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Tooling Update: Provisioning the Journey

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 8, 2018 10:04:52 AM / by Wayne Kubick

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The journey to an improved collaboration tooling infrastructure continues. My last update focused on the goal to make the Atlassian Confluence Wiki and Jira Issue Tracking tools available for use by HL7 work groups. These tools are now available for pilot use and are a sample of the myriad of benefits these tools may offer our global community.

Tools like Confluence and Jira are intended to support two of HL7’s strategic goals: improving customer experience (part of goal 2) and supporting our standards (goal 4). This pilot period will identify opportunities, explore possibilities and exercise and tune the infrastructure while examining critical opportunity areas for improving core processes. There is no plan to replace existing tools like MediaWiki or Tracker yet, but to simplify the environment over time to create a more stable, common tooling environment. For now, we’re looking to work groups to offer creative ideas on how to improve the way we create standards.

It can be disruptive and challenging to adapt to a new environment, so work groups will be given a quick start package of templates for things like meeting agendas and minutes, action item tracking and notification, decision logs and other basic work group functions. The self-registration process will be continually tuned and streamlined for easy access to help everyone become familiar with a simple Confluence app to record attendance at Working Group Meeting sessions in New Orleans.  

In addition to these general collaboration capabilities, we’re evaluating these tools to help manage core processes. The FHIR team is exploring how Jira can help streamline the balloting process with a hope of conducting pilots in the spring of 2018. Ted Klein, with assistance from Grahame Grieve, Lloyd McKenzie and others, is leading the development of a new Unified Terminology Governance process which will provide a single source of truth for all HL7 terminology and provide a less onerous replacement for harmonization, with a completion goal of late 2018.

Another new collaboration feature is a standard solution for group chat. The Zulip tool has been used to power chat.fhir.org, but the topic streams are restricted to those relevant to the FHIR community. We’re now introducing chat.hl7.org for the rest of the HL7 community and hope this will provide another way to help work groups and projects operate more effectively. The Zulip free app allows users to participate on both chat platforms at the same time.

It will take time to adapt to new tools, but issues will be resolved with experience and collaboration. All of these tools are being made available on a voluntary basis. There are no plans to migrate everything in Tracker and MediaWiki to Jira and Tracker. Instead, think of it as moving from a large house in the suburbs to a sleek, modern condo in a world class city, moving only what’s essential to quickly get established, always find what is needed, and use the time saved to enjoy all the wonders that the city can offer. Cheers!

Learn how to create an account on JIRA & Confluence for HL7 members and contributors here.

Topics: FHIR, hl7, work groups, collaboration

Wayne Kubick

Written by Wayne Kubick

Wayne Kubick is the Chief Technology Officer of Health Level Seven International