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[edit] Summary of Tier 2 Team Meeting: Week One July 30 - August 3, 2007

[edit] July 30, 2007

The meeting started with opening remarks from the Core Team. The Subject Matter Experts (SME) also spoke to Randy Moore via satellite. Initially, there were several questions pertaining to the Forest Service (FS) Mission, the 25 percent reduction in budget, and learning from past transformation efforts. Additional concerns included the happiness and well being of employees, and the lack of time allotted for this effort. Members of the Core Team assured the group that these questions will be addressed in greater detail over the next week. They also stated that the first step would be to assess the current organization before moving towards the future.

DeAnn Zwight then led the group with a discussion on "Lessons Learned." This presentation fostered much discussion around what the group could take away from past transformation efforts. There was much concern over the Albuquerque Service Center (ASC). The SMEs wanted validation that Albuquerque was, in fact, assessed for its successes and failures. The Core Team, again, assured the group that this effort is really organized around field efforts, and any strategy can be successful with careful vision and planning.

Next, there was a presentation on "An Introduction to Organizational Design." There were clear concerns from the SMEs related to terms/definitions and the overall mission of the FS. Some of the concerns were quelled with an explanation that this would all come together, and the goal for the future is to look at the entire package. Included in this lecture was also a discussion on potential obstacles and ways to get around them.

The group's first break-out session was centered on, "What do you/we need to move forward tomorrow?" The group identified several key areas such as identifying roles and responsibilities and the overall Agency mission.

Overall, the first day proved to be one of questions and answers, but the SMEs seemed optimistic in conquering the challenges ahead.

[edit] July 31, 2007

The morning kicked off with a presentation by Rita Stevens on "The Case for Change." The presentation delved into the history behind the need for change, and also touched upon the reality of the shrinking budget. Furthermore, the presentation highlighted how to make the FS more relevant, the transformation objectives, design criteria, project plan phases, and a timeline.

Next, Bill LeVere presented, "Organizational Design Criteria: Roles and Responsibilities." He prefaced his presentation with a brief overview of the National Leadership Team decisions to date. He, then, facilitated ideas on organizational design criteria, which included a discussion on constituent support. A discussion on roles and responsibilities followed the organizational design presentation. First, the overarching roles and responsibilities were defined. This led to dialogue on the various roles of the WO/Chief, regional level and mission support. Bill concluded his presentation with an overview of leadership guidance.

Developing the business case was next on the agenda. The FY06 numbers were presented first, which sparked much discussion. The group was happy to have been presented with the actual numbers, as they did not see how they would be able to move forward in the process without this information. Topics such as integration, attrition, zoning and budget allocation were examples of the major areas of concern from the SMEs.

Ted Beauvis, then, gave a presentation on "Redesigning State and Private Forestry." The purpose of redesigning S&PF is to shape and influence forest land use on a scale and in a way that optimizes public benefits from trees and forests for both current and future organizations.

Next, the SMEs broke out into groups to define the core roles and the National and Regional offices. While there were consistencies amongst responses, there were also differences. It was ultimately determined that these roles and responsibilities would be looked at in greater detail throughout the upcoming days/weeks.

[edit] August 1, 2007

The facilitator kicked off the day with a brief introduction of organizational design. She made clear to the group that it was imperative to understand the current state before moving to the future state. The group had many process questions, which the consultants and Core Team addressed.

The next presentation was on the Wiki. Carl Holguin gave a brief presentation on the Wiki, and then proceeded to go into detail on how the Wiki would work. Essentially, the Wiki is a tool to engage employees. There is a section where employees can edit comments, and also a section where employees are not able to edit one another's comments. This presentation also fostered group discussion, as some SMEs were confused as to how exactly the Wiki would be operated and maintained. The group was divided on whether the Wiki would be positive or negative for the Agency, but after discussion, it was decided that the Wiki would be a good way to foster employee involvement.

Next, there was a videoconference between the SMEs, Core Team, Chief Abigail Kimbell, and Deputy Chief Hank Kashdan. Gail and Hank answered questions that were provided to them in advance as well as several impromptu ones. Following the video conference, was a group discussion, as many wanted clarification on what Hank and Gail had said. The SMEs, then, had an opportunity to review the Employee Ideas/Suggestions document and break into groups. The top sentiments that were taken from the employee's thoughts were the need for change, technology, zoning, and fear of a burden shift. The facilitator then presented "Arriving at the Business Case: From This Point Forward." He shed light on the process we will be involved in over the next few weeks and how it all leads to the business case. This presentation also identified similarities and differences between the FS Budget and Finance Business Case. Up until this point, the group was confused about the process and everyone sensed the need for more clarification and direction. In the group discussion after the presentation, the group seemed pleased with having been presented with more of a direction. The facilitator concluded the day with some final thoughts and reviewing our expectations.

[edit] August 2, 2007

The day began with the facilitator giving a brief overview of the day. Next, DeAnn Zwight gave a presentation on "Programs." The SMEs wanted a clear definition of a "program," and individuals were frustrated that a clear answer had not been presented to them. After this discussion, the SMEs broke into groups. The groups were to identify all of the program areas in the WO. When the groups all reconvened for a report-out, there was confusion on the current state of the programs in the WO. A member of the group had a current org. chart, so it was determined that the groups would all use the org chart to determine program areas. This cleared up some of the angst that had earlier been present within the groups. The program areas are as follows:

[edit] Forest Service Organization Charts

  • Office of the Chief
  • Law Enforcement and Investigations
  • International Programs
  • External Affairs (encompasses Legislative Affairs, Communications, Partnership Office and Media Office)
  • Civil Rights

[edit] Business Operations

  • Office of the Deputy Chief (includes ADR)
  • Information Resources Management
  • Enterprise Team
  • Strategic Planning and Performance Accountability
  • Human Capital Management
  • Job Corps
  • Regulatory and Management Services
  • Program and Budget Analysis
  • Safety and Occupational Health

[edit] National Forest System

  • Office of the Deputy Chief
  • Engineering
  • Lands
  • Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers
  • Rangeland Management
  • Recreation and Heritage Resources (includes youth and volunteer programs)
  • Forest Management
  • Wildlife, Fish, Watershed, Air and Rare Plants
  • Minerals and Geology Management
  • Ecosystem Management Coordination

[edit] Chief Financial Officer

  • Albuquerque Service Center
  • Acquisition Management
  • Financial Management

[edit] Research and Development

  • Office of the Deputy Chief
  • Quantitative Sciences Staff
  • Science Quality Services Staff
  • Policy Analysis
  • Resource Use Sciences
  • Forest Management Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences

[edit] State and Private Forestry

  • Office of the Deputy Chief
  • Fire and Aviation Management
  • Cooperative Forestry
  • Conservation Education
  • Urban and Community Forestry
  • Forest Health Protection
  • Tribal Relations

Then, the SMEs broke into groups again, but this time to determine activities. When the groups came together again for the report out, one of the major areas for concern was "partnerships." Every group seemed to come up with a different idea on where "partnerships" should go. It was determined that the group would have to have a separate discussion at a later time on this topic. Overall, everyone seemed on par with what was occurring in the breakout sessions.

[edit] August 3, 2007

The morning started with an introduction and a few minutes for questions and concerns. There was some concern that we may be a little behind, being that it is the end of the first week, but the Core Team assured the group that we are on schedule. Next, DeAnn Zwight gave a presentation on S.E.E.K., which stands for Synergy of Effectiveness and Efficiency of Knowledge. Essentially, S.E.E.K. is a program that will capture employee comments and ideas, engage appropriate subject matter experts, and then make recommendations to leadership on which should be implemented. The idea of S.E.E.K is that the thoughtful ideas and creative synergy of employees results in a reduction of operating costs, improved services, and the personal satisfaction of the workforce. The main comment from the group was that this idea seems redundant with both current and past efforts. Carl Holguin, then, led the group in a discussion about communication strategies and revisited the Wiki. A handout was distributed, which cleared up some of the concerns that were raised earlier in the week regarding the Wiki. Carl reviewed the handout with the group.

The SMEs, then, broke out into groups to validate the programs and tasks, which they had categorized the day before. All of the information from the preceding day had been put into a database, so the goal was for all of the groups to make sure that everything had been captured. The groups were also given the liberty to make changes, deletions, edits, etc. Again, as expressed earlier in the preceding days, the group wanted clear answers on the process and where all of the "break-out sessions" were actually going to take them.

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