of document.
  • Table column width and row height setting and effective use of table borders and shading.
  • Bullet point list spacing consistent and easy to interpret bulleted entries.
  • Overall vertical and horizontal spacing (line spacing, indents, etc.).
  • Page breaking in manner that avoids disruption of content.
  • Spelling.
  • Overall consistency of format throughout document.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 11 to 12 points for an extremely well-formatted document which is attractive; uses very effective text, table, and graphic formatting; format rules are applied consistently throughout; and overall presentation makes it easy for the reader to navigate and grasp content.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points with significant and frequent problems in multiple format parameters to the point where the document is distracting and very hard to understand.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 10 points for deficiencies in selection of format rules and their consistent application between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.