A Content Management System To Safeguard Biosecurity
The One Biosecurity program is a new initiative to further promote and protect South Australia’s strong biosecurity regime across its livestock industries. The aim of providing an online system to support this is to allow producers to record and assess their biosecurity practices, and then to share that information with other producers and potential purchasers. Asking the right questions and getting the right answers about the biosecurity practices of the farm of origin and the health status of stock before transport or purchase is essential to minimising the risk of entry and spread of diseases between properties and across the state – as well as reducing risk to those buying and processing livestock.
For producers on a day-to-day basis, the One Biosecurity web portal will be a risk management tool. Producers will be encouraged to declare their farm biosecurity status when selling livestock. This will improve transparency surrounding livestock transactions and help producers in making informed livestock purchasing decisions. The program will emphasise on-farm biosecurity as the primary focus, based around good biosecurity practices. Producers will also be able to declare their status for a number of endemic diseases that are specific to their industry (in the first release of the website the target industries are sheep, beef cattle, and dairy cattle). The program (and website functionality) must be simple and practical, and not add unnecessary complexity to animal health management programs for producers. Verification measures will be built in as a part of the program.
When PIRSA engaged Chamonix on the program, we assembled a team to deliver the required services as the project moved through various stages of development and implementation. This kept the team composition, size and competency relevant to the tasks at hand which afforded ultimate efficiency.
Our solution provided a novel combination of a database web application to house the information recorded for each member together with the flexibility of a Content Management System (CMS) which enables PIRSA to provide the information required on the biosecurity and disease management practices in a structured manner. This enabled the recording of membership details to be surrounded by user help text, links to web pages and access to documents that provide relevant context at each step for the user, providing the flexibility to change and improve the information available without having to employ technical experts. We achieved this using a combination of system configuration and providing the ability to add and change web pages as required in the future.
All key requirements were captured and incorporated into the design in the early stages of the program. Research on the higher risk elements of the solution was subsequently undertaken to ensure the solution could effectively integrate with PIRSA systems and that the more complex requirements could be accommodated by the solution.
The build and test stage was conducted over a number of iterations, which enabled PIRSA to review progress at regular intervals, with elaboration of requirements made during the development. This hybrid project methodology combined the appropriate parts of an agile type process within the discipline of waterfall stages.
Collaboration between our team and our client’s main stakeholders was a key success factor in building the web portal for PIRSA. We selected an iterative approach to the development stage so the solution could evolve from an initially fully researched set of requirements and outline design. In the later stages we included our stakeholders in our daily meetings which enabled finer details to be worked out during the build and testing stages. At the end of each build iteration, we prepared demonstrations of the solution at that point of time. These ‘show and tell’ sessions enabled PIRSA to view how the solution was forming and to provide valuable feedback to the design and development at the appropriate point in time. As part of the project, we needed to factor in integration with the existing PIRSA Identity Management Solution, integration with internal systems, member application with emphasis on providing members with rich information, flexibility across a range of devices and accessibility standards and secure systems residing in the cloud.