GMS TaskForce created & Data tidy-up update
We are keen to provide clubs with an update on Game Management System (GMS) usage as we understand this has been a subject of some frustration recently.
In the past month, we have seen 50% more usage on GMS than we have experienced previously. We recognise the importance of increasing our engagement with clubs to ensure plans are aligned to supporting clubs’ needs.
We are committed to dedicating more time to understanding challenges experienced by some clubs around GMS timelines and implementation and to finding solutions as we work towards Adult Player Affiliation building on the success in the Age Grade game.
We have set up an internal GMS TaskForce group which will focus on reviewing club feedback, identifying and resolving issues, expanding user testing to make the process as simple as possible for clubs and increasing two-way communications to improve engagement.
While this review is underway, we have paused the deadline for clubs’ data tidy-up and have suspended the plan to automatically archive data from the system.
We are committed to engaging more with CBs and Clubs and to broadening our comms around GMS. As part of this approach, we aim to outline our data strategy more clearly, and the long-term benefits that a data cleanse and player affiliation will have for the game as a whole, for clubs, for players, for CBs and for volunteers, reducing the workload for those who are currently responsible for manually inputting and maintaining a large volume of data records for their clubs.
The internal GMS Taskforce will identify a consistent point of contact to work more closely with CBs, Club Data Officers, user groups and also club administrators who have shared frustrations around the current system so that we can identify how best to provide guidance and support to clubs.
Support Resources. We have produced FAQs to help answer clubs’ questions. These will be shared with Data Officers, the GMS User Group and GMS Facebook Group in the first instance for feedback, before being circulated more widely. Video guides will also shortly be available to refer to and drop-in calls will be scheduled over the next few months to have an expert on hand to answer club queries.
While there is no longer a set deadline for the data tidy-up, the importance of ongoing data cleansing can never be underestimated and is part of regular housekeeping. We would encourage clubs to continue to work through records to keep a live view of their playing pool.
Without accurate, up-to-date records, there is no way of monitoring how many people play rugby union in England or of communicating directly to them to help keep them engaged in the game.
Our fundamental aims of having accurate GMS data is to:
- Make it easier for club volunteers to communicate with players, to help retain and attract more players to their clubs in the future.
- Give clubs a more accurate and detailed understanding of their playing base.
- Give CBs a clearer picture of how clubs are doing in their area to help identify where CBs and the RFU can best support them.
- Develop an accurate baseline of players in the country, to support the retention and growth of the playing base across England for years to come. Without a more consistent way of recording players, and without annual renewal, it would be impossible to achieve this goal.