• Product & Process Team

  • Who We Are

    The Product & Process Team is comprised of Product Owners (PO) and Business Analysts (BA) responsible for defining and documenting potential software projects and operating as the voice of the business when executing a software project. In addition to general POs, our team also has a Jira/Confluence Product Manager and a Data Product Owner. Our Jira/Confluence Product Manager functions as a subject matter expert (SME) for these two platforms, and is responsible for the standardized implementation and usage of these tools. Our Data Product Owner supports the cohesive strategy for how DPS and specifically the Department of Technology Services (DoTS) gathers, organizes, analyzes, and uses data across its entire IT ecosystem.

  • What We Do (Our Mission)

    The DPP Team has three main charges:

    • Product Management & Custom Software Development: Handle and execute internal requests for custom software applications, and standardize the adoption and usage of the tools/platforms that we own (Jira and Confluence).
    • Process Development & Adherence: Develop and implement processes for custom software development & product management based on industry standards and best practices. Ensure adherence to those processes.
    • Data Organization and Usage: Support the development and implementation of a cohesive strategy for the organization, analysis, and usage of data across our ecosystem of applications.
  • Our Services

    Reach out to the Product & Process Team if you…

    • Are interested in having DoTS build you a custom software application,
    • Have a business need that might be solved using software, but aren’t sure where to start,
    • Want to request DoTS resources for something and you want to follow the correct process,
    • Want to learn more about using Jira or Confluence for your team’s work,
    • Have a specific data need, and are not sure where to start,
    • Might want to learn more about product management for your own team’s or department’s improvement

    Ready to get started? Fill out a DoTS intake request using the following instructions:

    1. Visit dotshelp.dpsk12.org and login with your DPS credentials.
    2. Under the "Browse by Category" section, click "Applications," and then select "Build a Custom Software Application."
    3. Fill out the form with all relevant information, scroll to the bottom and click "Save Incident."

    Screenshot of click path

  • How We Do It

    We design and implement transparent, equitable, and sustainable processes and systems for project requests that span the entire lifecycle: including intake & discovery, sizing and estimation, prioritization, and execution & delivery.

  • Our Process (Product Management & Custom Software Development)

    As stated in our mission, the Product & Process Team is charged with handling and executing internal requests for custom software applications. We handle this through the following five (5) steps.

    NOTE: the term, Program Increment (PI), appears several times below. A definition for Program Increment is: a discrete period of time during which a team delivers value in the form of working, tested software and systems.

    1. Intake: Begin by submitting a DoTS Intake form for a Custom Software Application. This is the formal initiation of the request by the business, and is meant to function as a single place to formally initiate a request. A PO from the Product & Process Team will be assigned to your request, and typically acknowledges and contacts the business about next steps within one week of submission.

    2. Discovery & Project Proposal: In this stage, the Product & Process Team will meet with the business to learn more about the nature of the request, the need(s) it fills, the value it adds, and the necessary features and functionality of the software. We will focus on creating agile, light-weight documentation that captures just enough detail to make a future determination of whether or not the project should move forward. Typically takes 2-3 weeks.

    3. Architecture Review: This is a technical conversation with only DoTS team members participating. The purpose of an Architecture Review is to discuss how a project would be executed if approved, define an architectural matrix for implementation, and ultimately determine whether a proposed software project is fit to advance in the next step of the project life cycle, Sizing and Estimation. The Architecture Review typically takes place 1-2 weeks after the Project Proposal has been finalized and approved by the business.

    4. Sizing & Estimation: Once the Architecture Review is complete, the Product & Process Team and other DoTS technical teams will use the list of features and functionality gathered from the proposal to estimate the relative size of the project or request. Relative size is not an estimate of time or resources, but rather an assigned value that is used to compare the “size” of projects relative to each other. A project’s relative size is expressed in story points (e.g. 27 story points, 53 story points, etc.). As projects are completed, the Product & Process team tracks the amount of time and resources needed in order to measure the team’s velocity, improve future sizing estimates, and deliver reliable projections for future requests. Sizing typically occurs 4-6 weeks after a request has been initiated.

    5. PI Planning & Collective Prioritization: The Product & Process Team implements an equitable, transparent, and sustainable process for determining which projects or requests are approved for implementation. It’s unrealistic to expect (and a poor use of resources to attempt) DoTS to deliver every request made by the business for software application development.

      Therefore, the Product & Process Team leads a collective prioritization exercise, during which each project or request is considered relative to the district’s strategic roadmap, the value or expected return of each request, and DoTS’ capacity for the upcoming PI. These prioritization exercises are referred to as PI Planning. The objective of PI Planning is  to collectively identify the most valuable or impactful requests, and collectively determine which requests move forward for execution in the upcoming PI. PI Planning occurs twice a year; typically 1 month prior to the start of each PI. See below in Cadence for Delivery for PI schedule.

    Execution and Delivery: Once a project or request is approved for the upcoming PI, DoTS commits to delivering the request at some point during that PI. All projects or requests will be executed using DoTS’ standard Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

  • Cadence for Delivery

    The cadence listed below are general time frames. For specific start dates and submission deadlines, please see below:

    Cadence for delivery

  •  Upcoming and Scheduled Projects

    Fall 2023 PI:

    • Projects up for consideration:
      • ESSA Letters to Parents, MLE Department
      • Child Find Referrals, Student Equity and Opportunity
      • CPSIMS front-end replacement, Exceptional Student Services

    Winter 2023 PI:

    • N/A - Submission deadline for Winter 2023 PI consideration
    • Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022 - Winter 2023 PI Planning
    • Jan. 23, 2023 - May 5, 2023: PI Execution

    • Project(s) considered for PI Planning:
      • MLE Letters in the Portals, MLE Department
      • Transportation Driver Bids Tier 2, Transportation Department
      • ECE Referrals Tracker, Student Equity and Opportunity

    • DoTS Capacity: 300 Story Points

    • Project(s) approved for implementation:
      • Transportation Driver Bids Tier 2, Transportation Department

     Winter 2022 PI:

    • NOTE: Due to unforeseen loss of resources on the development team, DoTS has made the strategic decision to limit our capacity for this PI to 230 Story Points. We will not be considering additional projects for this PI.
    • Jan. 17, 2022 - May 27, 2022: PI Execution

    • DoTS Capacity:230 Story Points

    • Project(s) approved for implementation:
      • C&I - Summer Academy Backlog
      • MLE - MLE Program Review Phase II

    Fall 2021 PI:

    • Monday, April 19, 2021 - Submission deadline for Fall 2021 PI consideration
    • Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - Fall 2021 PI Planning
    • Aug. 2, 2021 - Nov. 19, 2021: PI Execution
    • Project(s) considered for PI Planning:
      • SEO - Assistive Technology Request Form
      • C&I - Summer Academy Backlog
      • MLE - MLE Program Review Phase II
      • Academics, Ed Tech - See All Apps upgrades in Parent/Student Portal
    • DoTS Capacity: 300 Story Points**
    • Project(s) approved for implementation:
      • SEO - Assistive Technology Request Form
      • C&I - Summer Academy Backlog**
      • MLE - MLE Program Review Phase II**
      • Academics, Ed Tech - See All Apps upgrades in Parent/Student Portal

    **Shortly after approval of all four projects, DoTS had an unforeseen reduction in available capacity. Given the significant loss of capacity, some projects that were approved for implementation in Fall 2021, have been moved to Winter of 2022.

    Winter 2021 PI:

    • Nov. 2, 2020: Submission deadline for Winter 2021 PI consideration
    • Dec. 10, 2020: PI Planning
    • Jan. 4, 2021 - May, 14, 2021: PI Execution

    • Project(s) considered for PI Planning:
      • FACE - Mayor’s Student Youth Employment Program
      • Research and Evaluation - Student Survey Opt Out Parent Tool
      • College & Career Success - Student ICAP Tool
    • DoTS Capacity: 175 Story Points
    • Project(s) approved for implementation:
      • Research and Evaluation - Student Survey Opt Out Parent Tool
      • College & Career Success - Student ICAP Tool

    Fall 2020 PI:

    • June 8, 2020: Submission deadline for Fall 2020 PI consideration
    • June 22, 2020: PI Planning
    • Aug. 3, 2020 - Nov. 20, 2020: PI Execution

    • Project(s) considered during PI Planning:
      • TRIP Phase 2 (Transportation Department)
      • ELA Program Review (ELA Department)
      • DoTS Capacity: 200 story points

    • Project(s) approved for implementation:
      • ELA Program Review
  • Contact

    Department of Technology Services (DoTS)

    Emily Griffith Campus

    1860 Lincoln St., 7th Floor

    Denver, CO 80203