FNQ Rugby is the umbrella organisation for Rugby Union in Far North Queensland. They are an affiliated Sub-Union of the Queensland Rugby Union and ultimately the Australian Rugby Union. They are run by 9 member clubs spread across the region from Innisfail to the South, Port Douglas and surrounds to the North and west to the Tablelands. There are senior men’s, women’s and junior competition. We spoke to their Treasurer, Tanya Tuttle, about how they are using 'the cloud' to help run their club. 

What online technology do you use?

Lots of freely available Google products including Calendar, Drive, Gmail and Picasa. Also the social media stalwarts Facebook and Twitter.

Why did you decide to get online?

The Drive side was about document sharing and succession planning. More than one person needed to have access to the documents. We used to have to email documents back and forth, version control was hard. We needed to address succession planning - people who left took the information with them.

Did you have any reservations about using the technology before you started?

Not really - we were a little bit worried about trusting how we would manage the sharing of the documents but nothing significant. 

What problems have you had?

Committee members have had to take on some new skills, learning how to ensure offline edits are uploaded properly, but this is minor compared to the benefits. 

How do you find the time?

You need to have one person driving it - someone who has a fair knowledge of it. It does save time. For example, if I need a copy of the certificate of currency - I can access it from anywhere and on any device.

What does using the technology involve?

You need to have access to a computer - we did buy a laptop for our secretary but people can use their own existing equipment because it is all in the cloud - they just need access to the internet. We got people to install the Google drive software locally on their machine; that doesn't take long and it's free, but it means they can work offline and it will synchronise (upload any changes) when you next go online. I created generic Google identities, which is just a name and password, for all executive, committee, and employees, and I have the password for them so I can change it when they leave or change roles. We save most of our documents online including minutes, treasurers reports, incorporation history. It's all free, the limits are quite generous.

Rather than bits of paper, people now take a photo of their team sheets and text them to our office, we can then enter the data and keep the originals if they are ever needed. 

What is the best part about using the online technology? 

Everything is a bit more transparent and it's easy to handover to any new committee members. Our processes take less time than before. When we do events, people who get the quotes update the budget and I login and see that immediately. At our meetings, the Treasurer's report is stored in the cloud and we use a projector to show everyone, so no more printing out large amounts of paper. We have all the history of audits shared between the executive committee and we can share selectively.

What sort of feedback have you had from the community?

We've just started doing online forms in Google to get information from our clubs. Eg. getting information from Junior clubs about their sign on days - standardises their informatics.

What is your advice to others?

It's a bit of work to setup but definitely worth the time.

Get in touch...

Check out FNQ Rugby's mobile site.

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