fpOnline Newsletter July 2024

fponline pdf download button

In This Issue

Breaking News

Contract with VisualVault has been signed!
  • This is a major milestone: fpOnline is now officially under construction!
  • Advisory Committees will provide targeted feedback based on where we are in the configuration. 
  • VisualVault will be sharing “playback demos” showing specific pieces of the application.   
  • The first Change Champion Forum will kick off in early July. It will focus on what the role is, and how to be effective with your colleagues and peers.
  • We’re focusing our work with VisualVault to produce an intuitive and user-friendly interface, with a bug-free final product.
  • During the Discovery and Configuration phases, we will start building up expertise within our internal DNR staff so we can help external users understand how to use the system.  
  • VisualVault will continue working with us for three months after fpOnline’s launch to address any issues.
  • We encourage you to be an end-user tester. If interested, contact us at dnrrefponline@dnr.wa.gov.
  • Learn more about the  Discovery phase in our April Newsletter.
  • A big thank you to the key people who assisted in getting the contract negotiated and signed: 
  • Katie Rose Allen, Saboor Jawad, Gil Reyes, Clare Olson, Assistant Attorney General attorneys, DNR Contracts and Procurement staff, and VisualVault staff.

Project Milestones & Phases

  • The Planning phase involves preparation for RFP, team selection and high-level requirements. This phase started in May 2023.
  • The PROCUREMENT phase involves request for proposals, technology budget, vendor selection, and contract negotiations. This phase started in November 2023 and ends in April 2024.
  • The DISCOVERY phase involves determining detailed requirements and ensuring common understanding. This phase starts in May July 2024 and ends in August 2024.
  • The CONFIGURATION phase involves configuring software to meet requirements. This phase starts in July 2024 and ends in October 2024.
  • The TESTING & TRAINING phase involves testing configuration and comparing it to requirements and training users using multiple formats. This phase starts in August 2024 and ends in December 2024.
  • The software will Go Live in TO BE DETERMINED.*
*Contract negotiations caused a delay that will extend the Go-Live date beyond January 2025. Once fpOnline leadership has approved the revised date, we will notify all our stakeholders and TFW partners.

Look Ahead

  • VisualVault will start the Discovery and Configuration phases of the project.
  • fpOnline experts will begin participating in the discovery process.
  • fpOnline Change Champion Forums will get underway over the summer.

July 2024

  • July 2, 2024 - DNR FP Staff Advisory Committee 9–10:30 a.m.
  • July 2, 2024 - Reviewers Advisory Committee, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • July 3, 2024 - Landowner Advisory Committee 8–9:30 a.m. 
  • July 3, 2024 - *FP District Manager Meeting, 8:15 – 10:00 a.m.
  • July 3, 2024 - *FP Program Coordinator Call, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
  • July 16, 2024 - *FP Assistants Monthly Meeting, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • July 17, 2024 - *FP Program Statewide Meeting 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • July 25, 2024 - *fpOnline Steering Committee, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

August 2024

  • August 1, 2024 - *DNR Sponsor Coalition Meeting, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • August 6, 2024 - DNR FP Staff Advisory Committee 9–10:30 a.m.
  • August 6, 2024 - Reviewers Advisory Committee, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • August 7, 2024 - Landowner Advisory Committee 8–9:30 a.m.
  • August 7, 2024 - *FP Program Coordinator Call, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
  • August 14, 2024 - *FP Board Meeting, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • August 20, 2024 - *FP Assistants Monthly Meeting, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • August 21, 2024 - *FP Program Statewide Meeting 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • August 22, 2024 - *fpOnline Steering Committee, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
  • August 27, 2024 - *DNR Sponsor Coalition Meeting, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.​
*DNR Internal Forest Practices program meetings

News You Can Use

What’s happening? The launch date for fpOnline is being moved (date to be determined).
What this means for you. You will continue to use FPARS until the launch.
What you have to do. Nothing. We will reach out when testing and training begin for fpOnline. 

Get Involved

  • Attend a VisualVault playback session
    • These are live demonstrations showing a feature of fpOnline as it is being developed
    • Playback sessions will be recorded 
  • Attend our next Town Hall event

  • Attend Timber, Fish, and Wildlife (TFW) or Upper Columbia Basin (UCB) meetings

  • Attend professional meetings, such as:
    • Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA)
    • Northwest Indian Fish Commission (NWIFC)
    • Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA)
If you have questions regarding attending informational meetings, please email dnrrefponline@dnr.wa.gov.

Question of the Month

I am worried that fpOnline will be hard to use. How is DNR going to prepare users for the new system, and support them once it has been launched?

In addition to designing fpOnline for ease of use, DNR has several avenues in place to train and support fpOnline users. These include:
  1. Develop training materials 
  2. Create a “training cadre” of DNR Forest Practices staff 
  3. Host fpOnline training events in each Region 
  4. Hire an fpOnline system steward to assist end-users as needed
  5. Establish an fpOnline helpdesk
  6. Update training materials in alignment with software updates
  7. Continue ongoing support with VisualVault
1. Develop training materials
DNR will develop custom training materials based on VisualVault’s foundational Train-the-Trainer program. Training materials may include: 
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Recorded demonstrations / playbacks
  • Print and digital documents 
  • Tutorials
  • User manuals
  • Metadata
2. Create a “training cadre”
VisualVault’s Train-the-Trainer program will train the FP Training Manager, Program Coordinators, District Managers, and other office and field staff using a Shoulder-to-Shoulder model that facilitates knowledge transfer and support. 
This will create a successful training program and equip the FP training cadre to be successful in owning and managing training.
3. Host fpOnline training events
The FP training cadre will provide fpOnline training events in each Region for landowners and city, county, and state agency reviewers.
Training materials will be available on the FP webpage.
Subsequent training will occur as new features are developed through future software enhancements.
4. Hire an fpOnline system steward
A FP program System Administrator will be hired to serve as the fpOnline system steward. They will assist end-users as needed and will engage with VisualVault to assist with functional items that need expert support.
5. Establish an fpOnline helpdesk
The System Administrator will establish an fpOnline helpdesk identical to the FPARS helpdesk.
6. Update training materials
The fpOnline system will be hosted by VisualVault and receive future upgrades and bug fixes. This is similar to subscription services provided by vendors such as Microsoft, ESRI, etc. 
The FP Training Manager and training cadre will update training materials as needed when software updates occur.
7. Continue ongoing support
VisualVault will provide ongoing system support and will respond to all questions within one business day. 
DNR will determine if an issue is 1-Urgent, 2-High, 3-Medium, or 4-Low. For 1-Urgent issues, VisualVault will attempt to resolve it within four hours. The time to resolve other issues will correlate to its level of severity.​

Team Member Spotlight

Edward West, Organizational Change Management (OCM) Lead

Edward West is one of the dedicated practitioners overseeing OCM for the fpOnline project. Edward ensures that the transitions introduced by fpOnline yield positive outcomes for all stakeholders. With a substantial background in project management spanning several years, Edward has refined his skills as a Change Management Professional and holds a ProSci certification. His career commenced with a focused engagement in process improvement, fostering a deep understanding of enhancing organizational efficiency and optimizing technology investments.
Apart from his responsibilities at Halcyon Northwest, Edward is actively engaged in education. He serves as an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health, contributes at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing, and instructs Lean Healthcare at North Carolina State University. 
On a personal level, Edward enjoys spending quality time with his family, coaching sports with his two sons, and exploring nature through hiking with his wife.

Future User Spotlight

Sam Decker, Operations Forester

Sam joined Port Blakely in April 2023 as an Operations Forester. His responsibilities span both field and office environments across Port Blakely’s three U.S. tree farms. Sam’s primary roles include harvest unit layout, road maintenance, and construction, along with securing the necessary permits for these activities. With a decade of experience at other private timber companies, Sam brings a unique perspective on permitting that considers various stakeholder viewpoints.
Sam’s department uses FPARS regularly for harvest unit and road permitting. He believes that moving FPAs into an electronic format should help with all aspects of permitting and file management moving forward. In particular, Sam is excited about electronic signatures, real time notifications, and streamlined payment options, which should significantly improve efficiency. 
Sam spends most of his free time working around the house and fishing local rivers. He is pictured with his dog, Huckleberry, who absolutely loves coming to work with Sam.

Keeping up with fpOnline

Future User Quotes

"I’m excited about the end product and how this could simplify the process, especially for me dealing with absentee landowners."
 - Forestry Consultant
"I’m aware of fpOnline and in favor of it. It will be very helpful to applicants and to DNR in reviewing applications and communicating decisions."