Resource scheduling for private calendars

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maybd
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Resource scheduling for private calendars

Postby maybd » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:23 pm

I guess I should also mention that I find it interesting that you can't reserve resources from a private calendar (at least not from our Stake PEC calendar). We don't often have other events that would conflict with our meeting in the high council room, but I hate to make assumptions.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:43 pm

bmay100 wrote:I guess I should also mention that I find it interesting that you can't reserve resources from a private calendar (at least not from our Stake PEC calendar). We don't often have other events that would conflict with our meeting in the high council room, but I hate to make assumptions.


I also thought that odd until I realized that private calendars are truly supposed to be private. Events on a private calendar can't even be seen by a calendar administrator, if he is not set up as a viewer/editor of that private calendar. If resources could be scheduled with a private calendar, then a building scheduler would have to be able to see the events. It appears that the design decision was made for these private calendars that privacy is more important than resource scheduling.

But why is your stake PEC calendar private? Is there anything particularly confidential about the schedule of your PEC meetings? If it's a separate public calendar, most stake members will choose not to subscribe to it. For our stake I made all our stake leadership meetings available on a separate calendar. If it's public, then a bishop, for example, could take a peek and see that the stake president and the ward's high council adviser are busy in PEC at some time. So I see advantages to making the PEC schedule public, and few disadvantages, since members can simply not subscribe to it.

[I moved this post to a new thread, since it had nothing to do with the original thread's topic.]
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Notifications are one reason you might want a "private" calendar

Postby kisaac » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:24 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:But why is your stake PEC calendar private? Is there anything particularly confidential about the schedule of your PEC meetings? If it's a separate public calendar, most stake members will choose not to subscribe to it.


One reason to keep a leadership meeting calendar private, especially on a stake level:

You may want it to be private if you are using the "email notification" feature to notify those subscribed. You wouldn't "spam" your whole stake membership to announce the stake PEC meeting with an automatic reminder!

We have chosen to try weekly automatic email reminders for our Ward Council and PEC, which appear with all the other leadership meetings and PPI's on a separate Ward Leaders Calendar, and made it private. Each ward leader is a viewer. Our emails supposedly will go automatically to all those subscribed a few days before each meeting. We've done the reminder emails to leaders for about a year now anyway, and recently the leaders asked us to continue them.

We decided we didn't want to "spam" all the ward members who haven't unsubscribed. If it was a public calendar, they could unsubscribe, and probably should, but I know some won't figure out the correlation between the fact that they haven't unsubscribed to the leaders calendar and the email reminders they are receiving for items on that same calendar. I didn't want ward members continually receiving emails about meetings they don't attend.

Perhaps if every ward (stake) member was not automatically subscribed to calendars, this would not be an issue. And, perhaps in a year or two, there will be enough familiarity that it won't be an issue then, either.

Once we've used it for awhile, I'm sure we will refine and try other options. I look forward to seeing comments like this thread and from Alan_Brown's comment to see what others are trying. Keep up the posts.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:09 pm

kisaac wrote:We decided we didn't want to "spam" all the ward members who haven't unsubscribed. If it was a public calendar, they could unsubscribe, and probably should, but I know some won't figure out the correlation between the fact that they haven't unsubscribed to the leaders calendar and the email reminders they are receiving for items on that same calendar. I didn't want ward members continually receiving emails about meetings they don't attend.

Perhaps if every ward (stake) member was not automatically subscribed to calendars, this would not be an issue. And, perhaps in a year or two, there will be enough familiarity that it won't be an issue then, either.


I certainly agree that because automatic subscription is the default, many people will end up subscribed to calendars they are not really interested in. But I don't see how PEC is that much different from any other calendar. Is it "spamming" to send a reminder of the YW Volleyball event to 90-year-old Brother Smith? I don't think so.

Members are simply going to have to learn to unsubscribe from calendars they are not interested in. There are very few calendars you can take the route of making them private to avoid this issue, so you are only slightly reducing it (depending, of course, on how often reminders are sent for various events on various calendars).

It still comes down to a local decision as to whether building scheduling and other benefits of a public calendar outweigh the problems of excessive notification for unintentional subscribers.
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maybd
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Postby maybd » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:18 pm

To be honest, we just went with the default that the calendar wizard set up for us (although we're not using it to actually transfer the events).

The other reason that I'm reluctant to make these calendars public is that I have been toying with the idea of building our agenda items in the event description field. This would make it easy to remember all of the topics that need to be addressed, and with all of the members of that meeting having access as editors, all would be able to contribute to the agenda.

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Postby lajackson » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:27 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:But why is your stake PEC calendar private? Is there anything particularly confidential about the schedule of your PEC meetings?


That is the default setting from the Church. And I had those same questions. Why would we not want folks to know when these meetings take place? The bishops need to get their calling/release requests in, and I can think of a number of other reasons.

But I left it for now and just won't use it until I figure out what we want to do with it, if anything, in our stake.

The default is also for a private Stake Presidency calendar and a private Stake Council calendar. Still puzzling over those, as well.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:43 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:I also thought that odd until I realized that private calendars are truly supposed to be private. [...] It appears that the design decision was made for these private calendars that privacy is more important than resource scheduling.


I wonder if a case can be made on just how a private calendar should work.

I can't see a case for a ultra secret calendar. I can understand hiding the details of the event. I'm wondering how bad it can be if members can figure out that someone is meeting in the HP room? By that, what's the worst that could happen if members know that a invisible (to them) calender exists and that an event on that calender is using a resource?

What I'm suggesting is that members would see something like "Hidden Calender Event" on the resource. If there's an issue, they could go to whoever manages that resource.
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Postby maybd » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:26 pm

The only time that I can see that it would be bad to show the title of the event would be if there is a disciplinary action taking place. Otherwise, i agree that there is little reason to hide the title. One issue with not listing the disciplinary councils is they take place at odd hours when folks might think the room is available, therby creating a situation when folks would double book.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:37 pm

bmay100 wrote:The only time that I can see that it would be bad to show the title of the event would be if there is a disciplinary action taking place.


Assuming that was in the title, yes.

However, what if we go with something even stricter? Generally, the only thing that someone needs to know is that the resource is used and who to talk to about any possible conflicts. Seems like there should be a way that can be accomplished while retaining any needed privacy.
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Postby aebrown » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:42 pm

lajackson wrote:That is the default setting from the Church.


Well, not really -- it's only the default setting if you use the Calendar Setup Wizard. Our stake had begun using the new calendar long before the wizard existed, so we're not using it. Thus we have only the calendars we created, and they are public or private as we decided.

But I guess a lot of stakes will use the setup wizard, so this will be a fairly common situation (although nothing stops them from changing it to a public calendar). Nonetheless, I see building scheduling as being a pretty big deal, so I think private calendars should be used sparingly.

However, for a variety of reasons, I created a "Resource Only" calendar. This is not a calendar that very many people would want to subscribe to, but it lets me do a variety of resource scheduling tasks:

  • Setup and takedown time before and after a scheduled event
  • Reservation of a projector for use in another building or in a room which is not on the list or resources for the building.
  • Reservation of any resources for a non-Church event, such as a mission reunion, which you wouldn't really want on any event calendar.
This could also be used for situations where an event on a private calendar needs to reserve a resource -- you could simply call it "Stake Meeting" for the public to see. Yes, it's a duplicate event, but it gets the building scheduled while preserving the privacy of the actual event on the private calendar.
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