NWCG Support to the Wildland Fire Information and Technology Investment Process

NWCG provides support to the Wildland Fire Information and Technology Investment Process by representing the capability requirements needed by the wildland fire fighting community.

Primarily, NWCG committees establish, maintain, modify, and prioritize existing and desired information technology (IT) capability requirements in their particular mission areas.

The purpose of this guidance is to establish a unified, clear, and consistent process for managing NWCG IT capability requirements.

WFIT FY20 Budget Process Timeline:

The steps below constitute the process NWCG is following as it develops and revises capabilities and prioritizes gaps for the FY20 WFIT budget process.


Capability Revisions and Gap Prioritization to NWCG Coordinator

Due October 20, 2017


NWCG Staff and Chairs

Consolidate Priorities for NWCG Exec Board

Due November 15, 2017


NWCG Staff

Delivery of NWCG Priorities to Fire Management Board

Due December 20, 2017



Align Capability and Technical Priorities into Budget Request to WFIT Exec Board

Due May 2018



Capability Revisions and Gap Prioritization to NWCG Coordinator

Due October 17, 2018




In Progress


Not Started


NWCG will update this chart as the WFIT process progresses.

NWCG Priority IT Capability Requirements (November 2017)

WFIT Webpage:  https://sites.google.com/a/firenet.gov/wfit/home

The 2012 Memorandum of Understanding for the Joint Management of Wildland Fire Information and Technology between the Departments of Agriculture and Interior established, “a common management and governance approach for standardizing business processes and providing standardized information and technology services in a timely, consistent, reliable, integrated, innovative, and cohesive manner to meet the business requirements and priorities of the wildland fire management community.” The memorandum stated the four principal goals of the Wildland Fire Information and Technology (WFIT) program:

  • Systems and Applications – Standardized, integrated solutions and services that enable informed, timely, and documented business decisions.
  • Data and Information – Accurate, consistent, reliable, and accessible data and information across landscapes, organizations, applications, programs, and platforms.
  • Infrastructure and Connectivity – A secure, integrated environment that enables efficient, effective voice and data interconnection and accessibility regardless of organization affiliation or user location.
  • Technology and Innovation – Technology, research and innovation to enable and enhance wildland fire business.

The 2016 Wildland Fire Information and Technology Investment Management 5-Year Plan:

  • Identifies and communicates the values used to establish the current technical investment portfolio of the wildland fire business and details those investment decisions.
  • Identifies the current state of investments.
  • Identifies the strategy used to establish and prioritize new investment opportunities.
  • Puts forth a plan of action to recognize those investments.
  • Focuses on improving the utilization of wildland fire’s IT investments by identifying and prioritizing investments based on improving the capability of wildland fire operations.

The Wildland Fire Information and Technology Investment Decisions Standard Operating Procedure will:

  • Identify procedures, primary players and their roles, and information necessary for recommendations to and decisions by the WFIT Executive Board for investments in the following year targeted at providing, and improving upon, wildland fire program capabilities;
  • Establish a standard and consistent procedure to make, record, and communicate  decisions made by WFIT decision bodies to the wildland fire community.

More information specific to the WFIT program is accessible here.

NWCG supports the WFIT Investment Process as a representative of wildland fire user communities and functional areas.  By ground-up deliberation through its committees, NWCG is the voice for what IT capabilities are needed by the firefighter.  Each NWCG committee establishes, maintains, modifies, and prioritizes IT capability requirements necessary to enable current or desired wildland fire management practices in its particular mission area. As steward of the operational standards of practice within its particular mission area, each NWCG Committee is uniquely positioned to perform this work. 

NWCG Committees

  • Establish, maintain, and modify existing and desired IT capability requirements in respective mission areas.
  • Identify new or changing capabilities that will require major alteration to an existing application or the replacement of one or more applications with a new approach to providing the capability. 
  • Jointly with NWCG staff, consolidate and prioritize NWCG-wide IT capabilities in support of the WFIT budget cycle.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with business leads responsible for applications currently serving the committee’s mission area.  Coordinate capability requirements activities with business leads.
  • Identify potential changes to existing applications and coordinate with appropriate business leads to support their work with the project manager to request funding and make changes.
  • Bring new and emerging technology ideas to the WFIT Emerging Technology Group for enterprise-wide collaboration, assessment, and proposal development.

NWCG Staff

  • Collect capability requirements from committees throughout the year. 
  • Jointly with NWCG committees consolidate and prioritize IT capabilities in support of the WFIT budget cycle.
  • Categorize NWCG IT capabilities into WFIT lines of business (Leadership, Preparedness, Incident Response, Fire Business, Fuels Management).
  • Forward prioritized list of IT capability requirements to NWCG Executive Board - November.

NWCG Executive Board

  • Assess, revise as necessary, and forward NWCG prioritized IT capabilities to Fire Management Board - December.

Data Management Committee

  • Provide support to committees in development of IT capability requirements.
  • Provide support to committees for data standards and integration.

The NWCG develops standards of practice that enable seamless and coordinated interagency wildland fire operations.  Achieving NWCG standards is often enhanced, and sometimes accomplished altogether, by information and technology (IT) processes and applications.  IT capability requirements are statements that define the IT capability needed to achieve a particular standard of practice, product or service.   Effective IT capability requirements should address the following:

  • Relevance: Is the capability relevant to the NWCG mission? Is it relevant to the committee mission? How will it improve mission effectiveness? 
  • Scope: Does the capability benefit field level firefighters and fire managers? Will it improve national standardization? Will it enhance firefighter safety? Is it national, regional or local in scope? Is it interagency or agency specific?
  • Purview: Is the capability unique to wildland fire? Does it sensibly fall under the purview of the NWCG?
  • Sustainability: Will the capability have a long term impact? Will it address a significant and consequential issue or concern, even in the short term?
  • Impact: Is the capability new, a revision of an existing capability, or a replacement of one or more existing capabilities?  What problems does the capability solve?
  • Efficiency: Does the capability reduce data entry, leverage existing information and capabilities, address needs for multiple committees, or reduce costs?
  • Time to impact: When is this capability needed?  When is it likely to be delivered, if funded?
  • Existing workflow processes, if they remain relevant, or
  • Newly defined workflow processes that make existing systems obsolete.
  • What capabilities are needed to provide products or services essential to your mission?

Committee representatives, a Data Management Committee representative, branch coordinator, business lead, and other pertinent stakeholders should meet and address the following:

  • Purpose and Engagement

    • Validate, modify or replace existing capability requirements; add new capability requirements as appropriate.
    • Ensure the capability requirements are consistent with the committee(s)/subgroup(s) mission.
    • Ensure primary stakeholders are represented in discussions.
    • Identify related or associated capability requirements (from the capability requirements portfolio or group knowledge); seek opportunities to consolidate.
  • Process Management

    • Define roles and expectations for each individual involved.
    • Establish timelines, checkpoints, and completion due dates.
    • Identify and engage other NWCG committees/subgroups who must be involved in vetting the capability requirement.
    • Ensure development process and prioritization criteria are understood.
  • Resources Available

    • NWCG Committee IT Capability Requirements Worksheets
    • Data Management Committee.  Primary contact: Roshelle Pederson, Chair, Kimber_pederson@ios.doi.gov (208) 407-6685.
    • Capability map
    • WFIT Project/Application Portfolio
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