Ask yourself the questions below weekly, starting from Day 1.
This checklist is for you to gut check that you've taken the steps necessary for your feature to be successful for users. You won't have answers to all of these questions right away, and some you'll want to take action on multiple times, but you should check in to make sure these things are happening iteratively over the lifetime of your product.
This resource is meant to be used in parallel with the Collaboration Cycle. The items below that correspond with one or more collaboration points are starred
*. The Collaboration Cycle is designed to guide your team through successful development, but it's your responsibility to ensure that all the points below are sufficiently met.
Note: as always, use the #vfs-platform-support Slack channel whenever you have a question on how to proceed!
Is my product or feature...
...usable (for ALL users)?
Usability testing shows that new changes improve and don't worsen back-of-house VA employee experience
Usability testing indicates that new changes enable users to do what they need to do
Everything is 508 Accessible and there are no Sev 1 accessibility bugs
Your content adheres to the VA.gov content style guide - VA.gov Design System and follows plain language best practices
Everything is consistent with VA's Design System
Downtime notifications and error messages adhere to guidance found in:
End-to-end manual QA is complete and there are no Sev1 bugs
End-to-end UAT (with real users) is complete and there are no Sev1 bugs
Availability and latency targets are defined
URL, nav, bread crumbs, and cross-links are consistent with VA's style guide and map to the user's mental model
SEO is baked into everything
Static entry points and intro content is in place for your product
Redirects (if necessary) from legacy tools/pages are in place
Your team’s Product Owner has investigated and addressed the product’s marketing and publicity needs.
You've had a Go/No Go meeting
User notifications are delivered at the right time, in the approved format, and through the right channel according to VA Notify standards.
If your product includes forms, you have alerted the #va-search Slack channel.
...compliant with VA official stuff?
Changes adhere to DEPO's 7 Digital Modernization Principles
Changes have appropriate ATO
Feature is included in the weekly Product Health Report
Google Analytics / Google Tag Manager setup is complete
Phased, data-informed release plan is complete
Monitoring is set up correctly and working
...secure and reliable?
Users' private data is safe, including not logging PII
Feature doesn't introduce new vulnerabilities
Playbook exists on most likely failure modes and addresses how to respond quickly to issues
The feature has 90 percent unit test coverage, running in CI/CD
Feature can handle anticipated load and traffic spikes, with a completed load test
Rate limits are set
Dashboards and alerts are set up for finding and investigating issues
Feature toggles are written into product code to enable easy review, testing, and approval of functionality for a variety of platforms and stakeholders.
Point of contact is documented for the app itself and any new backend dependencies
There is a Product Outline for this feature