The Beacon pilot scheme – and how you can be part of it

luis-graterol-uAROvYw9WDs-unsplash's always been the plan that the Beacon Upgrade Project will involve Beacon users at every stage. With your help we will ensure that Beacon 2 meets the needs of every u3a.

One way we are doing this is by including various pilot stages throughout the project. The first of these will take place during the development itself, and once this is complete another, bigger, pilot phase will start.

Once a functional module of Beacon 2, such as the Membership Management module, is complete, a mid-development pilot will be triggered. This means that we will invite users to try out the new module and give us their feedback. This feedback will then be used to improve that module and to guide future software development. It'll also give us the opportunity to road-test any documentation and training materials that have been produced.

This process will repeat throughout the development as more and more modules are completed.

At the end of the development phase, we'll start an early adoption phase. This means that we'll invite the first u3as to migrate fully onto Beacon 2 and begin using it to manage their activities. We'll use this phase to make final adjustments to the software and to finalise the process for rolling out Beacon 2 to all Beacon users.

You may be wondering, how can our u3a get involved in the pilot phases? Several u3as have already expressed an interest in participating, and all are welcome to do so. You can register by using the form at the bottom of the page. If you have already filled this form out and indicated you're registering on behalf of your u3a, you don't need to do it again.

The number of pilot u3as will be limited so we can't guarantee that everyone who registers will be able to take part. We will ensure a wide range of u3as are included to reflect the different sizes and styles of u3a.

If you're not already using Beacon, there is still time to sign up now and be among the existing users who migrate to Beacon 2 next year.

To find out more about Beacon or to enquire about the pilots email