Reservations/Restrictions feature Confusing to many.

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Reservations/Restrictions feature Confusing to many.

Postby EarloftheWest » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:22 pm

For several years, I have attempted to train our building schedulers and other on what the reservation/restriction features of the calendar do.
It's still confusing to most people.
I think that the reservation/restriction feature is a great idea. However, if you were to poll people on how it works, I think you would get a variety of answers as to what it actually does.
As neat as a feature as it is, I would like to see the Church do away with it. Not because the feature is a bad feature, but because training people on how to use it is difficult. Yes, the Ward PFRs/Building Schedulers should know how to use it and what it does but it's difficult to train them. Imagine trying to train 10 ward building schedulers who move in and out of callings. Ask those responsible in your Stake who have authority to create reservations/restrictions what the feature actually does and how it works. I think you'll be surprised at the variety of answers you'll get.
There are many organizations in the world that use Outlook and Exchange to schedule rooms for events. There may be a reservation/resource feature in Exchange but I've never read about it or known anyone who uses it - if it exists.
Normal Church Building activity isn't so complicated that we need the reservation/restriction feature - in my opinion.
It would save a lot of hours if it was just removed from the feature set. I suggest the Church take a good long look at this.

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Re: Reservations/Restrictions feature Confusing to many.

Postby aebrown » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:19 am

If the Restrictions feature is confusing, then a stake certainly has the option not to use it. Thus on a local basis, you can implement your suggestion to remove the feature. And if your stake has decided not to use it, there's a good argument that you don't need to call a building scheduler (or if you do call someone to coordinate calendaring for a ward, they can probably be just an administrator, and not need the "building scheduler" assignment).

I certainly don't understand why you would need to train 10 building schedulers on how to use the Restrictions feature. The Restrictions feature serves little purpose, except in multi-unit buildings. If you have 10 buildings in your stake, then several of those must be single-unit buildings, which don't need Restrictions. And if you have multi-unit buildings, then you only need one assigned "building scheduler" per building, which would result in fewer than 10 building schedulers. Some stakes have assigned more than one building scheduler per ward even for multi-unit buildings, but that is a recipe for confusion and conflict -- it's much better to have just one.

The bottom line is that this is an optional feature. We set up our Restrictions for our multi-ward buildings long ago and I don't think we've touched them since, except to extend them in time (there's a 2-year limit on the repeating rules for Restrictions, just as with events). But if you don't need the feature, don't use it.

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Re: Reservations/Restrictions feature Confusing to many.

Postby Gary_Miller » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:50 am

I feel the biggest problem with not understanding the Restrictions feature is that Stakes and Wards don't understand the overall calendaring system, where you can have more than one calendar layer and you can have more than one person putting events on the calendar.

There seems to still be assumption that you can only have one person scheduling events on the calendar, so a building scheduler is called to do this. However, since only ward members can schedule events on ward calendars then a building scheduler is called out of each ward and given building scheduler rights by the stake, which also give restriction rights. The next thing that happens is the building schedulers (ward calendar editor) starts putting events on calendar however they put it on the restrictions calendar instead of on the event calendar. This is not how the system is designed.

The system is designed to have one building scheduler per building for the purpose of setting unit restrictions and mitigating problems. This person does not be scheduling events for every ward in the building they only schedule restrictions which should be set by the bishops whose wards use the building, if used at all.

For events each ward needs to set up their own calendar layers and assign editors for these calendar layers. Calendars layers are set up by calendar administrators with by default is the Bishopric, Ward Clerks and Exc Sec.

This is not hard if people would just do the training in the help section of the calendar.

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Re: Reservations/Restrictions feature Confusing to many.

Postby russellhltn » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:56 am

I agree with Gary. The biggest problem I've seen is people to try to force "the old way" of a centralized scheduler unto the new system. Like other areas of life, a server has replaced someone's day-to-day job.

If you feel that restrictions are a problem, then don't grant anyone rights as a building scheduler in the system. Without that right, no one can schedule a restriction. Problem solved. We have one building in our stake shared by 3 units and we haven't granted anyone rights as a building scheduler. We had problems getting them to understand the "new way" (wanting to have a stake calendar for their building because "we can't see the other ward's events"), but we finally got them to understand. To throw in a dash of the old way (a building scheduler) would just confuse them.

We do have a building scheduler for our stake center, but we set the restrictions at the beginning of the year (ward night) and rarely if ever touch them until next year.
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