Preparing for Beta

After a small hiatus, we're starting conversations about the next steps for our project.

After submiting our final alpha report in September 2020, we received lots of positive feedback about the project, its direction and ultimately what it might offer in the marketplace. We also received some constructive comments about things to consider as we plan to move into a Beta phase.

Specifically, our final alpha report included goals and objectives but lacked a detailed delivery plan - something that provided clarity around timeline, milestones and spend. On reflection, an increased level of detail would help in a few ways:

  • It would provide assurance to MHCLG as we make a bid for further funding
  • In producing the plan it would help us to consider each element of the work in more detail
  • It would help engagement with the private sector on the opportunities available in developing wrap-around support services

Four months on (a gap largely due to a restructure of the IT department in Barnsley) we’re getting the band back together to consider how we generate that plan and that detail.

We’ve engaged the services of DXW once more to help us facilitate a workshop with key stakeholders on February 12th that will aim to:

  • Agree the scope of the work
  • Agree the milestones for delivery
  • Identify costs and financial support need

The learning from that session will be collated into a plan and to take us a step further. That plan with its spending forecast will be formed into a bid document. We’ll submit that bid document to MHCLG seeking the funding we need to proceed.

Our outline plan at the moment breaks the beta phase into a Private Beta:

  • Open source the current IMS solution
  • Introduce the missing functionality to the open sourced solution
  • Create a SaaS instance of the solution
  • Invite the private sector to consider building support offers
  • Migrate Barnsley from it’s current on-premise instance to the cloud instance

Followed by a Public Beta:

  • Work with both the public and private sector to on-board other councils

So far the workshop will include people from Dorset, Huntingdonshire, Barnsley and DXW. We’ll be inviting interested council’s to join us too as we’re very keen to hear from those who might like to be early adopters. We’re also pleased to have Placecube attending from the private sector.