Calendar reservation problems

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:39 pm

johnsonth wrote:I'd be interested to hear if you majority opinion thinks reservations should be dramatically altered, and if so, how.


I vote that "reservations" be renamed "restrictions" as discussed in the Reservation terminology thread. Restrictions have a needed function. I believe the problems caused by reservations is caused by the name "reservations" and the resulting mis-application of it's use.

johnsonth wrote:Re the term building scheduler, yes, this is problematic. A building scheduler should not be called a "scheduler" if he or she cannot schedule anything. We've discussed this before but nothing came out of it.


Yes, we talked about it in the How about another name for building scheduler thread.


johnsonth wrote:The problem is that stakes use "building scheduler" ubiquitously, so the term is hard to change (for example, to something like building coordinator). Any suggestions there? Give building schedulers rights to schedule anything on any calendar? At this point, it seems that the line between a building scheduler and an administrator becomes blurry and not worth distinguishing the two roles with separate names.


What better way to announce that there's a new scheduling model then to abolish old terminology?

"Building Scheduler" came from the pre-web days when there was no practical way for more then one person to have a completely up-to-date calendar. I'm not seeing a reason to keep that model except inertia.

If you do grant the building scheduler as a default admin, then we're back to the calendar 1.0 model as the path of least resistance.

But until you allow the "building scheduler" to be able to edit ALL calendars within the stake, they can't function in the old way. Not without double-entry of events into the system (one for the ward to see and one to book the facilities). That would really be a step backwards.

I think your biggest obstacle is people who try to fit the "old way" into the new system without completely reading the manual. The best way to make them think differently is to remove old terminology. If it's not in the Handbook, why keep it?
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jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:15 pm

I'm with Russell in all that was said. We have discussed these issues before. It is unfortunate to see that our concerns back then have been validated by the confusion caused by antiquated and inaccurate terminology. The new system is magnitudes of improvement over the replaced system. It is just the terminology that needs to fit.
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failproof
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Postby failproof » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:30 pm

Thanks all! Some great suggestions on how set this up so that it will work with my stake. In thinking through these suggestions, and a spark of remembrance from one of the comments
RussellHltn wrote: I personally have a hard time believing that any ward or stake would simply toss the keys to the building to anyone that wants to use it...

One of the reasons why our stake wants to funnel these requests through one person, and likely the same with other stakes, is managing the keys to the building. Since "Joe member" doesn't have keys to get in for a family function, someone has to provide them with a key and keep track of who has it and what for. For this reason, I don't think stakes are going to abandon the concept of a building scheduler/coordinator/keymaster (couldn't help the 80's movie reference that popped into my head)

johnsonth wrote:Re the term building scheduler, yes, this is problematic. A building scheduler should not be called a "scheduler" if he or she cannot schedule anything. We've discussed this before but nothing came out of it. The problem is that stakes use "building scheduler" ubiquitously, so the term is hard to change (for example, to something like building coordinator). Any suggestions there? Give building schedulers rights to schedule anything on any calendar? At this point, it seems that the line between a building scheduler and an administrator becomes blurry and not worth distinguishing the two roles with separate names.


Since this calling/position isn't likely to go away, I like the idea of private calendar(s) created on the stake level, not ward, so that it can be used as needed by individuals from any ward in the stake if desired. And Private so the general membership don't subscribe to them. The solution then seems to be just to give the building scheduler(s) edit permission to the appropriate private stake calendar. I'm assuming that there isn't a standard building scheduler calling, so it would have to be granted by name and not calling. This concept could also be pushed down to a ward level for areas/stakes where scheduling at a stake level doesn't make sense.

As far as terminology for the calendar web pages, regardless of what terms a stake uses for callings and assignments, I think inside the Calendar application/website, that names should be changed to better reflect what they do. I vote for Reservations being called Building Restrictions, and the Building Scheduler concept could either be re-named to a building coordinator, or it could be scrapped all together as a separate function and the Building Restrictions functionality given to stake administrators. Ultimately the direction for which ward has a hold on buildings and rooms on a given day is made at the stake level, and blocks for things like Stake or General Conference will be known first by stake administrators.

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Calendar Reservation Problems

Postby sharan3 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:49 pm

Franklin, Idaho Stake
We are also having issues with the reservation calendar, similiar to others. We cannot make new reservations nor edit existing reservations. The calendar just hands up and does not bring up the box to make a new reservation. It also just hangs up when trying to edit a reservation. I assume this issue is still being worked by Church IT?

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:23 pm

failproof wrote:...[T]he Building Scheduler concept ... could be scrapped all together as a separate function and the Building Restrictions functionality given to stake administrators.
If a stake wants to manage this aspect of the calendar in this manner they can certainly do that now. All that is required is to assign the building scheduler role to a stake administrator. Making this the only method for every stake in the Church can be burdensome on the stake and gives less flexibility and control of resources to those who use it the most. Who better to manage the conflicts and location restrictions than someone from amongst those who use the resources regularly?


failproof wrote:Ultimately the direction for which ward has a hold on buildings and rooms on a given day is made at the stake level...
This is not true of any stake in which I have been a member for as far back as I can remember. Even under the previous system units using the building had to coordinate with each other to determine scheduling use. The stake only maintained scheduling control of the stake center. Even then the units meeting in the stake center had considerable input into scheduling use.

failproof wrote:...[B]locks for things like Stake or General Conference will be known first by stake administrators.
These are but two events out of many possible reasons for using location restrictions. The various other reasons are better known (and sometimes only known) by those using the building regularly.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:34 pm

failproof wrote:One of the reasons why our stake wants to funnel these requests through one person, and likely the same with other stakes, is managing the keys to the building. Since "Joe member" doesn't have keys to get in for a family function, someone has to provide them with a key and keep track of who has it and what for. For this reason, I don't think stakes are going to abandon the concept of a building scheduler/coordinator/keymaster (couldn't help the 80's movie reference that popped into my head)


You're certainly right that access to keys is an issue with such events, but to my thinking, that's a strong argument for it being handled at the ward level, not the stake level. Members know the person in the ward who handles calendar events; they may not know the building scheduler. And in stakes that cover any significant geographical area, trying to get the keys from a building scheduler to a member of another ward may be a hassle. Keep it at the ward level and everything is simpler.

As RussellHltn said, a stake may want to set the policy for such building use, but that still could be enforced at the ward level. All sorts of stake policies are enforced at the ward level; why does this one have to be any different?

failproof wrote:Ultimately the direction for which ward has a hold on buildings and rooms on a given day is made at the stake level


Not in my stake. A representative from each bishopric for the wards that meet in the building get together and work these things out. The agent bishop is in charge of directing that it gets put in the calendar properly. The stake isn't involved at all. It works great -- the decisions are made by those who are closest to the relevant information, and we don't waste other people's time.
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Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:55 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Note that my comments were made in the context of a private non-church activity. Conceivably the only member present might be the one who made the request for use of the building.

Noted and understood, my comments were along the same lines.

RussellHltn wrote:I personally have a hard time believing that any ward or stake would simply toss the keys to the building to anyone that wants to use it without some kind of discussion or setting expectations on how it would be used and what kind of activities would take place. Our stake may be different only in that we have a formal process for it.

I'm sure the keys are not just tossed to just anyone without them understanding that they need to clean up after themselves and put the areas they use back the way they found the. But for the most part that is a given when it comes to building use. I don't see the need for filling out a paper or posting no smoking sign that just seems over the top to me. After all I didn't have to sign a paper or anything else (with the exception of key accountability) when I was call as clerk on how I would maintain the clerks office or anything else, it was just supposed that I would do the right thing. In our part of the country its call trust.

RussellHltn wrote:While I don't know the details, I'm willing to bet that our process came about because of past experiences.
Or from some paranoid person who did not trust anyone to do the right thing so there were rules established, and everyone suffers.

I guess its different where ever you are due to local conditions and circumstances.

The chapel in Provo, Utah, USA, where my daughter had her wedding reception we were not allowed to be in the building past 10pm, It as a rule of the Stake President, it sure made it hard to decorate since there was another reception the night before and we had to be in Salt Lake the next day for the wedding. I had never heard of such a rule, and it still sounds crazy to me today.

I just don't see any need to make using the building hard for the members.

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Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:14 pm

johnsonth wrote:Re reservations functionality being unnecessary, I do think that removing the reservation functionality might reduce some confusion. In my own ward, the building scheduler has been confused by how reservations work. Even when I've explained it, the mentality has been to reject the design. Some team members have discussed possibly renaming "reservations" to "facility holds."
I do think there is a need to be able to hold a day or period of time were a specific unit has sole use of the facility such as Youth Nights or Activity Day. So there is a need for the wards assigned to a building to be able to do this. However, that could be done with in the wards themselves by having a board made up of someone from each ward to discuss and come to an agreement and then each ward block out their own days. Perhaps this could be the a ward clerk or ex-secretary responsibility having someone who also attends Bishopric Meeting, PEC, and Ward Council would enable them to the information needed. It would still be the responsibility of the ward organization to calendar there own events.

johnsonth wrote:Reservations seems to be one mechanism to enforce scheduling rules. Without any reservations/restrictions/rules, scheduling might be a little too much of a free-for-all. I'd be interested to hear if you majority opinion thinks reservations should be dramatically altered, and if so, how.


What ever is done do not take the ability for organizations to schedule their own events away. Keeping it at the lowest possible level is just a good practice.

johnsonth wrote:Re the term building scheduler, yes, this is problematic. A building scheduler should not be called a "scheduler" if he or she cannot schedule anything. We've discussed this before but nothing came out of it. The problem is that stakes use "building scheduler" ubiquitously, so the term is hard to change (for example, to something like building coordinator). Any suggestions there? Give building schedulers rights to schedule anything on any calendar? At this point, it seems that the line between a building scheduler and an administrator becomes blurry and not worth distinguishing the two roles with separate names.
No need for a building scheduler at all with the current system. We just need to train the membership in the use of the new calendar. It will work if we let it.

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Postby failproof » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:32 pm

jdlessley wrote:This is not true of any stake in which I have been a member for as far back as I can remember. Even under the previous system units using the building had to coordinate with each other to determine scheduling use. The stake only maintained scheduling control of the stake center. Even then the units meeting in the stake center had considerable input into scheduling use.

and
aebrown wrote:Not in my stake. A representative from each bishopric for the wards that meet in the building get together and work these things out. The agent bishop is in charge of directing that it gets put in the calendar properly. The stake isn't involved at all. It works great -- the decisions are made by those who are closest to the relevant information, and we don't waste other people's time.


I stand corrected. Completely forgot about the whole agent bishop concept. I'm sure it happens the same way in my stake. So really what we are saying is that removing what is currently known as a Building Scheduler and giving that permission to the stake admins is not a great idea. But renaming it to something like a Building Coordinator or some other suggestion that fits better would be appropriate.

I think we are going to find that managing the details of some of this is going to vary ward to ward, stake to stake, and region to region on who keeps the reigns. This will always be the case because men who are called will make the choices they feel are best at the time they make them.

I certainly think some of the suggestions for managing it at a ward level have merit, if the building that Joe Mormon normally meets in is unavailable on the date needed, or doesn't have the resource he was looking for, like maybe the stage, or a ball field, then ultimately he will have to coordinate with someone in another ward in his stake, whom he may or may not know, and still has to arrange to get keys for that building. (I know this is typically more of a Utah type predicament, but I'm sure there are other places where the church is growing that it works similar now or will in the not too distant future) Additionally, I'm not in a calling where I have a lot of sway on how the wards and my stake manage who has keys, who should have keys, how many copies of building keys are made available, and who should be scheduling what for whom. I can certainly make the suggestions that I think will help but it isn't up to me in the end, so realistically, I'm trying to consider what is most likely to happen in my stake.
I think what that will mean is that when I convince them there is a better way to use the calendar (being optimistic here) we'll still have a stake building coordinator who has a set of keys for each building. Anyone who needs to schedule a building and doesn't have edit access on any calendars will then need to contact this individual to schedule a building and arrange to get keys. So what I need to try to make happen at the very least is that whoever is called as a building scheduler has edit access on a private calendar for personal/family type functions. Today in my stake, contact info for the building coordinator is normally found on each ward's sacrament meeting program. Additionally, if added as a stake calling, members should be able to go to the online stake directory for contact info.

Again though, my vote is let's rename the functions, rolls and responsibilities on the Calendar to something that describes what it really is and hopefully eliminate some of the confusion.

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Postby dshep2020 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:36 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I vote that "reservations" be renamed "restrictions" as discussed in the Reservation terminology thread.


In our Stake, we use the term "assignments" for the current calendar "reservation" functionality. It provides a way to "assign" locations and resources to a unit for a particular period. We use the "block" functionality as well and I can see how that could fall into the "restriction" thinking. Anything away from "reservations" would be welcome, just chiming in on how we make sense of it in our stake. Seems to work very well.


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