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NRCS Web Presence. NRCS National Information Technology Seminar 2002. NRCS W EB P RESENCE. Introduction Terry Bish, CCS Where We Began Terry Bish, CCS Phase I: What We Accomplished Jane Grant, ITD Phase II: Where We’re Heading Suzanne Pender, CCS

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NRCSWeb Presence

NRCS National Information Technology Seminar 2002


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NRCS WEB PRESENCE

  • IntroductionTerry Bish, CCS

  • Where We BeganTerry Bish, CCS

  • Phase I: What We AccomplishedJane Grant, ITD

  • Phase II: Where We’re HeadingSuzanne Pender, CCS

  • Web Farm Overview & ServicesBarb Pursley, ITD

  • Q&ATerry Bish, CCS


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NRCS Web Presence Players

  • Sponsors

    • Terry Bish, Director, Conservation Communications Staff (CCS)

    • Mary Thomas, Chief Information Officer & Director, ITD

  • Web Farm Customer Services Coordinator

    • Barbara Pursley, ITD


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NRCS Web Presence Players

  • Web Modernization Team

    • Suzanne Pender, CCS Lead

    • Jane Grant, ITD Lead

    • Lynette Harris, ITD Lead

    • Bob Kling

    • Tony Nguyen

    • Andre Rudder

    • Cassandra Taylor

    • Darlene Williams

    • Claudette Hayes


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Phase II: Where We’re Heading

Roles

  • Content Owner: Responsible for content appropriateness and quality assurance sites.

  • Web Coder: Works for and with content owner to make updates for Web site.

  • IT Representatives: Responsible for server administration, web page presentation, format and content adhering to NRCS look and feel. Trains new users and keeps web coder document current and correct. DOES NOT

  • CHANGE CONTENT.


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Where We Began

Driving Forces for change

  • Freedom to E-File

  • Section 508

  • Departmental Framework

  • GPEA – Government Paperwork

    Elimination Act


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DRIVERS

NRCS Initiatives – Responding to Driving Forces

  • E Forms

  • WebCAAF

  • E-Directives

  • Web Site Modernization Effort

    • NHQ – Phase I

    • State, Centers, Regions, and Institutes – Phase II

    • NRCS Internet – Phase II


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Where We Began

Branding an Agency

  • Consistency in Purpose

  • Consistency in Approach/Language

  • Consistency in Image, Design, Logo


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Where We Began

Problems of Old NRCS Web Site

  • Different look and feel from page to page

  • Constructed piecemeal

  • Information was not placed logically

  • Information was difficult to find

  • Not 508 compliant


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Phase I: Where We Began

Goals of the Web Modernization Team

  • Improve user access to information

  • Provide easier navigation between content areas and enhance searching capability

  • Create consistent agency identity throughout site

  • 508 Compliance (IT’S THE LAW!!)

  • Ease of updates for web coders & content managers


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Phase I: Where We Began

Web Modernization Team Approach

  • Contract with TeAM for Web Support included:

    • Requirements for NRCS electronic business;

    • Requirements for federal, departmental, and agency guidelines, and laws;

    • Continuous maintenance of Web ;

    • Continuous training for web coders, project managers, and other web personnel.

      -more-


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Phase I: What We Accomplished

  • Developed questionnaire to identify user requirements for the new NRCS Web Site. (Over 100 interviews were conducted.)

  • Interview results were used to develop the New NRCS Web Presence, which included:

    • Improved accessibility

    • New and better look and feel

    • Cohesive links in line with standards for web construction and maintenance.

    • Emphasis on external and internal customer’s usability.


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Phase I: What We Accomplished

  • Organized contents by subject rather than by NRCS organization structure

  • Comply with Freedom to E-file Act and Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA)

  • Comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (IT’S THE LAW!!)


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Phase I: What We Accomplished

New Web Site Launched April 8, 2002

  • Enables customers to easily find information pertaining to conservation

  • Provides ease of use and navigation

  • Provides an improved look and feel

  • Integrates USDA search engine

  • Compliance with Rehabilitation Act, section 508 (IT’S THE LAW!!)


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LOOK AT NRCS NOW

  • Agency letterhead

  • Agency colors

  • Agency logos

  • Agency-specific graphics

For detailed information on NRCS Web styles:

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/styles.html


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Phase I: What We Accomplished

  • Significant amount of work involved;

  • Training and continuous one-on-one help for web coders is necessary;

  • Web content must be understood and organized before creating a site or subsection;

  • Page testing and review is necessary in every step of the approval process;

  • Collaborative team work to accomplish goals.

Lessons Learned


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Phase II: Where We’re Heading

Phase II Plans

  • Incorporate the consistent NRCS visual identity in all NRCS Web pages (States, Centers, Institutes, Regions)

  • Continue navigation consistency, usability

  • Develop an Intranet for NRCS employees

  • Continued 508 Compliance (IT’S THE LAW!!)


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Phase II: Where We’re Heading

Goals

  • Continue maintaining current site by fixing age-related content and accessibility issues

  • Research and analyze Content Management System (CMS) solutions

  • Enhance/update design and architecture of site based on post-launch feedback

  • Provide more Web training

  • Implement look-and-feel consistency

  • Develop Intranet for internal users


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Phase II: Where We’re Heading

Toward a Consistent Look and Feel


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Phase II: Where We’re Heading

Approval Process – Work in Progress

We want your assistance and input. It is a collaborative effort. A core team will be developed to create procedures to make decisions such as:

  • Who approves sites?

    • Process

  • Steps for coders?

  • Process steps and changes?


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Phase II: Where We’re Heading

Toward a Consistent Look and Feel

Idaho

Kansas

Arizona


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Phase II: Where We’re Heading

  • Contract Award

  • Talk to State/Region/Center/Institute staffs – a collaborative effort.

  • Develop Schedule

  • Develop look/feel, navigation plan

  • Develop Intranet

What’s Next - Work in Motion


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Web Farm Overview & Services

Why the Web Farms?

Web Farms in a Nutshell

NRCS Web Farm

Web Farm Services

Applications in the Web Farm

Implementing New Web Farm Procedures

Service-Level Agreements

Barb Pursley, ITD


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Why the Web Farms?

  • Drivers

    • USDA Security & Homeland Security

    • Presidential Management Initiative

    • Freedom to eFile, GPEA (eGovernment)

    • OCIO: Web sites open to the public will be hosted outside the USDA network

  • Web sites open to employees only AND where both computer and employees are in the USDA network may be hosted locally


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Internet

OCIO Firewall

Web Farms in a Nutshell

R0

R0

R0

NRCS

FSA

RD

Fort Collins

Web Farm

Kansas City

Web Farm

St. Louis

Web Farm

Outside the USDA network

U S D A B A C K B O N E

R1

R1

R1

R1


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Internet

The NRCS Web Farm

R0

Anonymous

public access

(e.g., State Web sites)

Authenticated

public access

(eForms online)

Switches

Firewall

Databases

Switch

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANS)

Storage Area

Network

Switch

Backup


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Web Farm Services

Web Farm provides:

  • Highly available, reliable, secure environment

  • Web site hosting (static)

    • States, Institutes & Centers, Regions, NHQ

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

    • via anonymous download


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Web Farm Services

Web Farm does not provide:

  • State application hosting

    • Software developed by State

    • Database access


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Applications in the Web Farm

Who Uses the Web Farm

  • New Agency Web pages

  • Web sites for States, Centers, Institutes, Regions

  • Numerous business applications

    • eFOTG, Soils, Gateway, etc.

More


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Applications in the Web Farm

  • Interagency services

    • eForms

    • eDirectives

    • Event calendar

    • Email list server

    • Interagency portal

    • WebCAAF

    • OIP (Office Information Profile)

    • Photo Gallery


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Implementing New Web Farm Procedures

  • Effectively manage the Web Farm’s growth and future requirements

  • Additional security measures

  • Resource allocation management

Why:


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Service-Level Agreements

  • Service Level-Agreements (SLA)

    • Signed agreement negotiated between Web site owner and Web Farm

    • Covers the services provided (and not provided)

    • Signed by Web site’s organizational leader or sponsor and Web Farm management

More


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Service-Level Agreements

  • SLA Inclusions

    • Defines roles & responsibilities for all parties

    • Provides contact information

    • Defines operating arrangements

    • Defines resources (staff, equipment)

  • SLA Exclusions

    • Content review or changes

    • Application development

    • Technical support for software

    • Training or support of site management tools


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What’s Next

  • WebTrends reports (Web site traffic analysis)

  • Automated publishing

Coming soon:


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Q&A

Any questions?

Terry Bish, Moderator


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