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Release Methodology

Release and transfer into business as usual

Once your new Product has proceeded through the requisite assurance and compliance process, your First-of-Type (FoT) user will need to gain live solution accreditation and access. This will then progress to the NHS Digital Service Management Team to support the release and transfer into business as usual status.

The confirmed outcome of the prior Assurance phase should be that all the compliance documentation, comprising the Connection Agreement (System Supplier), Target Operating Model (TOM) and End User Policy (Deploying Organisation) has reached the approval stage.

Upon receipt of this documentation, the assigned Implementation Manager will liaise with the Solutions Assurance and Service Management Teams to request the assignment of a dedicated Release Manager who would then lead on co-ordinating the necessary go-live activities.

The initial step of this Deployment phase would be to validate the business partner release meets all relevant NHS Digital requirements e.g. functional, non-functional, clinical safety, security and user requirements within the test environments. This would be achieved through the consolidation of all the compliance artefacts into a Conformance Certificate, previously referenced as a Development Milestone Achievement Certificate (DevMAC). This document signifies the completion of the assurance test phase and grants FoT deployment to go ahead. The Conformance Certificate a critical deliverable which should be afforded a full review and approval cycle. This means reviewers should be given five working days for both its review and approval.

With the Conformance Certificate now approved, the next stage would be to prepare to go-live. This step would involve the tripartite completion of Site Readiness Checklist and Deployment Verification Criteria spreadsheet. This would encourage all parties, e.g. NHS Digital, System Supplier and End User Organisation, to ensure all appropriate preparations had been made to ensure a successful product deployment into live. The assigned Release Manager would ensure appropriate and regular communication checkpoints are planned and ensure key checks and criteria have been completed, i.e.

  • Information Governance Pre-requisites
  • Business Go Live Requirements
  • Service Management Requirements
  • Technical Entry Criteria
  • Governance and Agreements
  • Risk Acceptance
  • Deployment Initiation

Once completed, the NHS Digital Deployment Issue and Resolution (DIR) Team would issue a Live Spine Digital Certificate with the approved interactions or APIs configured. Upon establishment of system to system connectivity, a go/no-go meeting would be planned.

The Deployment phase would progress through a closely monitored Deployment Verification Period (DVP), usually a period of between 2 and 6 weeks, thereby ensuring all first deployment(s) are successful and all potential local issues are identified and resolved prior to fuller product rollouts.


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