College recreation programs are like snowflakes – each one is unique. While many schools have similar elements in their programs, staff, and facilities, each campus has devised policies, offerings, and strategies to meet their specific needs. The way one campus manages memberships or facility scheduling might not make sense on another campus. You need a software that is equally unique.
Managing your recreation department with software has many benefits. A software program can increase your organization and efficiency, provide ease of access for participants, collect and compile data, as well as many other useful functions. And while there is a variety of software options available to help you manage your rec department, they all have one thing in common – there is a structure to how they behave.
When software is written, programmers create algorithms that determine how that software operates. Once the algorithms are written, the software can only behave according to their rules. Some software programs are more flexible than others. They may allow variations of memberships, or intramural leagues, controlled by you, the admin user. But regardless of the level of flexibility, the system might not align with your best practices. And when that happens, you’ve got a choice – alter your practices or abandon your software.
Customized software allows you to be the one to dictate the structure. Have some unusual requirements? If your software doesn’t accommodate those requirements, you’ll have to manage them independent of the software. If a system is built to your specifications, based on what you consider the best practices for your campus, there is never a compromise between what is best and what is allowed by the software.
Software should make your work life easier. It should be tailored to your requirements, not the other way around. When you dictate the behavior of your software, you get the best product for your department.
Ben White has 12 years of college rec management experience, and is currently the VP/COO of DSE. He can be reached at 617.221.3171 or firstname.lastname@example.org