Many organization still rely on older, tried and true methods for their day to day practices. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is especially true in the world of professional sports where proven practices rule both on the field and in the office. However, these older methods can hinder innovation and productivity. Information Technology Directors across the professional sports landscape are beginning to address these long-held bottlenecks in operations with valuable new technology – collaborative visualization systems for strategic planning.
Adoption of this new technology is gaining speed as teams began to update their annual draft operations while simultaneously hoping to provide invaluable utility to the rest of the organization. Traditional draft rooms are dark, smokey places with white boards, chalk boards, and magnet boards surrounding tables full of agents and management huddled together with piles of paperwork in disarray. They print, or even hand write, player names on magnetized tiles to plan out their picks. Chaotic and disorganized, this is how the draft has been handled for decades…until now. IT Directors for professional football teams have begun installing collaborative video wall systems in their draft rooms. These systems allow for greater workflow efficiency and strategic decision around the entire draft. The mess of paperwork that cluttered every desk is now replaced by a common operating picture displayed for the whole room to see at the press of a button across a crisp video wall. Detailed analytics are tied to each player as names are moved across the wall in a shared workspace. Strategy meetings that used to run all night and into the next morning are now streamlined for greater efficiency.
These more strategic visualization systems provide measurable value beyond just the annual draft. When coupled with content management software that’s user friendly and intuitive, the capabilities of this shared workspace expand into all departments. Professional teams are now using their new draft room video walls throughout the entire year in a variety of ways. Scouting teams meet and present roster prospects. Public Relations groups organize and promote content around newly signed players and announcements. Coaching staff and team managers use the “war room” like environment to display pre-season cut lists, weekly depth charts, and injury analysis information. It’s easier to make crucial decisions more efficiently and intelligently now that there is a common operating picture that visualizes all key information for stakeholders.
What began as a plan to update the annual draft process has paved the way for professional sports teams to truly collaborate and streamline their organization’s overall operations. However, it’s important to note that the video wall is only one portion of this equation. Powerful and intuitive software that can properly manage and display content is equally important. Content sources need to be able to stream to the wall and users need to be able to effectively use the tools the system provides to make the most out of such an investment. After all, the easier new technology is to approach, the more people will use it.