This page provides detailed guidance on how the development pool is managed. This includes how items are logged, prioritised, planned, and agreed, as well as how agencies and their staff can keep up with progress.
Contractual information about the co-funded development pool is in lead agency agreement - schedule 6, section 9. The main principle is that outputs from the pool are beneficial to a cross-section of participating agencies.
The agreement states that the co-funded development pool is designed to be spent on:
New items are logged in the CWP workspace, in the library ‘Items for the backlog’. Items must be logged by an agency stack manager or relationship manager, to confirm that the agency wants the pool time to be allocated. Development and content staff need to liaise with their website’s stack manager to log items.
Agency staff and their web services providers can keep up to date with progress in the CWP workspace in the government Shared Workspace. Each month a progress report will be loaded in the library: ‘Progress reports’. Every 3 months a summary report, prepared for the quarterly operational review board meeting, will be loaded into this library.
Agency staff are recommended to setup notifications in the CWP workspace so that they are alerted when new information is added.
Ask the stack manager to email the people’s names and their emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting access to the CWP workspace. Developers, including vendors, will be able to read information in the co-funded pool libraries, but not contribute. They won’t have access to the other libraries.
In general there are three ways:
The following diagram provides an overview of the development pool lifecycle. The lifecycle takes place over a 3 month period, to align with the release schedule. It takes a month and starts at the beginning of each release month - that is in February, May, August and November. Each step in the diagram is described below.
The product manager copies all new items logged in the CWP workspace into the pool backlog. Where the information is unclear, the product manager contacts the person who logged the item. The description needs to explain what the enhancement is and how it benefits agencies. The items are assigned a unique ID. The items are assigned a category, so that they can be logically grouped.
The SilverStripe CWP team reviews new items and adds a rough estimate, to indicate the scale of the work required. Where it is hard to provide an estimate they will add assumptions as comments. If an item is large and needs to be scoped first, they will only provide an estimate for the scoping work. The backlog with estimates is dated and loaded in the CWP workspace library: ‘Backlog records’.
The product manager sends the backlog to each agency relationship manager. The relationship manager consults with staff working on their websites as to which items are a priority. The agency picks a number of items in proportion to their usage as follows:
Contributing to the pool = 3 picks
For each small stack = 1 additional pick
For each medium stack = 2 additional picks
For each large stack = 3 additional picks
E.g. an agency with 1 small stack and 1 medium stack would have 3 + 1 + 2 = 6 picks.
An agency can apply multiple picks to one item. Each agency’s picks are sent to the product manager, who records and collates the information. The prioritised backlog is loaded in the CWP workspace library: ‘Backlog records’.
The product manager plans the release with the SilverStripe team based on the outcome of the prioritisation exercise. The planning identifies which items are planned for the next 3 month period. The planning will take into account:
The product manager creates the pool development plan for the next 3 month period. The plan includes the names of other agencies who have picked the item. Items that are not included in the plan are prioritised again in the next quarterly cycle.
The pool development plan is reviewed by the lead agency and approved by the Senior Responsible Officer. The plan includes the output of the prioritisation and explains how the items have been selected for the 3 month period.
The product manager loads the pool development plan into the CWP workspace folder: ‘Pool development plans’.
The general approach taken is:
SilverStripe follows an agile methodology to deliver the items:
From time to time, the development team may identify that an item is significantly larger or more complex than planned. In this case they will raise it with the product owner who will decide whether to continue or return the item to the backlog with a revised estimate and explanation.
Please note, statements on this page do not apply to the Mini stack which does not have co-fund hours or picks.