The BC government’s Range Program allocates and administers hay cutting and grazing agreements on Crown rangeland. With MyRangeBC over 2,000 range agreement holders in British Columbia can now use the online system to more easily create, update and manage their range use plans.
FreshWorks Studio partnered with Quartech to help modernize BC’s Range Program. Available on iPad and web, MyRangeBC is an example of using technology to enhance relationships rather than automate services to remove human interaction.
Previously Range Use Plans (RUP) needed to be submitted using a paper-based system that required a lot of time, effort, and money to prepare and submit. Paper range use plans quickly become outdated as the needs of agreement holders change or as operational and environmental conditions fluctuate. Due to the amount of effort and time required to update a RUP, ranchers often did not update their plans until they were due for renewal.
When originally proposed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the entire project was planned using a waterfall approach. Due to the sheer size of the project and the many different stakeholders involved and affected by this new solution, it was very difficult for the project to get started.
After about a year of stillstand, the project was finally pushed for kickoff. FreshWorks and Quartech partnered on this project and started by creating personas for this project.
Once the personas were created the FreshWorks/Quartech team was able to produce the first deliverable within only 30 days. This was very crucial to the project as we wanted the Range staff to feel that they owned the product from the beginning.
While the FreshWorks team worked out of the Quartech Innovations Lab throughout most of the project, they also went and attended meetings with stakeholders in Smithers (BC Cattlemen’s association of BC) and Kamloops for a meeting with all Range staff.
The team remained agile by working within two-week sprints and demoing and testing along the way. On a quarterly basis, full demos were conducted for all Range staff.
The modernization of the Range program allows for a faster and more direct communication link between clients and Range Program staff, saving time and money for all involved parties. Additionally, the standardized record system is faster to use and easier to keep up to date, it allows access to accurate information about user obligations and processes. MyRangeBC provides the ability to print out Range Use Plans or view them online. Due to the ease of use and reduced time it takes to update a Range Use Plan, MyRangeBC enables more effective government monitoring and management of flood, fire and drought impacts on the land.
As part of the project, the mobile app development team also created a library of tutorial videos for agreement holders guiding them through key features of the application. Additionally, the team also conducted two webinars for over 60 range staff to provide additional internal training. All of the videos and webinars have been archived online for easy viewing and on-boarding of new staff and agreement holders
“This is another example of how technological innovation can make a positive contribution to these time- honoured industries. Rangeland users and government staff worked together to come up with a solution that works for everyone.”
Hon. Doug Donaldson
Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development
EasY login with BCeID
MyRangeBC uses the secure BCeID for accessing, submitting and signing legal materials relating to crown range agreements. Many individuals may already have a BCeID used for groundwater registration or other BC Government applications.
Submit Range Use Plan faster than ever
Electronic submissions of new plans and amendments allow Range staff and agreement holders to share content immediately. Agreement holders are able to check the status of submissions and contact the identified staff member at any time to discuss their grazing or hay cutting operations.
Simplified electronic Range Use Plan across B.C.
All new Range Use Plans are submitted electronically using the new standard content requirements. Plans can be submitted, viewed, amended and printed from the website.
Backend: PostgreSQL, Node.js, OpenShift
Through this digital transformation, we’ve taken the range use plan workflow that would typically be two weeks and reduced it to just three days.
MyRangeBC is the foundation to build more tools for Range staff and agreement holders. In the future, the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, would like to have the whole system more streamlined and accessible online.