Digital Transformation

THE CLIENT

EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)

THE CHALLENGE

EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) is facing a fundamental issue: the number of employees in OCSPP has decreased over time while the Office’s work has increased to protect human health and the environment from the risks of chemicals, pesticides and other toxins. OCSPP’s aging custom-built information systems no longer meet the current needs. To enable its valued scientists, researchers and support personnel to keep up with demand, OCSPP must deliver a complete digital transformation. The OCSPP Digital Transformation is focused on improving the experience of the employee.

THE SOLUTION

Innovate planned, designed, tested, and implemented a large-scale digital transformation project for the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Pesticide Registration Information System (PRISM) workflow. OPP’s pesticide registration request process previously was a system of siloed spreadsheets, back-and-forth email communications, and legacy systems, resulting in an inefficient workflow for OPP staff.

Innovate customized the Salesforce platform to provide a structured workflow to process requests for pesticide registration and approval through a single, comprehensive view of the pesticide application request process. The platform uses MuleSoft to connect with legacy systems and make registration documents available electronically. As a result, the new PRISM workflow reduces OPP staff time spent on each pesticide request, reduces time between request receipt and approval, increases data quality, and allows all relevant information for pesticide registration requests to be available on one electronic platform. Additionally, we leveraged Salesforce to visualize workflow progress through reports and dashboards that, based on specific metrics gathered from stakeholders, allow for streamlined tracking, reporting, and analytics. Innovate navigated through complex legacy environments while coordinating with OPP technical staff, EPA contractors, our subcontractors, and EPA’s National Computer Center (NCC) to implement Mulesoft, obtain the first Authority to Operate (ATO), create secure tunnels through EPA existing infrastructure, and integrate multiple environments including Salesforce, Oracle, and Documentum. Three OPP divisions are now operating in production with the new OPP PRISM Workflow, and we are preparing to bring the Pesticide Reevaluation Division (PRD) and Registration Division (RD) into the workflow platform in the next phase of the digital transformation.

Innovate also implemented artificial intelligence (AI) search for PRISM, created the OCSPP Innovation Lab to explore AI-based analytics, machine learning (ML), and RPA (robotics process automation) technologies. We tested AI and ML models through Salesforce Einstein to help EPA understand patterns in their pesticide and pollution data and expanded the model to incorporate programmatic data, which provides insights for automating reviews with experts based on skill set, availability and workload to make reviews more efficient.

BENEFITS

This Digital Transformation started in OPP through the replacement of two 15-year-old systems (PRISM and OPP’s Oracle database OPPIN) and a partially paper-based review process with a fully digital Cloud Platform-based solution—and it is already improving the lives of the scientists, researchers and support personnel who are using it. Innovate designed, piloted and implemented PRISM for three organizations in OCSPP: OPP, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD) and Antimicrobials Division (AD). As the current OPP employee-focused digital transformation advances, OCSPP will include other stakeholders (like industry, states and the public) and will include the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and other OCSPP offices.

We used Mulesoft’s Cloud Hub technology to efficiently integrate data between OPP’s legacy systems and the new PRISM Workflow on Salesforce Cloud. The integration services we developed allow new PRISM users to find and upload documents from the EPA’s document repository (Documentum) as well as to read and write key data elements maintained in OPPIN. Our “interface first” approach to developing microservices offers reliability, scalability and flexibility in the creation of new features and access points to external data.

Innovate performed business process reengineering, strategic planning, governance development, program management, Agile project management, change management, financial management, process improvement, and performance measures services to continue modernizing the Agency’s pesticide registration system, improve the compliance of pesticide registrations with the Endangered Species Act, strengthen internal processes to better protect human health and environmental data from cybersecurity threats, and support compliance with the FISMA. Our expanded deployment of the OPP PRISM Workflow to additional divisions supports the increase in registrations related to COVID-19. We supported process enhancement and document curation activities focused on digitizing paper jackets. We implemented analytics to track key performance metrics and created dashboards for leaders to manage workload. We implemented artificial intelligence (AI) search for PRISM Workflow, created the OCSPP Innovation Lab to explore AI-based analytics, machine learning (ML), and RPA (robotics process automation) technologies. We also re-engineered multiple processes to modernize paper, Excel, and Lotus Notes-based applications to utilize cloud-based applications all on the Salesforce platform.

  • Obtained Authority to Operate for Salesforce and MuleSoft and opened EPA’s first-ever secure network to cloud technology.
  • Each of OCSPP’s 150 scientists now saves an average of 300 hours/year. That is 45,000 hours/year or an equivalent gain of 21 FTE worth of effort additional that will go to studying the actual science vs. doing administrative tasks. Across the OCSPP workforce when this is fully implemented that will be more than 180,000 hours/year given to study the science and make improved decisions!
  • PRISM’s implementation reduced the quantity of administrative updates by 83%, from an average of 18 times/day to 3 times/day.

SYSTEM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Implemented a cloud platform (Salesforce Cloud) that talks to legacy platforms (Documentum, Oracle) via a cloud platform (Mulesoft Cloud Hub)
  • Established an enterprise service bus (ESB) in Mulesoft to deliver an avenue for a 360-degree view of industry and business data, transforming the registration process workflow into a flexible, scalable system that provides visibility across OPPIN and Documentum.

 

Why Choose Innovate!

Digital transformation is more than new technology, it is about how processes affect your People. Legacy processes are not just costing you in lack of efficiency, they are one of the leading causes for staff dissatisfaction.  In 1967, the average lifespan of a company on the Fortune 500 was around 75 years. In 2018, it was less than 15 years. Private sector companies that failed to transform their business got replaced. In the public sector, that means dealing with the challenges of reduced funding, reorganization, and limitations that make it hard to do your job and have easy access to the information you need.

Innovate! has been leading digital transformation initiatives for 18 years, transforming business for people. We will be right beside you with a team of passionate experts to ensure your success. Innovate!’s team brings research, planning, execution, training, and communications expertise to the transformation.  We also empower your decisions with data (e.g., return on investment, performance measures, the total cost of ownership) to make the best business decisions possible for your organization.

Because every organization starts from a different place, you need a partner that starts with understanding your unique needs and then co-creates the plan with you. Innovate! is an elite digital transformation partner — a partner who brings a disciplined mindset to all aspects of our approach and who understands that successful digital transformation centers on the evolving relationship between users’ experience, business objectives, and the future of the organization. Our full, holistic business solutions empower the user to adopt and adapt to new and emerging technologies. We help you create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing regulatory and business requirements.

Innovate!'s digital transformation services include the following areas:

Agile Methodologies

  • Innovate! has completed over 100 successful agile projects for federal agencies that are now better able to incorporate feedback and adjust to external pressures.
  • We employ Agile processes that show scalable results quickly, adapt to user needs, and deliver secure solutions on time and within budget.
  • Innovate!’s understanding of federal policies and processes further boosts our elite delivery approach which allows agencies to benefit from each and every interaction with us.

Customer Experience and Human-Centered Design

  • Your people are your most important asset.
  • We work with clients to create a design that satisfies customer and user needs. Collaborative discussions and socializing storyboards with end-users and business sponsors ensure that focus is on the entire journey, not solely on individual touchpoints, to deliver a much better experience.

DevOps

  • Our DevOps combines important practices like Agile, continuous delivery, and automation under one strategic development center of excellence.
  • Our visionary DevOps leaders are all about empowering developers and operations teams to break down silos and work together to innovate faster.
  • We use several DevOps tools throughout the lifecycle of our project to ensure a high degree of quality and collaboration between the development and operations teams with the shortest possible release cycle.
  • Every project includes architectural reviews, code scans and vulnerability audits from the beginning of its development process to ensure that security is part and parcel of every application we develop.

Workflow Optimization

  • We maximize customer value and the flow of that value through end-to-end value streams. Lean practices create the basis for an agile and DevOps way of working. We focus on the continuous improvement of technical delivery processes by minimizing waste, thus creating more value with fewer resources.
  • Our team has an attitude of experimentation that embraces failure, instead of a culture of presentations and hesitations, keeps our client organizations ready to pivot when confronted with a roadblock.
  • With our team, organizations learn insights quickly and Innovate! efficiently builds the right software. We create massive value.

Rapid Prototyping

  • Fast prototyping techniques power innovation to optimize the transition from concept to a full-scale model and beyond.
  • We conduct Rapid Prototyping with our high performing cross-functional teams of designers, developers, architects, and product/business owners that drive different aspects of the development process.
  • We start early to create prototypes that demonstrate important parts of the intended product. Our methodology uses concepts from Design Thinking, DevOps and Agile to enable both a user-centered and lean process – putting people first, while also being tuned for speed to enable rapid timelines. We provide different fidelity-levels of prototypes; this refers to the level of details and functionality built into a prototype, ranging from low-fidelity sketches to high-fidelity models that are quite close to the final product with details and functionality.

Experience Management

  • At Innovate! people are at the heart of everything we do. Our capability for understanding your people and their goals is key to creating solutions that accelerate your digital transformation journey.
  • Innovate brings change management, communications, culture adoption and training solutions to empower your staff to embrace new solutions and engrain them in your business processes
  • Our team turns real-world challenges into technical requirements to build efficient solutions.
  • Understanding your users not only brings color to the solutions we build but it brings H.U.E. (HEART, Understanding, and Empathy)
    • H.E.A.R.T.: Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task success.
    • Understanding how things are today and what can be done that will have a meaningful impact.
    • Empathy – the Innovate! team has a special capacity to understand what your staff is experiencing from within their frame of reference.

Management Reporting and Analytics

  • You will be able to make more data-driven decisions with Innovate! From our foundation of understanding your staff and creating efficient solutions we can improve data quality. High quality data then becomes the ingredient in accurate reporting and analytics. All this combines to give you the best information to support your decision making.
  • Our team turns data into information, and information into insights.
  • Thousands of professionals start their day with dashboards built by our team.
  • Every week hundreds of managers look to Innovate!’s clarity and concisely designed reports to keep them on top of all the efforts in their charge.
  • Analytics can provide a powerful perspective if you know when and where they should be applied. Our team of experts works with you to determine when statistics are appropriate and when you should employ machine learning or artificial intelligence. Knowing how to solve the equation is smart; our team knows when to apply the algorithm and that is genius.

Working with Innovate! is easy.

As a woman and minority owned small business, we are 8(a), WBENC, SWAM certified.

Search