Business Requirements Analysis Proposal in Response to Action 1.B
of the Inventory and Monitoring Action Plan
The original objective for Action 1.C from the Inventory and Monitoring Action Plan was to:
“Conduct a multi-level business requirements analysis to serve as the basis for
designing efficient and credible inventory and monitoring programs. Ensure
business requirements include legal requirements, management needs, and
customer expectations. Analyses of regional business needs will serve as the
basis for designing efficient and credible inventory and monitoring programs
that (1) provide data that can be “rolled up” or aggregated and reported at
appropriate scales and, (2) provide foundation of local surveys and monitoring
at local scales.”
To prepare to meet that objective a subteam of the Inventory and Monitoring Issue Team was asked to fulfill the objectives for Action 1.B.
“Design an approach to analyzing business requirements analyses that provides
management and subject-matter-expert participation from throughout the
agency and exploits prior work done by FIA, FHM, and NRIS. Develop an
approach for communicating, educating, and training agency personnel on the
methods to be used.”
The proposed approach reduces the anticipated level of information and effort envisioned to be accomplished to meet the expectations of Action 1.C. The proposed process specifically focuses on NFS inventory and monitoring programs as potentially representing the greatest opportunities for improving effectiveness and efficiency of inventory and monitoring investments. Costs of conducting the analyses will depend on methods chosen and described by the detailed work plans. Implementation of work plans will be dependent upon review by the IMIT with concurrence and support from the Ecosystem Sustainability Corporate Team (ESCT) and the InterRegional Ecosystem Management Coordinating Group (IREMCG). Success of the work plans depends on the participation by subject matter experts whose time and expenses will be covered by employing units and whose commitment must be championed by the ESCT and IREMCG.
Business requirements models are graphic descriptions of information that show relationships and specific data about what is needed to fulfill business mission and objectives. These models can be organized as either “as is” models or “to be” models. “As is” models fully describe the current business (what do we do, who is involved, which data do we need to conduct current business operations, where are business operations conducted, when are we doing these actions, etc.). “To be” models (also known as “should be” models) can be developed describing alternative business approaches or a desired condition.
Because inventory and monitoring programs are conducted by managerial and technical subject matter experts we recommend conducting of business requirements analyses that focus the attention to two distinct categories of analysis. These are “program management” and “ecological information.” Other terms of reference are included in Attachment C.
Program Management includes business requirements for the administration of inventory and monitoring programs in terms of budget, oversight, communications, infrastructure and organization; this includes who manages the program strategic direction and operations, what information is needed to report on performance, what infrastructure is needed to conduct the program, how are improvements to the program managed, who participates in advising program manager(s) and how are they engaged in the process. Because the Forest Service Inventory and Monitoring Framework clearly calls for changing current organizational and management approaches the business model developed will be a “should be” model. Aspects of current operations that are working and should
continue are candidates for inclusion in this model.
Social and Ecological Information focuses on which data and information are needed to satisfy
business requirements of the agency, how it is collected and managed, who collects and manages the information, where must the inventory/monitoring take place, how is data quality measured and used, what must the program personnel do to collect and manage the data. In this context “ecological information” includes social and economic information relevant to managing natural resources.
Based on the information gathered from subject-matter-experts through ongoing ecoregional assessments and monitoring plans, the business model(s) to be developed will be “should be” models. Aspects of current ecological and social systems inventory and monitoring work that are useful and should be continued are candidates for inclusion in this model.
Goals of the work to be conducted under this proposal:
Goal 1: Rely on internal personnel and increase capacity to conduct and use business analyses
; Use contractors to facilitate critical portions of the process with other staffs providing
support to the effort:
o IRM and NRIS: management of data and information generated by the process
o IMI: overall management and validation reviews of products to ensure products
genuinely express business needs recognized by NFS national and regional inventory
and monitoring program managers.
; Regional/field participation based upon allocated funds and direction in the FY2001 PBA
earmark for NRIS and data evaluation ($1.0 million/Region).
; NFS will rely on subject matter experts from Research and Development (R&D), State and
Private Forestry (S&PF), and partners to serve as information sources. Examples of
information expected from R&D and S&PF include advice and assistance on organizational
issues, management policies, ways to link NFS inventory and monitoring requirements and
programs with their systems (such as EMAP, NRI, FIA, and FHM), opportunities for
collaboration, performance measurement, methods to evaluate and select protocols,
feasibility of protocol implementation, cost-effectiveness, sufficiency of sampling design and
identification of sampling “gaps”, and determining if appropriate information is being
collected to address business objectives of inventories and monitoring programs.
; Recognize that post-fire/ecosystem restoration priorities will “out compete” IMIT‟s needs for
critical skills/personnel. We need to critically review any requests for field-level
participation. We will need to secure agreement from the Regions to use this approach.
Goal 2: Manage scope
; Start with an overall description of NFS inventory and monitoring needs that is consistent
with direction set by the NFS inventory and monitoring national program manager, Steve
Solem, and the NFS I&M budget advisory group.
; Identify focal areas where national needs are not fully defined (e.g., GPRA Strategic Plan
outcome measures) and spin-off separate effort(s) to evaluate how such measures can be
better defined and linked with planned and operational inventory and monitoring programs.
; Plan for iterative development of detailed requirements that moves from the framework to
specific subject areas and supports interaction between related existing projects and/or new
; Plan for changes to business requirements, focus efforts on least volatile areas or
areas of exceptionally high risk in order to ensure the most organizationally
critical inventory and monitoring needs are identified.
; Rather than getting bogged down in minute detail for all possible business requirements
emphasize achieving an 80% + of the information outcome that focuses on most important
focal areas for analyses. R&D/S&PF programs have recently undergone extensive review
and modification pursuant to the 1998 Farm Bill requirements. Utilize a phased approach
that balances cultural change with technical solutions.
Goal 3: Exploit existing information and efforts
; Use the efforts with other ESCT Issue Teams and agency initiatives as a basis for conducting
Business Requirements Analyses; a list of major efforts we can “mine” to develop a starting
point and process is attached.
; Work through other Agency priorities/efforts to achieve the principles outlined in the FS
; Use lead contacts from existing Issue Teams and related efforts as subject matter experts to
develop descriptions of “as is” and “to be” models for business requirements for the agency.
; Clearly differentiate between requirements based on law, science, and policy.
; Clearly differentiate between existing requirements (“as is” models) and recommendations
(“to be” models) for potential requirements.
Overall the process flow is to develop high-level coarse descriptions of business requirements followed by more detailed in-depth analyses for specific focal areas. We will need to iterate between the coarse and detailed models to make adjustments and verify information. We will also need to conduct review sessions to ensure that the models described by a collection of subject matter experts are sufficiently robust to be understood by others who did not directly participate in model development. Models developed through the proposed process will be used by other teams to fulfill specific tasks in the Inventory and Monitoring Action Plan such as:
2.B Define and Adopt Classification Schemes
2.C Evaluate I&M Programs
3.A Define Collaboration Goals and Objectives
3.B Establish and Manage I&M Agreements
3.D Establish Stewardship Agreements
4.B Develop I&M Training Program
6.B Conduct Activity and Program Reviews
6.C Establish Technical Approval Process
6.D Refine Performance Measures & IM Links
6.E Streamline Reporting & Requirements
6.F Review and Update FS Directives
7.A Define Organizational Roles
8.A Catalog Existing IM Protocols
8.B Identify I&M Protocol Gaps and Priorities
Program Management: Conduct a high-level business requirements analysis for program
management that sets the stage for clearly describing and better coordinating inventory and
monitoring programs within the agency and with partners. The analysis will be limited to a few
meetings convened with program management subject matter experts within the agency and
appropriate partners. Specific steps include:
1. Devise work plan: Develop a detailed work plan describing meetings and subject matter
experts needed to develop the program management model(s) will be developed. Plan how
analyses will be conducted (methods to be used, contracting, costs, scheduling, etc). Include
briefings or mini-training sessions the group that convenes to develop the work plan. Post the
work plan, introductory training presentations, and examples of products from business
requirements analyses for access by the IMIT and others in order to increase awareness and
understanding the process being used.
2. Schedule: Schedule work sessions so that the process can be completed in four months.
Implement work plan: Conduct informational training sessions at the beginning of each 3.
session where subject matter experts are convened in order to establish a common
understanding of the analysis process and documentation to be used. Conduct sessions that
result in business models that:
a. Provide a basis for defining national, regional, and forest inventory and monitoring
management roles and responsibilities;
b. Describe processes for strategic planning of inventories and monitoring work;
c. Describe processes for budget planning, fiscal management, and activity reviews;
d. Describe processes for measuring performance against specific objectives;
e. Describe methods identify customer needs and ensure customer satisfaction with
information and data resulting from inventory and monitoring programs;
f. Describe business needs for national and servicewide agreements (MOU‟s);
g. Describe processes for generating reports; and
h. Describe processes to foster consistency across programs and continuous
improvement of inventory and monitoring programs.
4. Review results: Review models to evaluate their completeness and ability to serve as useful
information sources for other tasks that rely on the information such as:
7.A Define Organizational Roles
2.C Evaluate I&M Programs
6.B Conduct Activity and Program Reviews
6.C Establish Technical Approval Process
Social and Ecological Information: Use the following six steps to conduct business requirements
analyses that are congruent with agency business needs for ecological information:
1. Topics we want to look at: Identify ongoing efforts that can be leveraged to identify requirements or provide processes for managing inventory and monitoring requirements. An initial list of ongoing efforts is included as Attachment A. This list will be reviewed and refined by the IMIT. Conduct a informational briefing for subject matter experts in order to establish a common understanding of the analysis process and documentation to be used and to prepare them to consider the information and process when refining the initial list of related ongoing efforts.
2. Matrix of Inventory and Monitoring Programs: Based on the summary of currently
funded inventory and monitoring programs (Attachment A), describe existing and new efforts in this national and servicewide context. Show how current and planned inventory and monitoring efforts (reference separate document; Matrix of Inventory and Monitoring
Programs) fit within the context of the IMIT Action Plan objectives for business requirements analysis.
3. Review I&M efforts and initiatives: Identify evaluation criteria to gauge priority of existing and new initiatives over the next 2 – 3 years. Example criteria to use against the lists
developed in steps 1 and 2 are:
; Legal risk
; Obvious “gap” in clearly defined business needs
; Not served by existing initiatives
; Degree that closely related initiatives need an overall analysis in order to
reduce conflicting or duplicative efforts
; Ability to reach agreement on standard protocols in the near future
; Strength of existing scientific basis for identifying needs associated with
social and/or ecological systems
; Strength of management and customer satisfaction with quality of information
being generated already
; Susceptibility to inefficient and/or redundant inventory and monitoring
; Clarity and concurrence among stakeholders on the perceived need(s)
; Strength of rigor and quality of information gathered by the effort that is
similar to what would be identified through a business requirements process
; Likelihood of ongoing effort to reach closure without information expected
from a business requirements analysis
Based on IMIT knowledge and understanding, associate various ongoing efforts (Attachment A) with existing I&M programs. Compose a priority list for focal topics to be analyzed in step 5 below.
4. Coordinate existing efforts to fulfill objectives of this task: Ongoing projects and projects
not yet started will occur during the life of steps 1-6. It will be impractical to yard-up all
seemingly relevant but independent project under the umbrella of the proposed business
requirements task. Coordination will consist of:
a. Conduct informational training session in order to establish a common understanding
of the analysis process and documentation to be used.
b. Evaluating existing efforts against objectives for conducting business requirements
analyses (task 2.A).
c. Identifying information expected from business requirements analyses being
conducted under the auspices of ongoing projects.
d. Developing a process to foster consistency of information gathered through ongoing
5. Implement high priority detailed business requirements analyses: Based on the priority
list resulting from step 3 above, select focal topics/inventory subject areas. Develop detailed
work plan(s) to analyze business requirements for these areas. Plan how analyses will be
conducted (methods to be used, contracting, costs, scheduling, etc). Attachment B describes
detailed data and information to be compiled for focal topics. Implement work plans as
approved and funded by the ESCT and IREMCG. Include introductory business requirements
explanation/training session for the first meeting where subject matter experts are convened. 6. Adaptive management: Periodically reassess the effectiveness of work conducted in steps 4
and 5; revise methods and detailed work plans; and propose adjustments to the Inventory and
Monitoring Framework and Action Plan.
A separate project within the Inventory and Monitoring Action Plan will rely on the
findings from these business requirements to identify the priorities for filling gaps in data
needs and filling gaps in protocols for data collection. Separate efforts will be needed to
evaluate candidate protocols for standard use and to develop new sampling and collection
Future effort(s) beyond the scope of the business requirements analysis:
; Capture the results of Forest Service efforts and compare for redundancy and
; Establish common understanding of methods to conduct business requirements
analyses. Identify information expected from business requirements analyses and
establish a process to foster consistency of information gathered through future
; Develop interim standards for data, maps, classification schemes, data collection
protocols, and analytical protocols.
; Establish methods to promote effectiveness of inventory and monitoring programs,
especially establish management objectives that ensure quality data and
information is produced for focal areas not analyzed in detail.
; Build capacity organizationally to accept changes in protocols and standardization
within the Regions.
A major “gap” we have in standardization is in terrestrial fauna inventory and monitoring. Once we identify data elements and supporting business requirements, we should:
; Focus efforts on completing revisions to existing handbooks and manual direction
so those parts of the problem hold still.
; Use the information generated from our review to address terrestrial fauna
inventories. We will need to separate “habitat” inventories and habitat
relationships from inventories of species occurrence, range, etc. since these are
dependent upon other inventory results. Efforts to develop inventories of habitat
will result in redundant data collection between systems. Needs for habitat
relationships should be incorporated into revisions of existing handbooks and
Protocol selection and development:
At the same time we are conducting business requirements analyses for ecological information we need to make progress on standardizing inventory collection protocols where we are very close (i.e. hold these parts of the problem still while we work on major gaps). We can then make adjustments through a change management process to these “standardized” procedures. We will also eliminate gathering some data elements as we identify redundancy between inventory systems and use GIS layers to generate information. Areas where we are close include:
1. Terrestrial Ecological Unit Inventory (FSH 2090)
2. Aquatic Ecological Unit Inventory (FSH2060), including aquatic biota survey
3. Vegetation Inventory linkage between Common Stand Exam and FIA using the
R5 and R1/4 methodologies and efforts associated with NRIS-Polyveg
4. Social and economic „inventory‟ in FSH 1909.16
I&M data management:
The business requirements analysis will identify high level requirements, specific data elements will be gleaned from existing efforts or specific focal area analyses conducted by the NFS business requirements coordinator and the NRIS staff. In many cases data elements will be supported by multiple requirements. NRIS migration offers the opportunity to identify data elements that do not have a supporting business requirement. These should be noted and scrutinized to assess whether or not they merit migration of if they indicate that a business requirement has been missed.
ONGOING/COMPLETED EFFORTS THAT SERVE
AS INFORMATION SOURCES FOR BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS
National initiatives shared with or managed by organizations other than Forest Service
1. Environmental Report Card (White House OSTP)
2. Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators Round Table and Workshops 3. Cohesive Wildfire Strategy
4. Natural Resources Inventory (USDA NRCS)
5. National Parks Monitoring
6. Western EMAP (EPA)
7. National Wetlands Inventory
8. National Water Quality Assessment Program
Forest Service managed national initiatives
9. FS Strategic Plan (2000 Revision) and Annual Performance Plan Measures 10. Financial Management Data Warehouse – Link to Annual Performance Plan 11. Core GIS Report and Data Dictionary
12. Inventory and Monitoring Framework and Action Plan
Strategic Plan for Forest Inventory and Analysis/Forest Health Monitoring 13.
14. National Application Business Requirements Documentation
a. Automated Lands Project/National Integrated Lands System
b. Infrastructure Project
c. Natural Resource Information System
d. Timber Information System/TIM Facts
15. Wildlife, Fish, and Rare Plants inventory and monitoring action plan including
business requirements analysis
16. LANDFIRE project to develop nationwide maps and processes for local
refinement of information
17. Long-term productivity monitoring
Ecoregional: ( to be used to identify social and ecological inventory and monitoring business needs at
the ecoregional level)
18. PNW Forest Plan Monitoring Requirements
19. Sierra Nevada Framework Monitoring Strategy
20. Southern Appalachian Assessment
21. Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project 22. Great Lakes Assessment
23. Northern Great Plains Assessment and Forest Plan Revisions 24. The Nature Conservancy‟s Bio-Regional Planning Process
25. Regions 1-4 pilot project (vegetation, human dimensions, aquatic/hydro, wildlife,
26. Selected Forest Plan Revision Monitoring Requirements 27. Implementation and migration plans for NRIS modules
28. Post-fire Strategies and Restoration
Many national and service-wide inventory and monitoring programs have been summarized in a matrix/table available as a separate document. Because the matrix is based on specific inventories, the data collected and protocols used do not fully represent the collection of social and ecological systems-based data and relationships that are the cornerstones of ecoregional and forest-level assessment and monitoring plans and activities.
The list of ongoing and completed efforts above and the summary matrix of inventory programs both serve as information sources for steps 1-3 of the social and ecological systems business requirements analysis because the are each different views and neither is fully sufficient as comprehensive sources of information for the proposed business requirements analysis process.
Detailed information for social and ecological information
business requirements analyses
The agency operates within the context of changing levels of understanding and uncertainty about the social, economic, and ecological systems. Inventory and monitoring activities are needed to improve understanding of these systems. Analysis of social and ecological systems business requirements analysis focuses on pulling together information pertinent to inventory and monitoring activities associated with social, economic, and ecological processes and data. This phase will rely heavily on:
1. Completion of IMIT sponsored Systems paper describing processes and
attributes of social, economic, and ecological systems; Action 2A. due to be
completed in November 2000.
2. Compilation of previous (and current) agency inventory and monitoring
programs; Action 2.C part 1, due to be completed March 2001.
3. Description of social and economic systems attributes and connections as
provided by NRIS Human Dimensions module, due to be completed
4. Description of Montreal Process the agency is required to stay within based on
information from the Sustainable Development Issue Team, as currently
5. Compilation of sustainability indicators and methods identified through the
LUCID tests due for completion in March 2001.
At a high-level identify which social, economic and ecological processes, the agency
needs to keep within sustainability, health, etc. parameters and describe the attributes
which the agency needs to monitor in order to know if the processes are operating
within the required parameters.
1. Describe high-level social, economic, and ecological processes and their
attributes to be monitored based on the agency strategic plan (GPRA
performance measures) and similar national plans that are in essence
commitments with Congress and/or States.
2. Describe processes and their attributes that are consistent at the national
scale with the Montreal Process and executive direction (for example, the
national report card for the Nation).
3. Describe processes and their attributes that are service-wide, some of these
will be based on the LUCID pilots (ie. those applicable service-wide).
4. Crosscheck national and service-wide criteria, indicators, and associated *thresholds with legislative requirements.
* In this proposal, ‘criteria, indicators, and associated thresholds’ are equivalent
in meaning with ‘processes and their attributes.’
For social, economic, and ecological system process requirements develop a “should
be” model for specific focal topic/area(s).