Best Practices for Building Reservations

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dbshapiro
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Best Practices for Building Reservations

Postby dbshapiro » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:06 am

As I am now just setting up the calendar for our building which is used by 2 wards, as suggested, i am adding reservations (--Ward A mutual has the cultural hall on the 1st and 3rd Wed, Ward B on 2nd and 4th, for example). I am wondering what the best practices are for setting this up the right way before I turn it over to the organizations of the various wards to begin scheduling.

Is it suggested that the sunday blocks be reserved for each individual ward or should we simply assume that ward A uses most of the building from 9-12 and ward b uses it from 12:30 to 3:30?


Also is it suggested that mondays be blocked from anyone's use?

Are there any other suggestions for the best way to manage reservations?

Is it recommended that the building scheduler create a private event calendar so that families or other can use the building? Should that private calendar be created at the ward level and should it be viewable by the entire ward or only by the scheduler so that he can track the use of the building to avoid conflicts? If it is to be viewable by others can it be set up so that ward A and B can see it or does it go to one ward or the other or should it be set up by the stake so that everyone can see it?

Thanks you for your assistance.

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:21 am

dbshapiro wrote:Also is it suggested that mondays be blocked from anyone's use?


Unless your stake has a policy otherwise, I believe that the Single Members may use the building on Mondays. Otherwise, it doesn't sound like a bad idea.

dbshapiro wrote:Is it recommended that the building scheduler create a private event calendar so that families or other can use the building? Should that private calendar be created at the ward level and should it be viewable by the entire ward or only by the scheduler so that he can track the use of the building to avoid conflicts? If it is to be viewable by others can it be set up so that ward A and B can see it or does it go to one ward or the other or should it be set up by the stake so that everyone can see it?


Yes, I recommend setting up a "Private Event" calendar. Simply relying on reservations isn't good enough. I'd suggest making the calendar at the stake level so that a new stake Building Scheduler can take it over.

It's your call as is to if you leave it public or private. If private, I'd make sure to have enough editors so that control is not lost if something happens to the Building Scheduler.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:30 am

dbshapiro wrote:Also is it suggested that mondays be blocked from anyone's use?


That would only be Monday evenings (not all day), and RussellHltn noted an exception for single members that we have allowed in our stake buildings.

dbshapiro wrote:AIs it suggested that the sunday blocks be reserved for each individual ward or should we simply assume that ward A uses most of the building from 9-12 and ward b uses it from 12:30 to 3:30?


Although reservations are a wonderful tool, I'd be careful about adding too many reservations, particularly on Sundays. In my experience, it is certainly not safe to assume that during a meeting block only the ward that meets during that block will use that building. For example, Ward A might have its choir practice in the RS room at 12:30, while Ward B is having its sacrament meeting. There are plenty of other examples.

Aside from the specific Mutual night reservations, I'd recommend that you take a slow approach to reservations. Every reservation you create reduces flexibility and thus increases the number of potential exceptions -- which will require manual labor to override. You can always add reservations later, and in my experience many of the scheduling conflicts people imagined would happen never materialized.
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Postby dbshapiro » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:46 am

Thanks. The block would only be on Monday evenings and we are short on single members who would use it anyway. --Thanks also for the advice about Sunday use. For now I wont reserve the blocks for the specific wards. I dont think Ward A choir has ever bothered to schedule the building for choir practice and there probably is no good reason why they would need to. I like the idea of keeping the calendar less cluttered.

Can I ask about the private calendar option? I am a stake admin, the building scheduler and a ward admin. I was given stake admin rights because the stake president wanted me to try to figure out the calendar and then perhaps teach others in the stake how to use it.

If I set up the Private calendar at the stake level, should one be set up for each building in the stake and identified as building x private calendar? Should the calendar be viewable by the admins of each ward?

Thanks

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:00 pm

dbshapiro wrote:TCan I ask about the private calendar option? I am a stake admin, the building scheduler and a ward admin. I was given stake admin rights because the stake president wanted me to try to figure out the calendar and then perhaps teach others in the stake how to use it.

If I set up the Private calendar at the stake level, should one be set up for each building in the stake and identified as building x private calendar? Should the calendar be viewable by the admins of each ward?


Personally, I prefer to have ward admins schedule personal events, rather than having the building scheduler involved. But arguments can be made both ways. If you have the ward admin schedule such events, then your question becomes irrelevant -- they can make the decisions about what calendar it goes on and who can see it.

If you do set up a private calendar at the stake level, I would think that you would want one per building, so that you could give edit rights to the appropriate building scheduler, and not distract other building schedulers with information they don't need to see for other buildings. If you also choose to let ward administrators see it, then you have to manage who can see it. That can be a hassle, particularly as people change callings or assignments in each ward. If that visibility is deemed to be important, then I would go back to my original recommendation, and let the ward admins just schedule personal events themselves.
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Postby dbshapiro » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:38 pm

Pardon my ignorance but if a ward A admin creates a pvt event calendar he can obviously add events to it but suppose admin from ward B wants to know if the builiding is avail for a pvt party. Would he have any way of knowing that the building was or wasnt available unless he tried to enter the event and see if it showed a conflict?

If there were a "pvt event building X calendar" created at the stake level couldnt it be designated as viewable by the building scheduler and/or by the ward admins from each ward which would let them see if the building was available when they tried to schedule something? Could the hassle of authorizing various viewers be lessened by authorizing them by calling?

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:38 pm

As you can see, a lot of this is based on how your stake handles private events. There's more then one good way to do it. Just as long as the calendar setup matches how it's done, I don't see a problem.

In our case, the Building Scheduler for the stake center is the Stake Executive Secretary. As a result, we have a stake-level Private Events calendar for him.

One thing I would think about is how to place the calendar such that future Building Schedulers can have access to it. That makes a good case to have them all at the stake level so they can be assigned regardless of which ward the BldSch is in.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:45 pm

dbshapiro wrote:Pardon my ignorance but if a ward A admin creates a pvt event calendar he can obviously add events to it but suppose admin from ward B wants to know if the builiding is avail for a pvt party. Would he have any way of knowing that the building was or wasnt available unless he tried to enter the event and see if it showed a conflict?


Anyone (not just a ward admin) can go to Week view (this is not in Month view) and check the box under Available Locations by the building in question. Then you will see all events that use that location for the week. For a private event, you'll simply see "Private Event". That means that you can't really see the details as to which room. You'll be able to see time blocks that are totally free, but you won't know, for example, if the RS room is scheduled or the Primary room. If the events are not on a private calendar, you can indeed see all those details by clicking on the event.

dbshapiro wrote:If there were a "pvt event building X calendar" created at the stake level couldnt it be designated as viewable by the building scheduler and/or by the ward admins from each ward which would let them see if the building was available when they tried to schedule something? Could the hassle of authorizing various viewers be lessened by authorizing them by calling?


Yes, if the events in question are on a private calendar at the stake level for which each ward admin is an editor, then they all could see the event details. Of course, there can also be additional private calendars created for some other purpose that reserve the building, and they wouldn't be able to see any details for events on those calendars.

You can reduce the authorization hassle by setting editors by calling. But the problem with that in this scenario is that a stake calendar allows only stake callings to be selected (and similarly for ward calendars). So since your ward admins probably don't have stake-level callings, you can't use that technique for a stake calendar.
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:51 pm

aebrown wrote:You can reduce the authorization hassle by setting editors by calling. But the problem with that in this scenario is that a stake calendar allows only stake callings to be selected (and similarly for ward calendars). So since your ward admins probably don't have stake-level callings, you can't use that technique for a stake calendar.


Shouldn't that be a stake calling if the building in question is used by more then one ward? Or is it a case where the Agent Bishop simply delegates that responsibility? But then how do you transfer to the other ward? Sure, there's a way to do it now, but as they say in the stock market "Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results". ;)

All in all, if I had to, I think I'd live with the "by name" limitation of a stake-level calendar.
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Postby dbshapiro » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:07 pm

If designation cant be by ward level callings, that would make it cumbersome. Maybe what we could do is go back to the idea of the agent bishop's ward ultimately being in charge of the events in the building for the year that they are the agent ward. That ward's person can be the building scheduler for the ward and he can be the one who keeps the private calendar with the rest of the ward's admins of course able to edit. At the end of the year, the stake could designate the other ward's building scheduler to take over the task.

So long as others can view the building availalbilty in the week view, there shouldn't be too much hassle for the non agent ward in seeing if the building were available for the private event but... wouldnt scheduling the building still require that the person who wants to use the building contact the building scheduler from the agent ward? I thought the idea of this calendar model was to try to minimize the centralized aspect of one contact person in charge of everything. I guess I am confused as to what the designers had in mind as they created this system and would like to set it up to work as well as possible for our people.


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