Working with Access Idaho
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When can we start my agency's project and when will it be done?
The Access Idaho Scheduling Process
In order to give every project the best outcome, each Access Idaho developer is assigned to only one project
at a time. Since there are many agencies who want to partner with Access Idaho to develop online services,
it is not uncommon for developers to be scheduled with projects for the next eight to twelve months out.
The first step for the agency is to put together the Letter of Engagement [DOC]
this to Access Idaho. When this letter is received, a meeting will be scheduled for the project's Management
Team to meet to discuss the agency's objectives. (More about the roles of the project's Management Team can be found
under the get started topic.)
If the needs of the agency mesh with the skills of Access Idaho, the project will be added to the Access Idaho
All projects must be approved by the Access
Idaho Steering Committee before they are added to the queue. Projects are queued and prioritized by balancing
the following criteria:
- • estimated time commitment of the project
- • binding production date or timeline
- • number of Idaho citizens affected
- • ability of the agency to deliver services alone
- • readiness of the agency to begin the project
- • past joint projects between Access Idaho and the agency
- • maturity of the current business process which the agency wishes to put online
Efforts are made to balance long projects with short ones, large agencies with small ones, and new citizen groups
with citizen groups already being served. Projects are also balanced between new projects and major upgrades to
existing online services.
Get Ready While You Are Waiting
Here are some things you ought to do as you wait for the Access Idaho queue to get to you.
Know your processes
Make sure your staff knows the business process behind the new web application. It may surprise you
to find out how many "black holes" exist in your current business process, particularly if you haven't
gone through any formal analysis in recent years.
Get your data together
If your IT staff is going to make major upgrades to your data (new database formats, new database server
software) or to your data access methods (mirrored database servers, web services), those tasks should be
completed and the new systems in production before the project with Access Idaho begins.
Identify key staff members
Make sure you have in place the Executive Project Sponsor, the Agency Project Leader, and that you have
a good idea about which other staff members will be doing actual project work. This includes IT staff
members and well as workers from the business units which will be affected by the project. If you use
contractors for any of this work, make sure you budget in their time and costs as you prepare for the
Identify time constraints for your staff
Access Idaho needs to know if there are busy times when no one at the agency is available for project
work, or if there are other projects you have going which will take precedence over your project with
Choose a billing option
If the users of the proposed application will be paying online, you should decide what billing option will be used.
Possible billing options are available for your review.
Projects generally last between ten weeks and six months from beginning to end. All projects begin with an
Inception phase to define the project's goals and all projects end with a Closure phase where the application
is moved into day-to-day operations. More information is available about the Access Idaho
software development process.