Delivery Manager

As a Delivery Manager you need to make sure that accessibility is considered when sizing up stories and that very feature is fully accessible before it is released.

Things to consider as a Delivery Manager

Definition of done

Like the definition of ready, the definition of done is a list of criteria which need to be met in order to consider a story to be finished.

We can’t deploy code which is not accessible, otherwise we are breaking the law. So if it’s not accessible it’s not done.

As part of your definition of done, the service should be checked for accessibility using both automated and manual tests.

An example of accessibility considerations in a definition of done:

  • Automated accessibility tests passed using AxeCore
  • Manual accessibility tests passed using Accessibility Insights
  • Manually checked usability using only a keyboard
  • Manually checked usability using a screenreader
  • Manually checked usability using a screen magnifier
  • Manually checked usability using speech recognition

Definition of ready

When writing user stories, we outline criteria for when they are ready to build. This is usually when it’s been through usability testing and the acceptance tests have been defined. But these discussions should also include accessibility.

As part of the stories definition of ready, make sure the team have discussed how the proposed design can be made accessible, and include important content in the story such as page titles and URLs as these can affect accessibility.

Work with an Interaction Designer and a Content Designer to understand which parts of the service might be tricky to build, for example things which do not exist already and will need to be built from scratch. These will require more testing.

An example of accessibility considerations in a definition of done:

  • Error messages, page titles and URLs agreed with Content Designer
  • Content reviewed by team and accessibility considerations discussed
  • Design reviewed by team and accessibility considerations discussed

Plan for accessibility

Before anything can go live it needs to WCAG 2.1 compliant or you’ll be breaking the law. This includes your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You can’t go live and implement accessibility at a later date.

When estimating how long something will take to build, you will need to factor in sufficient accessibility testing. It should include automated testing, manual testing against the WCAG criteria, and usability testing using assistive technology.

When doing releases, it is also important that the accessibility statement is updated. This needs to reflect when the service was last tested and any potential barriers that have been found or fixed.

If you do not plan for accessibility then it could create large amounts of technical debt and could significantly delay your releases.

Understand the risks

As a Delivery Manager you need to understand the risks of building a service which is not accessible.

If your service is not accessible, then you won’t be able to pass a Beta Assessment. But even worse, if you put a service live and it non-compliant, the service can be reported to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

As the Enforcement Body the Equality and Human Rights commission has the power to issue enforcement notices, do investigations and even take court action against the department.