Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Ask a business man to define a customer, their definition will depend largely on their function within the business. If they are in sales, they will talk about points of contact and sales histories, but if they are in product development, they will talk about demand for new features and usability. Finance, marketing, and H&R would also likely have different definitions for a customer. It is not hard to see however, how a business could benefit from having one comprehensive definition of what a customer is, that brings all of that information together in one place. R&D could then look at sales records to see if the new features under development match the needs and wants of the most profitable customers.
A sports team is no different. Every function within the sport side of a professional team has their own definition for a player. Coaches are often focused on current performance, while the personnel side is often focused on scouting information, and trainers are often focused on health related information. As each of these groups has interest in the information that the other groups have, that is not their focus, and it is often difficult for the various types of information to be synthesized.
These are all of course gross simplifications of the broad classes of information utilized by different functions on a team. What is important is not that specific types of information, but rather the synergistic value of keeping one definition of a player that is updated and analyzed by all functions within an organization.
Once all the types of raw data and information on a player are collected consistently collected in one place, then the coach who is wondering how to better motivate a player can see from intelligence information what other coaches have done in the past, or the general manager who is wondering why a high potential prospect is not developing can see that they are not processing information in the classroom well and has poor post-training habits.
While all of this already occurs, it usually occurs when a decision maker in one function asks for information from another function. This may take 5 minutes for a response, it may take 3 days - by which time the original thought that led to the request is gone. An organization that has one definition of a player, has a system that allows thorough and creative analysis to flow freely and not be constrained by the response time of other members of the organization.
The bottom line is that having one definition of what a player is, focuses an organization on what it believes is most important about a player, and drives the resources, strategic thinking, and tactical analysis of the organization through that definition. That process gives the organizations long term strategy the best probability to succeed.
Posted by Ben Alamar at 8:11 PM