Investment Roadmaps and Resources

You may have heard the term “investment roadmap” come up in Talk posts, some of the discussions around our amazing future, at conferences like the Global Digital Health Forum, or in other meetings and conversations.

So what’s the big deal?

Donors are increasingly interested in aligning and coordinating their investments in digital health, as evidenced by the Digital Investment Principles. Countries, such as Tanzania, are developing investment roadmaps to communicate their priorities and coordinate funding. As we are all asked to make limited resources go farther, having a community investment roadmap introduces incredible potential for using our resources more effectively and increasing our opportunities for collaboration.

What does this have to do with resources?

Our community wants to get a lot done - look at How Might We?, our discussion about our amazing future, and our operational plan! Part of developing an investment roadmap means knowing what resources we’ll need to achieve our strategic objectives and what resources are currently available. More specifically, when it comes to our technical roadmaps for the platform and ref app - or our work on the new web application framework - an investment roadmap based on a solid understanding of the resources that we’ll need as a community can help us succeed.

From your perspective as a [contributor, project manager, lead/co-lead, service provider, implementer]:

  • What are some ways that you could use a community investment roadmap?

  • How could an investment roadmap help address barriers to collaboration?

Hi everyone!

We had a good discussion around investment roadmaps/resources last week. You can find a recording of the call here or check out some key points below.

What do we mean by "investment roadmap?"

  • Investment roadmap sounds very financially oriented. The term roadmap means that we have a specific direction that we are going. We need to define our terms carefully.
  • What we mean by "investment roadmap" is more about defining our priorities and the resources we need to support those priorities - this is a different way to think about a roadmap than we have used.
  • Suggested terminology - use contribution instead of investment, opportunities instead of roadmap

There are several problems we’re trying to solve:

  1. We don’t have a good handle on all of the projects happening in the community or the projects we want to focus on as a community. Within those projects, we don’t know the types of roles that are needed to accomplish these projects and time allocation to get there.
  2. We don’t have a solid story that indicates where we need donors to invest in order to achieve our goals

What we mean by "investment roadmap" is more about defining our priorities and the resources we need to support those priorities - this is a different way to think about a roadmap than we are used to.

We have multiple target audiences:

  • Internally, this allows us as a community to have insight and input on how we align ourselves and where we allocate resources
  • Externally, this can guide those groups who are interested in contributing to in kind resources, groups that want to contribute, donors who want to fund

How we set this up and the information we provide will address the different needs of different audiences

  • This can bring together information that is already available that may not be clear or easily available
  • This offers a way to provide the big picture view with some detail that allows us to approach donors

Descriptions of projects in terms of resources needed, available and roles needed

  • Can go to the Wiki project pages/Gitlab and see a process, describe or offers a description of a project that contributes something to the community, requires resources from the community, or is a collaboration within the community
  • Put effort into organizing and relating them, prioritizing where we are putting our resources and guiding volunteers who want to contribute

All of the issues come down to coordinating collaboration within the community

  • This is more about refining our process for communicating and sharing information/resources, organizing our projects+++
  • Depends on how we approach projects - and different projects may need different approaches
    • Need a description, funding sources, volunteer contributions
    • Pull requests are welcome (more of the opensource community)
      • Pull requests speak more to developers - what about those with other skills to offer or needs?
      • Once a project/task description is available, it’s up to someone to “pull it”
    • Some organizations will take on a module entirely in-house
      • They don’t necessarily need to provide a full project descriptions
      • Related and different question: What’s the clear path to having organizations adding functionality on their own? What are the best practices in this instance?

Here’s a link to the example that we talked about during the call.

The latter part of the call focused more on vision and process for OpenMRS Flow - which deserves its own space for discussion. I’ll start a new thread that captures our questions and points about process thus far.

Would like to hear comments, observations, and questions from others in the community!