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  • New Digital Operating Model Leaves ASLD Paper Trail in the Dust

    Leaving the Past Behind

    Since its inception in the early 1900s, Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) has accepted applications and processed land permits on paper. This paper-intensive process lacked efficiency and created delays in responding to client requests. It was high time for a digital operating model.

    ASLD had to catch up to the 20th Century and transform their slow moving paper-based process to a fluid digital operating model aligned with the Department of Administration’s 1 VISION 1 VOICE Strategic IT Plan.

    ASLD needed to automate the application process for customers leasing parcels of land from the State, applying for recreation permits, and submitting ROW permits. The time required for an application to be approved had to be reduced from months down to weeks.


    Arizona State Land Department

    10,900,00 acres under ASLD management

    13 beneficiaries including K-12 public education and state universities

    Preparing for a Digital Future

    In 2017, ASLD began a journey that would take them from an entirely manual application process to an up-to-date digital operating model. This digital transformation was an exciting opportunity for ASLD to completely revamp their processes, both internally and externally. MSS Business Transformation was engaged to develop the strategy, create the solution, and manage the transformation process of the agency. Key elements to ensure a successful transformation of this magnitude included:

    • Providing leadership, governance, and accountability throughout the project
    • Developing an execution plan to digitize thousands of paper documents
    • Providing a user adoption model including training planning, resistance management, and deployment
    • Migrating data from existing legacy system to a new digital platform
    • Documenting Current and Future State functional and technical requirements to be implemented
    • Implementing digital solution platform

    Transformation Teamwork

    Playing an integral role in assisting ASLD personnel reach their goals on time and on budget, MSS Business Transformation Advisory helped manage and implement procedures to ensure the scanning of hundreds of thousands of documents was completed by the deadline.

    MSSBTA guided and supported the IT department while managing the team of vendors tasked with the migration and implementation of data to/from OASIS and And, MSSBTA worked with vendors to ensure requirements were documented and common applications were used in the go-live.

    The MSSBTA team also provided necessary structure and tracking mechanisms to ensure the on-time delivery of the transformation solution, and advocated for ASLD throughout the entire project, including:

    • Agency and team communications
    • Readiness assessments
    • IT best practices

    Utilizing a structured approach to the project, combined with change management, ASLD and MSSBTA successfully completed the digital transformation on time and within budget.





    Transformation Plan

    Change Management

    “Having a team both internally and externally that you can trust and that you can have honest conversations with has been very important to this process. Having somebody tell their customer that they’re headed down the wrong path and there’s a cliff is better then letting your customer travel down that path and actually experience going over the cliff.

    Building that relationship at the beginning is just as important as knowing those requirements. We’re very pleased with where we are, how we got to this point, and where we’re headed.”

    ASLD Commissioner

    Welcome to a Digital Operating Model

    The transformation took six months an introduced an online application process on the agency’s website which reduces the time it takes to apply and process an original lease application from several month to weeks, and even days.

    By leaving their paper trail in the dust and switching to a paperless digital operating model, the speed of client communication has increased dramatically. As a result, clients and ASLD employees now have quicker access to timely and accurate information. This capability alone has saved the agency significant amounts of time and money.

    And, with an easier, more compliant system, ASLD has doubled their capacity to review and approve applications, providing Arizona customers access to their land, faster.

    Download a PDF of this Case Study