Introducing the Commissioner IT Toolbox
With the introduction of MyScouting Tools, all volunteers and professionals now have access to a new set of resources based upon their position in Scouting. For volunteers, these tools provide critical information they did not previously have access to unless they requested it from their council office.
One of these tools is the Unit Visit Tracking System (UTVS), a tool for those in commissioner service to record and review information about their contact with the units they serve.
Since September, a team of volunteers and professionals, including unit commissioners, administrative commissioners, members of the national commissioner support staff, and advisors, has been working to provide commissioner-specific input to the development manager and business analysts working on MyScouting Tools. The team has taken all of the suggestions received since the launch of UTVS, along with suggestions of other information that commissioners need to service their units, and has begun to create a new tool called the Commissioner IT Toolbox.
The Commissioner IT Toolbox will allow commissioners to record their contacts (visits) and other pertinent information about the units assigned to them. In addition, the system will allow one commissioner to help another commissioner enter contact information. This functionality will also allow for the entry of data on behalf of commissioners who may not be as comfortable with technology or who do not have ready access to a computer or other device for data input.
While the contacts will still be used for the Journey to Excellence, the main purpose of the tool is for commissioners to better serve their units by identifying and linking to the resources of the district and council to meet the specific needs of each unit.
Another key advantage to the toolbox is the updated unit assessment, which will replace the current Quality Indicators in the UVTS system. In making this change, the team has tried to eliminate forms and steps and provide simple and unified tools to support commissioners. Commissioners can make reports on their units using these new unit assessment items, which relate largely to the unit’s health and the Journey to Excellence criteria.
The initial release of this new tool will include commissioner information and unit information available to commissioners depending on their role. The tool uses something called “natural context” to determine what information is available for each user, and the user‘s Scouting position determines the “natural context.” Training information about unit leaders will be at the commissioners’ fingertips, as will a host of other information about the unit and district. The team is also building in information about the contacts in the districts, so commissioners will have it to refer to when their unit needs some additional help. Eventually, users will have the ability to send a message to unit contacts or commissioner contacts from within the toolbox.
The Commissioner IT Toolbox will be available with initial functionality sometime in the first quarter of 2014. Because this toolbox is being built simultaneously with many of the other areas of Scouting (Membership, Advancement, Program, etc.), new functions will be added as these other areas are completed. Updates will be sent as these enhancements become available.
A new page will be added to the Commissioners website titled The Commissioner IT Toolbox. Watch this page for the latest updates on the toolbox.