Product Change Committee: Updates and Discussion

The Product Change Committee has met twice in the last couple of weeks and for those of you who don’t feel like going through the notes or listening to the recordings, I thought I’d share highlights from the discussions, decisions, and what comes next.

We had extensive discussions about the purpose of this committee and agreed that it is to create a vision and a roadmap for our technical products that responds to and reflects country implementation needs. This committee will set our technical direction and work closely with the Technical Action Committee (TAC) on our technical roadmap, providing Operations with resource recommendations and needs. We can start off with something small that shows how we’ll get something done.

@wanyee highlighted the need to ensure that we have complete and accurate information about what implementations and countries are interested in and what they need. At the same time, we acknowledged that may not be realistic or feasible to have all implementations routinely contributing to this committee so we’ll continue to explore different ways to engage these key stakeholders. Initially, we could look at having those on this committee or the TAC liaise and represent different implementations and ministries. For instance

  • @wanyee offered to liaise with other implementations in Kenya, others in the same time zone.
  • @dkayiwa is working closely with the Nigeria and Uganda teams. Until others from those teams join in, he is open to either representing them or working to engage the right person from those implementations.

These meeting are action oriented and we aim to make a decision each time we meet. So what decisions have we made so far?

Decision making

  • The following people expressed a willingness to work together on this committee to develop a roadmap that addresses common problems: @wanyee @jdick @janflowers @mseaton @akanter @dkayiwa. @dkayiwa and @jdick may also participate on the TAC, along with @burke @ssmusoke @mksd @ningosi and others.
  • We’d like to have at least 2-3 implementations contribute to this effort - and we expect more stakeholders will participate in these conversations as we get into the work.
  • For now, decision making authority will rest with those with “skin in the game” who show up. When implementers see high value in the roadmap, they are likely to commit resources to getting the work done.
  • If someone can’t make a meeting, then they will send someone in their stead.

Communication

  • The PCC will meet on a weekly basis. Wednesdays at 4pm UTC was proposed.
  • Talk will be used to announce meetings, share notes and decisions.
  • We’ll also use this Talk thread to post key questions for community discussion, updates, meeting announcements, and decisions.
  • In between calls, we’ll use the #product-change Slack channel for brainstorming and working through action items on a day-to-day basis.
  • The PCC now has a Wiki page where you can find information about meeting times, links to this thread, the Slack channel, and notes/recordings from any meetings.

Outstanding questions:

  • How do we effectively engage with countries and implementations so that a) they are more active with the PCC or TAC, and b) our roadmap reflects their needs? There were a few ideas (mentioned above) - let’s keep ideas going!
  • What tools or approaches can we use to gather input from implementations/countries? @wanyee suggested gathering roadmaps. We also have input from Scrum of Scrums/Community Stand Up and OMRS18’s How Might We?
  • How do we define our technical products? What are people using and what do they want?
  • What is our vison? Let’s go beyond “buidling an EMR” and get into the details, such as point-of-care, offline, etc.
  • What is our approach for getting there (incrementally or all at once?)
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