SR SSD 2002-06
3/2002

Technical Attachment

IFPS Training Development Meeting

NWS Training Center
February 27-28, 2002

Below are highlights resulting from the initial meeting at NWSTC of the five-person IFPS training development team, along with representatives from other NWS training centers, NWS Headquarters, the regions, and NCEP. Chip Kasper, forecaster and IFPS focal point at WFO Key West, represented the Southern Region at this meeting. The intent of the meeting was to address an IFPS Professional Development Series (PDS), and outline related Professional Competency Units (PCUs) to accomplish the necessary IFPS-related training over the coming years.

The new IFPS Training Team (and their work locations) consists of:

Brian Motta FSL/COMET in Boulder
Shannon White NWSH (MDL)
Kevin Fuell FSL/COMET
Brian Beckman NWSTC
Bob Hamilton NWSTC

At the Kansas City meeting it was agreed:

- Most of the training for all PCUs could (and should) be accomplished via distance learning to ensure the widest possible audience. This is particularly true for PCU 1 and PCU 6 (see below), as the team believes these concepts are not filtering down to the field level.

- The team recommended the creative solution of producing recorded, expert teletraining sessions for use by individual field staff as they have available time. A number of supplementary, live conference calls with the experts will be utilized to answer questions related to the presentation at specific times.

- NWSTC will create and maintain a new "IFPS Training Information" Web link on NWSTRN. This link will contain threaded discussions, existing informational documentation, and regularly updated documentation related to new techniques implemented via the RAP process.

- An attrition IFPS focal point class should be maintained at NWSTC in FY 03, but it should be shortened from 2 weeks to 4.5 days to reflect the omission of knobology training. The assumption is that new focal points will not be "novices" from here on and, thus, will not require knobology training. This was the only residence course recommended by the team.

SUMMARY OF IFPS PDS MEETING

OVERARCHING ACTIONS:

ACTION: For all training elements (and on an ongoing basis), the IFPS training team should find out about and participate in Regional workshops to provide live training (e.g., WR in May).

ACTION: All those named in association with the PCUs will expand the topics for inclusion as new NWSTRN pages, share them with other team members for comment, and return them to Mike Dion (OCCWS) by April 15.

DECISION: Brian Motta is the Executive Producer for the IFPS PDS. There will not be individual producers assigned, as Brian will call upon the other four members of the IFPS training team for support as needed.

ACTION: Bob Hamilton will oversee development of a new "IFPS Training Information Page" (ITIP) to be maintained on NWSTRN. This page will contain links to all training documentation, teletraining schedules, and any other current training information.

The following PCUs were decided upon, with individual training elements and assigned actions as follows:

PCU 1: Collaboration (Motta/White) For all forecasters

* Collaboration tools/techniques
* Interoffice collaboration
* Intraoffice collaboration

ACTION: Lynn Maximuk (MIC, WFO Pleasant Hill) will be asked to create a recorded teletraining session to cover all Collaboration and Vision topics within PCU 1 and PCU 6. Recording should be professionally done after 2-3 live sessions (which will incorporate participant questions). After the recording is created, Shannon will arrange specific times for Lynn and other experienced MICs to answer questions on the recorded presentation via telephone conference. Questions will also be fielded via a threaded discussion page hosted by Bob Hamilton via the ITIP on NWSTRN. Goal is to have session recorded and disseminated by May 31.

PCU 2: Operator Interface (Hamilton/Reynolds) For all forecasters

* Digital data editing techniques
* Forecast data transformation
* How to use Smarttools
* Individual customization

ACTION: On an ongoing basis, publish draft documentation on new topics within PCU 2 via the web-based IFPS User Guide (linked via ITIP on NWSTRN). This documentation should be made available within two weeks of implementation of new techniques. When new topics are about to be implemented via the RAP process, MDL and FSL developers will articulate the changes via regional conference calls. The IFPS and RPP list servers will also continue to be used to support this training. Bob Hamilton will ensure updates are linked from the ITIP.

PCU 3: Forecast Methodology (Kasper/Knabb/Byrd) For all forecasters

* Initializing techniques
* Scale interactions and representation
* IFPS and the Forecast Funnel
* Optimally applying IFPS tools
* Precision vs. accuracy
* Achieving consistency
* Digital data editing strategies

ACTIONS: Sam Beckman will coordinate with the team to assemble existing documentation for PCU 3 on the "IFPS Training" Web page by April 30. Shannon White will lead development of a teletraining course for all forecasters on core training issues within this PCU. First session to be offered by July 31.

PCU 4: Local Applications (Byrd/Fuell) For all interested forecasters

* Local Smarttools
* Writing Smarttools
* Smart initialization
* Local models

ACTION: Kevin Fuell will develop expertise (via FSL) with Smarttools and will respond to Smarttool development questions via IFPS and RPP list servers. He will also work with the regions, FSL, and MDL to assemble links to documentation on Smarttools. He will send an initial version of these links to Bob Hamilton for inclusion on the ITIP by April 30. He will also coordinate with selected NDFD sites (BOI, CRW, MKC) to become familiar with operations concepts (e.g., nudging).

PCU 5: Operations Management (Reynolds/Manion) For Leads and Mgt. Team
(eight per WFO)

* Grid management
* Optimizing workforce resources
* Forecaster leadership training

ACTION: Brian Motta will coordinate with the Regions, Lynn Maximuk, Al Rezek, NDFD MICs, and/or experienced MICs to develop a recorded teletraining session and web-based documentation on PCU 5 topics. Recording should be professionally done after 2-3 live sessions (which will incorporate participant questions).

After the recording is created, Brian will arrange specific times for these experts to answer questions on the recorded presentation. Questions will also be fielded via a threaded discussion page hosted by Bob Hamilton via the ITIP on NWSTRN. Goal is to have session recorded session and web-based material disseminated by May 31.

PCU 6: Vision (Grant) For all staff

* Why IFPS?
* Why NDFD?
* Staff education
* Customer education
* IC requirements
* Local office and NCEP roles
* Software update process

ACTION: Lynn Maximuk will be contacted to create a recorded teletraining session to cover all Collaboration and Vision topics within PCU 1 and PCU 6. Recording should be professionally done after 2-3 live sessions (which will incorporate participant questions). After the recording is created, Shannon will arrange specific times for Lynn and other experienced MICs to answer questions on the recorded presentation via telephone conference. Questions will also be fielded via a threaded discussion page hosted by Bob Hamilton via the ITIP on NWSTRN. Goal is to have session recorded and disseminated by May 31.

PCU 7: Focal Point Duties (Beckman) All IFPS Focal Points

* Configuration
* Troubleshooting
* Effective staff training
* IFPS data inflow/outflow

ACTION: Continue IFPS Focal Point training class at NWSTC for attrition in FY 03, shortened to 4.5 days due to omission of knobology training. (Knobology can be omitted because novice forecasters should not be sent to this course.) Sam Beckman will assemble existing course documentation on the ITIP.

ACTION: On an ongoing basis, publish draft documentation on new topics within PCU 7 on the Web-based IFPS User Guide (linked via the ITIP on NWSTRN). This documentation should be made available within two weeks of implementation. When new topics are about to be implemented via the RAP process, MDL and FSL developers will articulate the changes via Regional conference calls. The IFPS and RPP list servers will also continue to be used to support this training. Bob Hamilton will ensure all updates are linked from the ITIP.

PCU 8: Application of IFPS Techniques (Hamilton/Beckman) For all forecasters

* Verification
* Grid quality assurance
* Public forecasting
* Hydrology
* Marine
* Fire weather
* Aviation
* Service backup
* Experimental product development
* Applications to disaster response

ACTION: On an ongoing basis, publish draft documentation on new topics within PCU 8 on the Web-based IFPS User Guide (linked via the ITIP on NWSTRN). This documentation should be made available within two weeks of implementation. When new topics are about to be implemented via the RAP process, MDL and FSL developers will articulate the changes via Regional conference calls. The IFPS and RPP list servers will also continue to be used to support this training. Bob Hamilton will ensure updates are linked from the ITIP.