4. Understand tools and systems

Understand the tools and systems required to build, host, operate and measure the service and how to adopt, adapt or procure them.

Why it's in the Standard

The technology you choose to build your service must help you respond quickly and regularly to the needs and expectations of users. This criteria makes sure you:

  • consider all the risks and constraints associated with the technology you choose
  • avoid contracts that lock you into particular solutions and limit your ability to make decisions to improve the service
  • build a sustainable system that can be easily managed once live
  • identify the required infrastructure to successfully and continuously deliver the digital service
  • have a procurement approach that will not restrict, inhibit or limit ongoing and future service delivery
  • consider existing tools and systems and avoid unnecessary fragmentation and/or costs
  • consider appropriate tools and systems already in use in government
  • embed measurement tools at the start of development

How you can meet the Standard

In Alpha stage

During the Alpha stage you should be thinking about what you need to build the service. You should:

  • review the types of tools and systems already available
  • identify potential development tools and software to build the product
  • identify the appropriate languages, frameworks, and other technical choices that are required to build the service
  • understand who will own the intellectual property
  • understand any data requirements of the service
  • understand the development tool chain required for Beta
  • understand the existing IT systems, data stores and in-flight processes for the service
  • understand any potential external dependencies or integrations that would be required to build the product
  • know the initial and ongoing costs for proposed tools and systems

In Beta stage

During the Beta stage you will be building the service and testing prototypes with users. You should:

  • manage any constraints that the chosen development tools and software have placed on the service
  • have a strong rationale for the technology choices you’ve made, including the languages, frameworks and development tools
  • procure the appropriate tools, systems and contractual arrangements and make sure you are getting value for money
  • have the ability to conduct technical health checks of the service
  • arrange for appropriate ongoing technical support and service level agreements for underlying or dependent services

By the time you go live you should have in place:

  • procedures for ongoing operations, including iterations, maintenance, monitoring, patching and upgrading system components
  • funding to cover the long-term life of the product, including activities such as security accreditation
  • evidence or artefacts that demonstrate you achieved the objective of the criteria for the Live stage

Further reading