May 5, 2017 Update From Peter

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by: Peter Tung, IT Project Manager, Encore SVP Fellow

We are making solid progress on Web UX Visual Design & Data Migration despite the OMBU Staffing transition this week.

Major Status Update:

  • The new OMBU Program Manager, Henry Leineweber, to support our project, was officially on board this week. He is getting up to speed on our project while an experienced PM, Danielle Kulczyk, at OMBU, is helping out the transition. We are working closely with OMBU to minimize the potential negative impacts caused by this transition.
  • Visual Design: Sarah collected and provided final sprint 7 & sprint 8 wireframe feedback to OMBU this week per plan. This implies both sprint 7 & 8 are complete.  Also, we had a face to face meeting for UX sprint 9 collaborative session this week. We collaborated and defined elements and layout for the education landing page, and the who we are page, to better reflect Mazamas’ need and seed OMBU’s UX work.
  • Data Migration: OMBU is completing final testing internally this week.  No blockers have been identified.  Target completion date is on May 11.  Afterwards, we can continue to migrate additional historical data, using the current spreadsheet, into the database.
  • CRM: Due to the PM transition, we will postpone the approval the final CRM phase acceptance until the new PM is fully up to speed to address the remaining issues.

Update from Sarah: April 26, 2017

Today we had a conference call with OMBU to go over questions we have regarding our staffing change. Our goal is to ensure a smooth transition of the project from our current PM to the new PM. In order to do that we brought together our team to have a conversation about potential challenge points.

Attendees:

  • Peter Tung, Mazama IT Project Manager
  • Danielle Kulczyk, OMBU Project Management Lead
  • Martin Rio, OMBU Principal
  • Sarah Bradham, Mazamas Director of Marketing & Communications

Questions covered:

  • How dos the OMBU team work together at OMBU for UX Development Phase? Goal: To better understand how the UX lead, visual lead, and project manager work together during this phase, and who to report information to from the Mazama side.
  • What feedback is critical that OMBU would expect from the Mazamas during the UX phase? Goal: To nail down exactly what OMBU needs from the Mazamas during each sprint of this phase.
  • What is the Beta Test Process for UX Development Phase? Goal: To better understand how beta testing releases will happen during the UX phase.
  • What is the OMBU transition plan for getting the new PM up to speed on the project? Goal: To better understand OMBU’s internal process for onboarding the new PM, and to understand the timeline of when the project will be transitioned to the new PM. Also to identify the reporting structure during this time of transition.

This call was successful and the Mazamas feel cautiously optimistic as we move forward with our transition plan and reporting for the UX phase.

 

 

Update from Sarah: April 21, 2017

We are moving our way further into visual design and functionality of the new website. OMBU decided to combine Sprints 7 & 8 as the elements of these sprints naturally fit together. This meant a bigger than normal set of wireframes to review, but a significant amount of excitement around where we are headed with the site.

Sprint 7

The wireframes for Sprint 7 focused on the how to log in, sign up for a user account, join the Mazamas, renew your Mazama membership, and user profiles. The highlights of sprint 7:

  • Anyone who wants to participate in a Mazama event or activity will need to create a user account.
  • Required information for a user account will be email address, first name, last name, and a password
  • You will have the option to create a user account by utilizing a social login if desired. This means you can choose to login with Facebook or Google if preferred.
  • Once a user creates an account they will be encouraged to complete more of their user profile, and, if they request a glaciated peak badge and are not yet a Mazama member, they will be encouraged to join.
  • Creation of a user account is a two-step process to ensure security. A new user will sign up and then will need to confirm their email address via a link that was sent to their email. Once they click on that link they can complete the account creation.
  • To join the Mazamas, a user will be guided through a three-step process: create a user account, verify summitting a glaciated peak, and then select a membership type and pay.
  • When a current Mazama member logs into the new site they will no longer see the Join option, instead they will see a Renew tab. Clicking on this renew tab will show the member the status of their membership, including their join date.
  • When the membership renewal period approaches, the Renew tab will become more prominent and a member will be guided through the renewal process.
  • All users will have profiles. Profiles will contain contact information, join information, badges earned, volunteer information, activity history, and upcoming activities/classes.

Sprint 8

The wireframes for Sprint 8 centered around the home page design, the donate/give user experience, and search results.

  • In designing our new home page we are working to ensure we have an engaging and active experience for the user.
  • The main tabs on the home page will be: Education, Activities, Community, and Get Involved.
  • Additional high level navigation will include: About Us, Calendar, Search, Join, Give, Volunteer, and Login.
  • Further down the page we will include a What’s Happening section to show the user what is coming up with the Mazamas.
  • We’ll have a section to do a callout of certain high-level events/activities.
  • Education will have a presence further down on the home page, followed by history, and community and stewardship.
  • The end of the home page will entice the user to join the Mazamas.
  • The giving experience is designed to be easy to use and will have the option of monthly giving.
  • Search results are going to be pretty amazing. When you search you will be able to filter your results by type: All, Activities, Events, Education, and groups.

That wraps up Sprints 7 & 8. We will be reviewing the wireframes and providing feedback, with a deadline of May 3 to have all feedback submitted.

April 14, 2017 Update From Peter

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by: Peter Tung, IT Project Manager, Encore SVP Fellow

We continue to make good progress on Web UX Moodboard review, Data Migration, and CRM software this week.

Major Status Update:

  • The PM at OMBU to support our project left the company last week.   A new PM has been hired to take over our project in May.   In the mean time, An experienced PM at OMBU is now on board to smooth the transition.
  • For the Web UX Design, Sarah provided final wireframe review feedback for Sprint 6 to OMBU this week after reviewing and collecting feedback from staff members. This set of wireframes focused on general layout and design, including what elements we wanted to have on the home page and the basic look of internal pages.
  • We also had a face to face meeting to review two different moodboard concepts from OMBU that cover colors, fonts, buttons, and photo treatments. The review went well with Mazama stakeholders providing feedback to OMBU this week.
  • On the Data Migration front, we completed our initial data input, froze the data migration spreadsheet, and are waiting for OMBU to complete the initial data curation work and recommend potential changes. Target Completion Date is April 20.
  • For the CRM software: we reviewed the OMBU’s demo video for the Volunteer Job to show how to mass creating shifts, assigning shifts and reporting hours.  Due to the PM transition, we will postpone the approval the final CRM phase acceptance until the new PM is more up to speed.

Personnel Changes:

  • OMBU had a staffing change that will resulted in the Mazamas being assigned a new OMBU Project Manager.
  • Until the new PM is designated, the head OMBU PM will be managing our project.
  • When the new PM is chosen, we will work with OMBU to appropriately onboard the new PM.

April 7, 2017 Update From Peter

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by: Peter Tung, IT Project Manager, Encore SVP Fellow

We made excellent progress on all fronts this week.

For the Web UX Design, we held a face to face meeting to finish up our UX requirements discussion. The discussion covered the UX requirements for most User Personas Feature Hierarchy for Site Visitor, Site User, Volunteer, Participant, and Leaders. In addition, we had a group Homepage sketching exercises for both Mobile and Desktop UX to provide our feedback on what to display. Also, OMBU kicked off internal mood board design this week.  They also requested Web Design styles, photography assets, and Mazamas logos for the mood boards of the new website.

On the Data Migration front, we are making great progress to provide selected historical data to validate the solution. No blockers. We are on track to complete Data Migration work by April 20.

On the CRM software, OMBU created a demo video for the Volunteer Job to show how to easily create shifts, assign shifts and report hours.  We will review the video and make a decision whether to officially approve the final CRM phase acceptance.

IT Project: Quarterly Project Update

by Sarah Bradham, Director of Marketing & Communications

The past few months have been extremely busy as work proceeds on schedule for the IT Project. To recap the project for those who are just joining us: A major part of the Mazamas 3-year plan, adopted in 2015, was to reinvent our IT systems to catch up to twenty-first century technology. The database solutions we have been using are antiquated, and much of the data that flows through the Mazamas is not captured in our current database. Data such as class registrations, hiking participants, outings participants, and nonmember interactions with the organization are not tracked in one connected system. This project will solve those challenges by creating a database and website that are connected, in which all activities, courses, and membership information flows through one centralized location.

As you can imagine this is a BIG undertaking. We started this process in 2015 by hiring OMBU Web to work with us to determine our system needs and define the project scope. That process involved listening sessions with committees, discussions with key volunteers, and staff interviews. Through those meetings we built a framework for our new system. Once the framework was developed we set work building the new system. The build will be completed in three phases: CRM & IT Tools, Website, and Activities & Multi-Part Activities.

CRM & IT Tools

CRM stands for customer relationship management. The Mazamas will be utilizing Salesforce as our CRM solution. The benefits of Salesforce are significant. It is an extremely widespread CRM tool that receives constant updates and revisions. It is heavily used by nonprofits as it has incredibly competitive pricing for the nonprofit sector. OMBU has built out the Mazamas Salesforce platform with the custom specifications and features needed to manage our broad organization. As the CRM is the brains of the entire system, it was very important to get it built just right. OMBU is currently fixing some of the last few bugs in the CRM.

Website & User Profiles

Now that we have built the brains of the system, we are beginning the work of redesigning the Mazama website. A website is more than just a static way to get information to a reader. Websites these days need to be dynamic, with up to the minute data, easy accessibility and navigation on mobile systems such as smartphones and tablets, and a customized experience for the user.

We have created a new site map that better reflects what the Mazamas does as an organization. This new design will allow a user to quickly and easily find what they need on our site. Our site map is organized around four main buckets of content—Education, Activities, Community, and Get Involved—as the main menu. An Involvement menu will provide direct access to important points of visitor engagement, including joining the organization, volunteering, and logging in to the site, with a utility menu providing quick access to a fully faceted calendar, site search, and About Us functionality.

Whether it is searching the classes we are offering, finding an activity for the upcoming weekend, or learning about the Mazamas history, the information will be quickly accessible.

Activities & Multi-Part Activities: Connecting the dots

This will the last part of the system to be built, and it involves connecting the CRM & IT Tools and Website & User Profiles to create a robust user experience for everyone who interacts with the Mazamas.

With the new website, a few of the things you will be able to do:

  • Create a profile
  • Manage your Mazama membership
  • Update your contact information
  • Sign up for classes and activities
  • Sign up for a volunteer project
  • Track your volunteer hours
  • Get all information about your class or activity

View your entire history of interaction with the Mazamas (membership history, climb & hike history, education history)

Class Coordinators & Activity Leaders will be able to:

  • Manage activities
  • Manage courses
  • Source volunteers
  • Manage a committee/team members

Propose email communications to a segmented group of people (i.e. email everyone who has taken Advanced Rock in the last year)

This is just an overview of some of the things a user will be able to do on the new Mazama website. We are excited to keep moving this project forward and deliver a great product to Mazama members, volunteers, and the larger community of people who participate with the Mazamas.

March 17 Update From Peter Tung

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by: Peter Tung, IT Project Manager, Encore SVP Fellow

We are making excellent progress on the Website UX Design this week. OMBU presented the global layout and navigation wireframes for the Website Design. Based on the collaboration work for Sitemap and Layout Design, OMBU proposed the wireframes, focusing on Headers, Footers, and Navigation Ux design.

Sarah reviewed the proposed wireframes with many Mazamas stakeholders and received very positive feedback. We provided consolidated feedback from these stakeholders on how OMBU can further improve the user experience.

OMBU is also working on fixing remaining issues with CRM software. We are expecting the revised software next week with the fixes for separate data and time fields. Also, OMBU will deliver the video clips of “volunteer hour” usages to show us how to better use the software.

March 2, 2017 Update from Sarah Bradham

Building on last week’s work in the Website Phase of the project, OMBU delivered version 2 of the site map to the Mazamas. The site map was reviewed and conversation led to several additional tweaks and revisions to the proposed site map. Version 4 of the site map is the version that OMBU will use to build wireframes of the site (wireframe: an image or set of images which display the functional elements of a website or page, typically used for planning a site’s structure and functionality).

OMBU will present the wireframes to the Mazamas on March 9.

We are also beginning work on the Data Collection part of the project. Data Collection involves getting data from a variety of locations, including the current Mazamas Access Database (DB), Mazamas2 hiking DB, climb data from Expression Engine (where our current website is built), and various excel documents and Google docs being used by committees. The type of data we are working to collect in order to populate the new system:

  • Membership Info (held in the Mazama Access DB)
  • Climb Data (some is in the Mazama Access DB, some is in Expression Engine)
  • Hike Data (Mazamas2 SQL DB)
  • Volunteer Data (some is held in spreadsheets)
  • Participation & Enrollment data (some is held in spreadsheets)

In addition to needing to collect the data that we already have that exists in the locations listed above, we are working to create new data to link everything we are building together. In our current setup, none of our “systems” talk to each other. So while we have climb data that we are tracking on our website, it doesn’t connect to our Access DB. In the new setup, the majority of our systems will be connected. In such a relational database, you need to have data that can be easily connected, and in order to do that, you have to standardize and split your data into different tables.

Example:

  • Current system: We have a multitude of Mt. Hood climbs that can be scheduled by climb leaders
  • We have a multitude of Mt. Hood climbs that can be scheduled by climb leaders
  • These climbs exist in one single table, where you enter the climb name “Mt. Hood South Side,” data about the climb including elevation, distance, drive time, etc …

New system

  • There will be a Places table
  • Within this Places table, Mt. Hood will be a mountain
  • There will be an Activity table
  • Within the Activity table, Mt. Hood South Side will be a Climb, and its place will be Mt. Hood, which will establish a link between the Activity and Place table
  • In order to create the Place table we have to create … Places!

The Places to populate the Places table is just one example of a data set that we need to create by pulling together data from a variety of different sources.

We expect this data collection phase to take approximately three weeks, and we are reaching out to committees that might have some of this data in order to get it into the appropriate data migration templates.

We are shooting for having 60% of our data collected by the end of March. At this time OMBU will work to build scripts to migrate the data into the new CRM. They will then push that data into the CRM and we will be able to work with this real data as we test the new CRM, website, and eventually CMS tools.

Over the summer we will continue to work on populating these data collection documents, and we will likely ask for some of your help as we do this work. By the end of the summer we need to have this data 100% ready for transition into the new system. Once we are closer to the launch of the actual site, we will push this updated data into the CRM, replacing the nown old test data.

February 21, 2017 Update from Sarah Bradham

This is an exciting week for the project! Today several members of our team met with the OMBU staff to kick-off the next phase of the project. This next phase is the WEBSITE phase of the project and is where we get to start designing the next iteration of the Mazama website.

Phase I: CRM & IT Tools, was all about building the brains of the the Mazama database that will drive the enhanced functionality of the new Mazama website.

The kickoff meeting for the Website Phase is where we took everything we learned from the Discovery and Build Validation process, and added it to what we created in the CRM & IT Tools Phase to help inform what the new Mazama website will look like.

We started by talking about what is working and not working the current Mazama website. Information on what is working/not working comes from:

  • Discussions with key volunteers and committee leads during the Discovery Phase
  • Google Analytics data
  • Recurring questions that staff and volunteers receive regarding website navigation

Then we discussed the enhanced functionality this new site will have and identified new features we will be adding to the site, and from there we came up with a proposed site map.

Next week OMBU will provide us with an updated version of the site map based on what they heard from the Mazamas in this kickoff meeting.

The CRM & IT Tools Phase of the project is almost complete with fewer than 10 system bugs that need to be fixed.

Feb 14, 2017 Update from Peter Tung

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by: Peter Tung, IT Project Manager, Encore SVP Fellow

We are fixing final defects for the CRM Development Phase this week.

  • Reviewed the defects found through the final testing with OMBU. There are still some major features not fully functional, including adding an Activity Instance to a Multi-Part Activity Instance and allowing a team to create new Activity Instances. Also, we identified some critical defects (including some regressions) that must be fixed. We requested OMBU to fix these defects before we officially accept the CRM phase.
  • OMBU agreed to fix all defects by this Wednesday (2/15/2017). The Website Kickoff Meeting for next phase has been rescheduled to next Tuesday (2/21/2017).
  • Peter will be on vacation from Feb 16 to Mar 6. Sarah will provide the vacation coverage during Peter’s absence. Thanks a lot, Sarah!