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Tooling Strategy and Process Revision

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Project Insight # 801 Project Description: Revise existing Tooling Work Group Processes to include coordination with other Work Groups and to specify criteria for tooling project selection and prioritization.

Project Need: The HL7 Board has emphasized that the Tooling Work Group needs to focus on tools that make implementing HL7 standards easier as well as those needed to develop and publish HL7 standards. Since tools now often have a web presentation, the Electronic Services Work Group needs to be consulted, as well as Publishing to ensure tools remain coherent and to coordinate resources and schedules.

Return to Tooling Work Group

Project Information

Project Insight # 801 Description: Revise existing Tooling Work Group Processes to include coordination with other Work Groups and to specify criteria for Tooling Project Selection and Prioritization.

  • Initially titled 'Process alignment for ES and Tooling', with description "Tooling will work with Electronic Services to align the requirements gathering and tool selection processes to ensure resources are available to develop or enhance requests for tools that come to either group that may impact the other group."
  • Project facilitator: Jane Curry

Project Resources

  • Jane Curry, facilitator
  • Lynn Laakso, staff support
  • Dennis Cheung,
  • Andy Stechishin
  • Woody Beeler
  • other volunteers please self-identify

Meeting Information

  • Project meeting schedule - 10 AM ET following Regular Tooling call

Meeting notes:


Strategy statement:
It is HL7’s intent to create and maintain a comprehensive set of superior tools for every recognized step of the development, balloting, publishing and USE of its products according to the requirements of the HL7 Board, membership and user’s needs.

HL7’s Tooling Strategy quality metrics

The Tooling Strategy will be considered successful when:

  1. The number of tool smiths increases
  2. All Tools HL7 specifications are dependent on are clearly specified and users can easily find out how to use them
  3. All Tools change management processes are actively enforced
  4. Contributors wishing to contribute tools understand what process to follow and what responsibilities they can expect HL7 to take on


  • Provide clarity to work groups concerning their options and obligations when choosing to use tools to produce that will be required for a Standards Specification / methodology;
  • Provide some certainty at a corporate level concerning what funding is required to acquire and maintain tools and how this can impact the budget;
  • Provide a foundation for raising money from potential sponsors by clearly specifying the roles and responsibilities of all parties and what processes are used to produce tools useful to the HL7 Community.

Tooling Strategy document sections and assignments

  • Tooling Governance:
    1. Tooling Governance Groups
      • defining coordination with other Work Groups
        • establishing Tooling Liaisons to other Work Groups,
        • regular reporting from Liaisons
        • setting expectations for active participation in Tooling work group
          • Formalize processes that increase non-tool developers’ active participation in tooling projects (e.g. acceptance testing
    2. Tooling Risk Assessment
      • Risk assessment should involve cost/benefit analysis before undertaking projects if tooling is a mitigating strategy
      • Need state transitions for decisions and recommendations. Criteria for weighing cost/benefit need to include all types of costs and all types of benefits. (Jane/Michael)
    3. Candidate Metrics (Andy to draft)
  • Tooling Management
    1. Identify management groups, potentially along product lines or platforms
    2. Identify Candidate Management process
    3. Identify product line management practices for tooling coordinators
      see issue from Tooling_Project_Selection_and_Prioritization: the production of the standard is based on a tool chain, open source and hosted on GForge SVN. Tooling's responsibility on that tool chain maintenance and provision is the ability to produce the standard from the tool chain. By the next January WGM in Phoenix we may want to schedule a joint quarter to decide how to manage the tool chain going forward.
      • Requires us to identify existing tools and understand the tools well enough to promote them and their fit in our continuum of tool use
      • MWB and Trifolia are HL7-specific tools
      • Consider tools not HL7-specific like Sparx EA, MS Visio
  • Tooling methodology

Project Documents