The Web Portal Project has two main areas of responsibility. The first is to provide an environment for hosting and managing Websites. The second is development and maintenance of online applications or services.
There are two basic types of services that are included in the Web Portal Project funded and un-funded.
The first, and most important, are Funded Services. It is funded services that make the entire project possible. The entire Web Portal Project is funded by small, per transaction, fees on a small set of online financial transactions. These projects are created through a Statement of Work (SOW) between a state entity and the vendor. The SOW defines the amount of the fee for each transaction. Once the SOW is finalized it must go before the Web Portal Board for final approval. After approval is given the project can proceed.
The second type of service is the unfunded service. These are online services that do not entail a financial transaction. Some examples of unfunded projects currently in service are the State Phonebook and the MyVermont tool on the Vermont.gov site.
The development of both types of services is overseen by the Director of Web Services. The order that services are provided with development resources is determined by several factors including other projects currently awaiting resources, impact of individual projects and alignment of projects with broader state initiatives.
Steps in Development
The first step in the process is to identify a service and sketch out its basic functionality. This would include determining if the service has associated funding.
Fee Statement of Work (SOW)
If there is an associated fee the terms of the fee should be negotiated early so the approval process does not delay work. The service owner would need to determine likely adoption rates and work with the vendor to decide on a formula that will be suitable to the specific service.
Once the basic terms of the SOW are complete the service owner is responsibile for creating a complete functional design. All services must be presented to the vendor with a complete Functional Design that has been signed-off by the Director of Web Services. The functional design must meet the minimal requirements for format set in the attached materials and include sufficient detail to allow a developer to complete the service without significant further input from the owner.
The functional design is the single most important step in the service creation process. It is essential that the service owner create a document that fully and acurately describes the functionality required.
If the Service owner has the internal resources to complete the functional design then they may pursue that course. If they do not, then there is a retainer contract available where the service owner can create an SOW for the Functional design and have participating vendors bid on the work.
Once the functional design is completed and approved the service moves to development where its priority will be determined by the Director of Web Services. The period of time between approval of the design and completion of development will vary significantly depending on available resources, number of concurrent services in development and the nature and complexity of the service.
Once development is complete and testing has been completed the vendor will coordinate with the service owners to deploy the service into production.
For more information contact:
Director of Web Services
State of Vermont, Office of the CIO
Agency of Digital Services