fpOnline Newsletter May 2024

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In This Issue

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 ensure common understanding. This phase starts in May 2024 and ends in July 2024.
  • The Configuration phase involves Software configured to meet requirements. This phase starts in June 2024 and ends in October 2024.
  • The Testing & Training phase involves Configuration tested and compared to requirements and Users trained using multiple formats. This phase starts in July 2024 and ends in December 2024.
  • The software will Go Live in Jan 2025.​

Look Ahead

  • VisualVault will begin discovery efforts to finalize detailed requirements and ensure common understanding.
  • fpOnline experts will begin participating in the discovery process.
  • fpOnline Change Champion Forums will begin in May (Change Champions are leaders representing stakeholder groups who assist their colleagues with change).
If you have questions regarding attending informational meetings, please email dnrrefponline@dnr.wa.gov.

May 2024

  • May 1, 2024 - *FP Program Coordinator Call, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
  • May 2, 2024 - *FP District Manager Meeting, 8:15 – 10:00 a.m.
  • May 15, 2024 - *FP Monthly Program Call, 10:00 -11:00 a.m.
  • May 21, 2024 - *FP Assistants Monthly Meeting, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • May 22, 2024 - *DNR Sponsor Coalition Meeting, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • May 23, 2024 - *fpOnline Steering Committee, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

June 2024

  • June 4, 2024 - DNR FP Staff Advisory Committee 9–10:30 a.m.
  • June 4, 2024 - Reviewers Advisory Committee, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 5, 2024 - Landowner Advisory Committee 8–9:30 a.m. 
  • June 5, 2024 - *FP Program Coordinator Call, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
  • June 6, 2024 - *FP District Manager Meeting, 8:15 – 10:00 a.m.
  • June 18, 2024 - *FP Assistants Monthly Meeting, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • June 26, 2024 - *DNR Sponsor Coalition Meeting, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • June 27, 2024 - *fpOnline Steering Committee, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m..​
*DNR Internal Forest Practices program meetings

Get Involved

  • Attend a VisualVault playback session (more info coming soon) 
  • 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)

Question of the Month

How will VisualVault’s discovery process work?

The project discovery phase is the first step in the project where everyone involved gathers to figure out and write down the project’s scope, goals, limits, and what needs to be achieved. This phase is like plotting the course before starting a long journey.
The discovery phase is also called the scoping phase, which involves conducting research and doing preparation work before beginning the actual development process, project execution, and launch.
The development team involved in the discovery phase will accomplish the following:
  • Figure out the main pain points, user needs, and goals
  • Settle on the project vision and value proposition
  • Clearly define the objectives, goals, deliverables, and success indicators
  • Identify possible roadblocks, limitations, and bottlenecks
  • Line out the scope of work with tangible milestones and priorities
  • Shortlist the tech stack and specifies system requirements
  • Research and finalize the product’s design
  • Determine the product’s features


Project Meetings & Presentations
  • fpOnline staff hosted a table at the Washington Farm Forestry Association Annual Conference in April to answer questions about fpOnline from small forest landowners.
  • The fpOnline Town Hall meeting took place in April and a recording is available on the fpOnline web page.
Project Targets
  • Planned communication and engagement efforts are under way.
  • All meetings and communications are on schedule.

​Nerd Corner

How much experience does VisualVault have in creating systems similar to fpOnline?

VisualVault has been serving the public sector since 2009 and exclusively since 2016. We have implemented many similar self-service platforms that are streamlined and user-friendly.
While we are not permitted to provide the names of all clients due to contractual confidentiality agreements, we recently spearheaded the combination of four large state entities into one cohesive system. This centralization effort utilized the VisualVault platform to streamline and enhance processes, highlighting our ability to handle complex tasks for more than 50,000 end users.
This project showcases our proficiency in centralizing and optimizing services. The shared emphasis on efficiency, compliance, and collaboration makes VisualVault a suitable choice for fpOnline, with the experience providing a solid foundation for success in achieving the goals of DNR’s Forest Practices program.
Over hundreds of implementations, we have refined our process to ensure that each project is completed efficiently and meets the needs of each state. No two systems are exactly alike; our process is similar, allowing us to identify needs and ensure our final product meets the needs of DNR and the people they serve.  
How does VisualVault use continuous improvement to create product enhancements?
VisualVault’s low-code/no-code design and configurable modules will give the fpOnline system the flexibility to change and adapt to forest practice’s evolving requirements. Washington will have the nation’s leading Forest Practices permitting system when fpOnline goes live. 
We are at the forefront of best practices for software change management, regularly evaluating the effectiveness of our continuous improvement strategies and refining them as needed. We collect user feedback, identify improvement areas, and incorporate lessons learned into future implementations. 
VisualVault’s development teams and resources are focused and responsive to the needs and feedback of our public sector clients, which often drives product enhancements. We will involve the DNR fpOnline team and stakeholder partners in our testing process for each new update.
We prioritize feedback from our clients and the communities they serve. We have a team of dedicated client success personnel who focus on the evolving functional requirements as well as the things that our clients bring to our attention, allowing our team of architects to ensure that our platform is everything you need.

Team Member Spotlight

Clare Olson, fpOnline Project Manager

In her role as fpOnline’s Project Manager, Clare brings over 45 years of experience working with technology. She has spent her career in banking and public service, working with organizations such as the Department of Defense, Department of the Army (CIO/G6), Barclays Bank in London, Citibank, and the Washington State Department of Licensing. 
Clare holds a master’s degree in project management from Stanford University’s Engineering School and a master’s degree in technical project management from George Washington University. 
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Clare is an avid Green Bay Packers fan and shareholder. Clare enjoys woodworking and traveling and rescuing Golden Retrievers. Her granddaughter, Kierra, is the light of her life.

Keeping up with fpOnline

Future User Quotes

"Communication has been working beautifully."
- DNR IT staff member
"We have to be able to help our people—anyone who walks in our doors or calls us [for help with an FPA or WTMF]. We’re big on customer service."
- DNR Forest Practices staffer
"I think fpOnline it is a big deal because our external stakeholders already have digital tools to do business, and have been waiting for us to catch up."
- DNR Forest Practices staffer
"Make sure that DNR gets a functional product that is supported by the vendor – under contract – for long enough that users can use it trouble-free."
- Tribal reviewer

2024 Q1 Quarterly Survey Results

The fpOnline team sent out its quarterly survey to future users of fpOnline, with 128 people responding. 
Biggest Concerns:
  • There will be bugs in the system
  • Applicants will struggle to use the system
  • It will have a clunky user interface
Biggest Hopes:
  • The system will be user friendly
  • It will be a source of comprehensive records
  • It will make their jobs easier
ADKAR measures readiness for change among stakeholders. Our goal is to have 75 percent of DNR future users and percent of 60 external future users “agree” or “strongly agree” with each ADKAR element. 
Awareness – I understand why DNR is going to move to fpOnline.
  • 84% agree/strongly agree 
Desire – I want to start using fpOnline when it is ready. 
  • 84% agree/strongly agree 
Knowledge – I feel knowledgeable about how DNR wants fpOnline to work. 
  • 58% agree/strongly agree 
Ability – I feel I will be capable of using fpOnline when it is ready. 
  • 57% agree/strongly agree 
Reinforcement – I’m confident that once I start using fpOnline, I will use it regularly. 
  • 81% agree/strongly agree 
Since fpOnline has not yet been built, it makes sense that our future users’ sense of knowledge and ability with the application are relatively low. We expect these percentages to increase as VisualVault shares playbacks and demos, and after training commences.
Our goal is to have 70 percent of DNR future users and 50 percent of external future users “agree” or “strongly agree” that they feel well-communicated with about the project. 
  • DNR staff – 78% agree/strongly agree 
  • External – 58% agree/strongly agree 
Knowledge of the project
Our goal is to have 70 percent of DNR future users and 50 percent of external future users “agree” or “strongly agree” that they feel knowledgeable about the fpOnline project. 
  • DNR staff – 56% agree/strongly agree
  • External – 46% agree/strongly agree
The fpOnline team is happy to have met (or nearly met) our goals for communication and knowledge of the project. However, we will continue to strive to increase these numbers. It’s important to us that future users of fpOnline are knowledgeable about the project and think our communications are effective.