The first NC FAST Case Management System project to be implemented began pilot production May 21, 2012. Full implementation to all 100 counties was completed in March 2013, and all counties are using NC FAST to process FNS applications. As of May 31, 2013, the Food Stamp Information System (FSIS) legacy system was officially retired.
The pilot was successful with a few challenges as expected. DHHS and the pilot counties learned a great deal, and refined the process for training and rollout based on the many lessons learned.
In general, training was revised to be more task-oriented to a caseworker’s job, and classroom activities provided complete steps for processes, such as new applications, changes in circumstance and recertifications. We partnered with FNS representatives to create scenarios based on actual FNS cases. We also created knowledge checks during training to determine where additional training was needed before go-live.
In this updated approach:
Soft Launch. Prior to soft launch, the first 2.5 day training session took place. This session focused on NC FAST basics and how to process new applications. After training, that group of county users was soft launched, and could immediately begin entering new applications into NC FAST. While FSIS remained 100% available during this time, county users were strongly encouraged to process all new applications in NC FAST, rather than in FSIS. The soft launch implementation schedule was accelerated for all Phase 3, 4 and 5 Counties, enabling counties to begin using NC FAST sooner for new applications. This provided adequate time for each county to learn and adapt to the new way of doing business, prior to the hard launch of moving all active FSIS cases to NC FAST.
Hard Launch Stage 1. After an entire county was soft launched, NC FAST staff, DHHS DSS staff and the County DSS Director monitored the county’s progress using NC FAST for new applications. Upon continuous success using NC FAST for new applications, hard launch stage 1 took place. At this time, FSIS was turned OFF for new applications ONLY, while still available for recertifications and other processing required for existing cases. No additional face-to-face training was required as staff were still processing new applications only.
Hard Launch Stage 2. Prior to stage 2, the second 2.5 day training session took place. This session prepared the county to complete conversion of cases from FSIS to NC FAST, process recertifications and process case changes. After the successful soft launch and hard launch stage 1, and when all new FNS applications were being entered using NC FAST, a readiness assessment was conducted to determine the appropriate timing for hard launch stage 2 for each county. At this time, all active FSIS cases were converted into NC FAST, and all FSIS processing was turned off completely. At this point forward, all processing now takes place using NC FAST.
Last updated - November 22, 2013