Reservation Issue - Rooms in use are able to be double booked

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nancypalemany
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Reservation Issue - Rooms in use are able to be double booked

Postby nancypalemany » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:56 pm

Hi, I am experiencing a challenge with the Reservation window. In a previous posting it was said "And you can't have more then one reservation for the same time for the same resource." On my reservation window you can. I had reserved the entire building for Ward A from 6 - 9 pm on a given date. I just received a reservation request for one of the rooms in the building by a member of the stake (we'll call it Group B), for the same time and date that Ward A has reserved the entire building. I was able to put the reservation in without any problem and without being told there was a conflict. I should have gotten a message indicating that the resourses were already in use but instead the system allowed me to schedule Group B for the room and time they requested.

Can you help me, as I count on the system working as intended - in the long list of events reserved for our stake center on a given date, sometimes I miss a group's reservation already in the system and it is convienent to have the reminder that I need to make adjustments or need to call the groups involved so I can accommodate as many groups as I can in our Stake Building. As it currently stands, I have the potential of creating major train wrecks with one group scheduled on top of another in the same place at the same time.

Thank you,

Nancy Alemany
Houston South Stake,

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:33 pm

I was able to duplicate this by initially adding the whole facility and then adding a reservation for a speicfic room. I tried both standard and custom room. They system allowed it.

What's unclear is what happens if someone tries to book an event at that time.

If you are trying to use the reservation system as a way to book the rooms, I'd strongly advise against that. That's not the way the system was designed to work. The only reliable way to book a room is by creating an event. "Reservations" in the calendar system are only designed to limit who can book events.
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nancypalemany
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Postby nancypalemany » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:34 am

Now you have me stumped. I don't quite understand your third paragraph. An example would be helpful.

My understanding is that "scheduling" the building is nothing more than putting out an electronic flyer, so to speak, informing your ward or stake that your organization is having an event in the building on such and such a day, at such and such a time in such and such a room. You can indicate what rooms you are planning to use but unless you actually "reserve" the rooms, it is possible to have two groups in the same place at the same time.

It's only if you have "RESERVED" those rooms for your unit that a block is thrown up saying you can't have the rooms you wanted, if someone else had already "reserved" them before you. This appeared to be how it worked at the beginning of the year on the reservation calendar. If I had scheduled the Relief Society room for Unit A's Relief Society on the Third Tuesday of the each month I couldn't then schedule that same room for Unit B's Primary Inservice meeting on the same night, at the same time, in the same room.

At the beginning of the year, our Chinese Branch, indicated that they wanted a particular night on which to hold branch activities - they were new to our building (which is the Stake Center) and had been accustomed this arrangement in their old building. Giving them one particular night each week in a building that is very busy was very difficult - so I offered them the 3rd Tuesday of each month - so, I simply reserved the entire building on the 3rd Tuesday of each month for them to do as they so chose. Truthfully, I wouldn't know if they have anything scheduled on their branch calendar on that night or not - it's not something I can see, even as the Reservations Coordinator for the Stake Center. I can't see if Primary Presidents in one of the other units have scheduled child of record baptisms, either, I can only see what my ward or the stake schedules and what I have put down on the Reservation screen. What others schedule appears in black on the reservations calendar and my reservations appear in grey type.

If reserving rooms is ONLY done through the scheduling side of things I'm having difficulty understanding why a building coordinator is necessary, accept perhaps to solve those rare issues when unit A wants a room already occupied by Unit B?

At the beginning of the year there was an option that could be determined by the Stake Administrator (not me, the coordinator) where you could choose if individuals could reserve rooms at the same time they scheduled their event or if they could schedule their event but reservations were still done through the building coordinator. Because this is the stake center, our administrator and I decided that I should retain the room reserving responsibility. Therefore, if I have reserved the entire building for a unit's use - meaning all rooms have been reserved for a particular unit, a block should come up indicating all rooms are in use should I try to schedule another unit in a room in the building at the same time. This is not happening.

Thank you,
Nancy Alemany

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:56 am

nancypalemany wrote:My understanding is that "scheduling" the building is nothing more than putting out an electronic flyer, so to speak, informing your ward or stake that your organization is having an event in the building on such and such a day, at such and such a time in such and such a room. You can indicate what rooms you are planning to use but unless you actually "reserve" the rooms, it is possible to have two groups in the same place at the same time.


There are multiple problems with using the Reservations feature in an attempt to actually book the building.

  • Only events (not reservations) will appear on ward and stake calendars. Putting events on ward and stake calendars makes them generally visible to the members, allows them to synchronize events to mobile devices and other third-party calendars, and allows them to receive notifications about events. Using reservations exclusively precludes all those benefits.
  • If you make a reservation for Ward A, intending it for their Primary to use the cultural hall on a particular date and time, there is nothing to stop the Young Men from scheduling an event on that date and time, booking the cultural hall. Reservations are on a unit basis only, and any calendar editor in that ward can book the room. So reservations are ineffective in booking a room for a particular organization or event.
nancypalemany wrote:It's only if you have "RESERVED" those rooms for your unit that a block is thrown up saying you can't have the rooms you wanted, if someone else had already "reserved" them before you. This appeared to be how it worked at the beginning of the year on the reservation calendar. If I had scheduled the Relief Society room for Unit A's Relief Society on the Third Tuesday of the each month I couldn't then schedule that same room for Unit B's Primary Inservice meeting on the same night, at the same time, in the same room.


There's an important distinction between what you can do with reservations as the building scheduler and what others can do with events.

  • Regarding reservations, you are entirely correct. If you have made a reservation for one unit for a particular room on a particular date and time, you should not be able to schedule a conflicting reservation for that room on that date and time. You have clearly identified a bug (confirmed by RussellHltn) in this regard, and that bug needs to be fixed.
  • But just because you created a reservation doesn't mean that someone from the assigned unit can't create a conflicting event; in fact, that's exactly what the calendar system anticipates will happen. The normal use of reservations is that a building scheduler creates a reservation for a unit, and then a particular organization within that unit creates an event that actually books the room at that date and time.
nancypalemany wrote:Truthfully, I wouldn't know if they have anything scheduled on their branch calendar on that night or not - it's not something I can see, even as the Reservations Coordinator for the Stake Center. I can't see if Primary Presidents in one of the other units have scheduled child of record baptisms, either, I can only see what my ward or the stake schedules and what I have put down on the Reservation screen. What others schedule appears in black on the reservations calendar and my reservations appear in grey type.


I think you're misunderstanding what events you are seeing in black type on the Reservations calendar. There you will see all events that use your building in black type. That includes events from any ward or branch in your stake, if the event uses the building. So you can indeed see an event for the Chinese branch on your Reservations calendar, if it uses one or more rooms in your building. You can also see any baptisms scheduled by Primary presidents if they use your building.

The only reason you wouldn't see such events on your Reservations calendar is if they neglected to actually choose your building as the location and instead used "No Location" or "Other Location" for their events.

nancypalemany wrote:If reserving rooms is ONLY done through the scheduling side of things I'm having difficulty understanding why a building coordinator is necessary, accept perhaps to solve those rare issues when unit A wants a room already occupied by Unit B?


Actually, the building scheduler really only has two roles: creating and maintaining reservations and helping resolve conflicts by editing events scheduled for their building. Some stakes give building schedulers additional assignments as a calendar editor, but that is not necessary.

With the distributed scheduling model, individual wards (and the stake) can directly create events as needed. Not only is this a more direct approach, but it has the tremendous benefits I mentioned earlier of allowing calendar sync, event visibility to members, and notifications.

nancypalemany wrote:At the beginning of the year there was an option that could be determined by the Stake Administrator (not me, the coordinator) where you could choose if individuals could reserve rooms at the same time they scheduled their event or if they could schedule their event but reservations were still done through the building coordinator. Because this is the stake center, our administrator and I decided that I should retain the room reserving responsibility.


The stake administrator can set a particular location to disallow scheduling by wards and stakes. If he has indeed set that option for your building, then some of what I said earlier would not apply, since individual wards and branches and the stake would not be able to schedule events. But that doesn't fit with the fact that you said that you see events in black type on your Reservations calendar -- that is clear evidence that he has not disallowed scheduling of events for that building.

And I firmly believe that it is a very poor choice to disallow scheduling by individual units anyway, since it precludes all those benefits I mentioned.

nancypalemany wrote:Therefore, if I have reserved the entire building for a unit's use - meaning all rooms have been reserved for a particular unit, a block should come up indicating all rooms are in use should I try to schedule another unit in a room in the building at the same time. This is not happening.


As I mentioned, the fact that you can schedule a conflicting reservation is a bug.
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nancypalemany
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Postby nancypalemany » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:54 am

Okay, Thank you for clearing up some things.
In regards to the black and grey type, the reason I am not seeing entries in black from the units is because they simply are not being entered. And I should be able to see all entries from all groups (that's everybody who has a calendar that has selected my building for an event). We are still in the training period for our stake - I can see that more training is needed to get people to actually use the electronic calendar. My other hat is RS Secretary so I have occasion to "schedule" events on the ward e-calendar for Relief Society and have recieved the e-mail notifications. (they are pretty utilitarian - but that's another issue for another time).

I see my role as Building Coordinator more as a "conflict resolution" coordinator - I can see the point of having a single unit building allowing all who input an event on the calendar the ablility to also reserve the room at the same time. However, I have found that folks can be rather ridge in where they want to be in the building and it is helpful to be able to say "Okay, how big is your group? Room A is not available, how about room B?" And they don't always take into consideration set up or clean up times even though it is part of their scheduling screen so I am training them to think of that, too.

In regards to another organization in a given unit creating a conflicting event in the same place at the same time - I always say "Play NICE" I would expect that they would have worked that issue out in ward council.

nancypalemany
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Reservation Issue - Rooms are STILL able to be double booked

Postby nancypalemany » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:01 pm

"Regarding reservations, you are entirely correct. If you have made a reservation for one unit for a particular room on a particular date and time, you should not be able to schedule a conflicting reservation for that room on that date and time. You have clearly identified a bug (confirmed by RussellHltn) in this regard, and that bug needs to be fixed.

Brethren, This bug has not been fixed. Only today I was able to input on the reservation calendar a 2nd unit's event at the same time, on the same day, in the same room without even a peep out of the system. Fortunately, I will be able to contact all of the parties involved and work out a conflict resolution but if I am having this issue I am sure others are having this issue as well. We discussed this originally back on October 10, 2012. Is this still on the "to be fixed" list? Thank you.

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Postby jdlessley » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:32 pm

nancypalemany wrote:Only today I was able to input on the reservation calendar a 2nd unit's event at the same time, on the same day, in the same room without even a peep out of the system.
(bold added for emphasis) Sorry nancypalemany, but I am sure you meant to write reservation instead of event.

For others reading this thread, events can only be created on ward and stake calendars. Reservations are created on the reservations calendar; and only building schedulers can create reservations.
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Postby dshep2020 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:35 pm

nancypalemany wrote:Only today I was able to input on the reservation calendar a 2nd unit's event at the same time, on the same day, in the same room without even a peep out of the system. Fortunately, I will be able to contact all of the parties involved and work out a conflict resolution but if I am having this issue I am sure others are having this issue as well.


My experience has been that the "Reservation Calendar" doesn't behave the same way the regular calendar does in a multitude of ways, including conflict identification. I can only assume because the "reservations" don't actually reserve anything, they just restrict creation. Perhaps the conflict logic used by the regular calendar doesn't allow for it, not sure why. When you say the "Rooms are STILL able to be double booked", I would correct your statement in saying the rooms are double restricted. They are not "booked" until an event is created on the regular calendar. The double restriction would allow two different units to "book" calendar events for the resources you identified in the "reservations". Again, I am not sure if this was the developers intent...but it doesn't seem so buggy when you look at it from a restriction point of view.

All that being said, I do see your point about being alerted for any "restrictions" that conflict at the time of creation. Even if it is a warning so you are aware of the overlap. I wouldn't hold out hope for a quick resolution. You may just have to live with the current state and work around it to the best of your ability. That may include creating a separate calendar where you can create events that absolutely need to hold the time and room for a location. In our stake we call it a "Resource Calendar" and it is visible to the entire stake. We mainly use it for non-ward activities such as receptions and family activities that don't need to be on the stake or ward calendars. Others use private calendars so those items are less visible.

nancypalemany
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Response to Double booking issue on Reservation Screen - is this a bug or not?

Postby nancypalemany » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:54 am

Okay, you are correct. I used the word "event" incorrectly. It was a reservation to restrict the use of a given room or rooms for a particular unit, on a particular day, at a particular time.

However, when our stake began using the system fully at the beginning of 2012, I DID receive a yellow reminder bar across the top of the calendar screen indicating that there was a conflict that needed to be resolved before the request could be granted because the rooms and the time the rooms where requested for was occupied by another unit or group.

With the update in Sept/October that yellow bar no longer appears and I can double reserve rooms to my heart's content. I can reserve the cultural hall for Sugar Land 1st Ward's Primary activity, on top of Sugar Land 2nd Ward's YW's Fund Raiser Event, on top of the Stake's High Priest Social, on top of the Regional Welfare meeting all at the same time, on the same day. This should not be happening. Is this a bug in the system or not? Brother Hull indicated in an earlier post that this was an identified bug in the system.

Is there any chance I could talk with somebody about how the system is used by our stake and what the folks making decisions about the system visualize? I'm willing to learn but I feel like we are talking at cross purposes. Thanks!

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:22 pm

nancypalemany wrote:Only today I was able to input on the reservation calendar a 2nd unit's event at the same time, on the same day, in the same room without even a peep out of the system.


How are you using "reservations"? I'd strongly advise against using it for an event, even when this bug is fixed.

Our stake center is quite busy, but I only have 3 repeating reservations for the entire 2013 calendar year: Ward A on Tuesday nights, Ward B on Wednesday nights and Ward C on Thursday nights. That's it. Everything else is an event on the appropriate calendar. They display on the reservation calendar, but are not entered there.
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