What we're working on: DigitalNZ plans for Wave 4

In making this post I feel like DigitalNZ has reached a milestone. For the first time we are releasing our 12-week plan of work. Going forward, expect to hear a lot more detail about how we see the DigitalNZ services evolving. And take it as read that we want to hear your comment and feedback. The good, the bad, the ugly. Let us know whether you think we're hitting the mark or not. We'll keep the info fairly lightweight because... well, we don't like long documents, but please shout out if something needs clarification. 

Before we jump into it though, it may be helpful to understand a little more about how we manage ourselves. The DigitalNZ work programme is focused around 12-week cycles that are referred to as Waves (don't ask me why we use Waves... I don't know!). We've just started Wave 4 which runs from September 7 – November 27 2009. DigitalNZ has two project teams that run in parallel—a business team, and a technical team. Both teams rally around the deliverables below, with the business team providing the day-to-day direction for the technical team. During the Wave planning process we set some of our deliverables as stretch goals that are hard to deliver, and we also set priority levels to stop us focusing on the easy pickings.

Wave 4 briefing

Whereas previous Waves have seen the rapid development of new services and features, the plan for Wave 4 is characterised by an emphasis on consolidation and bug fixing. With a growing base of customers, it is important we maintain a certain level of service and quality in order to sustain and build value. The general message is that we want to make a success of the current solutions before rushing off to try something new.

The Make it Digital Helpdesk was only released in Wave 3, and so the priority here is on continuing to increase user activity and engaging the community with good practice examples. 

DigitalNZ Search on the other hand has been up-and-running since Wave 1, and the priority here is on reconfiguring the infrastructure to improve reliability and scalability. We’ve identified the education sector as the most effective target for utilising these services in the short-term, and that’s where we are focusing our marketing. On the content sharing side we are putting the emphasis on the quality and breadth of digital content, as opposed to pushing for large number increases in the holdings. 

Support of the API data sharing service for developers and producers continues to be a priority because that is where we see the greatest opportunity for creating long-term value. Similarly, the more we see services and repositories integrating the DigitalNZ API, the more we can demonstrate our value in connecting New Zealanders to digital content.

The Shared Repository and the Hosted Search services that were newly developed during Wave 3 will be released during Wave 4, and the focus here will be on supporting new customers to make the most of these offerings; particularly in the research sector. By its very nature, DigitalNZ is supporting the accessibility of government information, and during this wave we will also investigate how we might support efforts to open up access to publicly held data.


Wave 4 Deliverables

A. Make it Digital Helpdesk

A1. Bug fixing for Make it Digital site

Priority: 1 Clear all bugs for Make it Digital at priority levels normal, high, and critical.

A2. Increase user activity on Make it Digital by 25%

Priority: 1 Build user activity on Make it Digital by running campaigns for communities of digital content creators, teachers, and relevant professional associations. Marketing activities to include direct marketing, sponsorship of the National Digital Forum event, and the building of relationships with NZ digital experts.

A3. Publish fully updated Make it Digital Guides

Priority: 2 Publish all remaining draft guides—managing digital content, discovering digital content, preserving digital content. As well as publishing any remaining sections from within existing guides.

B. Digitisation Consultancy

B1.  Ensure at least one digitisation project nominated in Make it Digital is initiated

Priority: 1 Select at least one of the ideas nominated on the Make it Digital site and support the community to initiate a digitisation project. The project would follow good practice approaches identified in the Make it Digital Guides and would seek to encourage the start up of other digitisation projects.

B2. Publish case study about the Selection Scorecard

Priority: 2 Confirm use cases of the Make it Digital Selection Scorecard and publish a case study to provide a practical example of how the tool can be used in a New Zealand context.

C. Content Sharing

C1. Bug fixing for DigitalNZ Search

Priority: 1 Clear all bugs for DigitalNZ Search at priority levels normal, high, and critical.

C2. Increase user activity on DigitalNZ Search by 100%

Priority: 1 Build user activity across DigitalNZ Search by running campaigns to encourage use by teachers in the classroom. Marketing activity to include direct marketing, speaking at relevant conferences and events, and the generation of publicity. Search engine marketing, the development of new API applications and integrations (F1) and the release of the Hosted Search upgrade (E2) will also contribute to this deliverable.

C3. Consolidate infrastructure & business processes for DigitalNZ Search

Priority: 2 Improve the performance and scalability of DigitalNZ Search by reconfiguring aspects of the infrastructure. Audit business processes for improvements to harvesting workflow and update processes. Audit technical documentation for completeness.

C4. Increase number of content items and sources in DigitalNZ Search by 25%

Priority: 3 Grow the breadth of content available through DigitalNZ Search by filling gaps in categories, targeting hard to surface content, and reaching out to international sources.

D. Metadata Enhancement 

D1. Enhance metadata quality of at least one facet

Priority: 1 Focus on improving the quality of location data, to support geospatial applications. Integrate placename / geotag cleanup tool from Archives New Zealand, and release functionality to allow users to make location suggestions.

E. Content Hosting 

E1. Release Shared Repository

Priority: 1 Work with MoRST to release the shared research repository to CRIs and government agencies; provide training to users; and gather feedback for enhancements.

E2. Release Hosted Search upgrade

Priority: 3 Release the upgraded Hosted Search service that was developed for Matapihi, and make it available to other groups who need a fully branded search across NZ digital content. Release an instance for the NZ Housing Research consortium as another example of the service.

F. Developer Support 

F1. Support 15 API applications or integrations

Priority: 1 Encourage the development of 15 applications or system integrations that use the DigitalNZ API to deliver NZ content discovery, interaction or reuse features. Market the API to content providers and NZ web development companies, and run a third HackFest.

F2. Investigate DigitalNZ support of Open Government initiatives

Priority: 1 Investigate options for supporting access to government data, and report back to the DigitalNZ Steering Group. Consultation will take place with various Government Agencies, as well as with other public initiatives.

F3. Refine  functionality of APIs to support reuse

Priority: 2 Review developer feedback and make enhancements to the APIs to improve their functionality and usability.

G. Supporting activities 

  1. Marketing and community management 
  2. Technical support 
  3. Programme management