Hi, and welcome to The Scout Association’s Digital Blog. We, the Digital Team, created this blog to keep you informed and involved in all the digital things that are happening across Scouting. We hope that you find the content on here useful, interesting, and, even, fun. To kick off the blog, I’ll fill you in on what’s been happening over the last few months – this first post *is* a little long, but in future, we’ll keep them shorter. Please do sign up to follow our posts.
Back in June, I joined The Scout Association from Transport for London with an outsider’s understanding of the Movement (and its many complexities). My first few months have been busy. To better understand how Scouting works now, I’ve been meeting and listening to people. What I’ve found are truly passionate people who love Scouting, have deep knowledge and understanding of how to conduct Scouting, and are proud of the benefits that it brings to young people.
At the same time, I have been gathering information on our systems and technology. I have been surprised by the complex set of practices and processes for how we operate, and an even more complex technology estate that underpins this.
We need to look at how we can simplify some of these practices and processes to make Scouting simpler and easier to deliver. And how we can create the tools to make this happen.
To support this important work, I have also been busy building a new team with specialist digital and technical knowledge. Our work will align with the organisation’s new 2018 to 2023 plan which, through consultations, has been shaped by the Movement. If you haven’t yet read the draft plan, I think this sums it up nicely:
‘This new strategy is for an ambitious and determined Movement. It is a strategy that supports and empowers our volunteers. It is a strategy that shows our clear intention to contribute to a better society. But most of all it is a strategy for young people. They deserve the best skills, the best support and in short, the best possible start in life.’
Once the plan has been approved by the Board, we‘ll look at what we need to do to support the plan and become a digital organisation. This is critical to the future success of Scouting. As mentioned, this work will involve reviewing some of our practices and processes so we can become a better organisation and respond more effectively to your needs. We’ll always ensure that we put members, young people and volunteers at the centre of our work.
Our first goal will be to identify the priorities for the next three years and, from there, build a digital plan that explains what we will deliver and when. There are also urgent priorities that we’ll work on immediately. In early 2018, we’ll start building a new website that will be the platform for future digital services for the Movement. We have also been continuing discussions with Online Scout Manager (OSM) to see how we can potentially work together, with a one-day workshop planned for early December.
To deliver new products and services that meet your needs, we’ll be actively seeking your involvement. You might give us comments on one of these blog posts, or invite us along to meet you and your team, or participate in research to help us understand what you do and the support you need to deliver Scouting. We might ask you for feedback on work we are doing, or to take part in testing a service we’re building.
We’ll get out and about to meet more of you over the coming months in order to understand what’s happening at weekly Scouting meetings and how the Digital Team can help. We’ll be in Scotland in January, and will be meeting with other Groups and sections across the UK next year – I look forward to talking to as many of you as possible. We’ll also be hosting some events specifically to involve you in the work we’re doing. The first of which will be a ‘digital day’ on 14 April 2018 – we’ll communicate more about this in the next few weeks.
We want to ensure that you have the opportunity to contribute and be a part of this digital transformation work. We’re at the very beginning of our digital journey with lots to do over the next few years and it’s critical we work together because this change is for all of us to own and be a part of.
Which brings us back to this blog. Please sign up to follow our posts. We’ll be using the blog to share information about the work we’re doing, the progress we’re making and to let you know how you can get involved – we welcome your comments. Please share the blog with your fellow members so they can stay informed too. Feel free to give us feedback, ask us questions, and get involved as much as you can – it’s a very exciting time for Scouting! Also, we promise future posts won’t be this long 😉
Please leave a comment – we would love to get the conversation going here.