Scouts Australia through the Digital Transformation Sub-Committee have been tasked with the development, co-ordination and then implementation monitoring of an overarching digital transformation strategy for Scouts Australia consistent with the Scouts Australia Strategic Plan and associated budgetary constraints.
The purpose of the Scouts Australia digital transformation is to provide a consistent, quality, lower cost outcome than could be achieved individually by each Branch, with support from National.
Recently the future state document was approved through the National Executive Committee. It seeks to describe what the digital environment will look like within Scouting in Australia in 2030. This will be a useful tool for discussion across the breadth of Australia providing some certainty about where we are heading, perhaps spurring interest in getting involved in the change, providing a framework on which a string of specific initiatives can be developed in alignment with the Scouts Australia future digital state and providing a general understanding of what is to come.
It recognizes the accountabilities and responsibilities of each Branch as incorporated entities whilst also recognizing that genuine collaboration between the Branches will result in common or shared outcomes delivering outcomes of higher standards at a lower cost.
The elements of this future state are:
- Each Branch meeting its membership and related membership data accountabilities through membership systems that are converging to a smaller number of agreed alternatives, underpinned by common data definitions and key performance indicators, providing:
- digital entry screens for all new Members;
- parent portal access to manage basic family contact data;
- tight Branch integration to other systems that draw on membership data;
- provision of near real time membership data to Scouts Australia to enable the use of Scouts Australia hosted systems including eLearning, personal progression etc;
- referral of enquires to the appropriate Branch irrespective of the geographic source of the enquiry;
- advanced arrangements for “blocking” undesirable persons from access to sensitive information, from membership and from information about events;
- A single Australian platform comprised of seamless integration of a number of specific purpose commercially available “micro” systems including CareMonkey, Xero, Event Registration, Personal Progression Tracker and specific Scout owned software including eLearning;
- A virtual single digital system support desk that allows issues to allocated between Branches and National depending on where resolution of an issue needs to take place:
- Common document / information access methodology used within each Branch and used to access other Branch and Scouts Australia document/information providing search capability and document access from any location into any linked storage system;
- A digital library of hikes and expeditions showing start point, waypoints and end point, expected travel time for foot, bicycle, canoe/Kayak, horse-back travel with a booking system, tracking of hike progress to nominated supervisors and parents and linked to personal progression tracker;
- Integrated administrative approaches for digital systems that provide a single entry point to manage and automate the necessary accesses to the tightly integrated platform;
- An agreed library of electronic forms and workflow to initiate and track routine approvals including Scouting event approvals, Scout structure change approvals, Member peak and recognition award nominations, Scout formation building works, and Member resignation, suspension and terminations;
- Consistent financial packages in place within each Branch enabling consolidated Formation through to Branch financial reporting that is expected to be mandated within this timeframe. It is certainly preferred that a common digital system across Branches can be used, using a common Chart of Accounts which can be linked to a form of eLearning perhaps provided by the vendor;
- Every Scout hall / den has unlimited WIFI access allowing the instant updating of personal progression, accessing standardized document and information repositories that are used for formation record keeping, as well as Branch and Scouts Australia documents and information repositories and the internet more broadly for research;
- Every Adult Member has a Scout supplied email address, access to a standardized shared email account that provides historical email archiving for a Section or for a Formation function, and access through the email address directory to locate any other Adult Member within the Branch or interstate specifically for Scout business;
- A Standard business services agreement is in place between Scouts Australia and each Branch covering data accountabilities, the provision of data, agreed uses of data and the availability and the capacity of digital systems;
- Publicly accessible Scout internet sites and social media sites have a common look and feel – for others to determine;
- The location of every Scout hall/den, activity centre and campsite is mapped digitally to enable the location to be determined through smart phone searches and enabling demographic and electorate type analysis;
- Common major event management systems used across all Branches and for National and International events, linked in near real time to Branch provided membership data and with common log-on arrangements for each event and pushing data back to Branch membership systems on events attended from a Member perspective;
- Adult Member portal that allows any Adult Member to view their training to date, the required training to complete Basic, Advanced or any other training related goal, nominate for training courses either delivered face-to-face or through an electronic medium, record their assessments and qualifications;
- Consistent arrangements for parents to access and view their child’s progress within Scouting, to print artefacts relating to that progress and to ask general or specific questions about future progress;