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Weekly Discussion: Does Go deserve a bad reputation?

Does Go deserve a bad reputation?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Mixed

  • Don't know

  • Other

  • I come from another WAGGGS organisation/ I don't use Go in my role


Results are only viewable after voting.

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
I have a small confession.

I don't think Go deserves the bad reputation it is often given.

And I use it as both a unit leader and as a member of a division team. This means I spend around one hour a week on Go and some weeks much much more. Now by no means do I think its perfect. Some of the choices are a little strange seeming, and I frequently muddle what options "individuals" will give me vs "young members" but when I see comments labelling it utterly useless and that we'd be better off without it I don't quite get it. It isn't hideous to look at design wise, its not very out of date and it (normally) is up and running without being too slow. We can demand a better version but where will the money come from? We can't match what big businesses have because we are a charity. There are also always improvements being rolled out, and lots of features have been added that have been long term requests (promise date recording etc).

Is it just me?
 

Ech18

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
It is reasonable and they are quite responsive updating it, a useful tool that has its issues but I’d rather have it than not.

Someone complained to me the other day and my reply was “so you would rather fill in a paper form in triplicate using carbon copy paper would you?” It wasn’t that many years ago we had to do that and I do not wish to return!
 

browniebeth

Brownie Leader
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#3
I think a lot of people feel cheated, because they bigged up the upgrade and it failed to meet expectations, primarily that it would be fewer clicks and more intuitive. It isn't any better than what we had, and in some cases it's worse.

The new recording tool, we were warned it wouldn't be the best, but all we asked for was pre-populated tick boxes we could deselect and again, minimal clicking. BM4, have you tried to add a Skill Builder onto your girls records yet? You will find that while the UMAs are pretty straightforward to add, the Skills Builders are not.

Frequently we find that forms don't work, that GO is down same time every week for maintenance, service and membership calculated in barely comprehensible numerical form. There are so many bits to it it's pot luck whether you find what you're looking for.

And after all that, we still have an awful lot that is paper based and manually inputted by volunteers, e.g. starting forms, even though most come through Join Us where they have already entered it, I have not managed to get the form pre-populated with any of this information beyond the child's name. That's not progress, because in the olden days I'd have kept the completed paperwork in a file. Job done, refer to when required.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#4
I use Go as a unit leader but also in a County role. I think the main problem is that GO covers so many roles it is hard for someone who uses it for one or two funtions to see it's worth overall. It may be clunky for some aspects but when you list out all that it is designed to do, it is pretty good even though the user aspects struggle sometimes. So ..

It is used to hold the personal contact details of all our young members
It holds all the contact details of our volunteers
It now is used to keep track of the activities and achievements of our young members
It keeps track of the qualifications and essential trainings of the volunteers including DBS
It holds the history and meeting time and details of all our units
It records the members of various committee and event teams
It produces forms and permissions for unit events
It produces reports for Commissioners on what trainings are required, whether units have the right mix of qualifications and first aid etc
It produces reports on numbers for Census purposes
It produces reports to give Commissioners information on waiting lists, membership profiles etc
It allows potential members to contact units and find out what is available in their area
It allows new volunteers to contact a local commissioner about opportunities.
It allows members to communicate with each other
It is evolving, local members do get a chance to comment on improvements or functions that are lacking or not working.
It's GDPR compliant
It's not perfect yet...but it's better than pen and triplicate paper..
 

Spittal Belle

Beginner (10+ posts)
#5
Problems I've encountered are that people dont respond to messages sent through the site, guiders forget to end roll when transferring girls although these are people related rather than GO related apart from no alert being given that a message has been received.
 

growlywench

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
Currently, yes it does. There was amazing potential and it's not lived up to the hype. I actually miss the old version. Hopefully this one will improve, especially in the recording stakes and the ridiculous numbers of clicks.
 

partygirl

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
I'm still waiting for the "new" version to settle in. Like Growlywench, I actually got on very well with the old version but don't find the new one much of an improvement. It's still better than doing it by paper though.

Pro's - Girls can be transferred straight though the system, so that leaders don't have to email each other with lists of girls to add to their waiting lists.
- Now all on one system - Join Us and Go together

Con's - From a Commissioner point of view, the reports are inaccurate most of the time and the filters quite often don't work.
- It's confusing with regards to which section you need, so some leaders have still not got to grips with it.
- Leaders forget to make girls inactive when leaving, so the next section can't add them (I can't see any advantage to this adaptation at all. Why not just make them automatically inactive in the previous section when added to the next?)
- Quite often the item you need is not working
- Too much stuff needs HQ's intervention. It takes me much longer to either email and wait weeks for a response or use up time phoning when I could easily do the thing myself if they let us (duplicate entries, for example)
- I absolutely HATE the fact that you can't just go on and print a register etc but have to download loads of rubbish and adjust it all yourself. How many leaders have downloaded it onto their computer so that they don't have to do it all again next term?

I'm going to stop now. It's worrying that my "cons" list is much longer than the "pros" list and the more I think about it, the longer the list is getting.
 

caroline68

Regular (50+ posts)
#8
I don't dislike it, nor do I like it! I see it as a tool to keep the girls' info in one safe place. I also keep a passworded spreadsheet with basic info on as its so much easier to look at, rather than a 2 page log in and several clicks to get to the right place.
I thought I'd add in that we are about to start on a SB, but found I can't put a date in the future, so that will have to wait until we actually start next Thursday. I don't see that as an inconvenience or a problem, it is how it works and I'm learning that. I expect adding in SB and UMAs to take a while to start with as I learn how it works.
I do not use it to generate a register, that is far too long winded, much easier in a word table or on a spreadsheet. Having discovered via RL FB group that it is one click from the unit page to generate all girls' details for checking, I have used that.
I haven't tried an event, I expect it to be as longwinded as a register and it easier to do it myself!
So, I use it for the things I have to, personal info and programme recording, and don't use it if I don't have to!
I have used the help files and find these good and easy to understand. So I know and understand how to generate a register, it's just that I choose to do it a more easier way!
 

Pixielation

Brown Owl (x2)
#11
As someone with a bit of background knowledge of systems, it is poor. For example "a young person has left your unit". Which unit? (I run 2). Which young person? (No clues).
Totally agree - I've had some very cryptic messages which don't help me at all!

The good thing is that now I get an email telling me that I have a message in Go, where previously they could just sit there un-noticed unless I specifically looked for them.

As a DC I find it annoying that I can't see the current role of girls on waiting lists, so where a girl is already in the system it would help if I could see which unit she's currently in without looking on each of the unit lists individually. Also in the waiting lists I don't see why the columns differ from page to page. I'd like to see the age column on all, and be able to sort the order by birthdate.

In the old system I could end a girl's role in their previous unit when they started with me, which makes more sense than the current system where two different people have to make changes to the girl in order for her to move up in the system.
 

Epona

Veteran (100+ posts)
#12
I loathe it. There's 30 years of Useability knowledge in the IT industry, which GO totally ignores. It is not robust enough and is clearly optimised for the database. Good design puts people first, then the (grass-roots) process, then the technology. And that's not even touching on reliability, accuracy and timing out. It's like dealing with a 1989 mainframe all over again.
 

ker-stee

SGP Enthusiast
GuiderPlus
#13
I've said this numerous times, but stand by my stance (And have already said this to Girlguiding)

Girlguiding should have worked with Online Guide Manager to solve their data protection issues/concerns. Online Scout Manager is a fantastically easy to use System and the recording system could learn a LOT from it.
 

dragnilk

Regular (50+ posts)
#14
I just don't feel it has been designed keeping in mind how a Leader running and planning meetings would use it. There doesn't seem to be any correlation between the information we collect on forms e.g. starting form, individual details is and its input into the database. Not being able to order names by surname is a particular annoyance for me as is not being able to see ages. It is very difficult to use the system to plan waiting lists. I used to have an excel workbook with a spreadsheet for each term to plan when girls would be moving on and so spaces would become available but I now have to regenerate this every time I want to review as we can't keep copies of this info offline. It is very unreliable for generating forms and I find the forms generated from the events tab next to useless, so just download pdf versions from the main website.
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#15
I've said this numerous times, but stand by my stance (And have already said this to Girlguiding)

Girlguiding should have worked with Online Guide Manager to solve their data protection issues/concerns. Online Scout Manager is a fantastically easy to use System and the recording system could learn a LOT from it.
I was going to ask that.
I am frustrated at functionality (e.g. lists of girls) that has vanished!
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#16
I used to have an excel workbook with a spreadsheet for each term to plan when girls would be moving on and so spaces would become available but I now have to regenerate this every time I want to review as we can't keep copies of this info offline.
I keep one offline but I keep it secure and make it (semi-) anonymous. If nobody reading it, should they chance on it, would be able to identify the girls then I think I have successfully removed personal data.
(I do this for work too).
 

Pixielation

Brown Owl (x2)
#17
I just don't feel it has been designed keeping in mind how a Leader running and planning meetings would use it. There doesn't seem to be any correlation between the information we collect on forms e.g. starting form, individual details is and its input into the database. Not being able to order names by surname is a particular annoyance for me as is not being able to see ages. It is very difficult to use the system to plan waiting lists. I used to have an excel workbook with a spreadsheet for each term to plan when girls would be moving on and so spaces would become available but I now have to regenerate this every time I want to review as we can't keep copies of this info offline. It is very unreliable for generating forms and I find the forms generated from the events tab next to useless, so just download pdf versions from the main website.
I have my master spreadsheet. It has everything. I can see at a glance my unit numbers a year from now with the girls currently on my waiting list, and where I am going to have a capacity problem. There are notes about what contact I've had with those on my waiting list, or what unit I am referring them to.

I can see all girls where the Guide unit has been confirmed and they are on the waiting list for it, and I can see their ages in years and months and what month they might go up to Guides.

I have a list in their six groupings, Sixers, Seconds and Brownie Buddies. There is a colour coded photo permissions page too, so I can quickly see who cannot be photographed.

I don't have parent contacts addresses, phones or emails in it, I always refer to go or my latest contact list print out for that.

But I can't live without it. (And It's password protected.)
 

helenfelen

Veteran (100+ posts)
#18
i would like the emergency report back to being a pdf with the girls in 1 section and leaders/volunteers in another, the current version prints as a word docs in an almost unreadable format and splits details across pages so it's actually harder to use! it would also be helpful if i didn't have to create an event every time i need to create 1!
 

helenfelen

Veteran (100+ posts)
#19
i would like the emergency report back to being a pdf with the girls in 1 section and leaders/volunteers in another, the current version prints as a word docs in an almost unreadable format and splits details across pages so it's actually harder to use! it would also be helpful if i didn't have to create an event every time i need to create 1!
and yes i did feed this back to hq & got ignored!