Support for self-support – Safe and secure meeting-organisation for Alcoholics Anonymous

Konzeption und Entwicklung einer Anwendung zur Veranstaltungsorganisation und Personalplanung.​

Client: Anonymous Alcoholics Interest Group
Activities: Conception, consulting, development, hosting, operation and support, monitoring
Sector: non-profit organisation
Technologies: Python, Django

Support for self-support - Safe and secure meeting-organisation for Alcoholics Anonymous

In order to coordinate the various meetings of the approximately approx 2000 self-support groups of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) all over Germany, procedures have been developed over many years that enable effective work.

These procedures are a mixture of self-organization and central coordination – on site, the groups work in a self-organized way to make the meetings possible. However, all meetings are managed centrally and announced on the website so that those affected can search there and find a group as close as possible.

Our goal was to map these processes digitally as efficiently and as securely as possible. To achieve this, we first listened a lot, conducted a requirements workshop together with the customer in the form of a user story mapping and developed different approaches to solutions from this.

We compared solution options in the form of value-added analyses and thus provided the customer with a valid basis for decision-making and recommendations.

Measured against the customer’s goals – “To develop a system for the web-based, maintainable and secure administration of AA events, meetings and services” – we jointly succeeded in doing so and the project was a complete success

 

AA Event Management Software at a glance

  • Digitization of special and individual processes
  • High data security and data protection
  • Good maintainability and easy further development
  • Secure assignment of rights

Digitization of processes developed over many years

Due to the complicated processes and the different parties involved, the first challenge for us was to understand these processes and the many special features in depth in order to develop effective solutions.

Many volunteers and responsible persons work on the different tasks. Therefore, we wanted to support the various parties involved in organizing and coordinating the meetings and their respective tasks in the best possible way and, if necessary, also put previous processes to the test.

Ensuring security, anonymity and data protection

During the course of the project, we reduced the number of data transmission paths required, thus simplifying and automating manual processes, which also increased overall security.

All conceptual and architectural decisions were based on the basic requirement that data protection has top priority and that the data is secure.

Thus, security aspects are applied at different levels, such as encryption concepts (personal data is also stored and transmitted in encrypted form within the system) and context-related data access (data can be viewed by persons if they have appropriate authorizations and are assigned to the respective context).

Individual requirements and special features

The resulting application is a very good example for the choice of an individual software as the best solution option, since the specifics of Alcoholics Anonymous are not covered by standard software.

Marginal requirements, such as label printing with addresses according to special specifications or the provision of data for the website, can often still be implemented by adapting standard applications.

However, the core processes and peculiarities cannot be mapped by management software as easily as an evaluation of solution options before the start of the project has shown.

Based on the core application, further requirements can be implemented with comparatively little effort due to the agile approach and the correspondingly set up infrastructure.

Agile development - refinement of the basic concept

The agile approach already supported the conception in the development process and gave us the opportunity to simplify the basic concept even further in the course of the project. As a result, many of the previous processes were simplified, shortened or could be omitted by the new architecture.

In the spirit of the Agile Manifesto, mutual trust, openness to address even uncomfortable issues, mutual appreciation and the willingness on both sides to accept responsibility for their own mistakes were the hallmarks of this project.

This is exactly how we like to work, in partnership with our customers, together for a good result.

Good prospects - documentation, good maintainability and further development

To make it easier for new users to get started, we have created a user documentation based on Sphinx, which is directly integrated into the management interface.

Further development is well supported by automated tests, clear deployment procedures and a solid architecture, so that the application can be used and extended for a long time.

This is not the only reason why we are pleased to be entrusted with the future support, development and hosting of the application for Alcoholics Anonymous.

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