A modern meeting and voting system
Working with the client
25 years’ experience in working with public-sector clients is a great motivation to keep moving forward. Confidence in our work, but also client expectations, are growing with each successful system implementation. This was also the case with this project.
At the request of one of our clients, we have built a support system for meeting and voting management equipped with modern audio systems, TV and simultaneous interpretation. The solution supports voting management at all stages: organisation, proceedings and presentation of results.
Sounds simple? Let’s add some background.
Meeting and voting management is our client’s main area of activity. Ensuring the system is reliable and can work in real time was therefore a priority. What is more, due to the volatility of the environment that the client operates in, a number of flexibility requirements had to be met.
- Meetings are run simultaneously, in real time by 4 operators.
- There are on average 50 items on the agenda.
- The voting procedure (including announcing the vote, conducting the vote and presenting the results) takes only 2 minutes on average.
- The system takes 1 second to accept, save and confirm a vote.
- It takes a maximum of 30 seconds to print out a voting report with detailed information about votes cast.
- There is no limit on the number of people taking part in the meeting and voting.
Building such a system was a huge challenge. The client’s expectations were all met thanks to the skills of Pentacomp’s development team, especially in the area of code optimisation.
It wasn’t the first time that the client requested a new voting system. A few years earlier, they had chosen a contractor who failed to provide a solution meeting all the requirements.
Clearly defined goals
The goals were clearly defined by the client. The main goal was to streamline the process of preparing and conducting meetings and voting. The system was expected to enable joint organisation of meetings – from the preparation of the agenda to the realisation of the debate together with a Q&A session, to the automatic generation of announcements and displaying them on the light boards. It was also necessary to replace paper and telephone communication with an electronic information exchange system.
The client placed emphasis on automating the voting process so that operators could focus on the content of the meeting and effectively support its participants. At the same time, the operators had to be able to take control of the process at any time. It was also key to equip the meeting room with voting equipment, such as tablets with RFID reader enabling voters’ identity authentication.
Pentacomp comes into play
We started out with the conviction that close and ongoing cooperation with the client is key for the project’s success. Only such an approach would enable us to meet the various needs of different stakeholders. We realised the project in line with the Agile Methodology. Before designing the system, Pentacomp’s experts listened carefully to the client’s business and technical needs. They conducted many analytical sessions to define functional and non-functional requirements for the system design and implementation. As the system was being developed, they maintained continuous communication with the stakeholders so that it was verified on an ongoing basis. At the release stage, when users could test the solution themselves, their comments were taken into account and necessary adjustments were made.
We developed the system with a view to streamline the process of meeting and voting management. Responsiveness to the client’s specific needs turned out to be key to successful implementation of required functionalities whilst maintaining the required flexibility of the solution.
We put particular emphasis on this aspect of flexibility, as well as safety and legal compliance. The solution consists not only of specialist software but also dedicated devices being part of the work stations of meeting participants. The system serves all types of voting procedures in real time.
As planned, Pentacomp’s Voting Management System enables effective voting management across all successive stages. It supports agenda management and allows for joint realisation of successive items in real time. The system also facilitates the debate process and Q&A sessions, as well as the presentation of announcements regarding, among others, speaking times, agenda items’ content or voting results.
Ensuring appropriate quality of meeting management was of key importance. Integration with a translation system enables users to organise international meetings, while satisfying the standards of simultaneous interpretation systems. Integration with a TV system allows users to live stream their meetings, with speakers marked with identifying tags, while the system for the publication of video recordings allows users to search for specific speakers.
One of the achieved project goals was process automation, but procedures for the realisation of individual system areas had been designed in such a way that operators can intervene at any stage. As a result, the system allows for ad-hoc changes to the realisation of key procedures. The operator leading the meeting can change how it is run at any time.
In summary, the implemented system supports the client in the following key areas:
Supports the planning of meetings and voting:
- facilitates agenda planning,
- allows users to create lists of speakers on an ongoing basis,
- automates the creation of documents such as voting and meeting minutes.
Facilitates participation in speeches and voting:
- for the disabled,
- for those unfamiliar with the language of the debate thanks to simultaneous interpretation,
- enables signing up to speak through a tablet app,
- allows participants to vote from anywhere in the room and from any authorised device,
- allows multiple changes to one’s vote while voting is ongoing.
Presents the results:
- identifies and counts votes cast,
- shares voting results online,
- provides defined reports for each voting type and each forum of meeting participants.
Ensures widely understood safety in the area of:
- GDPR compliance,
- voting secrecy,
- quorum verification,
- votes identification and storing,
- device verification and approval into the system,
- high availability and fault tolerance.
Based on the experience of the project, Pentacomp has created EasyVoting, a universal solution for meeting and voting management supporting the work of public administration, local government, enterprises, supervisory boards, city councils etc. Ask for an offer firstname.lastname@example.org