DIGGS Invitational Meeting – Report on Project Status and Development of a New Roadmap

March 29, 2009
L. Turner, T. Lefchik, C. Power, R. Chandler, D. Ponti, D. Patterson, D. Dasenbrock, S. Weaver, S. Deaton, S. Caronna, M. Hoit, S. Walthall, W. Holmes
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Kissimmee, FL March 25th & 26th, 2009

This invitational meeting was held to inform stakeholders on the current status of DIGGS development, identify technical and organizational barriers, and establish a roadmap for the remaining work.

DIGGS is being developed through the Transportation Pooled Fund Study (TPF 5(111)) coordinated by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The focus of the TPF project is to compile the standards development work of the AGS, COSMOS, the University of Florida, and others to create a new international data exchange format. The project, “Development of Standards for Geotechnical Management Systems, Project TPF-5(111),” was approved and funded in the Summer of 2005 at a funding level of approximately $700k over three years to develop the first release of DIGGS.

The DIGGS development effort has been a challenging one over the past few years.  There has been a great deal of progress and accomplishments to date, however, a substantial amount of work still remains.  As we're approaching the end of the DIGGS v.1 release review period, it is apparent that the level of review and extent of participation during this phase has been limited and insufficient to assess the true readiness of the standard.  Furthermore, many have raised concerns regarding the development of DIGGS, some related to technical data model aspects, while others related to organizational issues and how the work is being carried out.  It will be important at this meeting come to some understanding on these key project-level issues:

  • Re-evaluate our goal for this project.  What constitutes success for us?  When will we know we've achieved it?  What do you expect to get in return from your investment of funds/resources/time in this project?
  • Establish a roadmap to achieve the goal.  Define the tasks, the milestones, their deliverables, and the costs.  Identify how this will get done, and when.
  • Identify tools.  What types of tools do DIGGS stakeholders need to actively participate in the development and implementation process?
  • Reconsider the governance structure.  Are there other organizational approaches to enhance partnerships with Pooled Fund Team, AGS, COSMOS, and the commercial software partners to maximize leveraging opportunities and align common needs?
  • Reconsider the breadth of data types in DIGGS.  Are we trying to capture too many data types through the SIGs?
  • Consider enlisting a larger pool of technical experts.  Do we need more technical folks involved with the development of the data model and schema?