Service Specific Partner Groups - An Effective Structure for Maximizing Decision Support

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Thursday, 8 January 2015: 1:30 PM
221A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Jerald Meadows, NOAA/NWS, Tucson, AZ; and J. J. Brost and K. Drozd

Handout (3.1 MB)

Within the last decade, the National Weather Service (NWS) has increased our focus on serving the needs of particular stakeholders or partners. These stakeholders typically share a similar mission of the NWS to protect lives and property. The NWS coined the phrase “Impact based Decision Support Services” (IDSS) to describe this focus on stakeholders.

In early 2014, the NWS in Tucson recognized that existing methodologies to build relationships and improve IDSS were not meeting our expectations. We also realized that effective IDSS starts months, if not years, before the next “big event.” Thus, the NWS in Tucson established a strategy to accomplish three primary goals: 1. Build strong and lasting relationships with our core stakeholders 2. Improve our understand of our stakeholder needs 3. Effectively communicate NWS capabilities or adapt capabilities to meet stakeholder needs

To accomplish these goals, we established eight "partner groups" within our office. Each group is comprised of three to five staff members who choose a group based on their own interest and passion. These groups focus on achieving the goals listed above for eight stakeholder categories. These stakeholders include: 1. Emergency Management 2. First Responders 3. Fire Weather Community 4. Hydrology 5. Agriculture 6. Air Transportation 7. Ground Transportation 8. Media

In less than one year, by using this new strategy, the NWS in Tucson has established new, and strengthened existing relationships with many stakeholders. We have improved our understanding of our stakeholder needs and have effectively communicated NWS capabilities. However, our job has only just begun. With each new relationship built, we identify several new stakeholders who would benefit from an improved relationship with the NWS. This presentation will discuss the specific details of our partner group strategy, recent tangible outcomes, and feedback from our stakeholder community.