The following processes describe how project plans and decisions are made. The Stewarding Organization is responsible for facilitating these processes.
- Product planning and prioritization
- Product design decisions
- Technical design decisions
Project-wide planning and prioritization is managed by the Product Design Committee and is dictated by the needs of Users and Member Organizations. Quarterly product roadmap decisions are planned and prioritized as follows:
- 1.Feature requests are submitted as new issues via GitHub.
- Ideas and proposals for new features may initially be shared ad-hoc in meetings or via other communication channels, but a Maintainer from the Product Design Committee is responsible for consolidating them into the GitHub issue tracker.
- 2.Initial prioritization and consolidation against the current product roadmap is done weekly by the Product Design committee.
- 3.Final prioritization is informed by feedback from key sources:
Mechanisms for feedback include:
- Member Organizations: Product needs and relative importance of features.
- Governance Committee: Collective prioritization of features.
- Technical Design Committee: Technical feasibility and level-of-effort of features.
- Users: Detailed needs and requirements for a given feature.
- Broader observed trends across the government and technical landscape.
- Direct consultation with Member Organizations.
- 4.Approval of product roadmap on a quarterly basis through simple majority vote by Member Organizations in the Governance Committee.CommitteeInitial PrioritizationFinal PrioritizationApprovalGovernanceInformedConsultedAccountableProduct DesignResponsibleResponsibleResponsibleTechnical DesignInformedConsultedInformed
The design of major product features must be developed publicly and collaboratively across the project. The following process describes how new features should be designed, reviewed, and approved:
- 1.Product Requirements Documents (PRDs) are developed and authored by members of the Product Design Committee. Initial authorship is informed by research among Users and Member Organizations.
- 2.PRDs are reviewed for a period of up to X weeks by the Governance and Technical Design Committees.
- 3.PRDs are finalized after incorporating feedback from reviewers. Finalized PRDs are saved in the Public Drive and added as links in the public product roadmap.
- 4.PRDs are approved by simple majority vote from Member Organizations in the Governance Committee.CommitteeAuthor PRDsReviewFinalizeApproveGovernanceInformedResponsibleConsultedAccountableProduct DesignResponsibleResponsibleResponsibleResponsibleTechnical DesignInformedResponsibleConsultedInformed
Major technical design decisions are reviewed and approved by a majority of the Technical Design Committee. The committee holds ad hoc forums for maintainers to advise contributors on technical decisions and will determine what constitutes a major technical design decision by majority vote if necessary.
Types of technical design decisions that require approval:
- Authentication & authorization (e.g. User Account identification)
- Technical aspects of new features (e.g. program discovery or automated eligibility screening system)
- Major changes to existing features (e.g. Admin UX overhaul)
- Major changes to technical approach (e.g. introducing a new library, tool, or major software design pattern)
- How new infrastructure will connect with existing infrastructure (e.g. API design)CommitteeAuthor PRDsReviewFinalizeApproveGovernanceInformedConsultedConsultedInformedProduct DesignConsultedConsultedConsultedConsultedTechnical DesignResponsibleResponsibleResponsibleAccountable
This section outlines the process for features that require a technical design document. The purpose of a design document is to draft and approve major technical design decisions to ensure the quality, reliability, and maintainability of CiviForm for all its users.
The following should be true:
During the CiviForm engineering weekly meeting on Mondays, we review the issues with the Ready for TDD label and assign an author, approvers and reviewers. If an urgent issue arises that does require a TDD and we cannot wait until the next weekly meeting, assignment may be done during the week, either in a daily status meeting or by discussing in the engineering slack channel.
Two approvals are required to move forward with a design. At least one member of the Stewarding Organization should be assigned. From there, please assign available contributors who have domain expertise relevant to the issue.
Stewarding Organization members who are not also approvers and any available and interested contributor may be a reviewer on the document. Approval of reviewers is not required, however the design will benefit from constructive and critical feedback. To that end, aim for a sum total of five reviewers when possible, including approvers.
- 1.Go to this drive and take one of the "Copy of Design Doc Template" docs or make a copy of "Design Doc Template".
- 2.Using the template, create a technical design document. Please remove any sections that aren't relevant and add any that may be missing.
- 3.When your draft is ready for review:
- 1.Update the status to IN REVIEW
- 2.Notifiy the approvers and reviewers that the doc is ready for review.
- 4.Approvers and reviewers will add comments and questions to start discussion
- 5.Iterate on the design until you have approval
At this point the issue should be prioritized and implementation can begin according to its priority.