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Journal of our Meetings, Ceremony, Milestones

Wednesday June 17, 9:00 AM Pacific

On Wednesday morning, we had a Sprint Planning Meeting with approximately 10 people, including CEO and VP of sales.

In this meeting, ideation meeting was planned, and users identified willing to help with Human Centered Design. We agreed to explore two possibilities:

  • Consider a research tool for professionals as examplified by Martha, PhD biologist
  • Consider a tool for the public-at-large.

We began studying the data sets as a prelude to Ideation and Story writing meeting.

12:00 AM Pacific

We had an Ideation meeting using Trello in which we collected ideas.

We performed a simple "JK" exercise to vote on the various ideas. Started formulating problem statement for top idea.

1:00 PM Pacific

We broke for research and story writing to reconvene shortly.

2:00 PM Pacific

Met with Martha Oglive, researcher at Oklahoma health science center, previously at NIH. Martha validated problem statement and provided input and prioritization on user stories. Also discussed next steps for UX as well as technical architecture questions.

Thursday June 18, early

Developed spikes and stories on Trello board. Prep for estimation meeting and Design Studio. Probably Ethan was working on spikes as well.

8:45 AM Pacific

Stand-up scrum meeting.

9:15 AM Pacific

Begin story-wrting, estimationg, and backlog grooming session. Identified highest-priority spikes and reduced redundancy on stories. Estimated highest-priority stories.

10:00 AM Pacific

Begin "Design Studio", that lasted an hour and 20 minutes. Worked really well thanks to off-team UX expert. Interesting designs were discovered and prioritized.

11:25 AM Pacific

Split into three sub-teams to work on deployment, design wirefames, and spiking the API.

2:00 PM Pacific

Have first "round-trip" prototype working. Reviewed Ron's wirefames, and made adjustments informed by our limited experience with the data.

3:15 PM Pacific

Team publishes CivicActions team member Greg Elin's thoughts on how bidders might successfully approach this RFQ, adding it to our github repo: "What 18F will look for in RFQ response".

4:00 PM Pacific

Wireframes team has completed clickable prototypes for basic screens of "symptoms by drug" interface, in preparation for user testing 6/19.

Made the entire Repo public, including Greg Elin's article on what we believe 18F will be expecting, which we hope will enlighten other would-be quoters.

5:00 PM Pacific

Dev team has completed first pass of working "search by symptom" prototype, returning search specific report totals through the API.

6:20 PM PT

Pharaceutical industry test users (team connection from Harvard Medical School) confirmed to participate in MVP feedback from 6/19.

Friday June 19th

8:45 Pacific

Morning scrum. Learned that we had deployment done, first unit tests, and progress on GUI. Attempting to schedule second usability test with our user.

10:45 Pacific

Conlcluded meeting teaching Ron how to upload visual design, and uploaded visual wireframes from yesterday into site, as well as creating file for external user tracking.

4:00 Second Interview/Demo with Martha Ogilvie

5:00 GUI planning based on feedback from Martha

Monday June 22nd

8:45 Pacific


11:00 Pacific

Met with Tyson K. for user interview. See notes on meeting.

1:00 Pacific

Security, Privacy and Legal meeting --- met with officers playing each of those roles and took notes. Gave Demo of MVP at this time.

Tuesday June 23rd

8:45 scrum

10:30 -12:30 central

Sprint Retrospective and Velocity calculation of first sprint.

Sprint Planning meeting for Second sprint. Wrote stories, estimated, and prioritized them.

5:00 Central

Had a Style Guide meeting to discuss style guide. Intellectual property got in the way of using an extant style guide. We decided to copy as much styling as possible from 18F, and work into a tiny style guide to improve the styling.

9:00pm Central

A story comes out of QA for not sorting things correctly when multiple drugs. It is fixed and put back in QA.

12:00pm Central

To be more mobile-friendly, got horizontal bars working to allow large data sets.

4:00pm Central url shared with affiliates at design firm Tomorrow Partners, as well as with members of the CivicActions community beyond the project team, and UX, design, feedback collected immediately and shared via slack and github issues.

Wednesday June 24th

Thursday June 25th


Scrum meeting in preparation for Final Push tonight.

2:30 Second interview with Tyson. Major confirmation of approach. Generally validated our approach.

4:00 Third interview with Martha. Additional confirmation of our approach, particularly the contextualization of the work.

5:00 Decision announce to add a third sprint for the final three days.

Friday, June 26th


Scrum meeting. Creating Release 2.0, under the wire for the original deadline.


Sprint Planning Meeting. Velocity for Sprint 2: 29 story points. Celebreting success in integrating AHRQ data into pie chart, and making release under the wire.

Attempting to arrange a 3rd user for user test next week.

Personnel changes doing that. Making basic plan to work on polishing existing features.

Monday, June 29th

9:45 Scrum

Fantastic work over the weekend. Product looking much better. Deceded to do Sprint Retrospective, new prioritization, code review.

10:15 Retrospective

2:00 Central -- code/design review. Took 5 or 6 refactorings out of this. Attended by 6 or 7 poeple.

3:30 Fourth Interview with Tyson. This provided confirmation and 4 addtional issues.

Tuesday, June 30th

9:45 Scrum

Enterring final phase, attempt to "cool down". Of course, everything seems to go wrong at the last minute. Ethan got significant improvements to the backend done. Now handling 7 drugs or more, but failures from the FDA site not handled robustly.

10:15 Final prioritization meeting.

In the afternoon, groomed stories and backlogs. Dealt with high-severity issues only.

5:00 (Planned) Final Code push.

Wednesday, July 1st

9:45 Scrum

Decided not to apply to Pools 1 or Pools 2 based on clarifications from the GSA. De-staffed most developers from the project. Continued working on preparation of RFQ itself, Attachment E, and

Thursday, July 2nd

9:45 Scrum

10:15 (Planned) #3rd Sprint Retrospective