Each agency team participated in a two-day "Building a Business Case: Making Smart IT Choices"training. This training laid the groundwork for one of the Testbed deliverables – creating a business case.
As part of this training, participants were given hands-on experience working with the various analytical tools that assisted them in collecting and analyzing the data necessary for crafting their business case. This training, coupled with the homework assignments, provided the agency teams with the knowledge and experience to move forward with their individual projects.
Each agency team met several times externally to craft their initial project goals (Service Objectives), develop the initial Stakeholder Analysis, and consider the Strategic framework in which they would be working within through the use of a Smart IT tool called Strategic Framework. Each of these individual activities was a direct result of the Building a Business Case: Making Smart IT Choices training.
In August 2005, each Testbed participant attended a one-day Introduction to XML/XSL training. This training provided the participants with a working knowledge of XML, an understanding of how to structure an XML document for the prototype, and a working knowledge of XML Style sheets for presenting their XML content. Participants also had the opportunity to participate in an Advanced XML/XSL one-day training class designed for the more experienced coder.
Over the course of the workshop training series Testbed participants had the opportunity to hear from a variety of external expert presenters from various state agencies (both executive and judiciary branches of government) as well as industry experts. The topics covered areas such as organizational change, project management techniques to help mitigate risk and overcome barriers, XML in a Microsoft environment, Information Architecture, as well as individual agency and private sector's successful implementation of XML architecture for content management.
In the fall of 2005, the Testbed participants transitioned from 'learning' to 'doing'; once each of the project teams successfully completed the 'training' portion of the Testbed process and transitioned into applying this learning to their actual prototypes. Certain teams developed style sheets, while other teams actively investigated various programming techniques. Each team developed a Work Breakdown Structure and a task plan to help guide the remaining tasks of their prototypes. During this time period, each agency continued to refine the prototype objective and scope to provide the necessary data required to support their business case.
Also several Testbed teams took advantage of the CTG offer of one-on-one assistance. CTG provided 'office hours' where individual teams or sub-teams scheduled time with different members of the CTG team to address any questions or issues they encountered while working on their prototype or business case. This time was outside of the normal workshop format.
To culminate the Agencies' participation in the Testbed, a public event was held on January 25, 2006 where the agencies showcased their prototypes and share lessons learned. Tim Bray from Sun Microsystems was the featured speaker at the event.