Collaboration with Other Agencies
The core of Service First is the collaboration between agencies. Many Service First efforts evolved from the need for a more integrated approach to land management. Agency boundaries are meaningless to wildlife, vegetation, fire and visitors.
Service First helps provide better service to the public and do a better job on the land. It often (but not always) helps save money. Often, barriers to implementation can be overcome through innovation and commitment. Interagency collaboration can take many forms:
- Shared positions
- Combined training programs
- Supervision of staff from multiple agencies
- Integrated resource teams
- Regional or statewide personnel for multiple agencies
- Dual line officer delegation
We manage by priorities regardless of boundaries
- A Service First line officer
A few simple ways to increase your collaborative success are:
- Involve employees at every step in planning and implementing the effort.
- Encourage employees to see and treat each other as equals.
- Encourage each staff to respect and learn about the other agency's culture and practices.
- Maintain agency identity by putting both agency names and logos on letterhead and fax cover sheets.
- Inform the public about this change, why it's occurring, how it will benefit them.
- Ensure senior management shows overall commitment in the approach, sets goals that need to be met, and then allows staff teams to figure out how to meet those goals.
- Involve your union early for useful input and no surprises.
For more information on partnerships:
- Bureau of Land Management Partnerships Web Site
- National Forest Foundation and Forest Service Partnership Resource Center
- National Park Service Partnerships Web Site
- Fish and Wildlife Service Partnerships Portal