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Scoutbook roadmap

Is there a Scoutbook roadmap anywhere? I am encouraging a unit to start migrating from a different product into Scoutbook.

The product does several things that Scoutbook either doesn’t do at all or not good enough. For each of these, I need to help the unit decide between:

  • Find a different product to help with the need
  • Delay migration to Scoutbook, in anticipation of the feature being added to or improved (I know not to interpret a date on a roadmap as an “absolutely will be ready by” date :grin:)

All I could find is http://itroadmap.scouting.org/, which is obsolete.

As far as I’ve been able to find, there is no current published IT roadmap relating to Scoutbook/IA2. I understand from multiple previous posts from members of the SUAC that it is not the BSA’s intent to publish such plans, Many people have argued for at least a sufficiently detailed top-level plan that gives the volunteers a way to plan for what’s coming. I’ve also heard the argument that commercial software vendors don’t offer this type of roadmap either, although I see that as a shared bug rather than a feature.


As Charley said, the BSA does has not released a roadmap for Scoutbook and I have not heard any plans to do so. If you tell us where you see deficiencies, I can tell you if the item is in the backlog, however, I do not know planned development dates for anything in the backlog.

I agree that commercial vendors generally do not publish this. The exceptions I am aware of, like Atlassian, are commendable but are on defense quite a bit when their plans inevitably change. That’s a lot of effort wasted just on managing perceptions.

My idealist side wishes that since we are a nonprofit with committed volunteers, that we could somehow have an open conversation. But I know reality is complex!

I’ll let you know if we have some features we’d like more insight on.

To be honest, I’m not sure how much more wasted effort there would be given the number of times SUAC has to say the same thing is in the backlog, as well as a lot of “managing of perception” on what Scoutbook/IA2 is and isn’t meant to be. Even if there were a public list of things in the backlog that others could point folks to, I suspect it could help lighten the load on these volunteers. Right now, the SUAC is the only interface to what is and isn’t in the backlog.

I realize that a lot of time will be spent saying “Have you looked at the backlog thread?”, in the same way that there are frequent pointers to the help documents at help.scoutbook.com, but it seems like something we haven’t tried yet. And fortunately all of the rotten veg that could be thrown at the collective volunteers is electronic. ;^)

I would love to see the prioritized backlog. I’d recommend not providing ETDs for anything except the very highest priority or the most firmly committed issues. Otherwise, the only thing the list promises is, at the moment you saw it, that it reflects relative priority. But even with that reduced level of promise, you’ll still be dealing with perception management! E.g., “why is this stupid security feature more important than WYSIWYG editor on email!?!”

A few years ago, the did provide a more general, broad brush, roadmap of IT. That would be better tha nothing. There are some key improvements that would make for a huge reduction in paperwork (transfers for example). The “blackbox” approach doesn’t help with relationships. National needs to understand that transparency isn’t a weakness, that it is ok to open up.

It’s been many years, but vendors I worked with in my jobs usually had some sort of high level descriptions of where their products were going. Some might have been under an NDA.

I would settle for a picture of the actual and proposed architecture. Seems like I read that Scoutbook is being replaced by a new product currently under development, which could explain some of the backlog for Scoutbook. The only thing I know about Akela is that it is a ‘person’ database, perhaps the one used by Scoutbook. Does Scoutbook Lite still exist in any form? One can read between the lines of the hundreds of forum posts, but it takes a lot of effort.

I’m not going to hold national IT to any dates. As under-resourced as they are, the dates would be unattainable.

You and I get it. I am more concerned about those with unrealistic expectations of software development in general. It’s hard and difficult to predict.

While I again hope there is a way we could find transparency, I am concerned about precious IT staff getting lost in a morass of managing expectations.

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Scoutbook Lite was the name of the product that became Internet Advancement 2.0.

Akela is the database where the BSA stores all of the personal information such as name, DOB, BSA Member ID, etc… A nightly process brings changes in Akela into Scoutbook.

@edavignon is there an effort to replace the classic ASP behind Scoutbook with .NET or something more modern? I thought I remember that, but uncertain. I also thought I heard there was a plan to gradually merge Scoutbook and my.scouting.org together?

The current Scoutbook stack will be replaced over time by the Internet Advancement stack. This is why the activity logs were moved from Scoutbook to Internet Advancement. Both Scoutbook and Internet Advancement run on the same database.

I know of no plan to merge Scoutbook and my.scouting.org.

Does this mean the UI layer and business logic/data layer(s) are being abstracted? Or the whole app is being shifted over to something entirely new?

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