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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] and submit 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 project queue.

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 project.
  • 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 Access Idaho.
  • 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.

Project Timelines
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.

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