New system features
Module 23 : Applying for enhancements or new features
Inevitably, as users become more familiar and experienced with the system they will also start to require more of the system - improvements to existing features, or completely new features. We expect this, welcome it and have developed iSIKHNAS so that it can grow and change to meet these changing needs and priorities. iSIKHNAS will be able to adapt to users long into the future.
Even during the system development phase, the Champions and others involved in development were constantly being asked for new features and capabilities to be added. We are sure that these requests will only become more numerous as the number of users increases. It is important that we have a system or process for dealing with these requests fairly and efficiently. This module will help staff to prepare a brief application using standard format which will help the system developers to start to consider the motivation for the changes, the implications to the system and its users,and the follow on effect to other features (including training and documentation). This module will help everyone wanting changes or requests to do a little bit of helpful background work and preparation before they ask for a new feature.
Any user can suggest improvements or new features however the best way to do this initially is through the coordinator support structure. Dinas staff wanting to ask for changes should suggest these to their Kabupaten Coordinator. Coordinators are in the best position to apply for these changes because they understand the system more deeply.
Step 1 : Define the type of change
Step 1 of the process will ask you to define the type of change you want, including
New data type, a type of data that is not already being collected
- wildlife sightings data
- human health warnings for the area
- commercial farms
- cattle traders
This kind of change will require many changes throughout the system: new SMS messages, new database tables, additional documentation, training materials and data standards. It will take a longer time to plan, design and implement this kind of change and will need to be well justified. These kinds of changes require higher level expertise in system administration and design.
New way to collect data
- A spreadsheet to collect data that is currently collected only via SMS, such as movement data
Modification to data being collected
- Restricting users to report population statistics at the Desa level only
- Adding a local synonym for a particular sign or disease.
New or improved output report
- Change the filters
- Use a new date range as the default
Change to the website interface
- Organise the menu differently
- Add a feature or the way something is displayed
- Change a translation or expression
Add new entries to the standards lists
- Additional species, diseases, signs, drugs, treatments.
These kinds of changes can usually be made quickly and without high level expertise or consultation. Only the Champions are permitted to make these sorts of changes.
Step 2 : Costs and Benefits: The effects these changes will have the system and users.
When preparing your brief application, you will also be asked to write about;
- What you would like to see change or what you want to be able to do?
- What is your motivation for asking for this change?
- Who will report the data?
- Where is the benefit for the people reporting the data? If you can't think of any then how can you build in benefit in some way?
- Who will use the data?
- What will it be used for?
- Are the reporters and users equipped to adapt to this change or do they need new skills which will require training?
- What training will be involved to help staff understand and use the new feature?
- What documentation will have to be written? Who will do this?
- What changes will have to be made in the Wiki to incorporate the change?
- When it is required?
- Ideas about what it might look like or how it might work best
- Does it require any change in SOPs or change to the way users do their work/approach the problem?
Step 3 : Submit the request to the Champions
Once you have submitted your request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, the application will be considered and discussed. Then you'll be contacted; either to let you know that the changes have been made, or if further clarification or discussions are necessary.
Your constructive suggestions and feedback are welcomed at all times. Don't hesitate to pass on any idea, no matter how small it seems. We are keen to know about any idea that will help you and improve the way you work!