Initiating a VA App Project


When the VA Mobile Applications Governance Board approves a Request for development, VA sets it up as a VA App Project. We call this process Initiation. VHA's Web and Mobile Solutions (WMS) team shepherds the Request through Initiation.

Note: Offices within VA have different meanings for the term Project. Here, we apply the term Project to indicate an individual VA App development project.

WMS Initiation Activities

WMS performs these Initiation steps:

  1. Determine Resources: WMS evaluates the available resources identified in the Request. WMS finds funding and resources where they are absent.
  2. WMS adds the Request to an Application Pool, which is a queue of approved Apps awaiting development.
  3. WMS records the App's risk category.
  4. If necessary, WMS assigns a Project Manager.
  5. WMS creates a Project in the MAE JIRA system, and creates its Confluence Wiki space where the App project team archives its documentation.
  6. WMS hands the Project off to the Project Manager.

Project Manager Initiation Activities

The Project Manager (PM) is now in charge of driving the Project through the rest of the development life cycle.


During project start up, the PM identifies resources, initiates or further details the project schedule, updates JIRA and the wiki, and seeks appropriate PMAS Milestone 0 approval. Milestone 0 is an Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) requirements gate.

Milestone 0: If an approval exists, then the PM will review the approval to determine if the new mobile application is within the existing parameters.

  • If it is not, then the PM will plan a new Project Management Accountability System (PMAS) project and request a Milestone 0 approval.
  • If it is, then Milestone 0 PMAS artifacts are reviewed and updated as appropriate and a review of any existing Milestone 1 approval is made to determine if the effort falls within the same approved architecture and schedule already approved.

JIRA and Wiki Updates:

  • Initial content is added to JIRA to populate Epics, User Stories, Tasks, Risks, and build the Agile planning boards if used by the Agile Team.
  • The PM ensures all App project stakeholders have permission to access the App's MAE JIRA project. See for instructions.
  • The PM ensures all App project stakeholders have permission to access the App's MAE Confluence wiki space. (Navigate in the toolbar: Browse, Space Admin, Space Permissions). The PM should have wiki admin privileges, which enables setting permissions for others. If the PM does not have permissions, consult the MAE JIRA administrator through WMS. See to review the options available for individual users.
  • Initial content may be added to the Wiki space to introduce the VA App and start building the document repository with required artifacts.

Project Manager Notifies Stakeholders

The PM is responsible for notifying and engaging all appropriate stakeholders. Notifications to the Verification & Validation (V&V) Team, Compliance Points of Contacts, and Release Manager are all required at this time.

Enterprise System Engineering (ESE): The PM should ensure the team notifies the ESE office.

The instructions for performing these activities are available from within the MAE JIRA and wiki spaces, and WMS representatives will assist stakeholders who are unfamiliar with the processes.

The Project Manager Completes Planning Stage Requirements

The PM completes any remaining Initiation documentation and prepares for the Development Stage kick-off.