ARCHIBUS Success Story

Creating an Information Hub at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

The federal National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a member of the US Intelligence Community and a Department of Defense Combat Support Agency. Its mission is to provide timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security objectives. In this capacity, the agency is expected to respond swiftly and accurately to requests for information about its facilities and infrastructure. Using ARCHIBUS, the agency has been able to synthesize data from various sources and ensure that the data used to support management decisions and create regulatory reports is accurate and defensible.

The Need for Accurate Information

“Prior to implementing ARCHIBUS, we couldn’t provide the same answer to the same question two days in a row,” says Edwin Lawless, Facilities Programs Manager at NGA. “This was unacceptable. Agency planners required consistent, repeatable information on which to base decisions.” NGA originally implemented ARCHIBUS in 1998 to facilitate downsizing and consolidation, but after the events of September 11, 2001, the agency’s priorities shifted to expansion. Whether managing consolidation or expansion, ARCHIBUS has provided the data foundation for managing assets at NGA.

Uniting Agency Organizations with Total Asset Management

NGA uses the phrase Total Asset Management (TAM) to describe its implementation of ARCHIBUS. “We call our program ‘TAM’ because it implies a holistic view of agency assets, not just facilities management. ‘TAM’ has proven to be a non-threatening title that has allowed us to gain support from various departments.” says Lawless. “The consolidated asset data we maintain in ARCHIBUS helps the agency make smart strategic decisions about personnel and assets.” TAM provides the data foundation that supports NGA’s strategic space planning, business continuity planning, moves/adds/changes, infrastructure modernization, configuration control, and more.

Today, NGA uses ARCHIBUS to manage 4.2 million square feet comprised of 135 buildings at six major sites. It is fully integrated with PeopleSoft® personnel and organizational information covering 350 departments and divisions.

Integrating Space Data with PeopleSoft Personnel Data

NGA created an Oracle table that integrates key data between ARCHIBUS and PeopleSoft. ARCHIBUS tracks space down to individual workstations, while the employee database assigns individuals to workstations. This information is continually tracked and updated using various manual and automated data maintenance routines. Using the social security number as the validating field, employee information is pushed from PeopleSoft to ARCHIBUS. Building, floor, and room details for each employee are then fed back into PeopleSoft. Space audits are conducted twice a year. Having an accurate, up-to-date record of space and occupancy use allows NGA to easily track vacant space, space under construction, and swing space and make strategic decisions based on this information.

In addition to giving facility managers the ability to support a nearly continuous stream of reorganizations, new hires and relocations, NGA’s implementation of ARCHIBUS has provided the data foundation for substantiating NGA’s place in DoD’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program. Under BRAC, DoD has recommended that all NGA facilities in the Washington, DC area be relocated to a single new facility by the end of 2011. NGA has utilized ARCHIBUS as the integrated data source for quantifying NGA’s standing in the BRAC process in responding to various data calls from DoD and Congress.

Uniting Contractors

“Having multiple locations with separate facilities operations contracts, NGA needs to be able to allocate resources and analyze expenditures on a common plane. In this regard, ARCHIBUS has done a terrific service for us,” says Lawless. The ARCHIBUS Building Operations Management application is currently implemented in two of NGA’s six major facilities. “This application creates a uniform database and work order distribution for sites that use different base operations contractors. It also lets us easily perform cost/benefit analyses of contractor performance,” says Lawless. In addition, the application allows projection and tracking of operation costs for both the 1,200 weekly work orders and ongoing preventive maintenance.

Easing Regulatory Reporting

NGA is currently in the process of implementing the ARCHIBUS Real Property & Lease Management application at four of its sites, for capturing information about both leased and government-owned facilities. The application will also provide accurate data for compliance requirements and agency-wide financial analysis. “Regulatory compliance is very important to us as a federal agency. We must be accountable for our property,” says Lawless. “ARCHIBUS makes it easy to pull data together and report on it.”

“In the past, responding to data calls from DoD and the Intelligence Community regarding NGA’s real property assets and their values was time-consuming, frustrating, and ultimately inaccurate,” says Lawless. “The disparity of how real property data was maintained at multiple sites was almost impossible to reconcile into a common format at the Agency level. Today those reports are generated directly from our Real Property & Lease module within ARCHIBUS. The uniformity and integrity of NGA’s RP&L data has unburdened the Agency of a previously difficult and enormously time-consuming activity.”

Success Breeds Success

Lawless and his team have worked to make TAM as accessible as possible for the many users at NGA. To that end, he has made his team’s highest priority to be ARCHIBUS’s accurate representation of space. “Once we know that the space data is accurate, other associated information can naturally follow from that,” he says. Lawless has also taken the initiative to promote the value of TAM to other areas of the agency. He has made ARCHIBUS information accessible to other groups via an internal intranet, showcasing the most popular reports. To encourage other departments to use and contribute to the system, he gives presentations including system screen captures and live demonstrations using real data. “We provide internal NGA users with space and personnel accountability tools that use Excel macros but pull data directly from ARCHIBUS,” says Lawless. “Local users maintain accountability of local assets with data from a single corporate source, and their updates and corrections can thereby be imported directly back into ARCHIBUS. It’s a beautiful thing.”

After using ARCHIBUS for nearly a decade, Lawless has some advice for other users. “Learn to embrace your IT and other partners,” says Lawless. “Sell your organizational partners on the benefits to them of utilizing ARCHIBUS. Seeking support by articulating general benefits to the organization is one thing, but demonstrating specific benefits to a potential partner is a never-ending job.”

NGA has also taken the step of organizationally tying together facilities, IT, and technology functions. By establishing jointly managed project schedules and sharing common processes, Lawless has found that the need to share data becomes almost an imperative. “It’s always better if your partners can draw their own conclusion about the need for data-sharing,” says Lawless. “Although it can be challenging to gain support from these other groups, strive for a win-win relationship and you’ll have an effective, valuable system.”

Vital Statistics

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Washington, D.C.
Facilities Facts
4.2 million square feet comprised of 135 buildings at six major sites, all managed by ARCHIBUS

ARCHIBUS Applications:
Space Management, Building Operations Management, Real Property & Lease Management

3rd Party Applications:
PeopleSoft, Autodesk AutoCAD, Data Center
Impetus for Implementation:
Needed accurate information on space and physical assets to manage periods of consolidation and expansion
Benefits Gained:
Developed centralized source of information for strategic decision-making
Future Plans:
Implementing ARCHIBUS Telecommunications & Cable Management application for inventory control and asset accountability
Business Partners:
Facilities Solutions Group (FSG)
Web Site:
©2005 ARCHIBUS, Inc.18 Tremont St.Boston, MA 02108   USATel: 1