We had a little lightbulb moment the other day. Strangely – when I was unwell.  Let me explain.

I was feeling rubbish ( my wife called it early – man flu ), but I knew there’d be no training  that night. No dramas – I’ll cancel it using teamstuff. The product that I’ve helped put together, with team based messages for just this very occasion. So I pushed out a team message online – “No training tonight.” And felt marginally better – it’s kinda nice to have a real world problem solved with software you helped make.

But….a little voice in the back of my head kept nagging away….”Did everyone get that message? ” Because it turns out that some of the parents in our team aren’t quite as obsessed with their technology as I might be. They might go whole days without checking email ( gasp! )- let alone an application on their smart phone. And then I remembered that about 1/2 my parent group struggle to find push notifications on their phones. Because push notifications are not the same as text messages; and the difference is all human. We’ve been trained over many years to expect, find and respond to text messages. Push notifications are pretty new; and they’re optional – you can turn them off without understanding how it might be useful, and many people do.

So back to my nagging voice ; now it’s upping the volume, and changing the tone.

“Betcha someone’s missed the message. They’ll turn up to training – and get a nasty surprise. And as the coach who’s cancelling ; they’ll be blaming you.”

So I could blame teamstuff….and suddenly I’m really not feeling well. Problem with that nagging little voice – it was right.

So we got to thinking – how could we help, rather than hinder? We’re trying to steer clear of actual text messages – they cost us actual money. So that got us thinking – could we actually be better than text? And the answer is abso-bloody-lutely.

So we’ve added a key feature to the messages in teamstuff now ; a ‘Got it’ button. You push a message to your team – and your team now responds to that message ; strangely they hit ‘Got it’. And since we now know who has the message and who doesn’t – we can extend the usefulness – by showing the coach/manager who hasn’t received that message.

Example view of players who haven't read a message.

Example view of players who haven’t read a message.

Go one step further – one touch to communicate with that small set of parents or players. So suddenly – you cancel training – and now you know exactly what’s happened with the team message. And it’s really easy to cover the few that haven’t responded. And that little nagging voice in the back of the head – well now it’s moved on to the Grand Final of our local, indigenous, crazy football game. Whole town goes mad. Including me ; since my team is the favourite. Possibly just in my head.

OK, some extra features for the team when you send the team messages;

1. The push notification still goes out, so depending on their settings, they should get a beep/vibration/pop up on screen.

2. We always show messages in the alerts section now. Along with a big obvious Got it button.

Message now in alerts

Message now in alerts

3. We have a badge count now directly on the teamstuff icon – which shows the number of messages in teamstuff waiting to be ‘Got’.

Teamstuff icon showing messages waiting for you

Teamstuff icon showing messages waiting for you

And for players/parents without smart phones – we send emails. And the emails contain a ‘Got it’ button – so the loop is completed for the whole team.

Hope that all helps ; and Go the Mighty Hawks on Saturday!

Coach