The immediate goal of the campaign is to move 4 ideas to actual pilot projects. These pilots will obviously be used to judge how effective the OSS in government approach is, as well as actually delivering value.
A brief run-down of what a project will involve is below, but this is evolving as the campaign learns more.
A government pure play is a service that only governments do. There is a lot of action in the OSS world around delivering CMS solutions into government. This is a Good Thing. But it is really just providing an electronic replacement to the lobby of the Town Hall. The nitty gritty work in the back still needs attacking. And that nitty-gritty, unlike CMSes, is not something that commercial companies also need. Everyone uses CMSes, so there are a lot to choose from. Not so
A pure-play service is something like Electoral Roll Management or Licensing retail businesses. It's going to be low-transaction, niche work. Unglamorous, slogging, and really important to the people who will use it - at both ends of the transaction.
The LGSL is a good place to start. It lists 2100 services local governments provide, from the mundane to the life-saving.
From here we shall find services that are currently
- poorly served (if at all) by their current IT
- have council champions that want them to succeed
Identify the right people
We want to find not only the top sponsors, like council leaders and CEOs, but we also want the people who know what's going on (!)
We need to find, and get a commitment of their time from the council leaders the people who are domain experts in the service we are looking at.
Just as a piece of grit works into an oyster, we want to create a Minimum VIable Grit. During a sprint, attended by Open Source developers and the domain expert whose time has been assured by the council for the pilot project, we shall produce the first cut of what will become a pearl.
Something just valueable enough for the domain expert to use.
At this point we can put the service onto G-Cloud as a SaaS service - and then there is a council committed to a project, a domain expert with a piece of just useful software, a set of developers who are able to take the project further, and now, in G-Cloud, a means to make the tender process work for us.
We can now take the project forward on a supported, commerical basis, producing Open software that can benefit all 430 councils and bodies.