As a part of our pre-deployment test program, the Stonewall Jackson Area Council was chosen to “go live” with Commissioner Tools first and by itself. The reasoning behind this testing approach was to give the council the opportunity to help us uncover any software errors or logic errors that our nearly 70 user acceptance testers and the members of the focus group may have missed—and indeed, as Ray Ezell writes in “District Commissioner Reports on Commissioner Tools,” they found a few items that fell into both categories.
As the next part of our pre-deployment testing process, three more councils were scheduled to go live in September: Crossroads of America, Los Padres, and Theodore Roosevelt. An additional six pilot councils were slated to go live on Oct. 1: Atlanta Area, Capitol Area, Chester County, Cradle of Liberty, Great Salt Lake, and Greater Niagara Frontier councils. This is all a part of the test program that we have designed to make sure that when Commissioner Tools is deployed in your council, the users will have the best experience possible.
Commissioner Tools will be made available on the first of each month starting Nov. 1, based upon a local readiness decision made by your council commissioner and Scout executive. The Acceptance Protocols for Adoption of Commissioner Tools form needs to be submitted by each council before going live.
Two significant differences between UVTS and Commissioner Tools are: 1) Commissioner Tools not only collects data but also uses commissioner entered data and data taken from other BSA sources to provide relevant and timely information to commissioners, which is intended to help them conduct analysis and better serve their units, and 2) Commissioner Tools easily allows commissioners who are not as comfortable with technology to use offline methods (i.e., preprinted forms) that other individuals can enter in the system on their behalf.
On behalf of all the Commissioner Tools focus group members, user acceptance testers, and the BSA Information Development Group, thank you very much to Ray Ezell and the Stonewall Jackson Area Council for working with us to bring this important tool to you.