How We Will Get There

A picture of a group of forest workers standing on a dirt road, near a cutting operation, all wearing hard hats.
Colville National Forest A to Z Stewardship project. Photo credit: Jonathan Day, USDA Forest Service.

To ensure the success of FPM over the long term and demonstrate a commitment to continuous innovation, employees at every level of the agency need to become active learners, innovators, idea generators, advocates for change and reasonable risk-takers. Specifically, we as an agency will:

Take ownership of and accountability for innovation. This effort will have the most impact when leaders model change by giving line officers and employees the discretionary decision space to innovate and rewarding employees who are finding efficiencies, contributing to modernization goals and mentoring others.

Continue to evolve as a learning organization by supporting peer-to-peer learning and sharing new ideas, lessons learned and best practices to ensure actions and programs are continuously evaluated and improved. Create virtual and in-person learning networks, communities of practice, or similar mechanisms for education and learning around new tools and techniques for field personnel.

Create a strong partner network that advances mutually-beneficial actions in support of a modernized forest products delivery system and provides a forum for feedback and evaluating actions in terms of costs, benefits, and risks. The FPM core team will establish a partner team with representation from private industry and other stakeholders interested in forest restoration efforts.

Implement an operational workflow that facilitates innovation by establishing a national FPM leader, utilizing existing working teams to develop solutions, identifying regional advocates and/or coordinators, and staffing a national training cadre. Team up with other efforts (e.g. Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration, Shared Stewardship, National Technology Development Center, Environmental Analysis and Decision-Making) to leverage efforts and implement innovative ideas.

Create and implement a project management structure that reflects agency priorities by increasing capacity in the WO and in the field. We will do this by assigning an FPM project manager and team in the WO to capture, manage and execute innovation ideas and by strengthening professional project management skills in the field. This will help to ensure we incorporate flexible and agile decision-making into our modernization efforts and formalize project management.

Better integrate the Forest Products program’s planning and decision-making with other deputy and resource areas including fuels, land management planning, NEPA, CIO, and business operations to ensure that solutions generated are actionable and aligned with other resource needs and priorities.