At the field level, there is wide disparity in how federal staff complete their core work. For example, if you were to survey different parks, refuges, or forests on how they monitor, manage, and eradicate invasive plants, you would get a different answer most of the time from every unit. For this invasive plants example, a common framework focused on best practices for managing core work needs to be developed that includes the full range of activities from field data collection & management, eradication methods, monitoring, analyses, mapping, etc. Include standard practices for making this data available to the public in easily digestable form. The solutions would center on SOP's, guidelines, standards, and policies that could be applied and used across agencies and would incorporate requirements of both the local level and central offices (WASO). So a new employee would be able to apply mobile data collection standards from one job to another resulting in lower costs and more consistency in data collection. This will lead to improved federal employee productivity and facilitate better science in decision-making.
We're developing lots of new data standards, but staff need additional context and solutions. Developing new national applications and repositories is only a small part of the solution. The need to analyze and develop best practices for important field programs applies to many different areas including law enforcement, facilities management, wildife management, and wilderness management. The data collection and management (including GIS) aspects of these programs are inconsistent and lame. The framework for improving business process needs to be consistent across programs with integration where appropriate. As an example, mapping solutions, most likely, would be consistent across most core field programs and usually would not be unique to one activity.