Aims for the X-Road community

Heiko Vainsalu (X-Road Area Manager) invited me to speak at the Estonian X-Road Community event 26.-27.8.2015 about the Finnish X-Road Community, it’s past, present and future activities. It’s a joint presentation together with Petteri Kivimäki (VRK). First I was like, what do I have to say about this? X-Road is Ministry of Finance driven effort?

In a flash I remembered that my community touch and blogging about REST support were probably the reasons to be invited. I will make my presentation community focused and the second slide is below

aim-2016-xroad-developer-citizens

Officially the aims regarding X-Road in Finland is to have 40 (now 5) production level services in the system during 2016. Currently there is around 20 connected services in X-Road development environment. My approach is a bit different. I’m not saying that it’s better; it’s just diferent. I choose the customer focus approach. To make it clear, developer is customer as well.

10->100->1000

The above screenshot defines the targets for community development. First of all, we need to have factory like process to evaluate new service ideas which should come from citizens. The amount of ideas in ideal situation at the end of year 2016 would be 10 each month. This is where Digipalvelutehdas (eService Factory) steps in. It provides process and services to collect new services ideas, user stories and build first mockup fast. I will present the basic idea and functions of Digipalvelutehdas in the event.

tehdas-public-private

To forge ideas into services, we need organizations, both public and private. Public sector’s role would be funding, providing national service infrastructure to utilize and provide access to some crucial data storages. Private sector will provide efficient service design and development tools, methods and personnel. Given amount 100 is just nice round figure and fits into the pattern. That amount is not hard to gain, we probably have that already depending on the criteria.

That kind of engine is build on top of active citizenship; citizens are involved, provide service ideas, vote on other’s ideas, provide user stories and evaluate results. This has to be mass and getting 1000 citizens involved in developing X-Road and services on top of it, requires community management. Those familiar with community management know that getting people involved is often easy, keeping the involved is harder. One way to compensate fading citizens is to use what I call ”Russian tactic”, recruite more and more people and push them forward.

All that should be created jointly with Estonia and Finland. We both will use X-Road as foundation for digital services. Why not share the knowledge among developers as well?

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