Like the rest of the Digital team, I’d like to express my thanks to everyone who showed an interest in the Digital Day, and especially to those who attended the event.
Digital Day workshops
Together with Malcolm McKee and David Kitchen, both District Commissioners and members of the Digital Advisory Group, we ran several workshops at the Digital Day focusing on ‘Tackling Technology Together’. We thought about the three main themes of the Digital Strategy but quickly decided to focus on ‘Getting the Basics Right’, since there’s so much to talk about on that theme alone.
Both workshops featured robust, passionate discussions, which I think we all enjoyed! We weren’t just there for fun, though, we wanted to come out with some concrete proposals from attendees on two questions: what should we fix first? and how can we work together?
What should we fix first?
We asked participants what they considered to be the most pressing problems in Scouts technology and to rank them by priority. After considerable debate, the results that emerged were:
- Single sign-on
- Joining and leaving processes
- Registering for events
- Claiming Gift Aid
- Payment methods
In addition, there were some requests for improvements in Compass functionality around broadcast communications, role-based permissions, training records, event-based reminders, scheduled reminders, custom reporting, and data quality.
What do you think we should tackle first? Please let us know in the comments section.
How can we work together?
We also spent time exploring ways of involving all members in the movement with the development of the technology they use – and we acknowledged that this had been tried before without much success. We came up with the two major influencing factors:
1. The membership know how to make IT work
Scouting is fortunate in having so many volunteers who work in IT and related businesses as their day-job. There are many successful technical systems implemented at District and Group level.
2. HQ as a support organisation
HQ should be there to support the day-to-day activities of volunteers so that they can maximise the really important work – delivering a great programme for young people.
We concluded that we should all be part of the same team: a team that supports leaders. During the discussion, we agreed:
- We’ll all foster a sense of unity in a situation that sometimes is seen as ‘us’ and ‘them’
- There’s an opportunity for technology-minded volunteers to use their expert skills to do even more for Scouting
- Systems will better suit the needs of leaders and the movement because they will be specified, built, tested, measured and improved by the membership
- We’ll get better quality software and reduce the admin burden on volunteers
- We’ll open up data, find new ways to use it, and improve its quality
Just the start
The Digital Day – and this message – are intended to start the process of us communicating and working together on technology issues at the Scouts as a Community of Interest. A strong community is vital to the success of digital at Scouts. We must work together, bring in expertise from across our movement and utilise the invaluable experience from our brilliant volunteers.
Every member is welcome to be a part of the Community of Interest, whether you attended Digital Day workshops, comment here on the Digital team blog, already run systems locally, or just want to get involved (even if you don’t have specialised skills). Many of you have already agreed to be part of this, so I’d really appreciate hearing from more of you.
In my next post I’ll be talking more about the mechanics of how we can work together.