Author Topic: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations  (Read 21404 times)

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Offline kjayers

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Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« on: September 09, 2010, 12:44:59 am »
Do you have questions for the candidates for 2011 Director of Operations?  Ask here.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 06:31:46 am »
 What do you see as the greatest logistical challenges to spreading ourselves over 2 non-neighboring hotels?
How do you envision addressing them?
Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 10:27:54 am by RemSaverem »
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Offline @random

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 08:03:40 am »
  • What do you think was done well in Operations this year, and what do you think we need to keep doing (or reinforce) to make sure it stays that way?
  • What do you think could have been done better in Operations this year, and what specific changes would you implement to make it so?
  • How will we be able to recognize that you're doing your job when you give progress updates, and if you don't meet this standard will you be willing to step down?
  • Assuming they would accept, who would you choose to fill the key Operations manager positions? (If you don't know of anyone whose qualifications make them a prima facie choice for any given position and want to choose through interviews, just saying "Interview" is fine.)

(Sorry to be so rough with the questions, but I think Operations requires someone who either has a really good plan or really good people to implement it - preferably, both.)
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Offline kalagei

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 12:55:27 pm »
  • What do you think was done well in Operations this year, and what do you think we need to keep doing (or reinforce) to make sure it stays that way?
  • What do you think could have been done better in Operations this year, and what specific changes would you implement to make it so?
  • How will we be able to recognize that you're doing your job when you give progress updates, and if you don't meet this standard will you be willing to step down?
  • Assuming they would accept, who would you choose to fill the key Operations manager positions? (If you don't know of anyone whose qualifications make them a prima facie choice for any given position and want to choose through interviews, just saying "Interview" is fine.)

(Sorry to be so rough with the questions, but I think Operations requires someone who either has a really good plan or really good people to implement it - preferably, both.)

I agree with you hereDave.

As a potential operations director...

What method do you use to keep your information straight? Just remembering what people say here won't do. Pen and paper? Outlook? Voice Recorder? This is a big job, and making sure you can keep track of it all will be key in your success.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 12:55:42 pm by kalagei »
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Offline Czarcasm

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 01:00:15 pm »
I really only have one question for the candidates:  Will I be allowed to work in the Con Suite again?
If yes, then you've got my vote. ;D

Offline kjayers

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 01:24:28 pm »
I really only have one question for the candidates:  Will I be allowed to work in the Con Suite again?
If yes, then you've got my vote. ;D

What if they all say yes?
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Offline Czarcasm

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 01:42:17 pm »
Then we move on to the "Flirt and/or Bribe" Semi-finals.   ;D

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2010, 02:16:46 pm »
I would watch those.  Been to similiar at Pirate LARP events. ;)
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Offline Dealrith

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2010, 02:51:09 pm »
What do you see as the greatest logistical challenges to spreading ourselves over 2 non-neighboring hotels?
How do you envision addressing them?
This one is going to be a fun one.
At this point I basically see needing two info booths and two Yoji/Ops offices. Recruiting is going to be a major part of this year and depending on how prog decides they want to set things up will determine how things are distributed. With the Red Lion being smaller I expect them to be more panel rooms and maybe some viewing rooms where as the Hilton will be main events. This means the ops and Yoji office will require two teams so that we can run with some structure in each building. In talking with this years Yoji 1 it will be a good idea to have Yoji 1, two Yoji 2's (One watching over the Red Lion and one watching over the Hilton), and two room managers. With that it helps so that the room can be manned the whole time and Yoji 1 is still free to supervise.
I figure registration is going to be in the Hilton because it's lobby is larger and can filter people out easier than the Red Lion's.

  • What do you think was done well in Operations this year, and what do you think we need to keep doing (or reinforce) to make sure it stays that way?
  • What do you think could have been done better in Operations this year, and what specific changes would you implement to make it so?
  • How will we be able to recognize that you're doing your job when you give progress updates, and if you don't meet this standard will you be willing to step down?
  • Assuming they would accept, who would you choose to fill the key Operations manager positions? (If you don't know of anyone whose qualifications make them a prima facie choice for any given position and want to choose through interviews, just saying "Interview" is fine.)

(Sorry to be so rough with the questions, but I think Operations requires someone who either has a really good plan or really good people to implement it - preferably, both.)

I think the at con operating of Ops was really good. Once badges were completed the system for line control and registration ran well.
--To keep this running the same if not better keeping the same management including Paul L'amoureaux and Aaron Teitelbaum if they are willing. Also recognizing what are going to be the areas that are going to be our bottlenecks and making sure to put an emphasis on keeping those manned. This includes for line control where to que the lines to make sure they aren't causing fire code violations and then for reg making sure to put the reg lines so they flow with our numbers and then can be changed at need be if our line are loosing proportions.
For improvements one of the majors is having the badges done and done early so we aren't spending so much time trying to play catch-up. Also implementing ways to streamline reg so that we don't have attendees waiting in line for 3 hours.
--For badges those can be corrected by making sure they get started early and they don't get put on a back burner. For reg I can't answer that because I don't have an answer yet.
As for recognizing how you'll know I'm doing my job it will be how every director shows they're doing their job. At general meetings I'll give an update as to what is proceeding and what our numbers are at for reg and mail outs. Plus staff numbers and depending on what we do with reg to improve it status on that.
If I, other directors, or a majority of the staff feel I'm not performing then I will be more than happy to step down.
For my major players I would want L'amoureaux for Yoji 1 again, Teitelbaum for reg manager. Those are easy because I saw them work and I trust them to get things done. As for my other managers its kind of a toss up because some of them I didn't get to work with enough to get a feel for their abilities. I will probably have Jeremiah Rosario for volunteers if he is willing, Amber Hanaway for info booth, and probably Michael Pinnick (Czarcasm) for con suite. And then if I can help it Logan or TJ for my assistant. These are all still up in the air but when I'm further away from Kcon 2010 I'll start asking.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2010, 03:41:31 pm »
Thank you.
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Offline Griffion

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2010, 08:19:42 pm »
What do you see as the greatest logistical challenges to spreading ourselves over 2 non-neighboring hotels?
How do you envision addressing them?
Thank you.

I agree with Robert's assertion that hotel-specific Yojimbo and Operations offices are a necessity next year due to the dual setup we are running. But since Operations fills a largely reactive role at con, I think that representatives of every division will have to be placed in both hotels.  A distinction between the "main" office and the "field" office of each division will therefore be necessary so that departmental issues affecting both hotels will be answered quickly without friction. With that in mind, some primary offices will most likely be in one hotel, while some will in turn be in the other, based upon where other related outfits from other Directorates are stationed. This partitioning of duties will inherently make centralized administration difficult. Either a new manager position, whose role would exclusively revolve around maintaining sync between the hotels, or a complete separation of jurisdictions between the Operations Director and his Assistant along hotel lines will be necessary to maintain healthy communication internally as well as with the other facets of the conventions.

  • What do you think was done well in Operations this year, and what do you think we need to keep doing (or reinforce) to make sure it stays that way?
  • What do you think could have been done better in Operations this year, and what specific changes would you implement to make it so?
  • How will we be able to recognize that you're doing your job when you give progress updates, and if you don't meet this standard will you be willing to step down?
  • Assuming they would accept, who would you choose to fill the key Operations manager positions? (If you don't know of anyone whose qualifications make them a prima facie choice for any given position and want to choose through interviews, just saying "Interview" is fine.)

(Sorry to be so rough with the questions, but I think Operations requires someone who either has a really good plan or really good people to implement it - preferably, both.)

I think we can all agree that Kumoricon 2010 ran exceptionally smooth overall, especially compared to the year before. In terms of how Operations ran, this assessment also applies. From talking with many of the Operations Managers the general consensus was that good communication and strong leadership were the sources of this past year's success. With that in mind, I believe retention of many, if not all of the core managers is therefore essential to ensuring a positive repeat performance.

In my opinion, every weak aspect of Operations that was encountered this past convention has a clear and precise remedy. Line management at registration, for example, will simply require a comprehensive set of contingency plans to deal with overcapacity* and any impediments to smooth movement. In turn, the staff badge printing crisis many of us had to deal with at con can easily be avoided by a more aggressive print schedule in tandem with consistent maintenance of the printers. So in short, every problem Operations experienced produced a valuable lesson which can be put into effect by more careful planning this next year.

*(Perhaps having two network linked registration areas, one at each hotel, could seriously reduce the lines)

Transparency to the membership of Kumoricon's staff will be one of my highest priorities if elected. I believe that devolution of responsibilities from the Directory to the Managers is a necessary process as we grow larger and as such, clear communication will be paramount. I am planning to give my monthly reports as a compilation of statements from my managers on their progress, adding personal commentary showing where my office is specifically working towards helping each Manager achieve his/her goals. If I were to lose the confidence of my fellow Directors, my Managers, or the General Staff as a whole I would respectfully tender my resignation and offer my input as to whom would be best equipped to succeed me.

It is good to see that both Robert and I share the same esteem for the 2010 Operations Managers. However, I think that it is important to review all possible candidates once the Director has been decided.  Also, depending on how the nuances of running a dual-hotel convention pan out, I will most likely be turning to a combination of recommendations and interviews if new management positions are created to cope with the logistical strain.


As a potential operations director...

What method do you use to keep your information straight? Just remembering what people say here won't do. Pen and paper? Outlook? Voice Recorder? This is a big job, and making sure you can keep track of it all will be key in your success.

In my life I have found that compartmentalizing tasks into checklists, keeping summary forms, and maintain digital coorespondance, especially where I have others answering to me, are the best ways to make sure all of my bases are covered. In running Operations how I would go about this would be to create a fillable form with each division as a heading. In regular intervals I would contact each of my Managers and complete the form based upon their needs and progress so I could have at my disposal a comprehensive look at how Operations was faring. I also plan to use the Operations Staff-Only forum extensively this year if I am elected so that strong lines of communication are created and a public record of what is going on will be available to my managers and me.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 09:55:04 pm by Griffion »
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Offline kalagei

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2010, 10:05:55 pm »
What tasks were you assigned in your position this year, and how did you perform on those?

Specifically tasks that you hadn't planned to deal with as part of your job.

What other time sinks do you have outside of con? It is imperative that the Operations Director be available to the con for it's mini-events like dances and outreach events. Also being able to make reg meetings, board meetings, and general meetings is priority #1.

Do you plan on attempting to put together team building events mid-year for your staff? Having the Yojimbo get together more during the year would be something the crew would really appreciate I think. 
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Offline Rathany

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2010, 10:08:24 pm »
In 2007 the pre-reg line was 22 minutes at it's longest an there was no line to speak of most of the weekend.  We can do this.  We have done it before.  10-key computerized check in is blazingly fast and more accurate than paper.   What plans do you have to make sure this happens again? 

(Hint - I want to see the words 'dress rehearsal' in your response.)
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Offline kalagei

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2010, 10:27:17 pm »
In 2007 the pre-reg line was 22 minutes at it's longest an there was no line to speak of most of the weekend.  We can do this.  We have done it before.  10-key computerized check in is blazingly fast and more accurate than paper.   What plans do you have to make sure this happens again? 

(Hint - I want to see the words 'dress rehearsal' in your response.)

I agree completely Dawn.

Future Ops Directors:

How do you think you'll go about getting the software guys to be able to set up a system like this? How do you plan to get computers with the software on them for con?
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2010, 01:32:34 am »
I have a question set for all /CURRENT/ candidates and also would like former Directors to weigh in once the current candidates have given their initial answer.

What deadlines do you think exist in the Operations department?
When would your first and second soft deadlines be for those tasks?
What do you believe Director of Operations does before the convention?
How about during the convention?
What is your plan for making sure that everything is staffed fully?  Even if half of the new Yojimbo flake out?
How will you increase the likelihood of obtaining/retaining Yojimbo?
What do you think is the biggest obstacle preventing you from being an excellent Director of Operations?

(I'll try to be fair and answer my own questions too...)
I don't know yet, but I do know that I want to have initial drafts of things planned out as far in advance as possible so I can tell what's really missing.  Ideally I put in 94% of my effort towards planning things during times when it isn't critical.

My first soft deadline would be February, by then an initial guess at room usage and staff locations and learning all the things I don't yet know (not just some of them which is a flaky continuous task until then).

Plan out the convention and allocate resources like a mastermind.

If they did their job right, a lot of walking around checking to make sure the plans are being executed correctly and adjusting things if the plans are not working or external forces try to disrupt them.  Also authenticating exceptions to the registration process/lost badge replacements.

When figuring draft versions of staff allocations double all the numbers.  Assign the doubled numbers of slots in shifts manned by 4-6 hour working unit people.  During the convention people can be double-shifted if required in an emergency, but there should also be enough spare resources to cover and also provide eyes on the ground to help out with actual security observation issues.

The 4-6 hour per day shift requirement as the ideal, with the promise that it won't go over 8-12 hours.  Also assigning shifts to keep up variety of floor and situational type.

The fact that I'm no longer running ;)    Well that combined with the fact that now I'm probably now more infamous than famous.
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Offline JeffT

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2010, 02:30:43 am »
I'm going to ask that we limit the thread to questions to the candidates, and answers from those who are running. Brief suggestions that "answer" the questions are ok in the natural course of discussion, but please don't post lengthy answers if you aren't running. Please make a separate thread (the staff forums might be best if you are staff) if you'd like to discuss changes to Operations. I don't mean to stifle discussion among staff, but elections are likely two weeks away (pending confirmation of the date), and we need to keep this focused. Thanks.
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2010, 04:25:45 am »
If the prospective directors want me to stop posting then I will respect their desires.  However the current suggestion seems to cause more fragmentation and confusion, while providing less illumination.  If I must objectively choose from all three choices I'd prefer to refrain from posting further unless posing questions to the remaining candidates.
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Offline pyronine

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2010, 04:57:19 am »

Personally, I think the director should trust in his managers to decide who is right for the management team and the staff positions and should not just fill in spots based on friendship, With that in mind. Would you fill in who ever you choose into positions regardless of experience, or will you let your managers pick their team?
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2010, 05:34:51 am »

Are there any policies that are different between the two hotels (at the level of what the hotel allows under its auspices) that will shape anything? Are the hotels themselves rivals, and is there any way that would affect anything? Does either offer free parking, or easier managability for alter-able folks, or is there  any other basis that might influence where one opts to stay?

Would you support the idea of keeping basically the areas of prog that were already separate from the main area (3rd floor, 23rd floor, subbasement this year), together in the 2nd hotel  and just having a special prog office as well as a special ops office  (perhaps also housing the Facilities Assistant Director?) in the 2nd hotel?

Should we (and could we afford to) invest in additional tech items so things such as mics, speakers, projectors, screens are always on hand in both buildings?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 11:51:58 am by RemSaverem »
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Offline Irnogs

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2010, 11:43:03 am »
I'm going to ask that we limit the thread to questions to the candidates, and answers from those who are running. Brief suggestions that "answer" the questions are ok in the natural course of discussion, but please don't post lengthy answers if you aren't running. Please make a separate thread (the staff forums might be best if you are staff) if you'd like to discuss changes to Operations. I don't mean to stifle discussion among staff, but elections are likely two weeks away (pending confirmation of the date), and we need to keep this focused. Thanks.

Yes, please! Let's not forget the purpose of this thread and please allow the candidates to answer the questions.

Thank you!

Offline @random

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2010, 04:49:40 pm »
(This was a list of questions; I blanked it after compiling an updated list several days later.)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 03:30:23 am by randompvg »
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2010, 02:40:02 pm »
One more:
How important is it for a Director to get to know each of her or his staff, at least top staff? If not personally, at least by face or name? What are some ways you would endeavor to get to know your staff?
Thank you.
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2010, 08:22:31 pm »
Candidates, what is your favorite flavor of Pocky?
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Offline votalesin

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2010, 12:16:53 am »
We have two hotels, where will the desks be located?

For example, there is no need for 2 registration desks. There may be a need for 2 info desks.

Candidates, your thoughts?

Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2010, 04:16:19 pm »
We have two hotels, where will the desks be located?

For example, there is no need for 2 registration desks. There may be a need for 2 info desks.

Candidates, your thoughts?

I'd also like to expand this question for the candidates; In the case that there are 2 info desks how will you handle ticketed events?

Attendees might feel an unfair bias if obtaining a tickets for events required going to a single hotel, but at the same time, even dividing up tickets between the hotels has it's own set of logistics issues.  (Suggestion: The last time we were at the Hilton in Vancouver I recall Internet access, at least in the lobby, was free; this could be a key to solving this issue.)
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Offline hanawaya

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2010, 10:53:54 pm »
I fully agree that tickets for events which can be picked up from the Info Desk does pose some challenges. Having two desks, one in each hotel, has many advantages as well as disadvantages. Trying to split the amount of tickets between the two hotels could be a mess if not handled properly and could be extremely difficult to do. This year we ran ticketed events off of an Excel file in which we were handed the attendee's badge, we entered it into our file and then gave it back to them with their desired ticket(s). This file is based off a flash drive. There is only one file used during the entry of data. Trying to maintain two files so that they match up is a mess. On the last day when there were two ticketed events we ran each off of a separate laptop. Trying to coordinate these files across two hotels is flat out going to be a mess. Having all the tickets in one location seems like the best course of action and it should probably be in the main hotel. If you split the tickets when one location is out attendees are going to be sent to the other hotel, so you will have unhappy attendees who are being sent to the other hotel regardless of which path you decide to take.

With this in mind here's my questions: If the decision is made to split the tickets across both Info Desks how are you going to track the tickets and the cash that comes with some ticketed events? And if you decide to use the Internet to assist with this solution, who is going to build the system so that it is Info Staff friendly?
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Offline kjayers

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2010, 02:13:38 pm »
Most of the year the Board meets monthly, but Board Members are also expected to make as many of the mini events as possible, all General Meetings, certain work parties and retreats in addition to the meetings, and (of course) meeting frequency increases closer to convention.

Are you able to meet these commitments? 

What kind of things are likely to arise that may interfere?  (Deaths in the family are, of course, impossible to anticipate.)
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Offline kylite

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2010, 04:14:37 pm »
Seeing as we are in 2 hotels and will have 2 yoji offices containing 2 lost and founds, each yoji office must be manned by a minimum of 2 yoji, one running the front desk and the other mannig the computer. Each office also ahs 3 shifts, Morning, Swing, and Graveyard so thats 6 people per office.

That is 12 Yoji. This last year we had a little over 40 and were stretched very thin and pulling people form other departments to cover shifts.

How do you plan to address this so we have proper coverage in both buildings without exausting out staff beyond their limits
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Offline hanawaya

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2010, 01:08:08 pm »
As with the Yoji, Info Desk will have an issue with staff as well. With four ticketed events this year (one each day but Monday) it required four to five effective staff to operate. That equates to nine to ten total. Right now I am aware of three to four Info Staff returning. From what I hear the Desk has been hard to staff in the past.

In this area my question is the same as kylite's. How do you plan to handle coverage of shifts?

Another question I have is this: Are you willing to let your managers meet/interview staff before they become staff? I didn't meet one of my staff members until con, which proved to be a major headache, because we had different ways of seeing things and doing things, which undercut me as soon as I stepped away from the Desk.

Meeting one's staff is important. Meeting them before they are assigned to you is even better.
2010 Information Manager
2009 Registration Staff

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2010, 01:17:00 pm »
@ hanawaya, I personally totally support you in asking that as a Manager you should have approval over who gets assigned to you. Moreover I feel there should be avenues for Managers to express if someone working under them is either not doing their job or being hostile or passive-aggressive if doing it. Ops Candidates, how do you feel about these suggestions?
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 01:18:01 pm by RemSaverem »
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2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline @random

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2010, 03:28:33 am »
I (still) hope I'm not overstepping, but in the interest of simplifying the traffic jam of questions, I've reformatted the questions which the current candidates haven't yet answered into a set of lists, and tried to minimize the preambles. My apologies to anyone if you feel like I've left out a critical piece of information from your question; each quote contains a link to your original question in full.

To the candidates: The number of questions that has been asked at this point is daunting and likely to get moreso. If you use this list, please feel free to split and/or edit it as you wish for space. This includes removing questions if you feel you've already answered them elsewhere, don't think they fall under your jurisdiction, or are simply exercising your prerogative to do so.

Should any new candidates be nominated, please note that there were a few questions before these.

  • What tasks were you assigned in your position this year, and how did you perform on those? Specifically, tasks that you hadn't planned to deal with as part of your job.
  • What other time sinks do you have outside of con? It is imperative that the Operations Director be available to the con for it's mini-events like dances and outreach events. Also being able to make reg meetings, board meetings, and general meetings is priority #1.
  • Do you plan on attempting to put together team building events mid-year for your staff? Having the Yojimbo get together more during the year would be something the crew would really appreciate I think.

  • Response
  • Response
  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • In 2007 the pre-reg line was 22 minutes at it's longest an there was no line to speak of most of the weekend.  We can do this.  We have done it before.  10-key computerized check in is blazingly fast and more accurate than paper.   What plans do you have to make sure this happens again?
(Hint - I want to see the words 'dress rehearsal' in your response.)

  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(I agree completely, Dawn.)
  • How do you think you'll go about getting the software guys to be able to set up a system like this?
  • How do you plan to get computers with the software on them for con?

  • Response
  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • What deadlines do you think exist in the Operations department?
  • When would your first and second soft deadlines be for those tasks?
  • What do you believe Director of Operations does before the convention?
  • How about during the convention?
  • What is your plan for making sure that everything is staffed fully?  Even if half of the new Yojimbo flake out?
  • How will you increase the likelihood of obtaining/retaining Yojimbo?
  • What do you think is the biggest obstacle preventing you from being an excellent Director of Operations?

  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Personally, I think the director should trust in his managers to decide who is right for the management team and the staff positions and should not just fill in spots based on friendship, With that in mind. Would you fill in who ever you choose into positions regardless of experience, or will you let your managers pick their team?

  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Are there any policies that are different between the two hotels (at the level of what the hotel allows under its auspices) that will shape anything?
  • Are the hotels themselves rivals, and is there any way that would affect anything?
  • Does either offer free parking, or easier managability for alter-able folks, or is there any other basis that might influence where one opts to stay?
  • Would you support the idea of keeping basically the areas of prog that were already separate from the main area (3rd floor, 23rd floor, subbasement this year), together in the 2nd hotel and just having a special prog office as well as a special ops office  (perhaps also housing the Facilities Assistant Director?) in the 2nd hotel?
  • Should we (and could we afford to) invest in additional tech items so things such as mics, speakers, projectors, screens are always on hand in both buildings?

  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • How important is it for a Director to get to know each of her or his staff, at least top staff? If not personally, at least by face or name?
  • What are some ways you would endeavor to get to know your staff?

  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Candidates, what is your favorite flavor of Pocky?

  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • We have two hotels, where will the desks be located? For example, there is no need for 2 registration desks. There may be a need for 2 info desks.

  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • I'd also like to expand this question for the candidates; In the case that there are 2 info desks how will you handle ticketed events?
(For reference, this was also discussed in the Open Discussion thread, here and here)

  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trying to split the amount of tickets between the two hotels could be a mess if not handled properly and could be extremely difficult to do [for quite a few reasons, enumerated in her post].
  • If the decision is made to split the tickets across both Info Desks how are you going to track the tickets and the cash that comes with some ticketed events?
  • And if you decide to use the Internet to assist with this solution, who is going to build the system so that it is Info Staff friendly?
(For reference, this was also discussed in the Open Discussion thread, here and here)

  • Response
  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Most of the year the Board meets monthly, but Board Members are also expected to make [a whole frickin' lot of events, enumerated in her post].
  • Are you able to meet these commitments?
  • What kind of things are likely to arise that may interfere?

  • Response
  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Seeing as we are in 2 hotels and will have 2 yoji offices containing 2 lost and founds, [we'll need 6 additional yoji in addition to the increased burden imposed by a greater space to cover and more traffic/line control]. This last year we had a little over 40 and were stretched very thin and pulling people form other departments to cover shifts.
  • How do you plan to address this so we have proper coverage in both buildings without exausting out staff beyond their limits?

  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • As with the Yoji, Info Desk will have an issue with staff as well [for a number of reasons, including having 2 desks and possibly more ticketed events]... How do you plan to handle coverage of shifts?
  • Another question I have is this: Are you willing to let your managers meet/interview staff before they become staff? I didn't meet one of my staff members until con, which proved to be a major headache, because we had different ways of seeing things and doing things, which undercut me as soon as I stepped away from the Desk.

  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • I feel there should be avenues for Managers to express if someone working under them is either not doing their job or being hostile or passive-aggressive if doing it. Ops Candidates, how do you feel about these suggestions? [This one and hanawaya's, above]

  • Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Last item, just noting it for the record: My apologies for using a row of tildes in this version instead of the hr markup code; I know it's visually jarring. I thought it would make a better easily-recognizable anchor point between questions for the candidates.)
This is my serious voice. Otherwise, I'm just another anime fan, not a moderator.

Offline Dealrith

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2010, 01:53:50 pm »
  • What tasks were you assigned in your position this year, and how did you perform on those? Specifically, tasks that you hadn't planned to deal with as part of your job.
  • What other time sinks do you have outside of con? It is imperative that the Operations Director be available to the con for it's mini-events like dances and outreach events. Also being able to make reg meetings, board meetings, and general meetings is priority #1.
  • Do you plan on attempting to put together team building events mid-year for your staff? Having the Yojimbo get together more during the year would be something the crew would really appreciate I think.

  • My task as of con this year was Vice Chair. Pre-con I need improvement towards initiative but at con I think I did very well. Since Vice Chair doesn't really have any set job my job was to find a problem and fix it. Basically I planned for jumping into a fire and saving a baby. I lucked out there but everything else seemed to have gone smooth.
  • My time sinks are that I'm a martial arts instructor, and boy scout's advisor, and lights and backstage tech for a play house, and a 40+ hour a week working stiff. I've always tried to put Kcon at the head of my list and have only been late to a meeting for special cases where double booking couldn't be overcome.
  • I want to expand on staff development and to get more staff involved to allow. Increasing the trainings for all of staff and then getting each of the ops departments trained so that we don't have staffers learning their duties opening night. A monthly training for each of the departments would be what my aim was.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • In 2007 the pre-reg line was 22 minutes at it's longest an there was no line to speak of most of the weekend.  We can do this.  We have done it before.  10-key computerized check in is blazingly fast and more accurate than paper.   What plans do you have to make sure this happens again?
(Hint - I want to see the words 'dress rehearsal' in your response.)

  • My plans are to first see what we already have in development since this has been an idea of ops directors for years. Once I know that we can then continue the effort to a point of being used. Once the server is up we can get the system in place where we have entry points. To start with we'll do only pre-reg and then if it can crossed over move it to at con. Once we have the system in place I want to use it during the trainings and work parties to insure it can work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(I agree completely, Dawn.)
  • How do you think you'll go about getting the software guys to be able to set up a system like this?
  • How do you plan to get computers with the software on them for con?

  • I can't answer this because I don't know anything about the systems. I'll be hunting for a nerd more powerful than myself to help get this running.
  • There were suggestions back in time almost forgotten of there being possibilities of getting free computers because we're a none profit group. I'll try to look into those to get the systems. If that doesn't work then I'll "borrow" my friends computers and use them as the con affords the systems we need to manage the system.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • What deadlines do you think exist in the Operations department?
  • When would your first and second soft deadlines be for those tasks?
  • What do you believe Director of Operations does before the convention?
  • How about during the convention?
  • What is your plan for making sure that everything is staffed fully?  Even if half of the new Yojimbo flake out?
  • How will you increase the likelihood of obtaining/retaining Yojimbo?
  • What do you think is the biggest obstacle preventing you from being an excellent Director of Operations?

  • It depends on the department but for the most part it will be reg getting out badges. Also adding into place deadlines for the software for the registration line will need solid points of when we can use it.
  • Since the first question is so fluid right now I don't have the deadlines.
  • Before the convention the Director of Operations is responsible for keep the reg system in motion and compiling all of the pre-reg data. They are also pushing staff registration to for all fields and team specific training.
  • During the convention their job is to maintain customer service with the yojimbos, keeping the flow of reg to insure as expedient movement through the lines, to keep the info booth informed of all changes, and to recruit volunteers.
  • Making multiple scheduals that will account for a skeleton crew, a mid crew, and a full shift. Also being flexible and expecting my managers to follow suit. There is never anything set in stone until after con is done.
  • Since cloroform and kidnapping are eligal I'm going to use a charismatic person to sell them into the position.
  • My biggest obstacle is really a two parter. My charisma and my organization.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Personally, I think the director should trust in his managers to decide who is right for the management team and the staff positions and should not just fill in spots based on friendship, With that in mind. Would you fill in who ever you choose into positions regardless of experience, or will you let your managers pick their team?

  • Within reason yes. I will still have final say to try and insure that we maintain a reliable staff.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Are there any policies that are different between the two hotels (at the level of what the hotel allows under its auspices) that will shape anything?
  • Are the hotels themselves rivals, and is there any way that would affect anything?
  • Does either offer free parking, or easier managability for alter-able folks, or is there any other basis that might influence where one opts to stay?
  • Would you support the idea of keeping basically the areas of prog that were already separate from the main area (3rd floor, 23rd floor, subbasement this year), together in the 2nd hotel and just having a special prog office as well as a special ops office  (perhaps also housing the Facilities Assistant Director?) in the 2nd hotel?
  • Should we (and could we afford to) invest in additional tech items so things such as mics, speakers, projectors, screens are always on hand in both buildings?

  • To my knowledge the hotels have the same policies. I'm still looking into what each area offers to know where to best place locations under my directorship but I'm thinking primary info is going to be in the Hilton because it offers the most room and can be the most versatile.
  • The hotels along with the city are in love with us and are trying really hard to make us happy so I don't see them trying to hamper relations with us if they can help it.
  • The Hilton has pay parking under it, the Red Lion has a parking lot that is open to park in. Also in between there is a public parking available. Other than that I don't know what they truly offer.
  • These last two questions are prog questions and have no effect of the operations of Ops. If Prog wishes to make purchases and it requires board approval then I would make an opinion towards them but otherwise the Prog director doesn't need me sticking my finger in their pie.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • How important is it for a Director to get to know each of her or his staff, at least top staff? If not personally, at least by face or name?
  • What are some ways you would endeavor to get to know your staff?

  • I try to know everyone of the staff. Even if they aren't in my department.
  • Try to talk to them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Candidates, what is your favorite flavor of Pocky?

  • Chocolate or strawberry.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • We have two hotels, where will the desks be located? For example, there is no need for 2 registration desks. There may be a need for 2 info desks.

  • I would prefer reg being in the Hilton since it is versatile for fitting things into it. The main offices in this location would probably be a good choice as well. Until I can get a chance to walk through them though thats just my first impression.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • I'd also like to expand this question for the candidates; In the case that there are 2 info desks how will you handle ticketed events?
(For reference, this was also discussed in the Open Discussion thread, here and here)

  • I'm going to steal from Jaki. Since I'm planning on two info desks the tickets will be in the hotel the event is being held in. Tracking can be done their along with distribution. If we can provide internet to both locations then using google docs would help a lot.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trying to split the amount of tickets between the two hotels could be a mess if not handled properly and could be extremely difficult to do [for quite a few reasons, enumerated in her post].
  • If the decision is made to split the tickets across both Info Desks how are you going to track the tickets and the cash that comes with some ticketed events?
  • And if you decide to use the Internet to assist with this solution, who is going to build the system so that it is Info Staff friendly?
(For reference, this was also discussed in the Open Discussion thread, here and here)

  • Refer to the previous answer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Most of the year the Board meets monthly, but Board Members are also expected to make [a whole frickin' lot of events, enumerated in her post].
  • Are you able to meet these commitments?
  • What kind of things are likely to arise that may interfere?

  • As I've said with a previous response as long as I'm a director I put effort to making all general events and if I have a report making it to the directors meetings. For mini events I make as many as I can  provided I haven't already booked something.
  • Since I put con before everything but work (which even that gets a push now and then) only rare events where I'm a key player would I miss and those would have warning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Seeing as we are in 2 hotels and will have 2 yoji offices containing 2 lost and founds, [we'll need 6 additional yoji in addition to the increased burden imposed by a greater space to cover and more traffic/line control]. This last year we had a little over 40 and were stretched very thin and pulling people form other departments to cover shifts.
  • How do you plan to address this so we have proper coverage in both buildings without exausting out staff beyond their limits?

  • There isn't going to be golden solution for this. The more people we recruit that choose to work the convention the fewer hours people have to work. Instead of 8 hours shift I'll go with 4 hours. Also setting up a schedule that accounts for a skeleton crew as opposed to a well staffed crew so we can plan for enough for not enough.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • As with the Yoji, Info Desk will have an issue with staff as well [for a number of reasons, including having 2 desks and possibly more ticketed events]... How do you plan to handle coverage of shifts?
  • Another question I have is this: Are you willing to let your managers meet/interview staff before they become staff? I didn't meet one of my staff members until con, which proved to be a major headache, because we had different ways of seeing things and doing things, which undercut me as soon as I stepped away from the Desk.

  • As with the last question and with the previous question of managers picking their staff. I have no problem with managers picking their staff provided I don't have issues with the staffer. As for the interview process as long as it doesn't interfere with getting staffers (example a manager can't make it to a meeting but we need to sign up a staff who wont be able to make it to future meetings) then I would probably higher without the interview.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • I feel there should be avenues for Managers to express if someone working under them is either not doing their job or being hostile or passive-aggressive if doing it. Ops Candidates, how do you feel about these suggestions? [This one and hanawaya's, above]

  • If you feel there is an issue then by all means talk to me. If its with me then the con chair is more than happy to listen. I always try as hard as can to accept criticism as long as its constructive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2014 - 2016 - Quartermaster Staff Manager
2013 - Quartermaster
2012 - Quartermaster
2011 - Quartermaster
2010 - Vice Chair
2009 - Director of Operations
2008 - Yojimbo Floor Manager
2007 - Yojimbo

Offline Griffion

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2010, 01:59:43 am »
  • What tasks were you assigned in your position this year, and how did you perform on those? Specifically, tasks that you hadn't planned to deal with as part of your job.
  • What other time sinks do you have outside of con? It is imperative that the Operations Director be available to the con for it's mini-events like dances and outreach events. Also being able to make reg meetings, board meetings, and general meetings is priority #1.
  • Do you plan on attempting to put together team building events mid-year for your staff? Having the Yojimbo get together more during the year would be something the crew would really appreciate I think.

  • This past year I was the Console Gaming Manager. Due to the growth of PAX and the always evolving technology my department is charged with using, it was my duty to morph our offering into something that was both easy to access and fulfilled the expectations of the attendees. What this meant in practice was that we had to focus more on non-competitive/party oriented gaming, while maintaining a professional tournament schedule for flagship games such as Super Smash Brothers and Rock Band. In retrospect, I think that Kumoricon 2010's Console Gaming Division was the strongest we've ever had. We were able to cut down on manpower drains through eliminating Bag Check entirely. Also, we successfully survived moving and reorganizing our department with a mere 3 days notice. In fact, I believe our healthy traffic may have in part been due to the more centralized location and dynamic layout we ended up using on the fly. However, with the last minute changes to our situation, several new tasks were demanded of me at con. First, I had to constantly check to ensure that our IN/OUT counts were correct. We had a couple synchronization issues Friday and Saturday that caused fake capacity warnings, but these were ironed out by Sunday morning after I brainstormed and worked out a solution with our Yojimbo. Second, I had to be available to sweep my area for persons of interest regularly due to our basement location, which during peak hours was not an easy task. Yet, I was lucky to have a talented group of coordinators who helped me compartmentalize the process. Finally, I was given the opportunity to work closely with Hotel Staff because of our security contract and our unique ADA accommodations. Taking all of this into account, I personally feel that I worked as hard as I could to do my job as directed and was satisfied with the results. However, I believe that the absence of complaint threads in the gaming forum post-con speaks more to my department's performance than anything else.
  • I am the co-owner of a brick and mortar Game Store in South Portland called Epic Gaming. While my hours are beyond long I have the benefit of taking whatever time off I need for other commitments. With this in mind I can, without a doubt, state that any schedule demanded of me as Director will not create any sort of attendance dilemma.
  • I think that more pre-con training and team building will be essential in light of the complex two-hotel situation we are facing in 2011. Managing breakout time more efficiently during the monthly meetings is a strong first step. However, I also believe that utilizing virtual meetings, through mediums such as E-Mail, Skype, Social Networking, and the Forums will help Operations create procedural cohesion long before Thursday of con.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • In 2007 the pre-reg line was 22 minutes at it's longest an there was no line to speak of most of the weekend.  We can do this.  We have done it before.  10-key computerized check in is blazingly fast and more accurate than paper.   What plans do you have to make sure this happens again?
(Hint - I want to see the words 'dress rehearsal' in your response.)

  • Okay Dawn, "Dress Rehearsal" ;). Now, what I would like to see happen would be a monthly dummy test performed during our meetings that would evolve each month as new aspects of the process were defined, reinvented, and enhanced. In the early months this could be a simple as giving test forms for on-site registration to staff right before breakouts and see how easily they can complete them. I will say right now that I am extremely interested in implementing a 10-key check-in for two reasons. First, 10 key can be learned to where it is done by touch, naturally speeding up the input phase. Second, as Rathany has stated, it has been used before with great success. I do not see any reason why we shouldn't return to something that works. Once the system is in place I would say that a random cross section of 20 or staff be pulled to a fake "reg desk" and put through the paces so any hitches can be addressed by both the assembled directory and staff at the meeting itself. With seven to ten chances to test everything from printers to checklists throughout the year I think a final start to finish run through some time in August would be a perfect remedy to dispel any fears of a massive meltdown at con.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(I agree completely, Dawn.)
  • How do you think you'll go about getting the software guys to be able to set up a system like this?
  • How do you plan to get computers with the software on them for con?

  • I have extensive experience with Access and a decent understanding of SQL myself. But I would regardless turn to several contacts I made in college who would be more than willing to help set our system up with as much Freeware as possible.
  • Hardware wise we can go several directions: Buy Brand New, Buy Used, Build New, Build Used, Borrow Used, Get Donations, and finally a mixture of all of the above. Working an IT Independant Contractor for the past 7 years has netted me some hardware connections we could most definitely utilize to get our network off the ground on the cheap.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • What deadlines do you think exist in the Operations department?
  • When would your first and second soft deadlines be for those tasks?
  • What do you believe Director of Operations does before the convention?
  • How about during the convention?
  • What is your plan for making sure that everything is staffed fully?  Even if half of the new Yojimbo flake out?
  • How will you increase the likelihood of obtaining/retaining Yojimbo?
  • What do you think is the biggest obstacle preventing you from being an excellent Director of Operations?

  • To my knowledge, Registration experiences the most grueling time schedule. Between badge mailings and the improvement/creation of registration systems there is little time to waste. Beyond that, every other department in Operations has tasks it is expected to complete throughout the year from Yojimbo training manuals to Wish Lists and hardware requests for Con Suite.
  • I am going to forgo posting a pedantic TL:DR list here. Suffice it to say though the first and second deadlines for every department would most likely involve detailing to me what their yearly aims and expectations were.
  • The Director of Operations is expected to keep pre-con preparation moving at an acceptable pace. In practice this means constant checking that Registration is moving smoothly, Yojimbo recruitment is strong, Info Desk is in the loop regarding changes, and the other at-con departments are moving forward.
  • During the convention the Operations Director is expected to maintain an up to the minute understanding of the status of his departments. He is to keep healthy communication with his Managers as well as his fellow Directors and should be available to step in at any position under his leadership to manage incipient crises.
  • Recruitment is of course the first step in making sure we have enough staff. However, there should always be provisions for situations where we end up short staffed. What is key is that those in leadership refuse to see failure as an option. If we have 40% of expected staff, we make it work. While it will be touch and go under this model, I believe wholeheartedly that success can still be found.
  • I believe that stronger communication before con will be the key to recruiting and retaining more Yojimbo in 2011. As I have stated earlier, the use of technologically facilitated communication in tandem with better time management at meetings will help meet this goal.
  • I feel that my inexperience at the Directory level is my biggest obstacle. I am not intimately familiar with all of the inner workings of the executive board yet as I come from a managerial background here at K-Con.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Personally, I think the director should trust in his managers to decide who is right for the management team and the staff positions and should not just fill in spots based on friendship, With that in mind. Would you fill in who ever you choose into positions regardless of experience, or will you let your managers pick their team?

  • I like the idea of choosing a manager who in turn handpicks their crew. It avoids clashing personalities out of the gate and capitalizes on personal rapport rather than arbitrary assignment. However, because it is the Director's job to finalize staffing choices I would reserve the right to allow or ban the staffing recommendations of my managers. That being said, I can with confidence say that I would use such oversight only in extreme circumstances.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Are there any policies that are different between the two hotels (at the level of what the hotel allows under its auspices) that will shape anything?
  • Are the hotels themselves rivals, and is there any way that would affect anything?
  • Does either offer free parking, or easier managability for alter-able folks, or is there any other basis that might influence where one opts to stay?
  • Would you support the idea of keeping basically the areas of prog that were already separate from the main area (3rd floor, 23rd floor, subbasement this year), together in the 2nd hotel and just having a special prog office as well as a special ops office  (perhaps also housing the Facilities Assistant Director?) in the 2nd hotel?
  • Should we (and could we afford to) invest in additional tech items so things such as mics, speakers, projectors, screens are always on hand in both buildings?

  • So far I only know that the Hilton is the larger of the two hotels and as such will most likely be the primary convention space.
  • From what I can tell both the Hilton and Vancouver itself like our convention. At Gamestorm I had a chance to talk to a representative at the Hilton and he had nothing but praise for us. As for the Red Lion, I doubt that they will be antagonistic in any way.
  • Parking in Vancouver is much easier than it is in Downtown Portland. Both hotels to my knowledge have in-house parking options and there are also public garages available. As for tailoring your stay based upon parking accessibility, I am certain that there will be a open discussion on the pros/cons of each hotel long before reservations close.
  • I agree with Robert on these last two questions. They are under the jurisdiction of Programming and should be posed in that direction.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • How important is it for a Director to get to know each of her or his staff, at least top staff? If not personally, at least by face or name?
  • What are some ways you would endeavor to get to know your staff?

  • I think it is important for a Director to be accessible to his staff and to have at least a friendly connection to the staff of the other Directories. When it comes to his managers I believe that there is a much higher expectation and an active duty to cultivate positive relationships. I am one of those people that do both faces and names so depending on the person so I will most likely be able to link one or the other and from there build a connection. But constant feedback and interaction is key to meeting this end.
  • Since every staff member has to get a signature from his director before he can be signed on I will use that chance to form an initial bond. From there I will try to meet with every staff member under me, if even for a brief moment, every meeting so I can keep in contact.

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  • Candidates, what is your favorite flavor of Pocky?

  • Men's Bitter Chocolate sir.

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  • We have two hotels, where will the desks be located? For example, there is no need for 2 registration desks. There may be a need for 2 info desks.

  • Off the top of my head I would say that the Info Desks will need to be in a central location with alot of traffic in both hotels. Registration, simply because of line management, will have to be the Hilton.

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  • I'd also like to expand this question for the candidates; In the case that there are 2 info desks how will you handle ticketed events?
(For reference, this was also discussed in the Open Discussion thread, here and here)

  • I'll tip my hat to Jaki as well and say that event space targeted ticketing is the way to go. This method would also blend well with my intention of having a main office/field office approach to most of my departments.

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Trying to split the amount of tickets between the two hotels could be a mess if not handled properly and could be extremely difficult to do [for quite a few reasons, enumerated in her post].
  • If the decision is made to split the tickets across both Info Desks how are you going to track the tickets and the cash that comes with some ticketed events?
  • And if you decide to use the Internet to assist with this solution, who is going to build the system so that it is Info Staff friendly?
(For reference, this was also discussed in the Open Discussion thread, here and here)

  • I think having ticket sales at the hotel where the event is being held will mitigate most of the issues presented here. As a fall back option we could perhaps force sales to be at only one desk if splitting became completely unmanageable though.
  • Building an Internet option that was both powerful and user-friendly would be a prerequisite for using any sort virtual system. As such, I would make sure that only an interface that met the needs put forward by my managers would be considered long before implementation could even be discussed.

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Most of the year the Board meets monthly, but Board Members are also expected to make [a whole frickin' lot of events, enumerated in her post].
  • Are you able to meet these commitments?
  • What kind of things are likely to arise that may interfere?

  • As I said before, since I run my own business I can make room in my schedule to attend any and all expected events, meetings, and appointments.
  • The only thing that could bar me from making a meeting would be if my partner and my employee were both deathly ill and I was the ONLY person left to man the front counter at my store. Even then though I would find some amicable solution (Perhaps send my assistant in my stead) so that business could still be conducted.

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Seeing as we are in 2 hotels and will have 2 yoji offices containing 2 lost and founds, [we'll need 6 additional yoji in addition to the increased burden imposed by a greater space to cover and more traffic/line control]. This last year we had a little over 40 and were stretched very thin and pulling people form other departments to cover shifts.
  • How do you plan to address this so we have proper coverage in both buildings without exausting out staff beyond their limits?

  • The only way to prevent Yojimbo burnout in my opinion is to cut the shift slots from 8 hours to 4 hours as has been discussed several times previously. Dealing with a possible Yojimbo staff shortage at con will be handled by creating several alternative placement scenarios that account for varying amounts of manpower.

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  • As with the Yoji, Info Desk will have an issue with staff as well [for a number of reasons, including having 2 desks and possibly more ticketed events]... How do you plan to handle coverage of shifts?
  • Another question I have is this: Are you willing to let your managers meet/interview staff before they become staff? I didn't meet one of my staff members until con, which proved to be a major headache, because we had different ways of seeing things and doing things, which undercut me as soon as I stepped away from the Desk.

  • I would like to leave shift schedules to my managers as much as possible this year in line with my general commitment to devolution of responsibilities. With this in mind, I am willing to shift staff to departments with weaker turnout if necessary. However, I'd like to first see an effort to fill the timetable with the pledged staff alone if possible.
  • I appreciate that you bring this point up as I myself didn't meet 90% of my own staff before con this past year and it was rather frustrating. When staff sign up for a specific department this year I'd like to have them immediately conference with the applicable manager if he or she is at the meeting. If not, I will have them contact said individual on the forum or through E-Mail. Until I get the green light that the person has indeed talked with their manager I will keep their application in a pending zone in my records.

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  • I feel there should be avenues for Managers to express if someone working under them is either not doing their job or being hostile or passive-aggressive if doing it. Ops Candidates, how do you feel about these suggestions? [This one and hanawaya's, above]

  • I want my managers to be transparent as possible with me about their staff. If someone is just not working well with others or is blatantly insubordinate I want to know immediately so I can quickly deal with the issue long before con weekend. Joining Robert as well I would want everyone to feel safe approaching the con chair for the redress of grievances if I was not performing my duties and meeting expectations.

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« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 02:00:38 am by Griffion »
2013 - 2014 - President/Chair
2011 - 2012 - Director of Operations
2010 - Console Gaming Manager
2009 - Assistant Gaming Manager
2008 - Volunteer

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2010, 02:11:38 am »
Thanks to both of you for such detailed replies, and to randompvg for organizing everyone's inquiries to greatly facilitate the replies to them!

Opening this up: Are there any questions we should've asked that we haven't yet, that you'd like to address? Are there any areas or job tasks that are presently under Ops, that you feel should not be? Are there any areas of job tasks that are presently not under Ops, that you feel should be? Thank you!
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline @random

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2010, 10:03:24 pm »
Indeed, thank you for taking the time to hash through all of the questions and respond. If it were me, I'd have been tempted to simply flee from a Wall Of Text of that size.  ;)  Your responses are thoughtful, and give us a clear idea of what we can expect.

One more question: If elected, you're likely to have everyone and their brother (and their two cousins from Detroit) approaching you after the meeting with questions and propositions, and only a limited amount of time to answer them all. What kind would you want to address on the spot in person, what kind would you rather that people save and ask via Internet to give you more time to consider your response, and what kind would you rather address in person but at a later meeting? (For example: Potential assistants and managers on the spot, policy questions via Internet, potential staffers at a later meeting.) For questions that you would rather address via Internet, how would you prefer that people contact you?
This is my serious voice. Otherwise, I'm just another anime fan, not a moderator.

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Director of Operations
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2010, 10:42:40 am »
Since so much of what does or doesn't get accomplished within the con hinges on staff recruitment & retention, would you be open to running exit interviews with non-returning staff to find out why they left & what could've helped them stay? What incentives could help people choose to register as Ops and remain as Ops?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 10:50:55 am by RemSaverem »
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).