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.
Good afternoon! Being an IT professional and Scout Leader myself, I thought I would ask to see if it would be possible for the Scoutbook product development team to post their roadmap for new feature development? Having a place to view upcoming feature developments, could potentially help the Scoutbook development team by reducing the number of redundant new feature requests and aid in promoting transparency to the primary users of the Scoutbook product. This could be as simple as having a pinned forum post with the upcoming plans for the year/quarter/whatever time frame your development team prefers -or- could be a link to a view only version of whatever system your team uses for planning (i.e. Trello, JIRA, MS Teams Planning board, Google Dev Tools, etc).
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!
I know I’ve advocated for this in the past @TimothyFry (as far back as when the forums were still hosted directly in the Scoutbook platform rather than in Discourse), but the BSA keeps shooting the idea down. I’d still like it, but after years of advocating for it with only closed doors, I doubt the BSA will ever change its mind.
Although your council will likely say they don’t know, you can ask them to push the question up the chain to national. The SUAC folks couldn’t discuss it, even if they did hypothetically know, based on NDAs.
The Technology Commissioner has been able to give roadmaps in the past. Most of that was around Scoutnet retirement. There is also the current notion that steadily, Scoutbook is basically getting subsumed into Internet Advancement as the IA functionality is enhanced and corresponding Scoutbook functionality dropped.
I could not agree more, this is a standard piece of information presented by many companies in the current market/world. I believe this would help us all greatly. The below is a quick summary of my thoughts from this post related to other issues (Den Leader Exp.)
I received the same response “Contact your council”.
No official announcements of DLE going away
No Roadmap to help us understand the future vision and ecosystem
Seems to be getting more de-centralized
Dissatisfied user base
It seems that there is assumption that it is going away.
The feature is prominently displayed and promoted on the landing page for Scoutbook.
Councils promote the use of Scoutbook and DLE.
Uncertainty creates a poor user adoption
Reduces confidence in the use of the tools by instilling doubt in the user group of stability.
Creates reluctance for leaders to drive our packs / troops to use these tools
Eventually drives us away from the ecosystem provided by the BSA to paid tools where we have stability, better functionality, and visibility to the future.
Create a road map
a. Why hide the future
b. Most companies are moving to public facing roadmaps as it is proven to help system adoption
c. It is understood that Roadmaps will change
d. Creates vision and reduces unknown anxiety for the user base
e. Addresses many forum topics
f. Clear path of when systems will be retired
a. Focus on User Experience
b. KISS principle - Keep it Simple… for all users
a. I think the forum is good
b. Is there a panel of actual users of the systems? If so how do you become involved?
c. Add in the feature request section a Voting option where users can vote for specific features to help identify the priority.
Respectfully to the User Advisory Board, the “Talk to your council” response is not helpful and comes across somewhat as a “We don’t care” attitude.
Most individuals may not know who to talk to in their council. The forums should be a place for us to bring to the table issues, concerns, needs, etc. and the forum administration should be taking those up the ladder and so forth. In my line of business (Software Design, Implementation, and Delivery) I have gained a lot of experience with forums, communities, and process improvement. I can tell you that this process needs improvement. The User Advisory Board should have a Path to IT, perhaps the top level of IT to share the concerns that come up. Visibility would help resolve many questions I am sure, thus making your lives easier.
For all those that are wondering I sent my concerns to the CEO of my council who will move the concerns up the chain.
Look up your council leaders and start sending them concerns. Don’t stop at the “Contact your council” bit like many probably do, let your voices be heard.
Maybe they should? But the forums, and their ground rules, are set by national. The Scoutbook User Advisory Council helps how, and with the ground rules, that national puts on them. They have no other option but to comply.
They care very much. Their hands are tied and the “frontal to your council” is the service mode that they have been instructed, and required, to follow.
From having been a reader of these forums from back when they covered every and all topics, I can easily say that my perception is that National does not want to be bothered by what is discussed here. They want a wall between the users and those working at National.
That would make their job easier and will allow them to go the direction they wish to go.
Some of my evidence:
Knowing someone on the National STEM Committee who was directed to not speak to anyone on the matter when that committee was killed.
Being on a conference call that included the second in command of the STEM office who said that the reason they were not going to add knots for the scout awards of Supernova and NOA was that they would not add any more knots and wanted to cut down on the number of knots. Of course, since then they have added knots for adults. But not kids.
When I asked why the quarterly National Adv Comm publication did not include information on awards (along with ranks) I was told “talk to your Council”. Subsequently they have added some info on awards. I kind of doubt I had anything to do with it.
National ported the STEM program to Councils, but still has veto over the award patches. (it’s a longer story).
The change of these forums from a general source of information to just being for tech. With the excuse being that what was previously discussed could be answered by “Ask your Council”.
All the surveys that ask for our input on topics that are then brought out as decided when we can tell that the survey was simply a way of bringing up the topic.
“Ask your Council” seems to be the answer for everything they don’t want to discuss with or have input from the end user.
Some of us are old, and have experience, and have seen the same thing too many times in too many areas.
My shorter reply would have been – Good luck with that. But you could ask your Council about it.