Is there a beginner's manual?

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
ahancey
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Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby ahancey » Sat May 24, 2014 12:06 am

My stake has never used the lds.org calendar for scheduling buildings. The stake leadership is currently looking into changing the way building scheduling has been done throughout the stake, and I have been asked to explain how the lds.org calendar works with respect to building scheduling.

I downloaded and read the documentation online and watched the videos and still have a lot of questions. I obviously am missing some concepts about the calendar and hope someone can help me understand them. If I can't make a compelling argument, demonstrating that the calendar will be a good replacement for the current scheduling method, I am afraid that my stake will decide to move everyone to google calendar.

Following are the questions I have.
  • What is the latest documentation version? I have read version 2.2, dated 1/21/2013. It talks about Reservations, but the calendar lists Restrictions, not Reservations, so I am assuming that the documentation is old.
  • After reading through many of the threads on the forum, I am assuming that the term 'calendar editor' is the term that replaces the old responsibilities of the 'building scheduler' .. just with a different title. Is this correct?
  • Who exactly are the calendar editors in the ward? Just the leaders of the different auxiliaries?
  • Can calendar editors see all activities scheduled in the building, even those for other wards? Or just the activities for their ward?
  • If the answer to the last question is 'no', how do they know when they can schedule events? Can they see where blocks of time are free? Or blocks of time that are being used?
  • Who schedules funerals, weddings, wedding dinners, family parties, etc.? And does that person, or persons, have access to all of building's schedules?
  • If the building scheduler defines restrictions for different wards, at different times of the week, how do the calendar editors know when those times are? Are they visible on each ward's calendars?
  • When viewing the calendar in the week-view, there are two boxes on the far left, Subscribed Calendars and Locations. As an Administrator, how do you add additional locations in the Location section? I can't find this anywhere in the documentation.
  • Can members of the ward see the calendar, along with the activities that are scheduled?

Thank you

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aebrown
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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby aebrown » Sat May 24, 2014 12:40 am

ahancey wrote:If I can't make a compelling argument, demonstrating that the calendar will be a good replacement for the current scheduling method, I am afraid that my stake will decide to move everyone to google calendar.

That would be a very poor choice. Trying to get everyone signed up with a Google Account would be a pain, but the worst problem is that Google knows nothing about the buildings and rooms in your stake. The LDS.org Calendar is designed to schedule buildings and rooms and prevent conflicts.

ahancey wrote:What is the latest documentation version? I have read version 2.2, dated 1/21/2013. It talks about Reservations, but the calendar lists Restrictions, not Reservations, so I am assuming that the documentation is old.

The documentation was very recently moved to the Record Keeping and Technology Support site. When you click Help from the Calendar, you will go to Calendar on RKATS. It is now much more up to date, using the word "Restriction" instead of the old "Reservations" term (some of the videos still have images of screens with the old terminology).

ahancey wrote:After reading through many of the threads on the forum, I am assuming that the term 'calendar editor' is the term that replaces the old responsibilities of the 'building scheduler' .. just with a different title. Is this correct?

No. It's quite different. The old "building scheduler" role doesn't exist anymore. A calendar editor can create events only on the specific ward calendar(s) assigned to the editor (or stake calendars in the case of a stake calendar editor). In general, a calendar editor doesn't have overall responsibility to create all events for a building.

The new role called "Building Scheduler" (unfortunate choice of words...) is also nothing like the old role. The new "Building Scheduler" can create restrictions (not events) and arbitrate conflicts. That's about it (unless that person is also given calendar editor or administrator permissions).

See Rights and Roles.

ahancey wrote:Who exactly are the calendar editors in the ward? Just the leaders of the different auxiliaries?

The calendar editors are whoever is assigned to be calendar editors. There is an optional setup wizard that creates calendars with the names of the auxiliaries and other organizations, and designates (by calling) the presidency of the auxiliaries and organizations as calendar editors. But each ward can modify the wizard defaults, or not use the wizard at all, however they see fit.

See Rights and Roles.

ahancey wrote:Can calendar editors see all activities scheduled in the building, even those for other wards? Or just the activities for their ward?

Using Week View, anyone can see all activities scheduled in a building. See Check Location Availability for details.

ahancey wrote:If the answer to the last question is 'no', how do they know when they can schedule events? Can they see where blocks of time are free? Or blocks of time that are being used?

Although the answer was "yes", it's often easiest to just go ahead and try to schedule an event. The system will notify you if there is a conflict. The "Check Location Availability" technique only shows you what location was scheduled; you have to drill down into the event details to see exactly which rooms within the location are scheduled, so it can be very tedious to look for an available slot. It's much easier to just create the event and let the system show the conflicts.

ahancey wrote:Who schedules funerals, weddings, wedding dinners, family parties, etc.? And does that person, or persons, have access to all of building's schedules?

Every calendar editor has access to schedule events in any building. In our stake, each ward has a designated calendar coordinator who schedules private events. Funerals typically go on a public ward calendar, but the other events you mentioned typically go on a private calendar, which books the building, but hides the event details from the general membership. Some stakes designate a stake person, perhaps one per building, to schedule such private events. Either way can work.

ahancey wrote:If the building scheduler defines restrictions for different wards, at different times of the week, how do the calendar editors know when those times are? Are they visible on each ward's calendars?

Again, using the "Check Location Availability" technique will also show restrictions. But in general, I would recommend just scheduling an event and letting the system tell you whether another event or restriction conflicts with your desired location and time.

ahancey wrote:When viewing the calendar in the week-view, there are two boxes on the far left, Subscribed Calendars and Locations. As an Administrator, how do you add additional locations in the Location section? I can't find this anywhere in the documentation.

See Managing Locations.

ahancey wrote:Can members of the ward see the calendar, along with the activities that are scheduled?

Yes. They can choose which calendars they are interested in, and unsubscribe from the others (for example, a 30-year-old father might be interested in Ward Activities and Elders Quorum and Primary, but not in Relief Society or High Priests or Young Men or Young Women, depending on his calling). And every stake member can also see the stake calendars and choose which of them they want to subscribe to. See Subscribed Calendars and Locations.

ahancey
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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby ahancey » Sat May 24, 2014 10:26 am

Wow, this was amazingly helpful, thank you so much. I guess I have a lot more reading to do today. Is the latest documentation available to download in pdf form, or just online?

I completely agree with you about google calendar, that is why I want to make sure that they do not go that direction. When I was called as the Building Scheduler of the three wards in my building, the person before me gave me access to the google calendar that he had been using, and that was my training. Before then, no one but him had access to the calendar. I was stunned. I've checked with other building schedulers, and everyone does their own thing. Some don't even use the computer at all. And when a new person gets called, there is about a 6-month spin-up time for them to get adjusted into how they want to deal with the calling.

Another thing they have been talking about doing, besides the google calendar, is having one single point of contact for the entire building scheduling, which includes booking a large park and gazebo area (which gets booked a lot in the summer). This is the exact opposite direction that they should be going, imo. They want to do this in order to avoid accidental 'scheduling collisions', which we have had a few (no surprise there, right?).

I really like the idea of having the calendar open to everyone so they can see it, that has been one of my main complaints. The more people that can see the calendar, the less collisions there will be. I don't like the idea of having one person having to accept all responsibility on his/her shoulders. People get pretty upset when I'm sick or out of town, for example.

Since then, I moved everything over to lds.org (after begging the stake to create a calendar for me). It is still private, but at least I can share it with the bishops in the building. I am excited that they are finally willing to accept that the calendar on lds.org might be worth looking into. I want to be sure that I have a really good handle on it before tomorrow so I can answer all of their questions.

aebrown wrote:
ahancey wrote:Who schedules funerals, weddings, wedding dinners, family parties, etc.? And does that person, or persons, have access to all of building's schedules?

Every calendar editor has access to schedule events in any building. In our stake, each ward has a designated calendar coordinator who schedules private events. Funerals typically go on a public ward calendar, but the other events you mentioned typically go on a private calendar, which books the building, but hides the event details from the general membership. Some stakes designate a stake person, perhaps one per building, to schedule such private events. Either way can work.


I still have a couple of questions about this.

aebrown wrote:Every calendar editor has access to schedule events in any building.


What exactly do you mean by in any building? Can a calendar editor from Building A schedule an activity in Building B? For example, if a Bishop needs to schedule a funeral but there is already a funeral in his building, could he look at other building in his stake and schedule the funeral in another building? Or would he have to contact someone in order to do that for him?

aebrown wrote:Funerals typically go on a public ward calendar, but the other events you mentioned typically go on a private calendar, which books the building, but hides the event details from the general membership.


This makes sense. Again, I love the idea of taking the responsibility off of the building scheduler and back into the individual ward's hands.
So even if a calendar is private, a schedule made on that calendar is still reflected throughout all of the calendars in that building and can't be scheduled on top of?

I assume that you have done this for a while now, right? Have there been issues/conflicts with too many family parties being scheduled or taking up time that the church leaders would rather have available? Do you have a few days allocated for each ward so they don't get booked by individuals? And if so, what if the ward does not use them, and a family wants to book that day? I guess the building scheduler has to step in, right? Since there is a restriction on the day?

aebrown wrote:Some stakes designate a stake person, perhaps one per building, to schedule such private events. Either way can work.


This sounds like a building scheduler.

Okay, I'll go read the documentation that you linked to. I'm probably asking questions that are already documented. Thanks again for your help.

russellhltn
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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby russellhltn » Sat May 24, 2014 10:49 am

The biggest thing to wrap your head around is that the old calling of Building Scheduler has largely been replaced by a web application. All the ward, if not the Quorum and Auxiliary leaders do their own scheduling on a first-come first-served basis. As long as they select the location, the system will prevent anyone from scheduling the same room at the same time.

About the only thing left for the Building Scheduler is doing private events (weddings, family events) and conflict resolution.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby russellhltn » Sat May 24, 2014 10:54 am

ahancey wrote:
aebrown wrote:Every calendar editor has access to schedule events in any building.


What exactly do you mean by in any building? Can a calendar editor from Building A schedule an activity in Building B? For example, if a Bishop needs to schedule a funeral but there is already a funeral in his building, could he look at other building in his stake and schedule the funeral in another building? Or would he have to contact someone in order to do that for him?

Correct. Unless there is a restriction on that building, any ward can schedule any building. Just keep in mind that in your example, the Bishop A is going to have to get someone to open Building B for him. Just because it's on the calendar doesn't mean someone will show up and open the door.


ahancey wrote:So even if a calendar is private, a schedule made on that calendar is still reflected throughout all of the calendars in that building and can't be scheduled on top of?

Correct.


ahancey wrote:I assume that you have done this for a while now, right? Have there been issues/conflicts with too many family parties being scheduled or taking up time that the church leaders would rather have available? Do you have a few days allocated for each ward so they don't get booked by individuals? And if so, what if the ward does not use them, and a family wants to book that day? I guess the building scheduler has to step in, right? Since there is a restriction on the day?

That's a problem regardless of the system used.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

ahancey
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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby ahancey » Sat May 24, 2014 11:12 am

russellhltn wrote:The biggest thing to wrap your head around is that the old calling of Building Scheduler has largely been replaced by a web application. All the ward, if not the Quorum and Auxiliary leaders do their own scheduling on a first-come first-served basis. As long as they select the location, the system will prevent anyone from scheduling the same room at the same time.

About the only thing left for the Building Scheduler is doing private events (weddings, family events) and conflict resolution.


I guess I don't know what the Building Scheduler role used to be. I've had this calling for 2 years, and the only thing I've been concerned with has been private events and conflict resolution. I never deal with scheduling YMYW, RS, Scouting, etc., those are set in stone, week after week, year after year. A web application isn't scheduling them, there is a calendar hanging on the wall in the building that says when each ward activity meets.

russellhltn
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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby russellhltn » Sat May 24, 2014 11:36 am

ahancey wrote:I guess I don't know what the Building Scheduler role used to be.

The old Building Scheduler did all the scheduling for the building for all groups. In your case, it seems like everyone had a standing reservation, so you didn't worry about a number of things.

Perhaps the most important definition here: The old Building Scheduler made booked the building a wards that he/she was not a member of. That doesn't work in the new system. You can't have access to a ward calendar if you are not a member of that ward. Sure, you could block off the use of the building in some other calendar, but then that ward doesn't have a event for it's members to see. The new way is "all wards schedule their own events". That level of decentralization is mandatory, but each ward can decide to break it down further to the quorum/auxiliary level.

By tying the building bookings to the actual events, it's less likely that the building use will somehow get out of sync with the planned event. (Like someone moving an event and forgetting to tell the building scheduler.)
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

ahancey
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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby ahancey » Sat May 24, 2014 4:22 pm

Just got word about the meeting tomorrow, the stake has no intention of allowing the wards access to scheduling their own events. I was told it is something about how the handbook states how the building scheduling should be done vs. how the lds.org calendar software is set up. They just want to make the calendar available for viewing, if a member wishes to see the building schedule. But that isn't possible, right? They can only view their own ward?

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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby russellhltn » Sat May 24, 2014 4:37 pm

Handbook 1: 8.2.5 indicates that the Agent Bishop of the building handles the scheduling of the building, but may delegate it to another. Considering that the software was done under the guidance of the Brethren, I find it hard to believe that it conflicts with the Handbook. But it may conflict with some people's understanding of the Handbook.

Personally, I'm having a hard time understanding how the new system is all that fundamentally different than the old one. If your ward was organized and the first to submit events to the scheduler, you're likely to get those dates unless someone with a higher priority bumps you off. And if the concern is having "ward nights" or a set schedule of which wards have which weekends, then restrictions can set aside blocks of time for specific units.

The system doesn't replace any rules or guidance handed down from the stake. If leaders are not following that guidance, then that's a different problem. Typically only leaders have access to the calendar, and if they can't be trusted to follow directions, than why are they in a leadership position?
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

russellhltn
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Re: Is there a beginner's manual?

Postby russellhltn » Sat May 24, 2014 4:43 pm

ahancey wrote:But that isn't possible, right? They can only view their own ward?

Each member can only view their ward and stake. The bishopric has full admin rights to calendars in their ward. Others only receive edit rights as added by an admin. Typically, that would only be leaders in the ward.

It's possible to see the building schedule - to the extent of when the building is being used by looking at week view and selecting the building.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


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