This section describes the primary App roles and the roles' responsibilities.
Mobile Applications Governance Board (MAGB)
VA's Mobile Applications Governance Board’s role is to:
- Review Business Owner requests and approve or deny the use of VA resources to develop, test and release VA Apps.
- Prioritize the requests, ordering them as will most benefit the VA and its constituents.
- Be the final decision point to determine whether compliance has been achieved, based on the Compliance Review process results.
Product Owner or Business Owner
Each VA App project must have an identified Product Owner before it can be approved for development. (Different groups call this role Product Owner or Business Owner.) The Product Owner is responsible for participating in the project team’s activities during the Planning, development, Compliance Review and Sustainment stages. These responsibilities repeat with each successive release of the App. In some cases, the Product Owner may be a group of stakeholders, including Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), or other sponsoring office representatives.
Planning Stage Responsibilities of the Product Owner
The Product Owner will work with the VA App’s Development Team to ensure the following has been done when the App development request is presented:
- Estimate and request the funding and resources to develop, certify, release and sustain the App.
- Explain the purpose of the App. The research of available Apps should reflect the lack of cost-effective alternatives which necessitates the new App development. Or, conversely, present a completed App for approval.
- Develop a Sustainment Plan for a minimum of two years.
- Request an informal review of the App's requirements from the Compliance Bodies.
Development Stage Responsibilities of the Product Owner
The Product Owner ensures the product remains true to its objectives by attending scrums and sprint reviews. It is the Product Owner’s responsibility to validate that the App’s functionality has gone through a rigorous test, works properly, and conforms to VA’s compliance review requirements.
Additionally, the Product Owner:
- Identifies the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who can verify the app's clinical or business capabilities.
- Identifies and acquires appropriate testers.
- Mitigates issues identified by certifying bodies.
- Participates in User Acceptance Testing and is ultimately responsible for acceptance of the product.
- Participates in the Release process.
Sustainment Stage Responsibilities of the Product Owner
While the App is in production the Product Owner:
- Conducts a monthly review of the performance metrics.
- Conducts a bi-weekly review of any Help Desk issues.
- Identifies enhancements and bugs that need to be applied to the VA App.
- Determines the prospects for continued use and support.
The Project Manager (PM) is responsible for accomplishing the objectives of an individual VA App project. The Project Manager's key responsibilities include creating clear and attainable objectives, tracking progress against objectives and implementing corrective action when necessary to ensure that the project achieves its goals.
The Project Manager and the Product Owner are the primary team responsible for the success of the VA App project. This partnership is responsible for working closely with the development team and all other stakeholders to ensure that the project meets the needs of its target audience while ensuring compliance with all appropriate VA rules and regulations.
The Project Manager is responsible for completing all VA required PMAS project management documentation.
If you have an MAE JIRA account, you can view the current list at this internal MAE address: https://wiki.mobilehealth.va.gov/display/NMOCMAPS/Required+Artifacts+and+Templates+for+PMAS
The developer will:
- Develop the VA App.
- Retrieve Certification Checklists and requirements from this web site.
- Include Compliance Reviewers in Agile/Scrum processes where appropriate.
- Submits artifacts for review by each Compliance Reviewers during design, development and testing.
- Apply changes requested by the Compliance Reviewers to meet certification requirements and continue to resubmit the application for certification review until approved by all Compliance Reviewers.
- Install the VA App. VA's Integrated Test Environment, available on a continuing basis for use by the by the Product Owner, the Compliance Reviewers, the Help Desk, and training personnel, so that they can validate functionality and test new scenarios, debug (recreate) failures, and build instructional materials.
Web and Mobile Solutions (WMS)
WMS is a group within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA’) Office of Informatics and Analytics' (OIA) Connected Health Office. WMS communicates with the VA Mobile Applications Governance Board (MAGB), and performs these functions:
- Maintains the inventory of all VA Apps and their status (Planning, Development, Compliance Review, Release, and Sustainment).
- Maintains a relationship with the Product Owner, the Developer and all Compliance Review bodies throughout the Project Life Cycle.
- Requires an adequate sustainment plan for each proposed or completed VA App.
- Builds and maintains a public Apps website and VA App Store.
- Provides developers and Product Owners with current VA Compliance requirements.
- Provides a reporting mechanism for Connected Health Office Leadership.
- Ensures that Compliance Review Bodies have provided current checklists and requirements documentation for developers.
- Manages the Mobile Apps Inventory database.
Office of Information Technology (OI&T)
- All security and application-performance-related certifications.
- All Verification and Validation (V&V) testing to ensure that the VA App is functionally sound.
- Coordination with Compliance Bodies to verify App conforms to VA Compliance Review requirements.
- The Mobile Device Manager (MDM) environment for internal application deployment.
- The Mobile Application Environment (MAE) environment for development and testing of each Application.
- Management of the entire Authority to Operate (ATO) process to move the VA App into production, with the assistance and participation of the WMS and the Developer.
- Release Management:
- Ensures that VA Apps meet all appropriate compliance criteria.
- Deploys provider-facing Applications through VA’s MDM or the device provider’s App store, as appropriate for the App.
- Deploys Veteran-facing VA Apps through VA's App Store.
Validation and Verification Team (V&V)
The V&V team tests every VA App to ensure that it functions correctly in the MAE. V&V will require that the VA App be free of defects prior to requesting reviews by the various compliance bodies.
V&V will consolidate the compliance bodies' reports and present them to the Business Owner for review and remediation.
Compliance Review Bodies
The Compliance Review Bodies:
- Develop and maintain the criteria for an App to be approved using the checklists that they have independently developed and must continue to maintain with WMS.
- Participate in various stages of App development to ensure the Application conforms to Compliance requirements.
- Review and report on all completed Apps for conformance to their respective checklists.
- Meet with Product Owners and Developers to resolve conflicts between the Apps functionality and the Compliance requirements.
- Recommend changes or enhancements to improve product effectiveness or performance.
Mobile Applications Management Team (MAMT)
Representatives from all of the Mobile App Development partner organizations meet regularly to discuss and approve issues related to the MAE and JIRA project policies.
MAE Change Control Board
The Change Control Board approves changes to the MAE, including:
- Development-related changes: The changes to the non-production environments must be captured to ensure that testing in these other environments are documented and relate to the production environments as closely as possible.
- Production-related changes: Changes to VA Apps in production, development tools and the Health Adapter software have to be approved so stakeholders are aware of the updates, affected interfaces can be verified and Product Owners can provide feedback.