Email from NZC – 24 July 2023
Major Association and District Association Chairs and CEOs
The start of the 2023-24 season is now only weeks away, with registration opening in large parts of the country from 1 August 2023. Since the completion of last season using PlayHQ, NZC have been focusing on the feedback received from across the cricket network and we’re looking forward to an improved experience for the 2023/24 season.
Whilst there was progress made on the platform throughout last season, we acknowledge there were fundamental issues that caused frustration for many people using the platform. We thank everyone who has taken the opportunity to provide feedback; this has been extremely valuable in ensuring key challenges have been resolved for the coming summer. Feedback was so extensive during and post season that we struggled to keep up with responding in a timely fashion to you all. There has been a significant amount of work completed with PlayHQ since the end of last season. We are working on a plan to ensure you are better kept up to date, moving forward.
The following outlines what we have done and continue to do to address the shortcomings of last season. This includes establishing a Steering Committee comprising NZC and MA representatives, commissioning an external technical review of the platform, bolstering the NZC team and investing in the super user network dedicated to the training and support of PlayHQ locally in your regions and working closely with PlayHQ to ensure the platform is fit for purpose this season.
NZC has recently completed it’s plan for the coming season. The number one priority for NZC for the 2023/24 season is to improve the user experience on PlayHQ, especially for those scoring matches. Elevating this as the key priority ensures the appropriate resources are made available to ensure success. To this end, a Steering Committee with Major Association representation was established in May 2023 and has been active through the offseason.
PlayHQ has a regular cycle for introducing new features and enhancements. Click here for a list of enhancements that are already in the platform. Based on feedback from users our key focus to have in the platform before the start of the new season has included the following:
- Addition of ball-by-ball scoring details
- Making scoring on a second device effective
- Ensuring all external scoreboard integrations are in place
- Strengthening the stability of match synching and finalisation in the scoring portal
Extensive work has also been undertaken to further enhance the training materials and ensure there are opportunities for all relevant users to access this and any support they required. Please see the attached PDF for more information on the communications and training plans and click here to register for the national virtual training sessions.
To expedite the development of the platform we have engaged Octave (a digital agency based in Wellington) to undertake a technical review, the full details of which have been shared with the Steering Committee. Its priority has been the technical stability of the platform to be able to sync scores, as well as the general user experience of e-scoring and assessing readiness for the 2023-24 season. Octave has made a number of recommendations which are being actioned and recommends NZC remain with PlayHQ. Octave will continue to provide technical and project management support to NZC into the new season.
Based on feedback and user-need, new functionality will continue to be added and we expect user confidence will grow with experience. As with any software platform, we expect your experience of PlayHQ to continue to improve.
We have further strengthened the NZC team to ensure there is suitable support and training for all users across the country. The team will provide pre-season training and match day assistance to ensure everything possible is undertaken to have a successful season. NZC will also be investing in the Super User network that provides on-the-ground support for many of the users across the country. We have worked closely with the MA CEOs to identify the key people to perform the Super User roles.
Further focus will be placed on communications leading up to and during this season. Communication was extensive last year but wasn’t always successful in getting to everyone across the network or responding to issues raised. Various new channels will be used to make sure that everyone has access to all information they need.
A more detailed summary of the communications and related training plan will be provided with the email on Monday. The project team are currently working on consolidating the communications plan with the training plan. This will demonstrate the frequency and channels being used across the 2023-24 season, including the mixture of in person and virtual training and support being provided.
Once again, thanks for all your support.