Association for Challenge Course Technology
The Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACT) is the premier ANSI accredited standards developer for the challenge course industry, was founded in 1993, and is comprised of thousands of members from all over the world. Originally a builders’ organization, ACT has expanded to serve every facet of the challenge course industry including insurance, regulatory and legal arenas. ACT actively partners with many similar organizations in related fields to increase their collective influence over the outdoor and adventure industries.
The solution Extensitech built for ACT provided allowed an administrator to model the structure of their organization’s standards. The rigors of Publishing Software ruled out the possibility of drafting and publishing their actual standards manual within the system, therefore, Extensitech created a tool for organizing information about their standards in such a way that ACT users were easily able to associate the Comments and Workflows involved with their review and publication processes with the Standards to which they belong, without actually managing the content of standards inside the system. The main body of the standards was broken into Chapters that were, in turn, divided into Sections and so forth. Because of the changing nature of their standards, Extensitech suggested a flexible solution that will allow their users to arrange the standards without a limitation to depth or detail.
Extensitech also provided for a feature set to allow users to receive Comments from interested parties outside of ACT and relate them to a specific part of range of parts in their standards. The comments were prepared using a template MS Word documents and were transcribed into the new system by internal staff members of ACT. These staff members were able to link the Comments to the appropriate Standards and record the details of the commenter like contact information.
ACT’s Extensitech built solution contained Workflow Templates which define how specific processes in ACT’s system will play out under normal circumstances. Their primary workflow template would describe the process whereby the Comments for a given part of a Standard are compiled and reviewed by the Consensus Group, submitted to the Standards Writers for solution, responses sent to the Commenters and the revisions to the Standard resubmitted to the public for review. While that covered the majority of ACT’s processes, they described situations that would require some deviation from the ‘normal’ process described by the template so Extensitech designed the system to accommodate those instances by allowing ACT users to insert additional steps into the workflow during the process.
For an example, when the Consensus Group required input from the Standards Writers on the whether or not a specific comment was persuasive, the manager of the Workflow was able to insert new steps, which would inform the Standards Writers that there was an item that needed their attention, and guide them to it. Once the additional steps were completed, the Workflow would pick up where it left off.
Instances where a Workflow template was “in action”, they could be modified to fit the specifics of the current process but they didn’t affect the Workflow Template that created it.
Additionally, Extensitech developed a Responses feature for ACT, where Responses were written correspondence with the Contacts who had submitted comments. Responses leveraged the existing Activity features in xBase (the Extensitech built solution used as a platform for ACT’s custom solution) and could be drafted as Letters, Emails or Faxes directly from the system.