IT Round-Up & Review

Given there has been some discussion recently about the IT and communications capability and strategy I thought it would be useful to look back at the Facebook Poll we did in May 2017, the results review in August 2017,  and compare with where we are approximately 12 months later. In my company our management are fond of the “You said, We Did” sort of feedback, so I’ll use that format, and include as many links to information, videos and How-Tos as I can, but also will indicate what the next steps are to make those requirements into outcomes.

The following table is by vote tally descending importance. So, without further ado….

You said… We Did… Next Steps & Links
Events Calendar This capability comes with Office365, everyone gets their own calendar, and Groups/Teams get a shared calendar, and the District Calendar is available to share events to, and display on the website

However this requires you to activate your office365 account, and, if necessary set up mail forwarding to your personal account. If you send a meeting invite to a group, recipients get the invite in their email, which they can accept, decline or decline with menaces.

Shared Calendar (websitecal@)

Shared Calendar

Your MKScouts/Office365 Calendar:
Office365 Calendar, requires login


Event Booking for District Events This facility has been available for much of 2018, and has been used extensively by the Explorers for bookings onto their events. Other District bodies can request online booking for their events, just need as much information as possible to make it happen.
Training Course Calendar and Confirmation The capability was put into the store using the 2018 Training Calendar. IT never firmed up the process with the local & District Training Manager, this is on the cards for the 2019 calendar when it’s released.
Address Book This capability is included as part of Office365, however GDPR and reaction to sharing of personal email addresses has resulted in a revisiting how this works. Encourage all adults, and young leaders to use their Office365 account for emails.
Sectional News We’ve made it easier for sections, and section heads to submit news directly to the website.

We’ve also made it easier for audiences to fine news related to their sections.

We’ve also introduced Section based newsletter variants, so recipients can receive news targetted towards their interests.

Submit News:

Submit News Post


Location of Groups We re-engineered the Group lookup using a plugin that uses Google Maps API to post code search
Document Store This storage facility comes with Office365. Each user has upto 1TB of storage available to them.

You can also store and share documents in Teams when you are working with others on a project, or part of a team.

Joining Forms The Waiting List has had lots of time invested in it to make it support groups filling spaces. No group should have local lists if at all possible, as this skews the process, and means we’re not able to provide accurate figures to Regional Development who’re supporting Milton Keynes growth plan.


Waiting List Form:

Waiting List checker:

Waiting List FAQ:

Online Quarries Bookings Bookings transferred online earlier this year. 2019 Bookings have been changed slightly and hopefully made more intuitive.
Newsletter Store The new newsletter software has an archive facility included, so all newsletters sent using the new software will be available to view. Encourage members to sign up for the newsletters.
Times of sections meet per groups This has been long grassed, however if Groups want their times added to locations on the find-us page, we’re happy to make that amendment for them  
Collaborative Functions ie FB Style This is available in Microsoft Teams Encourage adoption of teams through face-to-face and webinar sessions.
Messaging Office365 has a number of communications platforms, including Yammer, Teams, and traditional email.
These are underpinned by Office365 Groups, whch are collections of people with a common purpose.
Who’s Who Office365 includes this as part of it’s organisational capabilities, however we also need to include that within the website. Update the Global Directory with latest role information from Compass.

Update website with organisational charts reflecting the new district structure.

Online NAN Submission This has been in place since earlier 2018 Work with the DNAA to retire any use of the Word document version of NAN submissions to use the online form only.
Online Badge Ordering The capability has been implemented. Work with the Treasurer and Badge Secretaries to adopt the online ordering system

Implement postage & packing rates

Minute Store See Document Store above.

District AGM Minutes are available on the District Website.

District Minutes page to be found and re-introduced into the menu hierarchy
Competition Winners listing for Trophies These can be submitted as news items Hall of Fame to be created
Quarries Website This has been integrated into the District WordPress network Activate the 2019 bookings

Update the photos across the website

Embed the new Quarries Video

Photo Store We have a Media Archive Team, but also we’ve been exploring Stream from Microsoft Office365, which is like an Internal YouTube, there is no external sharing at the moment. Useful for large scale storage of photos and videos.  
County Events Information We can include county Events information in our calendar. Establish process with County Office
Resource Centre Opening times   Add page on main website with Resource centre opening times, enable Rosie to edit that page for variances
Online Uniform Ordering Capability has been implemented Establish shipping charges for delivery of uniform purchased through Resource Centre.
FAQ FAQ capability has been added to the website, several FAQs now exist for Office365, Waiting List, others to follow
Gang Show Info Gang Show website has been brought into the MkScouts Network, Jason has been working on a redesign. Add 2018 ticket ordering.
Classified Ads Not currently in scope  
MK Scout Radio Page MK Scout Radio is currently on hiatus, no further development in scope at this time.  
Adult Support Questions Adult Support is one of the areas that needs concerted effort from District, watch this space, as that outcome will drive the Adult Support area.  
National and International opportunities International now have their own subsite on the MKScouts website Network Support the International Team in creating their web presence
Capitation Levels Not currently in scope for the IT Team  

And other stuff not on the list

Extras Status Next Steps
Online NAP Application/Renewals This is currently in testing (link) Work with the DNAA to retire any use of the Word document version of NAP submissions to use the online form only.
Upgrade the Wifi and Internet access at The Quarries Currently under dicsussion  
Migrate Website from current host to Azure Migration tested Planned for November after Gang Show
Young Leaders Office365 accounts In Progress Finalising the Acceptable usage policy and training requirements.
Group Mail Domain hosting The Saints

Gang Show

Define service offering & agreement.
Group Website hosting in the MKScouts network Great Linford Define service offering & agreement, and work with groups who want to use this service.
Websites Rebranded with new theme Underway  
Restructured the main website into persona based menu    
GDPR Compliance efforts    

As much as we are on our own digital transformation journey The Scouts (Association) are also  on a digital transformation journey, as well as  County evolving too, for example with the website re-vamp. The change is happening throughout the movement.

Through a Facebook Group (Link) we’re sharing our digital journey with other scout districts, counties and groups, and they are sharing theirs with us. Our engagement with others has helped one group get a refund from Microsoft, of £1500.

Our online NAN template has being shared and is being used as the basis for other online NAN forms, our waiting list integration process has been replicated across several groups and districts around the UK.

A lot of this we’re learning and developing as we go, and writing processes and instructions for those who use the services we develop. We don’t always get it right first time, but the idea is continual improvement.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing some more diagrams on the communication flows, and how to access them, more links to How-To’s, and some information in IT Surgery drop-ins with the local Manors, and a programme for digital champions within those Manors.

We’re doing our best, but realising that best is a constantly moving target, a never-ending journey, as new products and services become available, or the evolution of existing products gives us more capability to support those who support our young people.


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