WY OSLI’s mission is one of trust—literally and figuratively.
The Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments (WY OSLI) is a revenue-generating agency that manages the State’s collective 7.3 million acres of trust land – land that was issued in a grant by the Federal Government upon statehood back in 1890 with the stipulation that each and every acre would be held in a trust dedicated to support Wyoming’s public schools and institutions. “We are effectively managing natural resources and funds for current and future generations,” said Jason Crowder, Assistant Director for WY OSLI, recounting the agency’s mission.

As named in the 1890 federal grant, revenue garnered from these transactions fuels the public institutions, primarily the State’s public school system. With the number of resources being managed, as well as the number of public institutions being supported, leadership launched ”a statewide initiative to automate and digitize records to more or less bring [Wyoming] state agencies into the 21st century,” said Ben Bump, fellow Assistant Director for WY OSLI and teammate of Crowder’s. “The majority of the money appropriated for this initiative was pushed towards building the application that would ultimately be for the big bread-and-butter programs of the agency. And what was left over was what got thrown over to us with lease and land functionality. That really brought forth the need to have an all-encompassing solution that could be flexible – that could cover a bunch of programs—a bunch of different programs—all under one roof.”

Bump and Crowder replaced a paper-based system with the Surface Land Asset Management System (SLAMS), an integrated application library on the cloud. This new system modernized point solutions, while also combining them into a comprehensive, application-based model that serves as a core platform strategy for the entire organization. This library includes:
 
  • Purpose-built applications: WY OSLI was able to build custom apps, fast, thanks to a user-friendly, web-style interface that starts developers out with standard application templates and layouts. These templates and layouts can be easily customized in clicks, instead of writing lines of code.
  • Out-of-the-box mobility: Templates and layouts are designed for use across desktop and mobile devices, meaning each resulting application is inherently field-friendly.
  • Built-in collaboration capabilities: WY OSLI included a digital comment board within each application. This allows users to note progress, ask questions, and tag people in the same way they might comment on a Facebook wall or contribute to a LinkedIn feed.
  • Native integrations: WY OSLI integrated 3rd-party ESRI (environmental systems research institute) information into one of their applications. This type of integration allows the team to understand more context about the impact of current and future project plans.
 
How to Guide
WY OSLI shared the step-by-step process behind the design and deployment of their integrated application library. See how the team developed a digital, core platform strategy that was capable of transforming the services that transformed the mission.

As staff started working in SLAMS, they began enjoying their work more and doing their job better. “For us, it’s not just a business function but also a change in culture that has been infectious, and it’s still going on. Our system and the success of it is a major piece of that,” said Bump.

“We understand the assets that we're managing, we’re understanding the uses that are on that land asset we're managing, we’re understanding the relationships, symbiotic or not, and I think there’s a revenue generation benefit from that. So, the way I feel this fits into our mission  is that we're doing what we're required to do—effectively,” added Crowder.

Information was easier to find, answers came with greater consistency, and services moved faster across the agency.

Crowder and Bump started offering the SLAMS system to other states that were looking for ways to transform their mission in the same way WY OSLI did. This proved to a mutually beneficial relationship; using WY OSLI’s experience as a starting point, sister agencies are able to develop applications faster and share that back to Crowder, Bump, and the larger team.

WY OSLI is not only defining the modern mission within their home state, but also is serving as a trailblazer for the industry.

 
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