Agreement Sprints

From CASRAI

CASRAI develops or iterates standard information agreements via a process we call 'agreement sprints'. A sprint has a duration of three months and produces a peer-reviewed draft agreement ready for testing in the community. There are cases where a Sprint demands a longer duration due to various factors to be considered by an IG Steering Committee. Sprints are intentionally designed to be short bursts of activity focused on a single use case for a standard information agreement. Since standard information agreements are highly flexible and reusable and meant to be augmented or adapted over time to meet new use cases CASRAI policy recommends convening subsequent short Sprints rather than overloading a single process with too many use case requirements

Preconditions

A number of preconditions are needed for a Sprint to be a success:

  1. IG Steering Group approval
  2. WG Chairs identified
  3. Sprint Web presence established
  4. WG Participants recruited and roles established
  5. Call for Input References issued
  6. Call for Reviewers issued
  7. Sprint schedule established and promoted

Schedule

A Sprint has the following schedule.

Month/Week Activity Lead Participants Deliverable
Month 1 Agree on Input References & Question Set
Week 1 WG Meeting (open) - Kickoff Chairs WG +IG WG & IG Orientation; Acceptance of Input References; IG q&a
Week 2 Develop harmonized Question Set Facilitator Point Person(s) Draft Question Set
Week 3 WG Meeting (closed) - Discussion Chairs WG Revised & Approved Question Set
Week 4 Develop Answer Set Facilitator Point Person(s) Draft Answer Set & Term Definitions
Month 2 Develop Draft Agreement Version
Week 1 WG Meeting (open) - Discussion Chairs WG + IG Revised Answer Set & Term Definitions
Week 2, 3 Develop Draft Agreement & Schema Facilitator Point Person(s), Modeler Draft Agreement
Week 4 WG Meeting (closed) - Discussion Chairs WG Revised Review Agreement
Month 3 Review & Finalize Agreement Version
Week 1 WG Meeting (open) - Walk-through Chairs IG + WG + Modeler Introduction to Agreement Review Draft
Week 2 IG Review Facilitator IG + WG Submitted comments and questions
Week 3 WG Meeting (closed) - Review Responses Chairs WG Final Draft Agreement
Week 4 Revise Agreement & Schema and re-publish Facilitator Modeler Agreement and Schema ready for testing

Roles

Working Group

For maximum efficiency it is recommended that every WG Participant (a) contributes direct subject matter expertise and (b) plays at least one of the roles described below. An exception are the roles played by CASRAI staff.

WG Chairs

Appointed by the Steering Committee of the 'parent' Interest Group, the WG Chairs are responsible for recruiting the WG participants, working with the Facilitator in appointing roles within a Sprint and ensuring full engagement and participation by WG and IG. The WG Chairs may also be called upon to supply quotes for blog posts by the WG Scribe. The Chair(s) do not need to be expert in the CASRAI process but, rather, provide expertise and leadership on the subject-matter of the Sprint. This role must be volunteered from the subject matter community and cannot be supplied by the CASRAI Secretariat. Expected time commitment: 5 hours per month.

WG Participants

Recruited by the WG Chairs, The WG Participants (no less than 5 but no more than 10 individuals) actively contribute their subject matter expertise to the drafting of information agreements between WG meetings. This role must be volunteered from the subject matter community and cannot be supplied by the CASRAI Secretariat. Expected time commitment: 3 hours per month.

WG Scribe

Appointed by the WG Chairs, the WG Scribe is a WG Participant with subject mater expertise who agrees to capture minutes from online meetings and to regularly blog about Sprint progress and liaise with CASRAI Secretariat to ensure broad dissemination. The WG Scribe role can be shared by more than one WG participants. This role must be volunteered from the subject matter community and cannot be supplied by the CASRAI Secretariat. Expected time commitment: 2 hours per month.

WG Point Person(s)

Appointed ad hoc by the WG Chairs during the Sprint, the WG Point Person(s) provide direct collaboration with the WG Facilitator to answer questions or clarify on subject matter between WG meetings and during the agreement drafting process - without having to coordinate the entire WG. This is usually done via emails or schedule one-to-one calls. This role must be volunteered from the subject matter community and cannot be supplied by the CASRAI Secretariat. Expected time commitment: 2 hours per month.

WG Facilitator

Appointed by and responsible to the CASRAI Secretariat, the WG Facilitator is well versed in the CASRAI step-wise approach to developing standard information agreements and generally facilitates the WG during the Sprint and specifically documents draft agreements in close collaboration with the WG Point Person(s). This role is normally played by a CASRAI staffer but any WG Participant suitably trained on the CASRAI approach can play this role.

WG Coordinator

Appointed by the WG Chairs, the WG Coordinator is responsible for in-advance scheduling (or rescheduling if needed) of Sprint meetings with WG and IG participants, ensuring WG deliverables are on-track and liaising with CASRAI Secretariat to ensure the web presence for the WG is up-to-date.

WG Modeler

Appointed by and responsible to the CASRAI Secretariat, the WG Modeler produces a formal model of the draft agreement in the later stages of a Sprint in order to facilitate testing of the agreement by technology stakeholders. This role is normally played by a CASRAI staffer but any WG Participant suitably trained on the CASRAI approach can play this role.

Interest Group

The participants in the parent Interest Group (IG) are the primary source of candidate Working Group recruits, primary sources of input references, and also a source of reviewers for the drafts produced by the Working Group (WG) during the Sprint. During the open WG meetings IG participants are welcome to attend as observers although it is not required and their primary review role is in the final month of the Sprint.

Deliverables

Input References

In developing a standard information agreement a WG is rarely working from a blank sheet. There are many source documents that capture various information requirements from key stakeholders and these source documents are referred to as 'input references'. These input references are called for from the IG in advance of the start of the Sprint. In the case of Sprints being launched by a national chapter in CASRAI these input references might be stated policies of national governments or their funding agencies or they might be highly regarded best practices of one or more research-performing organizations. In the case of Sprints being launched at a multi-national level the input references might be from highly regarded international organizations or projects that have made progress in the subject matter.

Question Set

A simple outlined list of questions expressed in plain language that represent the requirements of a user of an information agreement.

Answer Set

A simple outlined list of information elements expressed in plain language that represent what would be needed to answer the question set effectively.

Information Agreement

A specification (formerly called a Profile) in plain language understandable by information users of the included information elements, terms, definitions and controlled vocabularies needed to exchange complete and valid information between two or more parties.

Schema

A formal representation of the information agreement (expressed in generic XSD) that is suitable for technology implementers to fully understand the structure, semantics and inter-relationships in the agreement and to implement and test the draft agreement in their local software.

Funding

Zero budget

If a Sprint has been approved by the CASRAI Board or a National Chapter Steering Committee as part of core or chapter budget then no added funding is needed and the Sprint is considered a 'zero-budget' activity.

Top-up budget

There are cases where a subset of the community wants to launch a Sprint outside of CASRAI core or chapter budget. In these cases the Sprint is considered to require a funded budget in order to be completed. The funded budget depends on which Sprint roles can be played by volunteers from the community and which roles must be played by paid from a top-up budget. The following table outlines budget line-items for paid roles played in a 3-month Sprint.