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NIEM Engagement Process Testimonial

"As NARA anticipates solutions to effectively exchange data with all federal agencies, NIEM is ideal. Our team has already benefitted from participation in the NIEM Engagement Process."

–Mike Wash, Chief Information Officer, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration


The NIEM Program Management Office (PMO) supported the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) by identifying areas to enhance its existing information exchange activities through the adoption of NIEM.

NARA performed the phases outlined in the reusable NIEM Engagement Process framework. Using the NIEM Engagement Process' NIEM Readiness Assessment, NARA analyzed its information exchange activities against the pre-defined NIEM Core Capabilities. The agency then developed a dashboard demonstrating its readiness for NIEM implementation.

NARA found that the NIEM Engagement Process assisted in:

  • Providing a step-by-step guide for determining NIEM readiness.
  • Facilitating and driving dialogue between NARA's business and technical stakeholders.
  • Quantifying NARA's organizational readiness for NIEM implementation.
  • Providing NARA the ability to both determine next steps in developing a NIEM transition plan and begin technical training of resources.

Through these findings, NARA recognized the value of moving forward with a proposed NIEM adoption plan. The agency is now able to use the information gathered during the NIEM Engagement Process to successfully implement its information exchange process enhancements.

Each NIEM Engagement Process phase benefitted NARA.

Research and Stakeholder Interviews Phase: Identifying and examining information exchanges brought together relevant stakeholders (both business and technical), engaged management, and examined the "big picture," and, as such, was seen as perhaps the most important step in the NIEM Engagement Process. Through this process, NARA was given the opportunity to take a fresh look at its information exchange activities, an activity of great value to stakeholders involved with the organization for a long period of time.

NIEM Readiness Assessment Phase: With data gathered and scoring exercise in accordance with the NIEM Core Capabilities, NARA was able to quantify its readiness to move forward with incorporating NIEM processes. The data from studying the NIEM Readiness Assessment revealed areas where NARA was ready for NIEM implementation, and which of NARA's NIEM capabilities had opportunities for further growth and development. In simple terms, the NIEM Engagement Process described how to move forward with NIEM, providing NARA recommended plans for the future.

NIEM Adoption Plan Phase: To assist NARA with the development of a plan that would pave the road to NIEM adoption, the agency produced a roadmap that included a recommended timeline for NIEM adoption. Currently, NARA is formally integrating NIEM into its software development life cycle, and is in the early stages of designing NIEM-conformant information exchanges.

As Douglas Ward, IT Policy and Planning Management, stated: "These are simple steps you follow to effectively share data. We are now believers in NIEM."

**Although the NIEM Cost Model in the NIEM Value Quantification and Qualification was provided, NARA collectively decided that this phase of the NIEM Engagement Process would be better conducted at a later time.

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