As project structures go GMDSP is quite complicated. The fact that there are a many partners involved in the first phase that is set to expand in the second, means that a structure has to be created that defines roles within the programme, allowing decisions to be made collaboratively and efficiently without creating a cascade of meetings.
FutureEverything is the programme lead and instigator. It runs the programme in partnership with Connected Digital Economy and Future Cities Catapults being co-financed by them.
The first phase of the programme concentrates on the design and piloting. The three core local authorities of Manchester City, Salford City and Trafford Councils are involved with programme design – from data identification through hosting Code Fellows, to releasing data in synchronisation.
The core group focusses on design and delivery of the programme and sits within a Programme Advisory Group (PAG). This group has two functions acting as a steering group and also a window into the project for public bodies participating in the second phase. As well as the local authorities the PAG also includes representatives from FutureEverything, the Catapults and invited guests.
To make sure that the programme remains aligned with current best practice a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) has been implemented to augment the knowledge within the project. The (TAG) has expertise in a number of areas; modelling data, semantic technologies, geo-spatial systems and Freedom of Information. It can be called on to assist in defining procurement criteria, overcoming challenges both technical and institutional, and also sharing expertise with the programme participants.
The Code Fellows are managed by FutureEverything but work closely with their host organisations. They work as a cohort and in the first phase three Code Fellows are placed within the local authorities with a fourth Code Fellow acting as coordinator and technical back up. The Code Fellows also work closely with the Quad Store provider Swirrl to ensure that the solutions developed interface appropriately with the Quad Store
Communication and collaboration is encouraged amongst all parties – horizontally between Code Fellows and between participating local authorities and vertically between Code Fellows, local authorities, project partners and the TAG. Platforms such as Google Groups are used extensively although this is more problematic for local authority participants due to IT firewalls etc.