CiviCRM's volunteer feature received an A for usability in NTEN's 2011 Nonprofit Data Eco-System report.
New York State Senate's Bluebird
New York State Senate's Bluebird
With the backing of CiviCRM's community of developers, Bluebird's increased functional capabilities, streamlined workflows and refined user interface promises to move the State of New York forward and help improve the communication of representative government‚ ultimately making the Senate more responsive to constituent needs.
To improve communication and interaction between constituents and their elected officials while increasing staff efficiency and effectiveness.
To engage disparate stakeholders during the design phase, anticipate modifications and build in development time to respond to changes in specifications once software is deployed to clients.
Several open source CRM solutions were evaluated as platforms to help improve the New York State Senate's communication and responsiveness to constituent needs through streamlined workflows, increased functional capabilities and a user interface built on principles of simplicity and efficiency. CiviCRM stood out from the other available platforms due to it's robust feature set, open source license, eager and thriving community of developers and cooperative core team.
The project's core team consisted of: NYSS CIO, Project Manager + team of developers, trainers rayogram Creative Director, CTO, Production Director, Project Manager + team of developers Lighthouse Consulting Services, project manager, trainer CiviCRM Core Team Key Stakeholders New York State Senate district offices + other non-district-specific NY State Senate employees
The solution required a glossary of terms; UI design philosophy; vision; roles (limiting access to data); permissions (restricting access to perform functions on data); constituent management; case management; search (activities, cases, contacts); training; reporting; customization (functional vs configuration customization at district level); integration (with existing tools); determining workflow requirements via 'user' stories ; a volunteer for a given Senate District; an office manager in a Senate District ; an analytics user managing data from one or more Senate Districts
Modifications that were committed back to core include: 1. extensive re-write of core template files to support better theming 2. additional CSS classes for most common template elements 3. a new, standardized presentation framework for search+results pages 4. almost complete elimination of tables from core templates for non-tabular data 5. re-write of tags to support multiple free-tagging taxonomies across CiviCRM entities Custom modules/theme included: 1. a simple, clean theme built specifically for use with CiviCRM that forms the basis for [https://github.com/kylejaster/SimplyCivi | SimplyCivi] 2. custom 403 page 3. integrating board of election data with CiviCRM 4. customized CiviCRM dashboards of senate twitter accounts 5. additional dedupe rules 6. advanced mail integration Drupal modules included: 1. admin_menu 2. administerusersbyrole 3. apachesolr 4. cacherouter 5. CiviCRM 6. front 7. imce 8. ldap_integration 9. roleassign 10. rules 11. userprotect
1. Large scale testing on Amazon's EC2 cloud services, deploying multiple "extra large" web instances and a database server with 34.2 GB of memory and 13 EC2 Compute Units. 2. Deployment planning, district launches and automated data import scripts 3. snapshot backups for redundancy and fault tolerance 4. load balanced web instances. 5. Once tested and stable, the system was migrated to the NYSS internal hosting service for added security (no internet access) and in house management. 6. End-user web forms were mirrored and then proxied - from internet available drupal servers to the internal instances - for maximum security.
1. user-Interface theme updates 2. query optimization 3. integrated memCache more tightly into civiCRM to dramatically reduce database query volume and improve performance. 4. extended Tags API to include - auto-suggest tagging (with Core Team) - free-tagging - tagging Cases 5. load testing & deployment for X million users (across 63 different installations) 6. legitimacy of a deploying CiviCRM for a large-scale government