Volunteer Development Team - New Cadet Portal


#181

Nah, don’t give them log-on details in the first place, then you know you are safe! :smiling_imp::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#182

We also seem to have squadrons that invite all squadrons to things which I ignore and you can as you say in the future if cadets see it, they could want to go. But these do seem to be the must have a member of staff there, which then opens a can of worms.
Parents might find they are expected to drive 50+ miles 4 times in a day with an 0830 turn up and 1700 finish, they don’t do it now. I used to try and sell this idea as drop them off and have a family day out, never went down well and the cadets didn’t go.

Maybe the invite all squadron events should be excluded from the things cadets get to see about, unless the squadron is intending to go.


#183

How do you know it’s just the CO? Although the CO has to be the final arbiter as to what does and does not get put out there, otherwise what is the point of having or even being the CO. Cadets can’t be allowed to drive the squadron, although that would give people a lot of nights and weekends off.
The OC will know if there are staffing problems and parents/carers can not or will not take their kids, so no point in doing it.
Something this seems to ignore is that staff have jobs and lives and have to juggle these conflicts all the time, which is why things don’t get put out there.
The thing with this is people seem to think that cadets will be all over this, which has yet to be seen. HQAC seemed to think people would love Bader, but had to force an awful lot of people to comply, with petty threats, when logging onto it was more miss than hit, so they didn’t bother.


#185

Quite possibly. Perhaps a number initially, then they will soon get bored of it. Very similar to the excitement when “brassard badge collecting” became the norm, even the younger ones (very enthusiastic at the outset) see it for what it is. It also adds a complexity to any “selection” process such as for flying; for example, do you allocate AEF places to those who have already attended a Regional Aerospace cse / PTT in order for them to gain “blue” wings, do you share out the AEF to those who haven’t been able to do so, or do a 50:50 (if you are lucky enough have that number of places)? Do you “ration” the Aerospace cse to the older cadets as this cse is a pre-requisite for Air Cadet Pilot Scheme? Shooting - the progressive syllabus takes (as predicted) much more time = less number of places available = indirectly, cadets who want to attend a known event (on the Cadet Portal) get hacked off when this isn’t possible.

Correct. I made the decision not to advertise a forthcoming wg shoot, as there was only one place available for 6-7 cadets (5 of them very newly qualified) & no local transport option. However, we have been working hard (successfully) to get a transport option for the subsequent shoot (as I’m at work :slightly_frowning_face:), so hopefully all can get a place if they want to attend. Those on high never see the myriad of details that staff have to consider / deal with before even contemplating what to add to Bader.


#186

If there’s one thing parenthood taught me , kids get bored with the latest thing faster than the speed of light or in the case of little ones the boxes are more fun, despite how much they enthuse about it. Hence cupboards full of toys and other things, that find their way to jumble sales.
I’ve seen this with SM as they’ve moved from one thing to another.


#194

Topic. Anybody?


#196

I’ve deleted anything not related to this topic.


#197

Could @james_elliott comment on the sustaining support for the Cadet Portal please?

Given initial launch will be MVP, is there a definitive roadmap that can be shared to future enhancements?

Will any ‘non-volunteer’ support function be provided nun HQAC (I am thinking along the lines of the Bader Helpdesk who are readily contactable and who provide notification of system downtime (planned and unplanned), through Bader and Twitter etc)?

Many thanks


#198

Yes, he could :grimacing::+1:

We have a fairly extensive list of additional functionality that we want to add into the release following MVP. I would rather not comment on the specifics as (1) we are still finishing MVP and we have a lot to do and (2) I don’t want to make promises on functionality that we might not be able to deliver on.

Cadet Portal is part of Bader and support tickets can be raised through the usual routes on the Bader Helpdesk - no need to over complicate things. All of the downtime/planned maintenancd etc will be part of the Bader comms mechanisms already established.


#199

Thanks very much for confirming.

I have seen a similar solution done in a different organisation and a couple of years after implementation it was unusable and the ‘full time’ staff didn’t know how to manage the application implemented by volunteers, so I am glad HQAC Bader team are fully on board .


#200

Interesting - the Bader Developers have been on board since the outset. They are actively involved in code reviews and we are using a methodology for release which means they will be the only ones that can authorise builds to the production servers. We have weekly stand up calls in the evening which the Bader Developers attend (outside of their working day) to discuss what we are doing. We are chatting almost continuously on MS Teams about the project. So, we are basically working hand in glove and we aren’t developing anything that they cannot work on themselves if my team wasn’t available for whatever reasons. And to be perfectly honest, Cadet Portal is far less complex than SMS!


#201

That’ll be me then. Sorry all.


#202

Good Evening All,

So, we have had some positive progress in the last few days.

Firstly, we have unanimously agreed that you are correct. We need to have some kind of mechanism in place where the Sqn Cdr is (1) informed of when their unit is invited to a ‘multi-Sqn event’ that has been setup by someone else through an appropriate notification and (2) is then given the option to push that event into Cadet Portal or not.

We agree that there will be times when the Sqn does not want to be involved in multi-Sqn activities for very good reasons.

However, Squadrons that consistently prevent their cadets from finding out about events will be tracked through the data and, as I said previously, that information will be made available to the Chain of Command to challenge this type of behaviour.

The above is precisely why I wanted to engage with ACC and your feedback has directly influenced the direction of travel, so thank you! I don’t specifically mention the above in the below media, because we hadn’t actually discussed it until the last day or two!

Secondly, RAFAC Media Comms have approved the release of the initial demonstration video today and I am authorised to share it with you on here and via other platforms. It is about 30 minutes long and takes you through some overview slides at the front end and then provides a demo of where the Cadet Portal MVP is as of last Thursday (and even since then, things have changed and new functionality has been added) - which I hope will give you a good idea of the look and feel and what we are doing.

I am already cringing listening to my own voice as you can imagine :wink:

My thanks to the volunteers and perm staff who helped produce the video and get it authorised - I know they are watching, they know who they are and you should all know the civil servants have bent over backwards to allow us to publish to you this evening :slight_smile:

Cadet Portal Initial Demonstration video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGhFIAvhXb4

Going forward, due to my life-changing circumstances happening in the next couple of weeks, I will be pointing people towards this video rather than providing a Skype demo. Once people have viewed the video, I am then happy to take further questions to clarify anything not covered.

Enjoy and look forward to discussing things further.

Best,

James


#203

I think that is an amazing start indeed. I particularly like the absence request which means we can remove ours from our website, and the hosting of local documentation which means we wont have to keep the website downloads section upto date either. I like the ability to show all events etc. Either way this will reduce the overall burden significantly - but only of course once they are able to update certain data such as contact details etc. I personally have no issue with them updating their own record such as rank etc - as long as its pushed to OC Sqn for approval. Far quicker to click a link in an email to approve it than to login and update manually. Well Done all of you its great!

I have shared this directly with all our cadets so if we get any feedback on the video from them I will email it directly to you.


#204

Two wee thoughts that spring to mind:

Presumably there isn’t any filtering on events shown (eg if L98 shooting comes up, I can’t select O14 only)? (Please note that’s not a whinge, I appreciate it’s probably a tricky thing to set up!)

Also, does an event need approval to show? I’m thinking that it would be useful to create “internal” events such that cadets can use the same system to sign up to all events (ie for things that don’t require external approval, or activities such as flying that are external but where we wouldn’t normally set up an SMS event)


#206

Just deleted my essay. Can’t be bothered with the inevitable backlash!

A few bullets instead.

  1. If cadets edit stuff then it must be staff approved.

  2. Showing all badges and quals will lead to LOTS of parent nagging. I.e. why hasn’t my cadet got their parachute or PPL yet! Nothing worse than pushy parents who have zero facts.

  3. How will you prevent a non elligable cadet signing up to an event? What if they turn up thinking that because they signed up on portal they have a place. What if parents then drive off leaving them at the guard house etc… thinking their child is on an Activity because they signed up…

  4. Test with 6 weak Sqns not 6 strong.
    You will get more realistic results.

  5. If cadets login with their CIN, what stops OCs from simply never giving cadets their CIN?
    I wouldn’t but I know some who would!


#207

Or OCs just controlling their account; of course that never happens in reality


#208

Integrity?


#209

Having the ability to put prerequisites onto activity applications in SMS (age, qualification etc.) has been removed from the activities module plan for the time being but should be introduced at a later phase.

I think that would be stupid, especially where some wings will be looking for a list of attendees before approving anything. Perhaps activities would need to operate on a “concept approval” and a “final go-ahead” basis to allow time for squadrons to actually populate the damn things. The entire process is being reviewed by a working group just now anyway!

You probably ought to be raising an activity for flying and similar activities, even if they are mandated by wing. Come to think of it, perhaps wing or the VGS/AEF should be doing it :wink:
You will need to eventually if you want to claim VA for the trip.


#210

I think everyone agrees with this point, including the VDT, although this isn’t a feature that will be part of the MVP that is going to be view only.

The icon tips should help explain what is necessary, but nagging parents / cadets would highlight to me that they want to do these activities. @james_elliott can the PTS Guide be added as a standard available file?

There was talk of configuring requirements so that L98 Shoots would only be visible to those over 14 and have previously passed a WHT - this would be set by the Host Unit, although I believe there was some debate about this amongst the VDT and won’t be part of MVP. How do you stop cadets thinking they have a place at the moment just by putting their name on the paper list at the Sqn? This isn’t going to be a new problem.

There’ll also only ever be First Class cadets as they need their CIN for UltiLearn… will no doubt be incorporated as part of the 3822 replacement. This can also be tracked by seeing Sqn’s with no Cadet Portal Logins and don’t forget cadets talk, and will want to compare their cadet portal dashboard…