unnecessary bureaucracy

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tomirvine
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unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby tomirvine » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:29 am

The position of schedule coordinator is a very nearly a non-value added layer of bureaucracy. To wit, my sole authority is to add non-binding, obfuscated "restrictions" on the calendar. I did so for one ward that wanted the entire building for a Halloween party on a certain night. Then some other leader with true reservation authority scheduled the entire building for another ward on the same night. For any of you who claim that a double-booking of this sort is metaphysically impossible, I will gladly stand with you before all fifteen brethren whom we sustain as "prophets, seers, and revelators" with evidence in hand to prove otherwise. For any of you who want to pontificate on the nuances of "restrictions" versus "events" versus "reservations," I am calling bravo sierra. So now I can only "check" the calendar for some requester with the disclaimer that he or she must seek out a leader with true reservation authority to make the actual reservation. I am effectively putting myself out-of-business, because such requesters will then realize that they can bypass me altogether and instead go straight to the authorized leader. I get no "power trip" from my calling, but I HATE making people jump through hoops. I would rather serve in the nursery where I could minister unto my like-minded peers. - Tom Irvine, Madison, Alabama

russellhltn
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby russellhltn » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:36 pm

tomirvine wrote:To wit, my sole authority is to add non-binding, obfuscated "restrictions" on the calendar. I did so for one ward that wanted the entire building for a Halloween party on a certain night.

Which is not a good use for a "restriction" for exactly the reasons you've discovered.


tomirvine wrote:I am effectively putting myself out-of-business, because such requesters will then realize that they can bypass me altogether and instead go straight to the authorized leader.

There are a few tasks left, but the day-to-day work of a "building scheduler" has been replaced by the computer. The problems all stem from the fact that someone is trying to hold on to the "traditions of the fathers". I won't say "foolish" because at the time and with the technology they had, it was a wise method. But what was once wise is no longer so. it just doesn't work with the new method.

"Schedule coordinator" is something only needed for those who have no computers.
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drepouille
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby drepouille » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:48 pm

I agree that the building coordinator has very little authority to do anything. I have worked with some who served in that calling who wanted to control events with an iron fist. I think that level of effort is unnecessary.

It is the responsibility of the ward leaders who want to schedule an event to do exactly that. If they only ask the building coordinator if the evening is open, but do not follow through and actually create an event on one of their ward calendars, then I have no pity for them.

The building coordinator should create appropriate restrictions to indicate which times and resources are "reserved" for a certain ward or stake. The building coordinator should also have editing privileges on a (perhaps private) calendar, so he can create actual events in behalf of those who are not members of the stake. This could include such events as scouting events, wedding receptions, zone conferences, or funerals. If someone within the stake wants to "reserve" a time and resource, they must create an event on their own ward or stake calendar.

I was recently asked what procedure a "rank and file member" should follow to reserve a building, since such members do not have editing privileges. I answered that such a member should ask someone on their ward council or stake council to create the event for them. The assumption is that members of ward and stake councils have the necessary editing privileges as well as the knowledge of the proper deconfliction procedures to follow.

So I agree -- when done properly, the job of the building coordinator is really quite simple, almost to the point of being non-essential, well, for most things. But such a person is needed by those outside the stake who want to schedule a building.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

tomirvine
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby tomirvine » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:08 pm

Wow! I expected to be accused of being "unfaithful to the brethren." Instead, I got some sympathy.

Thank you,
Tom Irvine

DMuir
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby DMuir » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:19 pm

Building schedulers apparently should not be involved in scheduling events (without clear understanding of their "power") but rather they should just be setting up the restrictions once a year or so and only involved in conflict resolutions.

Additionally, we have set up a Stake Calendar for Family Events - and added one Calendar Editor from each ward, by name, as an editor. This allows all private family events to be consolidated onto one calendar.

Gary_Miller
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby Gary_Miller » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:14 pm

DMuir wrote:Additionally, we have set up a Stake Calendar for Family Events - and added one Calendar Editor from each ward, by name, as an editor. This allows all private family events to be consolidated onto one calendar.

While this is an OK solution it is unnecessary to have this type of calendar as a stake calendar layer. A ward calendar layer would be just effective or more effective as you would not have to add the calender editor by name you could just use one of the default administrators as the editor for that calendar layer.

I find it interesting that because its the stake building there is a tendency to do thing different from standard meeting houses. Ward calendar layers are just as effective when it comes to scheduling the Stake Center.

kisaac
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby kisaac » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:35 am

tomirvine wrote:I got some sympathy

There is plenty of sympathy for those trying to make a difference in their calling!

If your ward/stake is using the online calendar just to replace the paper calendar, then a building schedulers role now is the same as it always has been, but on a computer.

The calendar can be so much more! If the leaders are looking to the online calendar to inform and deliver information about activities to their members, it has far greater potential then the paper calendar ever had. It now would truly be "unnecessary bureaucracy" to ask them to filter this back through a building scheduler, just to avoid the learning curve we all are in.

The building scheduler has now become a building specialist, to mediate problems, and to help educate leaders to do it themselves- better than we could do it before. If they call you, help them find ways to do it better themselves, to not double-book your buildings, to use your buildings more efficiently, and to get more members involved at every level, to see the online calendar and all of LDS.org as a tool in "the work of salvation."

Step away from the old scheduler, you are now a specialist, and perhaps your calling now is to help your ward /stake understand the new potential we have in our grasp.

russellhltn
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:13 pm

kisaac wrote:If your ward/stake is using the online calendar just to replace the paper calendar, then a building schedulers role now is the same as it always has been, but on a computer.

Not quite. The problem is that no one can add an event to a ward they do not belong to. As such, the old method of one person scheduling a multi-unit building falls apart. Oh, there's things you can try, but the kluge just makes things worse.

Personally, I think the way to help a stake that "doesn't get it" is to abolish the position completely. As long as someone still has that title or a similar-sounding one, they'll keep trying to go back to the "old way". Once they "get it", then you can bring that position back into it's new role.

kisaac wrote:The calendar can be so much more!

I see it as doing three things:
  • Schedule ward/stake events (correlation)
  • Inform the members about these events (including syncing)
  • Schedule the building

I think leaders forget about the "inform" part and tend to see the calendar as just for their use. That shows up when a number of events are piled onto one calendar without regard for who might want to subscribe or not subscribe to that calendar.
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jeffevannelson
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby jeffevannelson » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:22 am

First off The Calendar app removes the need of 1 person to manage everything. Instead everyone who is a calendar editor can schedule the building. The roll of the building Coordinator is what I would say is this:

1) Helping the Editors Understand that they can schedule for themselves. Editors would include all church leaders assuming your ward as set up calendars correctly.

2) Scheduling general building activities for people who are not editors. (weddings, Baptisms,Funerals)

3) Helping Restrict the building to different wards. (this is what your doing its not the same as reservation)

4) Educating people on how to use calendar when they desire to use the building. AKA many people just show up right?

5) Resolving Conflicts between groups wanting to use the same part of the building.

Is it true that your leader might be able to go in and edit the calendar and change things to his liking? yes He could do it using the app. But the bigger question is should he do such a thing?
Well I will let you communicate with your leader on how you want to run your calendering inside your stake and ward.

But Imagine for a moment If I built calendar is such a way that Building schedulers Authority Trumpeted the Stake President or Bishops. Sure We could make building Tsars but I would rather give leaders and Building schedulers power to do what they need and let them learn how to work together.

As for coming on these forms perhaps the question that should have been asked is "how do I get leaders and members to work together thus the building scheduler. It seems building scheduler would be a great resource for bishops to know what is going on. If you do have a bishop who is eager about changing the schedule you should inform him that you would hope when he removes peoples events or changes things that he contact all the parties involved so that they are aware. At this point he might use the building scheduler more.

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aebrown
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Re: unnecessary bureaucracy

Postby aebrown » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:45 am

jeffevannelson wrote:The roll of the building Coordinator is what I would say is this:

I have to disagree with much of what is listed there. You are combining two separate roles into something you call the "Building Coordinator":
  • Items 1, 2, and 4 have nothing to do with the Building Scheduler assignment. Those are tasks that can best be handled at the ward level -- they have nothing to do with the building level for a multi-unit building.
  • Items 3 and 5 (in particular #3, but in many cases #5) are indeed tasks that can only be done by someone who has been given the Building Scheduler assignment.
In our stake, we have made sure that each ward has what we call a Calendar Coordinator. They are specifically given the assignment to train all the calendar editors, and to schedule family events. They also are the main administrator who (with approval of the bishop) designs and implements the strategy for how the calendars are subdivided. Having this person at the ward level makes great sense -- everyone in the ward will know them, and everything they do can appear on a ward calendar.

But there is only one Building Scheduler per building -- having one Building Scheduler per ward is a recipe for conflict and confusion. The Building Scheduler sets up restrictions and helps resolve conflicts. The Building Scheduler doesn't need to create any events.


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