How to handle resources (now rooms and equipment) not associated with a building?

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jficklin
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How to handle resources (now rooms and equipment) not associated with a building?

Postby jficklin » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:07 pm

In our stake we use the old resource calendar to schedule a number of resources which are not associated with any building. (Las Cruces New Mexico Stake 507210)

For example: The stake has stake dance music equipment. This equipment can be scheduled for use by the stake or any ward in the stake. It can be used at any meeting house within the stake, or even away from a meeting house with approval. We currently maintain a resource calendar under the old calendar system for this equipment. The calendar is accessible to all for scheduling requests. How can we continue to provide on-line scheduling for this equipment using the new calendar system?

We also schedule projectors and a portable sound system in this manner. I have mentioned this in the new calendar forums in the past, but it doesn't appear to me that the new calendar has been modified to handle these kinds of scheduling at this time. Will we have to go back to scheduling these resources on paper via telephone call after Dec. 31, 2011?

Jim Ficklin, Stake Technology Clerk
Las Cruces New Mexico Stake (507210)
Jym@q.com

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:51 pm

jficklin wrote:This equipment can be scheduled for use by the stake or any ward in the stake. It can be used at any meeting house within the stake, or even away from a meeting house with approval. We currently maintain a resource calendar under the old calendar system for this equipment. The calendar is accessible to all for scheduling requests. How can we continue to provide on-line scheduling for this equipment using the new calendar system?


Using the new calendar, I would create a new location that has a name like "Equipment." I would associate custom resources within that location for each item. And I would add each unit in the stake (including the stake unit) to that location.

Doing that should meet all your needs, except perhaps the issue of approval. Under the new system you basically have to decide if you are willing to relinquish some control and let any calendar editor schedule the equipment, or maintain control and have all requests go through an equipment scheduler. You'll have to make your own choice, but I think you'll be happier if you relinquish a bit of control and use the new system the way it is designed.
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jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:26 pm

Another option is to include the custom resources just as aebrown described for the new location only add them for the stake center. If your stake adds each unit of the stake to the stake center location for scheduling it doesn't matter whether there is a new custom location or you use a location that already exists. It just matters that the location where the custom resources are added includes all the units for access to scheduling that location.
JD Lessley
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:14 pm

aebrown wrote:Using the new calendar, I would create a new location that has a name like "Equipment." I would associate custom resources within that location for each item. And I would add each unit in the stake (including the stake unit) to that location.


Unless I'm missing something, an event can only be tied to one "Location". So he couldn't book the "Dance Music Equipment" and the "Stake Cultural Hall" with one event unless the equipment was part of the stake location.

One work around would be to use two events, but that's a bit messy.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:30 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Unless I'm missing something, an event can only be tied to one "Location". So he couldn't book the "Dance Music Equipment" and the "Stake Cultural Hall" with one event unless the equipment was part of the stake location.


That's true, but review the requirements I was responding to: "It can be used at any meeting house within the stake, or even away from a meeting house with approval." Making the equipment part of the stake location doesn't meet those requirements (or at least will not meet those requirements if any units that need to schedule the equipment are not associated with the stake center location).

RussellHltn wrote:One work around would be to use two events, but that's a bit messy.


Given that the equipment needs to be used in multiple buildings, that's already going to be an issue. It's a bit messy, but I use a "Resource Only" calendar for such purposes all the time, and it's no big deal.

The reason I suggested a separate location is that all the units can be associated with that location, and thus can schedule the equipment. If all the units were associated with the stake center, then associating the equipment with the stake center location would work just as well (probably a bit better). But some stakes don't want to associate all units with the stake center -- they only want to associate the wards that inhabit the stake center as well as the stake unit.
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jficklin
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Postby jficklin » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:54 am

Here's a bit more insight into our equipment scheduling dilemma: The use of a scheduler for the equipment is important as in our stake use of the equipment entails that the requester either be trained on the equipment, or that the equipment is used with an "authorized stake operator" present. That means someone must coordinate either the training of users or the scheduling of "authorized operators." This coordination would be pretty much impossible without funneling all requests through one scheduler. We are reluctant to abandon this system as it has resulted in a very significant reduction in "lost" or "broken" equipment and assures that the equipment will work for the purpose it was requested as a knowledgeable and trained person will always be available to assist the requester in the successful use of the equipment.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:33 am

jficklin wrote:Here's a bit more insight into our equipment scheduling dilemma: The use of a scheduler for the equipment is important as in our stake use of the equipment entails that the requester either be trained on the equipment, or that the equipment is used with an "authorized stake operator" present. That means someone must coordinate either the training of users or the scheduling of "authorized operators." This coordination would be pretty much impossible without funneling all requests through one scheduler. We are reluctant to abandon this system as it has resulted in a very significant reduction in "lost" or "broken" equipment and assures that the equipment will work for the purpose it was requested as a knowledgeable and trained person will always be available to assist the requester in the successful use of the equipment.


To handle that, you could use my idea of a separate location, and designate a building scheduler for that location. Then you basically have two options:
  1. Set a reservation that blocks that resource from ever being automatically scheduled, so people have to contact the building scheduler in order to book the equipment.
  2. Open up the equipment to be scheduled by anyone, but have the equipment scheduler monitor that calendar to see who has scheduled it, and work with them on the details (and to resolve conflicts).


For the first option, it would be nice to still have the "classic" calendar option of submitting a request. But for some reason I still cannot comprehend, the designers of the new calendar think that option is not needed with the new calendar (see the bullet item about "Submit Event" on the Known Limitations page). So people would need to contact the scheduler directly (probably by phone or email) to book the equipment.
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jficklin
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Postby jficklin » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:57 am

I appreciate everyone's kindness in suggesting some possible "workarounds." (Sigh) I just wish it were possible to continue what has evolved into an excellent and useful system for our stake without having to go back to the dark ages. If I block out everything we're back to the call or e-mail the scheduler (with the attendant possible phone tag) to schedule these resources. If I elect to open the site and monitor I make a whole lot of extra work for myself. Are we REALLY ready to tun off classic calendars on 31 Dec 2011?

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:15 am

From what I'm seeing, anyone can create a calendar. It still has to be approved, but they can create and possibly book a resource. Perhaps that can be used as a workaround messaging system?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:20 am

RussellHltn wrote:they can create and possibly book a resource. Perhaps that can be used as a workaround messaging system?


Nope. People can create a calendar (pending approval), but they can't do anything with that calendar, including scheduling events for it, until it is approved.
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