2015 Lifecycle Maturity Assessment
2017 Lifecycle Maturity Assessment


  In November 2010, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the OMB Circular A-16 Supplemental Guidance. Its primary focus was on geospatial data as a capital asset and providing the foundation for a portfolio management approach to a National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Portfolio. The portfolio consists of National Geospatial Data Asset Themes (NGDA Themes) and their associated National Geospatial Data Asset Datasets (NGDA Datasets).

An NGDA Dataset is an asset that has been designated as such by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Steering Committee and meets at least one of the following criteria:
  • Used by multiple agencies or with agency partners such as State, Tribal and local government
  • Applied to achieve Presidential priorities as expressed by OMB
  • Required to meet shared mission goals of multiple Federal agencies; or
  • Expressly required by statutory mandate.
The NGDA Dataset Inventory identifies the assets that comprise the A-16 NGDA Portfolio universe described in the National Geospatial Data Asset Management Plan. “Geospatial datasets will be routinely inventoried and recommended for inclusion in the NGDA Portfolio when merited” as found on page 10 in OMB Circular A-16 Supplemental Guidance.

Reporting on the developmental status of National Geospatial Data Assets (NGDAs) is a requirement of the OMB Circular A-16 and the OMB Circular A-16 Supplemental GuidanceAssessing the developmental maturity of the NGDA will provide managers the ability to support datasets in a more holistic and transparent manner. To assist with reporting, an inter-agency team developed a 7 stage geospatial lifecycle (Figure 1) with associated benchmark activities for each stage (Stages of the Geospatial Data Lifecycle pursuant to OMB Circular A–16).

Figure 1 – OMB Circular A-16 Supplemental Guidance – lifecycle stages for developing, managing and reporting on nationally significant datasets to meet business requirements.

Each benchmark has a range of activities, from no activity to significant activity, which provide the interpretation of maturity for that benchmark.  The cumulative level of activity will determine the maturity of the dataset. The NGDA Lifecycle Maturity Assessment was developed to help determine the maturity of the NGDA. This approach for lifecycle-based geospatial portfolio management of NGDAs is defined in OMB Circular A-16 Supplemental Guidance (page 3). The stages are consistent with the approach for Federal agency information asset management improvement outlined in OMB Circular A-130 (section 4). All NGDA Dataset Managers are required to do an initial maturity assessment once their dataset(s) has been declared an NGDA. Dataset Managers will report on changes to the maturity status of their NGDAs via annual reports as required under both OMB Circular A-16 and the A-16 Supplemental Guidance.

2015 Lifecycle Maturity Assessment (LMA)

The NGDA lifecycle is a cyclic process built upon business requirements that change over time. The first or initial baseline maturity assessment was conducted in 2015. It included all pertinent information associated with the dataset for each lifecycle stage since the most recent business requirements were defined. This may include information prior to 1990. Datasets that came into existence after 1990 assessed maturity from the time the business requirements were defined. Dataset requirements change as policies or business processes evolve, cyclic updates occur, user needs change, or new technologies are released that improve data management and delivery. Determining the overall maturity of the NGDAs over time is a critical component for maintaining, evolving, and delivering returns on the A-16 NGDA Portfolio. Resources related to the 2015 Lifecycle maturity Assessment can be found here. The 2015 LMA results were analyzed for each NGDA and each Theme and summarized in the 2015 Lifecycle Maturity Assessment Anayisis and Recommendations Report.

2017 Lifecycle Maturity Assessment (LMA)

In 2015, a baseline assessment of National Geospatial Data Assets (NGDA) was performed for each of the NGDA Datasets in the federal geospatial portfolio. Information related to the 2015 baseline LMA can be found at 2015 NGDA Lifecycle Maturity Assessment, which also includes a link to the 2015 Reports.  A follow up analysis of the 2015 LMA baseline process and its results identified ways to improve the LMA workflow, increase efficiency as well as decrease reporting burden. Several recommendations were identified and implemented in 2017, which included improvements to normalize the responses in 2017.  A secondary effect of improvements to normalization is that results from 2017 and 2015 are not directly comparable. These changes, and their impacts, are detailed in the webpage: Temporal Changes in Lifecycle Maturity Assessment (LMA) Maturity and Results Comparisons

  • The original 19 questions and feedback questions have remained with improved clarifying statements and updated references. While the 2015 responses are not included in the assessment itself because of several changes to the response options, you can access them through the NGDA Dataset list on the FGDC website and use the report as a basis for responding to the 2017 NGDA LMA.
  • The 2017 assessment includes justification questions with pick list responses developed from the 2015 baseline LMA responses rather than requiring detailed justification text.
  • Links to supporting documents are no longer required. If a best practice document is available through a public link, this can be shared through the NGDA Collaboration Community.
  • The assessment responses are uniform for each question to ensure coverage of the maturity matrix categories. The first response being “no activity” (rank of 0) and each successive response increasing in maturity with the final response being fully implemented with reoccurring assessments (rank of 5).