February 23rd 2016


Attendance Information


7AM PST - Seattle

10AM EST - New York, DC

5PM CEST - CEST, Geneva, Copenhagen, Joburg

6PM EAT - Dar

Link: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M299H1X42RL8F1ABXL3LOKN9TN-3O29&rnd=750730.25263

Meeting Number: 192 173 465

Host Key: 352864

Audio Connection: +1-415-655-0001



Feedback from OpenLMIS Webinar

30 minutesSarah Jackson (Deactivated) / Kevin Cussen (Deactivated)

Feature backlog discussion

  • Process
  • Roundtable
  • Alignment & Communication to BMGF
10 minutes

Gaurav Bhattacharya (Unlicensed)

Feature Variability Matrix10 minutesSarah Jackson (Deactivated) / Kevin Cussen (Deactivated)




In attendance: 

Ashraf Islam (Unlicensed)

Brian Taliesin

Sarah Jackson (Deactivated)

Tenly Snow (Deactivated)

Renee Orser (Unlicensed)

Gaurav Bhattacharya (Unlicensed)


Feedback from OpenLMIS Webinar

Brian - What is the end point of 2.0, what would need to be rewritten, and how would we price that out for our funders? 

Sarah - 2.0 is ready for release next week. The pricing piece for the rewrite option is being done in parallel right now. Is there something else that there's something you would like to see happening that you're not seeing yet? 

Brian - Timing could be better if VIMS hadn't made it into 2.0, but will we be doing a gap check. What is there in terms of a minimal viable product, what needs to be added in terms of critical features? Knowing that the release is next week is will help us do some future planning. 

Sarah - A document will go out detailing the toggle off document, and there will be a full product committee meeting focusing on that for a future 3.0 release to determine what would be in the scope and part of the gap analysis. 

Ashraf - Is any part of the VIMS code base being incorporated into the 2.0 OpenLMIS base? Is any part (vaccine functionality) being incorporated? 

Sarah - My understanding is that merges from VIMS (JSI bit bucket repository) were ongoing through mid-December, including whatever was checked into VIMS. At that point, in order to do the stabilization, those automatic merges were stopped. When VIMS is code complete, if there is a desire to do another merge and a point release, there may be good reason to do that. As Brian alluded to it earlier, it was a time issue. 

Ashraf - It looks like some VIMS features as they existed two months ago made it to the OpenLMIS 2.0 version. But VIMS is still ongoing, and when it's done, there needs to be some discussion/coordination about whether it will then be incorporated into the current version of OpenLMIS. 

Gaurav - My question is already on the feedback list in terms of 3.0 timeline for rewrite. Just curious when we'll have more specifics and how can we expedite that. Any updates or information? Whether an RFP has already been put out and if it can be shared?

Sarah - We had a conversation with Gates about issuing an RFP and they said no. Key comment is that they wanted us to have more collaborative conversation because it's not a true outsourcing project. Concern that an RFP process would be burdensome. We developed a Re-Architecture Concept Note, available on the wiki. The note has been extracted from the re-architecture plan. This has brought it up a level, but it doesn't express specifics. At this point we've reached out to Instedd, ThoughtWorks, SolDevelo, and MOTECH. Motech is a platform that offers a lot of functionality, not from a domain perspective, but from an underlying development perspective. Right now we're doing some initial vetting and conversations and expect to narrow down the field and have some specific time and cost estimates. A primary focus is architectureal design and conception and not around specifics. 

Gaurav - That makes sense. The anticipated timeframe is still by the end of March we'd be able to finalize and work can begin? 

Sarah - Expect to have a recommendation by mid-March, conversation with Gates at end of March, contracting could begin in April. If we go with the incremental approach, one benefit is that you have incremental value as you go. One of the big risks is that there are some technical risks in terms of what we want to achieve (modularity and extensibility), and it may be very challenging to add the extensibility you want (more time and money). Re-write is (ostensibility) quicker, and the intention would be to get the project done in a faster timeframe, but there is less incremental value. There is a timeframe where new implementations would be recommended to go with 2.0 until 3.0 is available. If anyone has a preference for either it would be great to get that feedback. 

Ashraf - Preference for incremental approach. 

Gaurav - Need to have this done faster. If it is possible to get this done quickly and get a full feature list quickly, I would support a re-write. 

Sarah - Can continue to address other concerns offline. 


Feature backlog discussion

Sarah - In the last call with the Gates foundation, they mentioned that there have been a number of requests for funding and whether these asks are coordinated? What is the state of the community around these asks, have they been vetted? We haven't talked about a process for major project startup requests and how we do that. Under the product roadmap page there is a very draft-y Project Request Form. Just an idea of what we could do. Goal of filling this out is to provide transparency to the community so everyone knows what we're working on and whether there are contradictory requests. Could know if projects are aimed at the global OpenLMIS product, or if it's for a country specific, product specific focus. Identify what projects people have out now, talk about the process and then talk about how we want to get back to Gates. They are having a meeting with USAID tomorrow to talk about OpenLMIS

VR - Ask for potential funding increase to support the re-architecture. Another ask: Vaccine supply chain functionality in the global OpenLMIS product, similar to VIMS, but with a country requirements activity at the beginning. Similar to what happened with OpenLMIS at the beginning.


CHAI - Mobile stock management

Gaurav - Gates expressed the need to see all these pieces together, especially the re-architecture and the mobile app piece.  They want to see what the dependencies are, estimated budgets and timelines, how one or the another might affect the timelines, etc.  In terms of CHAI's plans, we have received a strong interest from countries in having something at the health facility level similar to what was built for Nigeria,  like the mobile app in Mozambique that uses OpenLMIS at the back end. Interest is in an offline mobile application that helps countries do stock management and other transactional interactions. Uganda is one of the countries furthest along in terms of thinking about this. Approach for the application is similar to OpenLMIS that can be used in multiple countries with ease, with core and non-core features. Critical point: Timeline - how quickly we are able to do this. There is a vacuum right now that could be filled with sub-optimal products - can't wait another year to get something on the ground. We understand that it would be ideal to build this on a 3.0 back end and not on 2.0. So it's critical to understand what the timelines are for 2.0, especially what are those technical milestones within the re-architecture process that comprise the dependencies for front end work to begin? Most important to understand for us as we try to plan an approach. 

Sarah - Why the preference to build on a 3.0 back end, instead of 2.0? Then have, as part of the project, migration to a different back end? Were there challenges or limitations that you faced with Mozambique that you were hoping to avoid? 

Gaurav- My understanding is that there are some fundamental differences between 3.0 and 2.0. At some point we would hope that all countries would adopt 3.0. Also unclear what it might take to switch the back end from 2.0 to 3.0. If that means we would have to wait 4-6 months to have the necessary clarifications around 3.0, that's a possiblity. 

Renee - It's less about the experience in Mozambique and more about the work that would need to  be done to migrate to 2.0 and what the best time would be to make the shift. It would need to be part of the roadmap and plan. 


Tanzania VAN

Ashraf - Marasi was unable to participate in the call. VAN is more of a specific project to work on top of VIMS. Overall system strengthening for VAN that is a tiered activity. There would be some additional indicators coming from the analytical side of it. We're gathering so much data for stock, cold chain, immunization - what is the best way to present that and utilize it? That is the idea for VAN, to build on top of VIMS, but keep a stronger focus on system strengthening and data analytics.  Four organizations combined in partnership have contributed to the proposal and everyone has a role (JSI, CHAI, PATH, VR).  The investment that Gates is making on VIMS (their own funding), expect that the product coming out should have some global appeal and applicability. There may not be a separate product that would make it globally configurable. At one point Tim asked us to build VIMS in a way so that other countries outside of TZ could also use the product. For the funding we had, it was a tall order but we would do what we could. Gates was looking at that original guidance, but in the actual proposals they have received outside of VAN, they are probably thinking there is conflict or overlap and that this is a duplicative investment. 

Sarah - One of the lessons learned from VIMS and other country implementation projects is that the requirements and global applicability at the beginning has been vague. Doesn't mean that country specific modules can't come back to the global application, but perhaps there was an expectation mismatch. We want to clarify at the outset between the donors, implementers, MOH, etc.,  whether a contribution to the global product is an expectation. For TZ there was probably some misunderstanding on the Gates side on whether there is some overlap. 

Brian - Good to have the broker. This is why Gates put a pause on software development in TZ. VIMS phase 2 was slated for part of the VAN work, but is held off right now. The opportunity to combine the best of Mozambique and VIMS for Uganda in a 2.0 version could help lift all votes. Comes back to the time and costs. 

Sarah - Building something for TZ is not necessarily bad. Building something for that country on the existing code base is not necessarily a problem. Getting the foundation to buy into that is part of the question. We got burned from VIMS around requirements. There may be parts of the development that can be brought into a global application. 



Brian - Concept behind this is simliar to GS1 capabilities and off the shelf for open source capabilities. Creating the GS1 barcode capacity within OpenLMIS. Some of the remnants are available by picking up the code from the December release. Wanted to talk to the community about what would need to change in OpenLMIS for development. 

Sarah - In the past this has been handled in one-of conversations. Suggestion: Fill out the form and start here (provide feedback on additional fields required). Fill this out for a common data set to work from - does this work for the community? Can pull from concept notes that are already written, way to get content in a consistent format. 

Gaurav - What happens with all this information? What's the process to recommend after that? 


Memo to Gates 

Sarah - Recommended process: Fill out the form, review it at the next product committee meeting (review materials prior to meeting). Group would review the form, provide feedback, may go through an iteration. Product committee would dicsuss and at that point it would be added to the roadmap or not. Prioritization? Can't get to it today. Short term: Get these done this week, have transparent discussion captured on the wiki about what level of coordination is required, put together a memo that talks about coordination about these projects and have each of these forms available. Memo to Gates by the middle of next week. Work collaboratively, a coordinated statement of fact, these are the needs for coordination, we haven't solved all those needs, but would state the logic and facts around each proposed project. Can someone take the lead?

Brian - I'm happy to coordinate it. Will be back in the office on Monday and talk with folks as well. General straight logistics on project request form? Download and fill out? 

Sarah - Will work with Rich to make sure everyone has permission to view the form. 

Ashraf - For the memo, if the underlying issues are that Gates has some concern about whether we are coordinating amongst ourselves, whether we're building duplicative products. Maybe a memo can address these underlying issues, we're working together, these are the different projects, this is how they avoid duplications, so on so we address any underlying concerns. 

Sarah  - Will fill this out for VR, Guarav will do this for CHAI, Brian can do this for VAN. 

Brian - Get project request forms in by COB Friday, memo out on Monday for review, Gates meeting on Wednesday. 


Feature Variability Matrix

Need to have this for the rearchitecture. We need for each of the implementations (will mainly fall on Ashraf or someone on your team), to fill this out. Need to be completed for the CHAI/Mozambique implementation as well (Renee). A couple line items for our team, but they look correct to me. Technical group will look at it. Ask that partners will this out and upload this to the wiki. Kevin to follow up with Renee and Ashraf to see if they have any questions, as well as timeframe and any questions to get it completed. 

Unsure if this was talked about in the technical committee? Can Renee send this request to the person she thinks needs to do it? 







OpenLMIS: the global initiative for powerful LMIS software