ASDWA Recruiting New Volunteers for SDWIS Prime Support

by – Darrell Osterhoudt

With the completion and roll out of the Compliance Monitoring Data Portal (CMDP), EPA is now ready to start again on detailed programming for SDWIS Prime.  There has been ongoing work on the prototypes, so there is a good vision already of what Prime will look like but the programming needed to make it function correctly to meet state needs is yet to be finished. The goal is to have a working version (although without complete functionality) by October 2017 and a full version by March 2018.  There is a need for state volunteers to support this renewed effort and ASDWA is actively seeking state participants.

State Participation Opportunities:  Obviously, if the system is to meet state needs, states must have an influential role in the development process.  Recognizing this, EPA has set up a variety of ways for states to contribute.  Each of these involves a different level of participation and commitment.  Some are fairly significant, but with more active participation comes more opportunity to have influence over the final product.  Below is an outline for what’s ahead and how states can participate. If you are able to commit state staff to any of these, please let Darrell Osterhoudt know and you will be added to the list of participants.

Sprints:  Rather than a rotating group of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for each of the development sprints, EPA has hired (on a half-time basis) a state drinking water person to be the “Product Owner” and actively participate in all the remaining sprints.  Patti Fauver of Utah will be the Product Owner and assist with development.  In order to be able to support Patti and allow her access to other states for feedback, ASDWA will convene periodic conference calls with Patti to help provide additional input.

Testing:  After a set of related sprints are completed (about once a month), the recently completed module will be available for testing.  A consistent group of testers will be needed to assure that what is developed actually does what it should.  This test team of approximately four states and an EPA region will work with the developers throughout the development process to assure continuity and consistency.  States are needed now to support the renewed development. Having a SDWIS Free state participate would be helpful.

Pilot states:  As with any new system, someone has to go first,  States that lead the pack have the advantage of early access to enhanced capabilities in Prime, influence on the transition support tools available, and just more knowledge of the system which will help with a smooth transition. However, there is usually more work involved in identifying and resolving early “bugs”.  A small group of states is needed to become pilots and commit (at least right now) to early adoption.  It would be helpful for the pilot states to also be testers but that is not required.

Community Review:  As was done during the earlier development, about quarterly, EPA will roll out the latest version of Prime for community review.  Comments will be taken in through ZenDesk, the new support tool for all SDWIS products. This review process will be open to all and there is no need to “sign up” to participate in this important part of the development process.

Updates:  EPA will share progress reports on Prime development during the monthly SDWIS calls (second Thursday at 1:00 ET).  In addition, periodic updates will be shared through the SDWIS Prime blog.  If you don’t already receive that blog, you can sign up to follow it.