Innovation Ex Story Series: Cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers Mobile Application (CJCR)
February 12, 2021 - Defence Stories
Welcome to the Cadet and Junior Canadian Ranger Mobile App
As part of the department’s Public Service Beyond 2020 Renewal Program and the departmental Defence Innovation Exchange (Innovation Ex) initiative, ADM(DIA) is proud to showcase another success story!
Following the successful launch of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mobile app, the Cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers followed suit and created the CJCR App. Spearheaded by LCol Mathieu Coulombe, Head of Information Technology (IT), Hugues Ferland, Lead Software Developer, and Capt Thomas Doyle, Project Lead, they dove head first into the project.
With an audience of approximately 9,000 employees, mostly part time, as well as parents who are not officially part of the organizational network, CJCR leadership saw this app as a priority to meet the organisation’s communications needs.
Here’s how they did it:
A Bilingual team was promptly assembled with personnel from across the regions, including St-Jean, Bowmanville, Trenton, Winnipeg, and the NCR.
Collaboration with other L1s was a key ingredient to making the CJCR App a success. The first key L1 was ADM(Public Affairs) who, through their Web and mobile app team, was able to provide the source code used for the CAF App. Even with the source code, there was significant work to be done in order to tailor the CJCR App to its organization’s needs.
The second key L1 was ADM(Information Management), who was engaged from the start of the development phase to ensure that the end product would be safe, secure, and aligned with IM 1 policies. With access to organizational social media feeds through the app, there were security challenges the CJCR Team did not foresee, but their IM counterparts were engaged and ready to support to facilitate the process. Engaging with ADM(PA) and ADM(IM) from the beginning allowed the team to deliver a final version of the app within a year.
The first Alpha version of the CJCR App was launched in March of 2020, with approximately 400 people testing the app and providing their feedback. By June, the Beta version was available to reservists, and out of the 8000 people who had access to the app, roughly 2000 used it and provided further feedback on user experience.
In September, the CJCR App was officially launched and available for iOS and Android for anyone in the CJCR community, including parents. They used their social media feeds, internal communications, and Canadian Cadets general messages (CANCDTGEN) to promote the launch and encourage those in the CJCR community to download and use the app.
Since the app’s launch in September, they’ve reached 5,000 users and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive!
Now the team is looking ahead at next steps for the app. They plan to continue developing the app to improve user experience in order to increase users, as to create content that allows CJCR to further engage with parents and stakeholders of the organization.
As former Commander BGen Cochrane said, “This project required people to be bold,” and so they were.
The CJCR leveraged the work done by DND/CAF, and from the worker-level was able to advocate for the idea to their leadership. By enabling their personnel to experiment with the concept, they were able to deliver a product with the highly skilled IM/IT talent they had within their own organization. This talent, matched with the relationships with other DND/CAF organizations, have proven to be a good match for success. The app is now live and available for iOS (You are now leaving the Government of Canada website.) and Android (You are now leaving the Government of Canada website.)!
Watch the Maple Leaf for more Innovation Ex success stories in the future.
The Cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers would like to thank the following individuals and teams for their hard work in making this project possible!
Web and Mobile App Team
Maj Nathan James (Former Senior Public Affairs Officer)
Capt M. Da Silva-Martins (New Media & Production Officer)
Application Support Team
LCol Mathieu Coulombe
Hugues Ferland (Team Lead)
Capt Thomas Doyle (Project Lead)
Alexandre Verhaegen (Deployment Automation)
Nick Jesseau (Server Coding)
IT Service Management Centre
Capt Adam Neish
Brendan Innes (Team Lead)
Lt(N) Steve Armitage
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