Google Apps Script Process Enhancement Program (ASPEN)

The Google Apps Script Process Enhancement (ASPEN) Program is a program designed to provide custom Google Workspace solutions to state employees that are built & supported by OIT utilizing native interplay between Google Apps via Google Apps Script, with the goal of automating processes and improving operational efficiency across all state agencies where available.

Program Overview

What are the capabilities of Google ASPEN projects?

  • Process Automation, such as mail merges, form submission notifications, generating templated reports, calendar event signups, and more.

  • Custom formulas / functions in Google Sheets for adding calculations that don't already exist in Google Sheets

  • Custom Web-apps for displaying, collecting, or manipulating information in a customized user interface environment

  • Replicate Add-on functionality to avoid spending money on paid add-ons / extensions or being limited by their free-tier quotas

What are the limitations of Google ASPEN projects?

  • Bound to Google Workspace: ASPEN projects live and work within Google Workspace, and cannot be built on or directly interact with outside platforms.

  • Google Apps Script Quotas: Google has set limits on Google Apps Script, and while generous, do not allow unlimited use of resources or functions.

  • Deprecated functionality: Google reserves the right to deprecate / eliminate specific functionality at any time.

How it Works

  1. Customer submits a Google ASPEN project request

    • A customer makes an ASPEN request for a custom automation/solution to be built to fulfill a team/department/agency need.

    • The customer makes a request by submitting a ticket to the OIT Service Desk and completing the ASPEN Request Form

    • A member of the Google Team will send the customer a link to the Request form if it was not included in the ticket.


  1. Feasibility Review

    • If determined to be a feasible project, the Google Team will respond to the requesting customer with information on next steps.

    • If determined not to be feasible, the Google Team will provide reasoning and potential alternatives to the requesting customer.


  1. Pre-Development

    • This includes meeting with the user to get getting detailed project scope, requirements, deadlines, etc.

    • The Google Team will create a project plan/outline and provide an estimated development timeline to the customer.


  1. Project Development

    • The Google Team will build a prototype and regularly review with the customer, collect feedback, implement changes, etc. and test all functionality.


  1. Documentation & Delivery

    • The Google Team will write up associated documentation (instructions, limitations, considerations, etc.) for the end product and deliver it to the customer for general use.

    • Customer completes a ASPEN Project Feedback Form so we can collect data about the solutions we are providing.


  1. Maintenance (ongoing)

    • On an as-needed basis, the Google Team will respond to bug/error reports from the customer and implement fixes as required.

    • The Google Team will periodically reach out to the customer to collect feedback on effectiveness, feature adjustments, etc.

Important ASPEN project considerations

  1. OIT / Google Team does not own ASPEN projects after delivery

    • We build them and provide basic support. Because this is a free service, we do not have the resources to dedicate to providing dedicated support to each project. It is up to the customer to maintain & train their team / successor on use of the end product once it is delivered.

    • We are not obligated to fix/replace functionality that Google deprecates in the future.

  2. Business Continuity / Staff Contingency Plans

    • In the event that a solution can no longer complete the initial function (due to deprecation or some other issue), it is important that the customer has plans for business continuity so their team/department can continue to operate in the absence of the solution

    • This also applies to staff turnover. Customers and their teams should have plans in place to make sure someone is trained and knows how to use/update a solution when or if the initial contact for the ASPEN project leaves the State.

Testimonials

Vaccine Provider Automation for CDPHE

Completed in December 2021


Solution Categories:

Process automation, data cleaning / refactoring, and report generation

"The automated process Jason built for updating the vaccine wayfinding tools on the COVID-19 website has saved the Joint Information Center many hours of weekly work. Before we used this script, we were manually matching provider names with vaccine inventory information from our source data, which was a very time-consuming process. Jason was incredibly responsive to our specific needs and made it easy to implement his solution within the tools and processes we were already using. Now, we can update this information in minutes, which has made it much easier for us to provide accurate and up-to-date information about where Coloradans can get vaccinated against COVID-19."

- Sasha G., CDPHE COVID-19 Response Team

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