As of August 2019, we’ve changed the way that the co-funded development pool is managed. This page outlines how the pool operates and how participating agencies can get involved or stay up-to-date with progress.

Contractual information about the co-funded development pool can be found in the 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.

What is the co-funded development pool?

The co-funded development pool is an aggregation of product development hours. These hours are funded in two ways: 

  • Each CWP stack created by a Participating Agency contributes a number of hours based on its size, and; 
  • SilverStripe matches each of these hours 1:1. 

The combined pool of hours is then used to resource product development that delivers features and enhancements to CWP, tailored to the needs of the New Zealand public sector.

What can the pool be used for?

The agreement states that the co-funded development pool is designed to be spent on:

  1. The development of new features, themes, and templates.
  2. Enhancements to the SilverStripe CMS.
  3. Taking modules and themes developed by agencies and building them into the CWP offering.
  4. Verifying modules developed by agencies, so that they can be reused with a higher degree of assurance.
  5. Anything else that the Lead Agency agrees is beneficial to agencies.

How is the co-funded development pool managed?

In April 2019, the Lead Agency (Department of Internal Affairs) and SilverStripe agreed to adopt a modified approach to managing the co-funded development pool. This new approach allows the development pool to be focused on features and enhancements aligned with the Digital Experience Services Strategic Framework. This framework was developed through a co-design process led by DIA, featuring participating agencies, vendors, and research companies. The change came into effect in August 2019. 

As previously, development progress will be reported to the CWP Steering Group and the CWP Operational Review Board, who convene every quarter. 

How do co-funded development initiatives get selected?

Using the Digital Experience Services Strategic Framework as a reference, SilverStripe identifies potential feature and enhancement initiatives that align with the high-level capabilities required to deliver digital experiences for the NZ public sector. These initiatives are then presented to a working group comprised of agency representatives formed by DIA. Finally, with input from the working group, SilverStripe then selects a development initiative whose outcome will be beneficial to a broad cross-section of CWP participating agencies.

How are co-funded development initiatives delivered?

SilverStripe follows an agile methodology to deliver co-funded development initiatives:

  1. Prioritised initiatives are converted into development issues and recorded on Github for tracking.
  2. For each issue, acceptance criteria are agreed upon.
  3. The development team reviews the issues and sizes them before each 2-week sprint.
  4. A group of issues is selected for each sprint based on their priority, size, and any interdependencies.
  5. The product owner is available for clarification during the sprint.
  6. The product owner attends a demo at the end of the sprint to decide whether the issues can be accepted. Issues that are rejected go into the next sprint.
  7. At various stages of the process, participating agencies are consulted for design feedback and user testing.
  8. On the completion of all selected issues, features or enhancements are packaged into a release candidate which is passed over to a third-party security auditor for review.
  9. Once the reviewed release candidate has been handed back to SilverStripe, a stable package of the feature is released and made available to all CWP participating agencies. This process happens once a quarter.

How does an agency take advantage of new features?

In general, there are three ways:

  1. SilverStripe will roll out a platform-wide change for all agencies.
  2. The fixes or new features will be in an upcoming recipe release. These releases occur every three months.
  3. Any new module(s) will be made available through the code repository and added to the supported modules list in gitlab(external link).

How can an agency participate in the working group?

Co-funded development initiatives involve discovery workshops, user testing, and pilots. We’re seeking more people to participate in the discovery and testing of the new features. If you belong to a Participating Agency and are interested in contributing to this work, then please contact Benn Crawford, Head of Product at SilverStripe. Please also feel free to share this information with colleagues at participating agencies. 

Contact Benn Crawford: benn@silverstripe.com

How can an agency keep up-to-date on progress?

Agencies will be kept up-to-date by way of a regular CWP newsletter and can track progress through the CWP co-funded development Trello board(external link).

Note: statements on this page do not apply to the Mini stack which does not have co-fund hours or picks.

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