Calendar reservation problems

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:15 am

Gary_Miller wrote:This is the problem I'm currently seeing in my stake. There are called building schedulers who don't seem to understand their role and are using the reservation system to book events. I don't see double-booking, however I'm seeing reservations blocking out a period of time but no event to place it on any calendar. When this happens the only time you can see there is anything taking place in a specific building is in the week mode.


The double booking risk comes when (for example) a building scheduler creates a reservation for the cultural hall for the Meadow Ward because the Primary president requested it for September 18 at 7:00pm. Then a calendar editor or administrator from the Meadow Ward creates an event that books the cultural hall for a Young Women event at that same time. That event can be safely saved because it is done by someone from the ward for whom the reservation was made. But neither the Primary president nor the YW president is going to be happy on that day, since they both think they have properly scheduled the building.

There are many variations to this possibility; for instance, the building scheduler may create a reservation on top of an existing event. But this just shows that the only reliable way to book a building is to create an event. Reservations are not a reliable way to book the building.
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failproof
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Postby failproof » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:08 pm

But this just shows that the only reliable way to book a building is to create an event. Reservations are not a reliable way to book the building.


Although I don't disagree with this statement, I do have to say that my stake is trying very hard to disprove it... For one reason or another, not completely known to me, our stake has disallowed scheduling on all the buildings/recreation property in our stake (unchecked This location can be scheduled by Wards and Stakes option on all the locations.) The desire was to have all building scheduling coordinated through the couple who have been called as the stake building schedulers. This has effectively made Reservations, the only way to "book" a specific building and rooms. This basically works since there is only one married couple doing all the reservations (though a couple of High Council members and now myself as a stake website administrator have also been added as schedulers) As you can imagine, this current new bug has put a damper on their ability to schedule buildings for stake members who email/call them to request it.

I hope to change all this in the next few weeks/months as we have just had a new stake presidency called, and I think it shouldn't be difficult to help them see how much easier this could be and that we're doing it all wrong.

Maybe some of you can help answer a question that occurred to me though... for a "regular Joe member" who isn't a calendar editor for any calendars in the ward or stake, it makes sense to have someone in the ward or stake called as a building scheduler whom they can call to schedule the building for them if they are requesting it for something like a wedding or family gathering. But when that happens, on what calendar to the building schedulers place the event? This question occurs to me because in the process of troubleshooting the reservation issue with our stake building schedulers, I discovered that they are not calendar editors for any calendars in their ward or in the stake. My impression/understanding is that if scheduling was turned on for all the locations, by virtue of being a scheduler for a building, they can edit any event that was scheduled for that building, but that doesn't give them specific calendar rights, so can they add new events, and what calendar do they add them to?

I tried going to the beta version of the calendar to test that out myself, but I had 2 problems with that - the Beta version seems to be having issues (taking forever to load buttons like the add event button and never seems to get to where the calendars load for me, so even after I add an event with the add event button, I can't see it on the calendar since it never loads) and besides that, I'm both stake and ward website administrator by calling so I can put events on nearly all calendars. Probably would have to test with my wife's login to make that work for me, if I could get the beta to load.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:38 pm

failproof wrote:Maybe some of you can help answer a question that occurred to me though... for a "regular Joe member" who isn't a calendar editor for any calendars in the ward or stake, it makes sense to have someone in the ward or stake called as a building scheduler whom they can call to schedule the building for them if they are requesting it for something like a wedding or family gathering. But when that happens, on what calendar to the building schedulers place the event?


There are two terms that drive me crazy with the new calendar system because they are so misleading. The first is "reservation", which is not a reservation at all, but rather is a way to restrict event creation to be available only to a particular ward or stake. The second is "building scheduler", who is really not a scheduler, but sets up "reservations" and resolves conflicts. In fact, the "building scheduler" has no ability to create events at all, unless additional calendar editor or administrator rights are given to him or her.

With that little venting out of the way (but it is relevant on both counts), I think what you want (once you've convinced your stake presidency to use the calendar system the way it is intended) is not a person who has the "building scheduler" role, but rather someone in each ward who has the ability and assignment to schedule events (not just reservations). It has nothing to do with the building and everything to do with calendars, so it really shouldn't be a "building scheduler." A calendar editor or administrator can add events to any building in the stake. Someone in the ward will be better known and more accessible to ward members than a "building scheduler" in one of the other wards in the building. In our stake, we call that person the "calendar coordinator," but there continues to be confusion about what a "building scheduler" does.

As for what calendar to put weddings and family gatherings on, many wards and stakes create a calendar called "Resource Only" or "Family Events" or something like that. The title hopefully will lead most people not to subscribe to it, but it's a place to put all these odds and ends that aren't on the normal set of calendars that most members do subscribe to.
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:41 am

failproof wrote:Maybe some of you can help answer a question that occurred to me though... for a "regular Joe member" who isn't a calendar editor for any calendars in the ward or stake, it makes sense to have someone in the ward or stake called as a building scheduler whom they can call to schedule the building for them if they are requesting it for something like a wedding or family gathering. But when that happens, on what calendar to the building schedulers place the event?


The answer depends on the procedures that your stake sets up for "family functions" using church buildings. In our stake we have a form they need to fill out the explains the rules (no smoking or drinking - if non-members will be present, "no smoking" signs must be posted, etc.) Because of that, our stake does have someone they want all the families to work though. In our stake, that's the Stake Executive Secretary, but I don't know of any reason why it needs to be that person.

Also in our stake, we have a "Private Events" calendar where we place those types of events. To prevent confusion, we've made it a private calendar so it won't show up in member's subscriptions.
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Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:38 am

I know it hard for us guys to sometimes read the instructions. But why not follow the guidlines in the help section of the calendar.

"If you're not a calendar editor but still need to publish an event, contact the appropriate calendar editor with the request. If your event doesn't fit on any specific calendar (such as a funeral or wedding), contact your ward clerk or building scheduler with the request. The event can be added to a general ward calendar." (Calendar helps, Scheduling Events, 1st page, 2nd paragraph)

We just made a calendar titled, "Family Events Reservations" any of the default administers can add events to the calendar. Its a public calendar and the description says. "For private family events such as reunions, wedding, funerals, ect.)

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Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:46 am

RussellHltn wrote:The answer depends on the procedures that your stake sets up for "family functions" using church buildings. In our stake we have a form they need to fill out the explains the rules (no smoking or drinking - if non-members will be present, "no smoking" signs must be posted, etc.) Because of that, our stake does have someone they want all the families to work though. In our stake, that's the Stake Executive Secretary, but I don't know of any reason why it needs to be that person.


I hope I never live in a stake where the stake leadership is so dictatorial on how things as simple as scheduling events on a calendar is to be done. Or where we have to worry about such details just because no-member are present we have to post such signs.

The purpose of the new calendar system is to be able to schedule events at the lowest level, that would be the ward organization level. There is no reason to have anyone at the stake level schedule any event that can be easily handled at the ward level. That includes "Private Events".

wenjsungchen
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calendar system down

Postby wenjsungchen » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:06 am

I cannot make reservations, and also when I clicked help, the error message indicates file not found.

Please work on restoring the calendar system.

Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:09 am

If your using IE-8 its not working.

I had to switch to Google Chrome and I have not had any problems.

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Postby johnsonth » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:28 am

This is a really interesting thread. I wanted to leave a quick comment to let you know we're hearing your concerns.

Re reservations not working, I think integration of the new lds.org header corrupted that functionality. I know it's been fixed in a test environment, and I thought it was going to be pushed out late last week, but something may have held it up. I'm sure we'll push out a fix before the general conference period, which introduces a release moratorium period for software updates.

Re reservations functionality being unnecessary, I do think that removing the reservation functionality might reduce some confusion. In my own ward, the building scheduler has been confused by how reservations work. Even when I've explained it, the mentality has been to reject the design. Some team members have discussed possibly renaming "reservations" to "facility holds."

Reservations seems to be one mechanism to enforce scheduling rules. Without any reservations/restrictions/rules, scheduling might be a little too much of a free-for-all. I'd be interested to hear if you majority opinion thinks reservations should be dramatically altered, and if so, how.

Re the term building scheduler, yes, this is problematic. A building scheduler should not be called a "scheduler" if he or she cannot schedule anything. We've discussed this before but nothing came out of it. The problem is that stakes use "building scheduler" ubiquitously, so the term is hard to change (for example, to something like building coordinator). Any suggestions there? Give building schedulers rights to schedule anything on any calendar? At this point, it seems that the line between a building scheduler and an administrator becomes blurry and not worth distinguishing the two roles with separate names.

I'll make a note of these three issues and bring them up to the team later. I know the team is working on a 3.0 version that might hopefully address some of these larger issues.

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:10 pm

Gary_Miller wrote:I hope I never live in a stake where the stake leadership is so dictatorial on how things as simple as scheduling events on a calendar is to be done. Or where we have to worry about such details just because no-member are present we have to post such signs.


Note that my comments were made in the context of a private non-church activity. Conceivably the only member present might be the one who made the request for use of the building.

I personally have a hard time believing that any ward or stake would simply toss the keys to the building to anyone that wants to use it without some kind of discussion or setting expectations on how it would be used and what kind of activities would take place. Our stake may be different only in that we have a formal process for it. While I don't know the details, I'm willing to bet that our process came about because of past experiences.
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