Reservations worth it?

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craiggsmith
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Reservations worth it?

Postby craiggsmith » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:08 am

We have not seen good adoption of the calendar at the ward level. One of the excuses we've heard is "I know the building is already reserved for us so I'm not going to bother putting it on the calendar". This is despite our explanations about the difference between reservations and events and the associated risks, and despite the other benefits of putting it on the calendar.

So we are thinking about skipping reservations altogether next year, and telling them they will not have the building reserved at all unless they put it on their calendar.

Also, with 12 wards and 4 buildings reservations are a lot of work to set up and maintain, and as is evident by the many posts about them they can lead to some confusion and other issues. I would still use them as blocks though.

Any thoughts?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:29 am

craiggsmith wrote:We have not seen good adoption of the calendar at the ward level. One of the excuses we've heard is "I know the building is already reserved for us so I'm not going to bother putting it on the calendar". This is despite our explanations about the difference between reservations and events and the associated risks, and despite the other benefits of putting it on the calendar.


Wards often neglect to set up events particularly for Mutual nights, giving the same excuse you mentioned: "I know the building is already reserved." But they are not depending on the actual Reservation in the online calendar, but on the longstanding assignment of which ward gets which rooms on which weeks. They would make the same risky assumption even if we didn't have a reservation.

craiggsmith wrote:So we are thinking about skipping reservations altogether next year, and telling them they will not have the building reserved at all unless they put it on their calendar.


I don't see the downside to having a Reservation in place -- I really can't imagine that removing reservations would increase the odds that people will schedule events. I could be wrong on that, so it would be interesting to see the results of your experiment.

craiggsmith wrote:Also, with 12 wards and 4 buildings reservations are a lot of work to set up and maintain,


Our rules are so consistent that it took maybe an hour or so (and it would take less, now that we are more experienced) to set up the rules for a building. I don't think we've touched them since, and that was a couple of years ago.

craiggsmith wrote:and as is evident by the many posts about them they can lead to some confusion and other issues.


In our stake I can't recall a single problem with reservations. We use reservations on a very limited basis -- basically just to reserve mutual night and Cub Scout pack meeting nights. We have three wards per building, and so this helps keep all that straight. Once in a while the wards agree to make an exception (Ward B needs the cultural hall on a particular date, even though Ward A owns the reservation, but Ward A graciously yields for this one event) and the building scheduler facilitates the override.

The confusion comes when building schedulers misuse the reservations, but with proper use (which I believe implies rather minimal use of this feature), reservations can perform their intended function of restricting other units from scheduling the building.
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Postby Gary_Miller » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:35 am

Craig I think you got something there. I feel the biggest problem is the new calendar takes a paradigm shift, from calling someone and having them put it on the calendar to just adding it to the calendar themselves. Its just not the way its been done in the past.

Along with doing what you are doing I would suggest doing away with Building Schedulers at each building and just placing that responsibility on someone in the stake clerks office or even giving it solely to the stake PFR. That way blocks could be placed for such things like having to finish the gym floor. There could also be reservations set up only for reserving times for things like YM/YW nights for specific units, and I'm not even sure that's necessary as it could placed on a units calendars as a recurring event by the unit.

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:45 am

I just set up the reservations for 2013 for our stake center which hosts 3 wards. Ward A gets Tuesday nights, Ward B gets Wednesday nights and Ward C gets Thursday nights. Needless to say, that was a quick setup.

As a stake guy, if there's a squabble in Ward B over which auxiliary gets the gym for their night, I'm not going to worry about it. That's Ward B's problem. I'm more concerned about the various units playing well with each other.

The real challenge is weekends. On that one, I'll have to say "if you don't schedule it, you don't have it". I'd rather see the event placed on the calendar then to try and make a reservation for it.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:50 am

Gary_Miller wrote:Along with doing what you are doing I would suggest doing away with Building Schedulers at each building and just placing that responsibility on someone in the stake clerks office or even giving it solely to the stake PFR.


There's enough work that is centralized at the stake level that I don't like this idea. Especially for stakes that have several buildings, I see no benefit in taking a responsibility from the local building, where a local building scheduler is much more likely to know the layout of the building, the rooms, the local rules for allocating the building usage among the wards. My stake only has three buildings, and I certainly wouldn't want to add this responsibility to my task list.

Gary_Miller wrote:That way blocks could be placed for such things like having to finish the gym floor.


That seems like a perfect use for an Event, not a Reservation.

Gary_Miller wrote:There could also be reservations set up only for reserving times for things like YM/YW nights for specific units, and I'm not even sure that's necessary as it could placed on a units calendars as a recurring event by the unit.


But recurring events don't have any specifics as to what is happening and which quorum or class is doing what. Remember, although booking the building is one reason to create events, it's also very important to communicate what is happening and who needs to show up where and when. A recurring Mutual night event would only accomplish the first purpose.
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Postby Gary_Miller » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:03 pm

aebrown wrote:There's enough work that is centralized at the stake level that I don't like this idea. Especially for stakes that have several buildings, I see no benefit in taking a responsibility from the local building, where a local building scheduler is much more likely to know the layout of the building, the rooms, the local rules for allocating the building usage among the wards. My stake only has three buildings, and I certainly wouldn't want to add this responsibility to my task list.
However, if your not going to use the reservation system as Craig suggested, then there is no need for a Local Building Scheduler. Hence the reason I moved responsibility back to the stake level.

aebrown wrote:That seems like a perfect use for an Event, not a Reservation.


Hence, no need for a Local Building Scheduler.

aebrown wrote:But recurring events don't have any specifics as to what is happening and which quorum or class is doing what. Remember, although booking the building is one reason to create events, it's also very important to communicate what is happening and who needs to show up where and when. A recurring Mutual night event would only accomplish the first purpose.
Correct. However, you can book recurring events, such as Mutual Night, and then update each event as the decision on what is happening and who needs to show up where and when is made.

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Postby jdlessley » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:19 pm

craiggsmith wrote:One of the excuses we've heard is "I know the building is already reserved for us so I'm not going to bother putting it on the calendar".
This was one attitude all four units in our building had and why our building scheduler had not set reservations for things like mutual night. The other was that two wards that meet in our building share the same mutual night and reservations cannot be made for two units at once. Divvying the rooms between reservations for that shared mutual night would not work because each ward did not know what rooms were going to be needed at some times in the future - but that is a discussion for another thread.

Not making reservations for Ward A that held mutual on Tuesday evenings eventually created a conflict to occur. Ward B's Primary president scheduled a Cub Scout meeting by accident during Ward A's mutual time. When Ward A attempted to schedule a Boy Scout court of honor in the cultural hall a conflict prevented it. It took three days of telephone calls to determine the Cub Scout meeting time was supposed to be two hours earlier and not during Ward A's mutual time. Ward B's Primary president was out of town and had no computer access. The building scheduler was able to contact her by phone, determine there was a mistake, and correct it. Now all Ward A's mutual nights are reserved through reservations to prevent accidents and panic like this from happening again - at least on Ward A's mutual night.

We are planning on using block reservations to prevent calendar editors from scheduling events for 2013 on certain in demand dates, such as holidays, until all four bishops can work out an equitable plan. Once the priorities and allocations for 2013 scheduling is set then the block will be lifted and regular reservations for those agreed upon priorities and allocations will be put in place.

Gary_Miller wrote:However, you can book recurring events, such as Mutual Night, and then update each event as the decision on what is happening and who needs to show up where and when is made.
Reservations are made for a unit. Events are made on a particular calendar. Since most, but not all, calendars are for an organization then what organization gets to create and therefore manage the one recurring event?

I can see problems arising when the young women have the mutual event with the entire building on their calendar and the young men want to schedule a Boy Scout event using certain rooms. They would have to go through asking a young women calendar editor to edit the recurring event just for that particular need. Asking someone to remember who has what room on mutual night is a setup for conflict and hard feelings. The simpler method is to have a reservation in which all the youth organizations can schedule their individual needs. Plus, those subscribing to the calendars for information about events know when important events are actually happening.
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Postby TinMan » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:59 pm

I have a question, but I don't know how to do that quote thing.

"We are planning on using block reservations to prevent calendar editors from scheduling events for 2013 on certain in demand dates, such as holidays, until all four bishops can work out an equitable plan. Once the priorities and allocations for 2013 scheduling is set then the block will be lifted and regular reservations for those agreed upon priorities and allocations will be put in place."

Can you make a reservation such that NO ward can schedule an event, or do you have to make a reservation so that only say "ward A" can book an event and no other ward can? Wouldn't that create the possibility that Ward A schedules things on those blocked out events while the other three cannot?

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:01 pm

TinMan wrote:I have a question, but I don't know how to do that quote thing.


Click on "Reply With Quote" at the bottom right of the message in question.

TinMan wrote:Can you make a reservation such that NO ward can schedule an event,


Yes. While creating the reservation, in the drop-down list, select "Blocked - Location Unavailable". Once that is done, only a building scheduler can schedule an event until the reservation is removed or modified.
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Postby TinMan » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:12 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Yes. While creating the reservation, in the drop-down list, select "Blocked - Location Unavailable". Once that is done, only a building scheduler can schedule an event until the reservation is removed or modified.
Thank you....


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