Bringing MIDAS to Go-live: MIDAS Training
Getting one step closer to go-live, MIDAS kicked off Super User and State Train-the-Trainer efforts on March 18th in Kansas City. The MIDAS training began with the Super User training March 18-20. Matt Kleski, a Super User reporting from the training, said the event went really well and that he was excited by the system. Matt also noted that all end users will be impressed with the very informative MIDAS training.
MIDAS training is continuing this week with State Train-the-Trainer in Kansas City from March 25-28. The State Trainer Training is divided into two sessions, session A will be March 25-26, and session B will be March 27-28. Check back regularly to get updates on MIDAS training and the drive towards MIDAS Go-Live.
Read the MIDAS Updates in the Winter Edition of the MIDAS Press
The Winter 2013 MIDAS Press newsletter is now available online. This edition features an update from MIDAS Program Manager, Amy Allison, discussing the beginning of Integration Test Cycle 3 (ITC) and what this means for farm records go-live. The newsletter also includes an introduction to the hyper care process for go-live, and a MIDAS training overview for DC and KC staff. Further articles highlight one MIDAS Business Process Analyst’s move to D.C. and what that means for her new role, as well as an Ohio Super User that delivered a successful MIDAS Change Workshop to his state. Read the MIDAS Press
Happy New Year Update from MIDAS
Happy 2013! This year we will deploy the first release of MIDAS. Watch for Deployment 1.0 in early 2013, and Deployment 1.1 in summer 2013.
Deployment 1.0 uses a staggered release and aims to ensure system readiness. The Deployment 1.0 launch in Winter 2013 will include Farm Records with GIS Integration, Business Partner - Fiduciary, and Product Master (CVS). The second half of the staggered Deployment 1.0 launch that follows in Spring 2013 will include Acreage Reporting with GIS Integration, Inventory Reporting with GIS Integration, and Analytics to support Acreage Reporting and Inventory Reporting.
Deployment 1.1 is scheduled to be released in Summer 2013. This deployment will include MAL Program (excluding sugar and cotton), BIN Management with GIS, Measurement Services, Analytics for MAL, and Business Partner. All deployments are closely coordinated with Farm Program business cycles.
For more information, please visit the USDA Connect MIDAS Community
MIDAS Press Newsletter Fall 2012 Edition Now Available
The Fall MIDAS Press newsletter is now available online. This latest edition features an update from MIDAS Program Manager, Amy Allison, discussing the updated deployment schedule, resulting in a higher degree of confidence in the system and organizational readiness. The newsletter also includes an update on testing, which includes several phases designed to validate that the MIDAS system will be fully functional and able to meet FSA program needs at Go-live. Additionally, the Fall Press includes a Data Overview, which outlines the steps needed to complete a data quality lifecycle to ensure a seamless transition to MIDAS. Further articles highlight Super User Boot Camp, the transition from Texas’s CED to a new role as a Business Process Analyst, as well as additional information on how USDA Connect provides innovation across the MIDAS project. Read the MIDAS Press.
MIDAS Holds Super User Training in Kansas City
Taking another big step towards Go-Live, the MIDAS project brought the Super Users from across the country into Kansas City from November 12-16, for the first official MIDAS project training. Building on the Super User Boot Camp from October, the training is allowing Super Users to access the MIDAS system and get a feel for the great improvements that are on the way. Check back in the next couple weeks for more information on Super User training and the MIDAS project as we continue to drive towards Go-Live.
MIDAS to Hold Super User Boot Camp October 15-18, 2012
The MIDAS Team will host Super User Boot Camp in Washington DC from October 15th through October 18th, 2012. More than 60 Super Users from across the United States will come to DC to learn about their role as a Super User and how they will help MIDAS drive towards Go-Live. Super User Boot Camp will provide Super Users with the foundational knowledge of the MIDAS project and system required to successfully execute their Super User responsibilities. Be sure to check the MIDAS website and this fall’s MIDAS Press Newsletter for updates on the Super User Boot Camp.
MIDAS Summer Press Now Available
The Summer MIDAS Press newsletter is now available online. This latest edition features an update on recent project milestones and a message from the FSA Administrator, Juan Garcia. The newsletter also includes an update on training, which will deliver web-based and hands-on experience to over 9,000 State and County Office employees for Deployment 1.0. Also, the Summer Press includes an update from Kansas City on the integration throughout the FSA’s modernization program and a description of GIS in the new MIDAS system. Additional articles highlight the transition from Idaho’s Change Agent to a new role as a Business Process Analyst, as well as the relationship between the MIDAS and FMMI initiatives. Read the MIDAS Press.
MIDAS Welcomes New Team Members!
Congratulations to the new MIDAS team members! Four individuals were recently selected to serve as Business Process Analysts for the MIDAS Project. These individuals join the project at an exciting and challenging time and will play a key role in actively participating in the communications, management, and implementation of the MIDAS program within USDA. We would like to take this time to welcome our new MIDAS team members: Janie Hudson (ID), Fritz Matetzschk (TX), Michelle Ontiveros (AZ), and Pamela Stahlke (MN)!
Access the GIS FAQs to Read About GIS Integration in MIDAS
GIS will be integrated with Farm Records and Acreage Reporting in MIDAS, which will have implications across all systems. This integration will combine multiple business processes and systems into one, resulting in time savings and eliminating discrepancies when compared to the current manual process of updating and synchronizing the same data in two separate systems. For more information regarding GIS in the new MIDAS system, please review the GIS FAQs
. Note: you must be connected to the USDA network to access the GIS FAQs.
Want to Learn More About MIDAS?
MIDAS has a Fact Sheet, providing the essential MIDAS information in one place! You can read about MIDAS’ strategic goals, benefits and participation by clicking on the MIDAS Fact Sheet under Hot Links.
CAN Celebrates One-Year Anniversary
May 2012, marked the first anniversary for the Change Agent Network (CAN) at MIDAS. Over the past year, the CAN has had a positive impact on the MIDAS project and the communications to and from the MIDAS stakeholders across the country. The purpose of the CAN is to generate awareness and provide communications about the MIDAS project throughout FSA by utilizing a group of Change Agents selected from the State and County Offices, as well as representatives from FSA’s Deputy Administrator, Farm Programs and ITSD in Kansas City. The Change Agents work directly with the project team to gain and learn first-hand information on project activities then disseminate the information throughout the State and County Offices around the country.
Since its inception in May 2011, the CAN has had 13 monthly calls covering various topics related to MIDAS implementation. Some of the topics covered included: MIDAS and SAP demos, MIDAS blueprinting activities, MIDAS communications, MIDAS deployment planning, project milestones, major Gate Reviews; such as the Critical Design Review (CDR), Farm Records, the MIDAS application, agreement and agreement modification processes, training, and business partner in MIDAS.
The CA Network is doing a great job, which is evident based on the work performed over the past year and is supported by the performance metrics. The MIDAS website averaged 519 hits per month before the CAN started. Since the inception of the CAN, the MIDAS website is averaging 1840 hits per month. The MIDAS Press Newsletter follows the same trend. Before the CAN, each edition of the newsletter was sent to an average of 1355 people compared to 3005 people per edition since the CAN started.
The success of the Change Agent Network and the SEDs supporting it is recognized throughout FSA and has put both groups in high demand as MIDAS moves closer to deployment.
The past year has been a fantastic start to the CAN and we all look forward to continuing the great work as we move closer to implementing MIDAS.
Business Partner Functionality in MIDAS
Within MIDAS, Business Partner will feature a similar look and feel to the current system’s display, while providing integration with other MIDAS systems and direct Business Partner lookup. Business Partners represent any party with which FSA has a business interest; all Business Partner information will be available in MIDAS. Any USDA employee who needs access to MIDAS will have an Employee Business Partner Record within the new system. Business Partner information will reflect the different roles these individuals play, such as employee, customer, and contact. In cases where an employee is also a customer, the individual may enter data for themselves, but they cannot assess or approve their applications. This will not preclude the employee from processing reports and records for other customer business partners.
Allison Groenwoldt, Business Process Analyst for Business Partner, identified several aspects of the structure of a Customer Business Partner, including the following key points:
- General Data will be maintained in SCIMS and displayed in MIDAS for Release 1
- Members and Shares information will be maintained in Business File and displayed in MIDAS
- Fiduciary information will be maintained in MIDAS
- Changes to General Data and Members and Shares will be updated to MIDAS in real-time
As MIDAS matures, it will take over the creation and maintenance of customer business partner information from separate external systems and additional functionality will be incorporated with each release. General Data in Business Partner will be organized into Assignment Blocks, including Account Details, Customer Profile, Roles, Identification, Relationship, Address, Address Type, Control/Status, Marketing Attributes, Service Center, and FLP. One terminology change to note is the Roles Assignment Block, which today we call Business Type, such as General Partnership, Corporation, and LLC. Additional features include the ability to view Bank Information and Common Eligibility in MIDAS. These will be maintained in Financial Services and Subsidiary, respectively.
DAFO Administrator Addresses Attendees at Midwest Area NASCOE Rally
The Midwest Area NASCOE Rally kicked off April 27-28 in St Louis, MO, with NASCOE members from Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin in attendance. The agenda included remarks by the Deputy Administrator for Field Operations Michael Wooden. Mr. Wooden highlighted the importance and commitment the Agency has to MIDAS.
MIDAS Change Agents, Barb Denker (MO), Steven Niemeyer (MO), and Kathy Nelson (MI) gave a MIDAS 101 presentation covering the basics of MIDAS, including the progress of the MIDAS project and future implementation. Some participants noted they had seen the demo and thought that the software seemed very user friendly. The presenters also provided the audience with information on the Change Agents in each state, so they can reach out to their respective Change Agents with questions and ideas after the Rally.
Attendees are looking forward to the improvements that MIDAS will bring and the impact it will have on both the Agency employees and customers.
NASCOE Rallies Pick Up This Weekend
Two NASCOE Rallies will be held this weekend: the Midwest Area NASCOE Rally will be April 27-28, in St. Louis, MO and the Northeast NASCOE Area Rally will be held April 27-29, in Cromwell, CT.
Attending an area rally is a great way to participate in local meetings and stay informed of FSA information. Check the MIDAS website next week for NASCOE Rally updates.
MIDAS Passes the Critical Design Review (CDR)
The MIDAS Project’s Critical Design Review (CDR) was held on March 9. Team members from Kansas City, DAFP, and the DC MIDAS team worked together prior to the CDR to complete more than 160 Technical Design Specifications (TDS). The TDS documents formed the basis of the technical design to close existing requirement gaps for the MIDAS system and define support requirements in SAP for each application. The purpose of the CDR was to review the TDS documents and obtain approval to proceed with the MIDAS project.
The CDR panel consisted of the Production, Emergencies, and Compliance Division (PECD) Director, Candace Thompson; ITSD Associate Chief Information Officer, Loretta Burns; and chaired by MIDAS Director, Amy Allison. This group is charged with program oversight of this transformational investment.
The group supported the MIDAS Deployment plan and identified any challenges or issues that need to be addressed in the next phase. Ultimately, the group authorized the MIDAS Program to continue with conditions.
MIDAS Welcomes Team Members from KC for the Completion of Technical Design Specifications
In preparation for the Critical Design Review (CDR) on March 7th, the MIDAS team is working to complete over 160 Technical Design Specifications. Team members from Kansas City and DAFP are coordinating with the MIDAS team in DC for two weeks to focus solely on the completion of these documents. The TDS documents will form the basis of the technical design to close existing requirement gaps for the MIDAS system and define support requirements in SAP for each application.
The completion of these documents will provide the actual design for how the business requirements will be translated into the future system and application components. The MIDAS team is working diligently over these two weeks to ensure the design provides a clear understanding of what the developers will build and that USDA/FSA standards and best practices are met. The TDS documents will be presented at CDR and their approval is necessary to proceed into development.
MIDAS Gains Momentum as the Project Enters Realization
The System Requirements Review (SRR) on December 15, 2011 marked the completion of the Blueprinting phase of the project and the approval to proceed to Realization. The MIDAS team achieved several significant accomplishments through Blueprinting, including the completion of a live demo tour in several states across the country, the identification of requirements of the new software solution, and the production of design documents. The previous Project Preparation and Blueprinting phases provided the scope, business requirements, functional system design, and explanation to guide the design and execution of the new software solution in Realization.
Through Realization, the MIDAS team will establish the solution landscape, create the necessary training materials, prepare for data migration, and build and implement the final solution in Development. Ultimately, this phase aims to build and test the complete system environment and obtain business approval. To achieve this end goal, any identified gaps and critical risks to the deployment of the system will be mitigated or closed through a critical review of design specifications.
As MIDAS enters the Realization phase, the project will continue to gain momentum, advancing quickly to prepare for MIDAS Release 1. Substantial work is required to prepare for MIDAS Release 1. The scope of work include: configuring, developing, testing, deploying, and providing support for MIDAS Release 1, as well as updating the MIDAS Project Management Plan. The MIDAS program is currently in position to build out the capabilities outlined during the Blueprint phase and to lay the foundation for next generation of Farm Program delivery.
In 2010, USDA conducted a series of Listening Session Tours to gather feedback from the USDA field office employees and producers about the effectiveness of our service delivery. Over the course of 22 listening sessions covering 10 states, we heard from farmers, ranchers, and producers, and from our Service Center staff, about the pain points they currently experience and their recommendations for improvement. The Report below, Understanding the Challenges of Service Delivery to USDA Producers and Customers
, provides a full description and analysis of the feedback we gathered, and the actions we are taking to address those pain points.