Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.
I just happened to see the announcement banner in Scoutbook that reads
The Scoutbook calendar is migrating to Internet Advancement and will no longer be available after November 2023. You may log in to Internet Advancement to try the latest calendar feature.
Excuse me, but what?!
Has no one considered the user havoc you’re about to incite? Our Pack just got our new parents on board with the existing Scoutbook calendar, and now we are going to have to redirect them to this altogether similar but definitely different calendar system?
A few things that Scout BSA needs to learn about change management in software:
You need to give ample time for users to prepare for changes to systems they use every day. One month is not sufficient. For example, Google gave Analytics users 2 years to prepare for a transition. Atlassian gave 3 years notice for their server customers before deprecating that product. You can’t expect behavior change to happen this quickly.
Our program calendar really just got started. Den Leaders have just entered their den meetings, and parents are just getting calendars synced and used to Scoutbook. Why would you not make this change AFTER a school year (June/July/August)?
Why is Scoutbook not the one-stop app for families and parents? I get the idea that leaders may have to work across different platforms, but why make our parents work in Internet Advancement for a calendar function?!
Changes should come with value added for the user. So far, all I can tell is now I have a new calendar to manage on a domain I never used before. And the calendars there are only may be working with the same functionality as the current Scoutbook calendar (which is not awesome, but it was the devil we knew)?
Where is the transition support, documentation, training, walk-through? If I didn’t already know about Discussion forums, how could I learn about all this? What’s changing, what isn’t, what to expect, etc.? That should have been a MVP feature of this transition before it was ever announced.
#SorryNotSorry for the rant, but I evangelize Scouting all the time to parents, including Scoutbook and recent moves to make the org more innovation and tech-friendly, but you’ve just made my life harder. And I still don’t understand why.
After weeks of replies, this thread got closed before I could post this, so I offer the only “solution” I could figure out to this scenario.
Say the following out loud:
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
May you each find your own version of BSA IT Serenity.
I’d like to second the OP’s comments. Why are we moving functionality AWAY from ScoutBook? We already have a hard enough time getting Parents and Leaders to use ScoutBook, now we have to get them to use IA also?
I would have loved to see some man power go into integrating the IA Activity logs into ScoutBook. But instead we are going the opposite direction.
Also there is no talk about attendance? I use the Troop meeting events in the SB Calendar to take attendance, is this still going to be possible after the SB Calendar shutoff?
I’m good with change, and I’m even OK with the timing, but the frustrations come because there is a lot of unknowns not being communicated. Please build ONE platform, not divide them even further.
@Stephen_Hornak You realize what you just said has no relevance to the actual experience of scouts and scouting families, right?
If the back end has to change, the back end has to change. But someone has to own the user experience, manage this digital product, and consider what’s the best communication strategy. There are many good ways to manage change, but this is not what qualifies as one of them.
And that is perfectly fine and acceptable. However you cant frustrate your userbase in the process. “ScoutBook 2.0” would be great! But build it, THEN convert. Or convert functionality as EQUAL or BETTER, not REDUCED.
Again I’m all for the change, and to build it on a updated platform, all the better. It just needs communicated and executed with the “Reluctant” end user in mind. Facebook, Amazon, Walmart, etc are all not on the same platform in which they began, you don’t see them uprooting there userbase to make their changes.
Sorry this isn’t a cost issue… this is a communication and execution issue. Do we need developers? Is there a call out for volunteer help? Is there a Pre-production Testing Group? I would be happy to promote it.
Thank you for listening and for what the current developers are doing!
Are you saying that Scoutbook is going away and everything will be in Internet Advancement? I am confused by this new calendar because I have a B&G linked troop and a crew and I have been able to put all the events in for 3 units if we are doing something all together - is that not going to be available any more?
Also, I don’t understand how the reminders work for events - is there a users guide?
What I am understanding, there will be a slow progression to IA, but for now, keep doing what you’re doing. As far as the calendar is concerned, most posts so far have stated the calendars are talking with each other. Keep updating your events as you are, but start using IA Calendar to make new events. The IA calendar will show up in ScoutBook, when the ScoutBook calendar is disabled in the coming weeks.
I am not in a position of knowledge though, this is just what I understand it to be so far.
@WilliamBruce the main point SUAC pushed was to get more BETAs for the calendar by pushing it out - there have been about 15 units using it as an Alpha - but they had SB to fall back on - so some obvious stuff was missed and some stuff that are odd one-off cases, that is the fun of a new platform. This new Calendar (in theory) can do so much more than the old one it will be a huge help. Just the Log integration will be great for units.
Hi all, I agree with the initial sentiment here. As a professional webdev we are constantly told that we can’t retire the old platform without reaching feature parity on the new one. IA calendar is getting there, but it looks like an MVP. Switching over too early is going to cause a lot of unneeded pain for all of us.
@DonovanMcNeil Thank you for chiming in. You’ve always been helpful in the past.
Can you help me understand #4 from my original post? What are the feature enhancements we’re supposed to expect with this transition? How was this transition planning documented? Is it visible to leaders?
Lastly, I want to ask about your statement re: donations for developers.
Help me understand the digital landscape for BSA. I presume the Scoutbook Advisory Council are volunteers, but certainly BSA is paying developers and product teams, right? Most of what I have issue with wouldn’t be owned by developers, but certainly a product manager. Does BSA not have a staffed Product Manager for Scoutbook, Internet Advancement, and/or my.scouting.org?
Hopefully this doesn’t go as well as moving the tracking of camping, service hours, and hiking to Internet advancement. I still have more errors and problems with IA than I ever did on scoutbook. Its funny how the program ran better with independent developers than a nationwide company.
Totally agree with the OP! I’m fully supportive of new technology, but giving us such little time to migrate is totally absurd.
Why not make it the end of this year so we have time to:
Learn how to navigate the new calendar (events on ours have no titles, just a time and I see no way to create a new event ??)
Communicate the change to families
Work with our Leaders to learn the new calendar
I appreciate the work of those involved in this project, but the transition needs to be handled differently and with more regard for all the users out there that are used to using the Scoutbook calendar.