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Iterative delivery phases

Discovery — Uncover and learn

We get to know who the users are, what they need, and how those needs are being met or not by existing government services.

This phase aims to:

  • Understand the context, problem space, business needs, tech constraints, and user needs.

  • Hypothesize possible ideas for solving user needs and iterate on ideas with a low-fidelity prototype.

  • Create a safe environment for development.

Go to the next "Alpha" phase when:

  • Concepts, features, requirements, and constraints for a minimum viable product (MVP) are established and ready to be tested/further explored in next phase.

  • Product vision is defined.

  • Market fit strategy and go-to market strategy are defined.

Alpha — Test and iterate

We figure out how to design, build, and run the minimum viable “thing” that will meet user needs. How users respond to this “thing” tells us how it should be delivered as a Beta or whether more development is needed.

This phase aims to:

  • Validate key assumptions and test the concept for MVP to further define scope.

  • Build the MVP through iterative design, development, research, and testing.

  • Ensure the product can work well with other channels of the broader service.

  • Test and iterate in a safe environment, dependent on who and what data we’re testing with.

Go to the next "Beta" phase when:

  • Success metrics are defined and baselines are measured.

  • MVP scope and feature-set is developed and tested.

  • Go-to market strategy is refined.

  • High-level roadmap (3-6 month) exists.

Beta — Refine and release

We build a working version of the product to handle real transactions and work at scale. We continually test it with users, update it, and measure the effect of any changes to prove if we are are meeting user needs.

This phase aims to:

  • Have MVP production ready, release and operate in a real environment.

  • Execute the go-to market strategy.

  • Continue to refine research and design.

  • Test with real users (both end users and on business-side), including integrating into partner or stakeholder environments.

  • Deploy continuously in departmental or stakeholder environment.

  • Promote early feedback on live service.

  • Define Service Level Objectives (SLO) and Service Level Agreement (SLA).

  • Release MVP and operate in real environment.

When to move to the next "Live" phase:

  • Releasing to production often.

  • Core feature set released.

  • Refined roadmap and go to market strategy is executed.

  • Revised staffing strategy based on refined roadmap and go-to market strategy.

  • Success metrics are refined and translated into a monitoring and reporting strategy.

  • Support strategy and operations are defined and partially implemented.

Live — Grow and support

When the product or service is supported and continuously improved for real users in the real world.

This phase aims to:

  • Achieve stability and operational maturity, fully operating in a real environment. Support operations and SLA.

  • Have the service is live, standing on its own and confidently run. It can be handed off or maintained.

  • Improve continuously, by measuring success and iterating based on real-time feedback from research and feedback channels.

  • Have a clear strategy for the current phase (maintenance, iterate towards vision, work towards metrics, monitor and report, etc).


Service is no longer active, served its core purpose, or may need to be retired for other purposes.