May 2017 Newsletter

May 2017

Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.

Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:

  • PSAP Consolidation
  • NextGen/911 Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Public Safety Communications and Telephony
  • Public Safety Applications and Systems Requirements and Implementation Support
  • Mission Critical Facilities Design and Fit-Out
  • 311 Call Centers and Implementation
  • PSAP Staffing and Operations Analysis

Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.

 

We are interested in your thoughts on the newsletter topics. To share them with us, please visit our blog or follow us on Twitter.

 

For more information about our services and solutions, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

Managing Disparate Public Safety Technology Systems

 

The executive, operational and technical management of public safety technology systems are the foundational components needed to successfully achieve improved operational effectiveness, time efficiency and other goals of the agency. The failure to execute on any one of these management components can have a significant negative impact on the systems themselves and the value they provide to the organization. This principle applies to any type of system. Whether it is 9-1-1, CAD, Mobile, GIS, L & R, RMS, JMS, Business Intelligence, radio, or In Car/Body Worn Cameras, every system requires a formal executive, operational and technical management plan.

 

Traditionally many organizations view the management of technology systems as solely an “IT” assignment and fail to incorporate an enterprise wide plan that is developed by the various management levels. In today’s world, with so many diverse demands being made of them, public safety agencies are forced to implement multiple technology systems. Without a comprehensive plan, organizations rarely obtain the full benefits of the multiple systems, and often have more complaints about the systems instead of approval and commendation. While all stakeholders should be operating in concert, executive, operational and technical management roles and responsibilities are distinct and need to be clearly defined in order for the agency to achieve its goals.

 

Executive Management

Organization leadership is the ultimate owner of every system and is ultimately responsible for its success or failure. Executive management must provide leadership through clear direction to the organization that deals with all the key aspects as well as the individual components of the system. In order to provide direction, Executive Management must define and clearly communicate:

  • Organization strategic goals and objectives – Defining how the system will assist the organization in achieving its overall strategic vision.
  • System goals and objectives – Sets clear and tangible expectations of the system. What boxes must be checked post-implementation for the system to be considered successful?
  • Stakeholder engagement – A review that ensures that the correct personnel from management to end-users involved in all phases of system development (e.g., Procurement, install, design, configuration, testing, training, implementation and support).
  • Subject matter expertise – A careful look at the agency’s skill level. Does the organization have the appropriate expertise regarding critical decisions? A critical success factor is objectively evaluating the knowledge, skills and abilities of personnel who will be configuring, managing and using the system.
  • Staffing analysis – An honest assessment of the organization’s ability to successfully implement a system. Do all key positions such as the project manager, project team, system administrator, trainers, etc.; have the appropriate bandwidth to complete their assignment successfully?
  • System Priority – Defining the importance of the system. Where does the system fall on the priority scale? Is the system life critical, mission critical or normal business operations? Do the resources and attention being applied to the system match its status on the priority scale?
  • Roles and responsibilities – Every position that will interact with the system should have a clearly defined role and understand their responsibility for successful implementation and utilization.
  • Total Cost of Ownership – It is vitally important that not only the initial costs but the ongoing costs, including personnel costs be identified. Identification of all costs is essential to achieve successful implementation. These costs can include a requirement to upgrade hardware, new FTE(s) and overtime funding.

 

Operational Management

Operations has ownership on the design, configuration, training and implementation of the new system. Many organizations assign this role to an “IT” position because it has been done that way in the past or it’s the path of least resistance. The end result in that operational management then encounters problems fully leveraging the system for maximum operational effectiveness. Simply stated, IT personnel are not experts concerning public safety operations, the same as “Operations” personnel are not “IT” experts.

 

Enterprise wide systems should be considered an “Operations Initiative” versus an “IT Project.” From a level of effort perspective, Operations will require a significantly larger number of FTE hours and attention to successfully implement the system. For example a few of the key operational aspects of a system include:

  • The design, configuration and training phases are the most time-consuming aspects of the project.
  • The implementation of any system will require new workflow, business processes, policies, procedures and terminology.

 

Critical success factors include:

  • Operations System Administration –Operational responsibility needs to be delegated. The primary and secondary personnel that are responsible for the configuration and continuing support of the system need to be identified.
  • Project Team – Who from the operations side is assigned to the project? Are the correct type and number of Operations personnel included in every phase of the project? This includes subject matter experts, management and end-users.
  • System Expertise – This is about how the system works and driving maximum benefit from the system. Have Operational personnel on the project team been trained to a sufficient level of expertise to understand the full capabilities of the system?
  • Time/Bandwidth – Has enough time be assigned during the design and configuration phases to fully explore system options? Does the Operations team have adequate time and bandwidth to identify the best workflows, business processes and procedures to achieve maximum operational effectiveness and time efficiency?
  • Policy/Procedures – A comprehensive review of current policies and procedures as they relate to the particular system should be undertaken. All relevant stakeholders should be consulted regarding the impact of a new system. Have all related policies and procedures been updated and approved?
  • Training – A goal to train personnel to a level of proficiency should be established. Proficiency training is different than attendance training. Proficiency training requires personnel to demonstrate the skills they learned in the training class while simple “attendance” of a training class does not determine actual proficiency (e.g., some personnel may leave the class proficient while others may not)

 

Technical Management

Technical management focuses on the technical aspects of the system. Technical objectives include reliability, dependability, performance, continuity of operations/failover, Disaster Recovery, systems requirements, hardware requirements, and operating environment.

 

The Technical System Administrator is responsible for items such as:

  • Data center/infrastructure – Servers, computers, etc.
  • Networks – WAN/LAN and wireless
  • Application performance
  • Interfaces, data conversion, etc.
  • Malware/virus protection
  • System upgrades
  • Technical system administration

 

Summary

Fully leveraging any system requires a high level of commitment and dedication from all stakeholders. Personnel from all levels of the organization are required to participate in the project to ensure that the system is designed to provide the organization maximum value. In order to achieve this goal, organizations need to incorporate formal plans for executive, operational and technical management of every system in their overall Technology Master Plan.

 

Winbourne Consulting has worked with many public safety agencies in the analysis of their systems. If you are interested in having Winbourne Consulting assist your agency in developing a plan to manage your technology systems, please contact us at info@w-llc.com.

 

Winbourne Happenings

 

On April 12th, Winbourne Consulting participated in a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. The US Commercial Service (USCS) organized the workshop attended by nearly 50 people. Avaya, Motorola and Winbourne Consulting were sponsors and each firm made presentations to the workshop. The workshop discussed options for implementing a single emergency telephone number in Ho Chi Minh City and to integrate the City’s emergency communications centers. Among the attendees were agency representatives from the People Committee, Department of Information and Communications, Disaster Control and Search, Transportation, Firefighting Police, Public Security, and Health departments. Also, Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) a major communications carrier in Vietnam attended.

 

 

Winbourne Consulting The Port of VirginiaWinbourne Consulting was recently awarded a contract to conduct an assessment of the Port of Virginia Police Command Center’s security management system. The assessment includes:

  • Evaluation of existing technologies used by command center dispatchers, first responders, police command staff, and other field personnel;
  • Documentation of operational and technical requirements for incident management and dispatch;
  • Delivery of technology solution recommendations for Command Center operations.

 

Local Public Safety News

 

Louisiana Dispatch Center Flooded With Bogus Calls. While these calls were not intentional but initiated by a program within the Apple watch, they were still a public safety hazard and an example of the increasing technology issues that public safety agencies face every day.

 

http://www.wafb.com/story/35271372/apple-watch-users-flood-911-centers-with-bogus-calls

 

Industry Events

 

June 3-6 | San Antonio, Texas

No matter what your role is in public safety, NENA's Annual Conference & Expo delivers the education, resources, and contacts you need to be better equipped to do your job and actively prepare for the road ahead. Featuring inspiring keynote speakers, dozens of education and training sessions designed to inform and empower, comprehensive full-day and multi-day courses and workshops with real-world applications, unparalleled opportunities to network with peers and make the right connections, and an expo hall showcasing cutting-edge products and services, this is the must-attend event of the year for today’s emergency communications professional.

http://www.nena.org/?page=NENA2017

 

IAFC Annual Conference & ExpoConference: July 26–29, 2017

Exhibits: July 27–29, 2017

Charlotte Convention Center

Charlotte, NC

 

FRI, the annual conference and expo of the IAFC, has provided senior-level leadership training to fire chiefs for 140 years. As an organization, the IAFC represents the world's leading experts in the first responder community. The IAFC's commitment to excellence is seen throughout FRI—from the classroom to the expo, the IAFC delivers when it comes to quality and value.

http://events.iafc.org/micrositeFRIconf/About/index.cfm?ItemNumber=6597&navItemNumber=6595

 

APCO 2017APCO 2017 is the premier event for public safety communications officials, from frontline telecommunicators to communication center managers to public safety communications equipment and services vendors. Registration opens April 3, 2017.

http://www.apco2017.org/

 

Articles of Interest

 

911 Dispatchers Use New Technologies to Quickly Locate Cellphone Callers

The key to successful 911 call location for local agencies is the incorporation of several new technologies including phones with better GPS locating capabilities and the 911 center's adoption of CAD systems synced with Google Maps.

http://www.govtech.com/em/next-gen-911/911-Dispatch-Technology.html

 

 

National 911 Program Releases NG 9-1-1 Standards Overview Document

The National 911 Program released the sixth edition of the “Next Generation 911 Standards Identification and Review,” a compilation of next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) standards.

https://www.rrmediagroup.com/News/NewsDetails/NewsID/15476

 

 

GCNFirstNet Begins To Build Its Ecosystem

The FirstNet contract to build a nationwide public safety broadband network is less than two months old, but government and industry officials alike say they're excited by the work that's already underway. "FirstNet is in the process of putting together its own ecosystem," FirstNet board member Teri Takai said at an event in Washington D.C. "There will be a developer platform, there’ll be testing and certification, there’ll be an app store for distribution of those applications.... That infrastructure is going to be important. "

https://gcn.com/articles/2017/05/18/firstnet-ecosystem.aspx?admgarea=TC_STATELOCAL

 

Michigan to Launch Smart911 App to Help its 911 Centers

Michigan state officials feel that Smart911 — a web-based computer application touted as being able to quickly provide 911 call-takers with useful information during incoming calls — can help. Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley announced in November that the state will fund a $2.2 million dollar grant that would cover the cost for any 911 public safety answering point in Michigan to subscribe to Smart911 for up to 12 months.

http://www.govtech.com/em/next-gen-911/Michigan-to-launch-Smart911-app-to-help-its-911-centers.html