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BioExcel Deliverable 3.4 - Efficacy of Feedback Processes

Carter, Adam; Harrow, Ian; Abraham, Mark; Hospital, Adam; Matser, Vera; Noack, Holger; Apostolov, Rossen

This document is the fourth deliverable from WP3 Consultancy and User Groups. The project’s structure requires that there is a good flow of feedback between end-users and the many activities spread amongst the project’s work packages(WPs). It provides an opportunity to take stock and report on the efficacy of feedback in the project.

Overall, feedback in the project is good, but it is important to continue to monitor both external and internal feedback. With the former, we need to broaden the areas in which this occurs beyond the current scope, which is focused on the project’s main codes. Internal feedback processes could be more explicit to maintain good feedback as the centre grows.

The document considers each work package in turn and depicts graphically the strength of feedback with other parts of the project and with external stakeholders. We look at the current state, a desirable future state, and then consider what could be done to reach the future state.

Feedback relating to WP1(software)is broadly considered to be satisfactory, but there are links which could be improved, for example with WP2, the SAB, and particularly WP5. WP1 feedback directly with users through mailing lists and forums is good.

Strengths of WP2 (portable environments/workflows) in feedback relate to collaborations with organisations like ELIXIR and Open PHACTS. Possible areas for improvement were identified for all WPs except forWP6. WP2’s work is approaching the stage where end-user feedback will become much more relevant.

WP3 (user groups & community) generally has sufficient feedback, although possible improvements relate to WP2, WP5 and other infrastructures. WP3’s strengths have been in supporting feedback to other WPs through provision of forums, webinars, IGs, etc.

WP4 (training & dissemination) feedback is broadly sufficient, but areas for improvement relate mainly to the technical WPs. Technical WP members already contribute to training, but coordination between these WPs’ activities could be improved.

WP5’s feedback to date has come to a great extent through WP3 and WP4. It is hoped that in future WP5 could connect more directly to other parts of the project, but that WP3 (and WP4) will still provide the main links with end-users.WP6’s feedback is sufficient. The similar future state for WP6 reflects the intention that WP6 should coordinate, but not act as a point through which most project communication and feedback should take place.

Areas for improvement are set out in Section 3. Decisions relating to which of these improvements can be actioned will ultimately fall to WP leaders and the EB, but WP3 will continue to track work being done to improve feedback through Task 3.7, Feedback and Improvement.

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