Author Topic: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks  (Read 4199 times)

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Offline MichaelEvans

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Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« on: January 24, 2008, 02:16:28 am »
I know that the Org. charts are a good place to start in general, and the prior Elections threads will be useful for some basic descriptions of what each department does.  I plan to look at those after trying to think of anything they might miss.

The reason I'm starting this thread is that I think there are probably some areas that aren't officially listed as jobs.  I'd like to open a central area with this topic for suggesting descriptions and responsibilities involved with current jobs, as well as with any possible ideas for new jobs.

What looks like duplicated effort isn't necessarily so, as your own perspective may be different or have a better wording.

Please suggest anything constructive that comes to mind.

I would however appreciate if it were clear if you were describing a department and the things they do, or a specific job position and the things it should involve.

- edit -
After looking at the Org charts and starting to make up a table of everything, I realized that there were several things I wanted to do with those other things, that would be better off as some kind of data-base table.  Which is further out then I'd planned to work on just yet.  However any refinements to the higher positions, suggestions for new job positions, or related information would be helpful for when I do reach that stage.

- edit 2 -
I doubt anyone would think that I have any ability to alter what jobs exist now, or even change the bylaws at a whim.  I wanted this to be useful input for both my own draft of the bylaws (which as I note in a later post isn't in any way official), as well as for anyone else, including the current directors so that they can have additional perspective and opinion on existing, and potential new jobs.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 09:10:15 pm by MichaelEvans »
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 02:46:07 am »
So, quoting the elections threads directly...

President: General leadership, official oversight of all progress and in general the ring-leader of the asylum.
The President of Altonimbus and Kumoricon Chair is responsible for management of all aspects of the convention and should be able to work with everyone in the organization. The chair is also face and the voice of Kumoricon and of Altonimbus. The chair schedules and presides over all general meetings and board meetings.

The chair must ensure that all aspects of the organization are running smoothly. If someone is not fulfilling their duties, it is the chair's responsibility to bring the issue to the board or to the relevant director's attention. With a competent staff and well qualified directors, the chair should have to do little but facilitate intradepartmental coordination, and solve issues at the highest level.

Operations: The hardware and background functioning of the convention, everything behind the scenes.
*This description is based on my personal experience with the directorship. The following description is similar to, but may differ from, a finalized version of this department's official description in the charter.*

Director of Operations is responsible for the overall support of the convention. Support of the convention includes, but is not limited to:

Providing AV and technical support for the for programming
Maintaining peace and order during the convention
Registration services prior to and during the convention
Securing and supplying work for volunteers
Insuring knowledgeable staff are at info desk during the convention

The Operations Director will work with the Programming Director to ensure that all equipment is secured prior to con, and distributed properly during the con. The Operations Director may be required to work with outside sources to procure tech, AV items, lighting, and other for the convention.

The Operations Director will work with the Treasurer to ensure that all expenditures are accounted for in the department budget by the date specified by the treasurer and agreed upon by the Director of Operations.

Programming: The software of the convention; all the stuff we put on, when we put it on.
*This description is based on my personal experience with the directorship. The following description is similar to, but may differ from, a finalized version of this department's official description in the charter.*

Director of Programming is in charge of all events, panels, dances, and other entertainment provided at con and at supporting events. The Director of Programming will, along with the staff and panelists, create the schedule in timely fashion, and distribute the information as needed to all departments.

The Director of Programming will work with the Director of Publicity to ensure that the schedule and con book blurbs are complete and ready for publication by a date agreed upon by the Director of Programming and the Director of Publicity.

The Programming Director will work with the Treasurer to ensure that all expenditures are accounted for in the department budget by the date specified by the treasurer and agreed upon by the Director of Programming.

Relations: Dedicated to securing, and supporting Guests of honor and interactions with the corporate side of things.
*This description is based on my personal experience with the directorship. The following description is similar to, but may differ from, a finalized version of this department's official description in the charter.*

Director of Relations is responsible for dealing with the anime industry to secure guests, sponsorships, and vendors, and swag for the convention. Departments which fall under relations include:

Exhibitors' Hall
Artist's Alley
VIP Coordination
Charity Auction
Industry Relations
Guest Relations

The Relations Director will work with the Programming Director to ensure that all guests are properly scheduled for events during the con.

The Relations Director will work with the Treasurer to ensure that all expenditures are accounted for in the department budget by the date specified by the treasurer and agreed upon by the Director of Relations. Director of Relations will also assist the Treasurer with flight arrangements for the guests.

Publicity: Communications internally and externally. (Communications is the life-blood of anything modern: people are the oxygen.)
*This description is based on my personal experience with the directorship. The following description is similar to, but may differ from, a finalized version of this department's official description in the charter.*

Director of Publicity is responsible for the following:

Promotion the convention via media of all relevant types
Coordination of events or booths at events where the typical attendees for the convention are available.
Creation and distribution of all publications related to the convention
Look of the website
Consistent branding of the convention in all media
Merchandise including the official convention tee shirts
Ad purchases in the convention publications

The Publicity Director will work with the Treasurer to ensure that all expenditures are accounted for in the department budget by the date specified by the treasurer and agreed upon by the Director of Publicity.

Then, we have the board elected positions, which I prepared pretty much directly from the bylaws...

Vice President: The president's Assistant, basically...
The duties of the President shall be to:
  • 1. Preside at all meetings of the organization;
  • 2. Call the annual ALTONIMBUS ENTERTAINMENT Board Meeting;
  • 3. Call meetings for the election of officers;
  • 4. Have general supervision of the affairs of the organization;
  • 5. To personally represent the organization on proper occasions and in business contacts;
  • 6. Appoint any person or committee not otherwise ordered by the organization;
  • 7. Assist all other officers of the organization in their records, correspondence and other organization duties.

The duties of the Vice President shall be to:
  • 1. Assist the President with all organization, business and management.
  • 2. Perform the duties of the President in her/his absence.

Secretary: Record keeper, mailstop/room.
The duties of the Secretary shall be to:
  • 1. Keep a record of the minutes of each Director and Membership meeting and;
  • 2. Handle all organization correspondence.
  • 3. Give notices for Membership and Board meetings.
  • 4.  Maintain records of member names and addresses.
  • 5.  Authenticate records of the corporation

Treasurer: Book-keeper, budget manager, accountant.
The duties of the Treasurer shall be to:
  • 1. Collect dues of all members;
  • 2. Maintain organization financial records and deliver financial reports to the organization quarterly or when requested by the board;
  • 3. Maintain organization banking and bank account.

The Treasurer will work with every department to ensure that all expenditures are accounted for in the department budget by the date specified by the treasurer and agreed upon by the Director of Publicity.

Facilities Liaison: Hotel procurement for the next year, and point of contact between us and the hotel for this and next year.
- Error still undefined since prior to election. -
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 02:55:00 am by MichaelEvans »
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Offline Antares

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2008, 07:12:54 am »
At the Nov. meeting most people filled out little notecards with what their position was and what they did last year. The cards were given to the con chair to be given to the secretary. Example:


Live Charity Auction Manager: 
Pretty much it consists of composing an auction letter, sending it out to people / shops etc. (and /or having Street Team deliver it) and then following up *incessantly* (mostly via email). Having a both at the event lets vendor room and artist alley people contribute, as well as general congers. Industry Manager can also help with contacts (Tokyopop, Darkhorse etc.) that end up donating. You also need to run the actual auction (have someone on cash box, someone keeping track of what sells for what etc.), get an MC / Auctioneer and afterwards, compile a list of donors together for p:ear to send out receipts / thank yous (for tax purposes) and to post on the Kcon website.

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Offline rictheron

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2008, 08:19:15 am »
My question is, why do you not ask the board members themselves for a description of their job? 
 Secondly, this is being moved to the "Get Involved" area as this subject directly relates to that area.
Jess Shelton
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2005 Yojimbo Manager
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Offline valliegirl

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2008, 11:44:18 am »
My question is, why do you not ask the board members themselves for a description of their job? 

I think the intention is to receive comments from the directors regarding this info in a place where it's visible to everyone...

But that's also assuming that all the directors are willing to read/respond to what's on the forums.  ^_~
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 09:05:21 pm »
My question is, why do you not ask the board members themselves for a description of their job? 

I think the intention is to receive comments from the directors regarding this info in a place where it's visible to everyone...

But that's also assuming that all the directors are willing to read/respond to what's on the forums.  ^_~

Quite correct.  The intention is to receive the widest possible cross-section of input, as signal to noise ratio should still be high, but it's far easier to remove noise then to produce new signal.

I have no idea why he private messaged me, so I'm pasting it here where it really belongs.
  As a personal message regarding the job positions thread, according to the bylaws this would be management and falls under the duties of the relevant board member, so while suggestions are welcome the final decision will rest with them unless changed by the bylaws.  I would request that this information is included in your post so that premature expectation is not attached when a position is suggested by anyone.
  Secondly, a personal description by a former holder of a position should not override the official description as the application can change from holder to holder.  As such the descriptor of the Con-Chair/President is currently a less reliable description than that posted in the bylaws and I would request that the official and legal desciption be used as the primary source on this topic.
   Thirdly, if an official description is not available then the description should be requested of someone currently or previously holding that position rather than a third party, as the third parties view can be skewed by their own perceptions of the work done by the holders of that position.

  So a few suggestions for your thread.  It has also been moved to the "Get Involved" area as the content of it falls directly under the heading of that public area.

To address his concerns, I should think it would be obvious that changing the descriptions of positions within the bylaws must be done through some bylaws change process.  This is in fact a sub-task of my own public approach at producing a new high quality version of the bylaws.  It is not officially sanctioned and purely based on my desire for the best possible refinement from a Membership standpoint.  Given the somewhat lacking descriptions within the current bylaws and my draft which inherited those: I feel it is time to start addressing that; all inputs, especially something so ripe for use as the inputs provided for the last election, will be considered for my personal drafts. (Probably not proper grammar; though it is closer to my thought structure.)

Further, the current final word on all current job positions that are not defined within the bylaws is through the various department directors, however helping them by adding new perspectives seems like a win-win for me.  My version of the bylaws does not change that either, though it does require membership approval for all new positions.
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Offline rictheron

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 08:01:48 am »
  Thank you for including the edit regarding new staff positions.

  As to why I PMed you instead of posting here was because the content was to you as the poster of the message rather than the general audience as the readers.  It was, after all, making suggestions directly related to the style of your posts.  If you wanted to discuss it, ignore it, or use it I figured that was your choice again and that your choice of actions need not be held up to public scrutiny.

  Oh, and if you are looking for an officials input, direct questions might be more effective.  The question is not actually asked up there but rather an intention is expressed.  Thank you, good luck.
Jess Shelton
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2006 Assist. Yojimbo Manager
2005 Yojimbo Manager
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 08:46:27 pm »
(Email and PMed - Oops, grammar error... well I am rushed, my break is over and I have to go.)
-edit: PM is very, very limited and failed... email will have to do -
Quote
Official Input is welcome to.  I wanted everyone to input and originally posted this in General, not just those who might check the Get Involved (think about it, how often will most who are already involved click on something saying Get Involved?).

If official notice is required, then here it is.  I'm more then willing to receive any input, existing department positions, etc would definitely help out, since the official Org charts are still last year's.  It doesn't have to be perfect, or even a final version, but an idea of what positions currently exist and which ones you want to create or fill would be an excellent place to start.

Oh, and if you are looking for an officials input, direct questions might be more effective.  The question is not actually asked up there but rather an intention is expressed.  Thank you, good luck.

http://www.kumoricon.org/forums/index.php?topic=6142.0;all
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 08:50:48 pm by MichaelEvans »
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Offline rictheron

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 09:58:07 pm »
Well, what I suggested was asking but an 'official notice' is fine. 

  Personally, the Org chart for Operations will be available soon and will have the job definitions on it.  Currently open jobs in Ops are listed above in this section.  I can not post the Org chart or job list at this moment as I am currently too busy doing the important Ops work for the con and coming dance.  I'll keep an eye here for any good ideas that come up.

  Oh, and the definition of this area places this thread directly under the Get Involved category as it is asking for input to assist the Convention from staff and attendees.
Jess Shelton
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2007 Assist. Operations Manager/Yojimbo Manager
2006 Assist. Yojimbo Manager
2005 Yojimbo Manager
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2008, 09:00:13 pm »
Here are the positions that I turned in...

Hall Cosplay Contest Coordinator

    * This position made it my responsibility to coordinate the photographing, judging, and prizes for the Hall Cosplay Contest.
    * I took pictures of costumes throughout the convention and had my assistants give me pictures of costumes they felt worthy of the contest.
    * I sought prizes from the Programming department and filled out the requisite budget requests.
    * I decided on the judging criteria, created the prize categories and chose winners.
    * I sought out the winners to award their prizes.
    * I suggest this position be assigned one volunteer photographer so that more attendees can be included in the contest and more photographs can be added to the convention's collection.
    * I also suggest that the Coordinator be involved in the onstage cosplay contest so that the contestants can be disqualified from the Hall contest as appropriate.



Pocky Club Coordinator
    * As Pocky Club President I already organize Pocky Club's membership at meetings and in the making of deliveries, however this coordinator position deals specifically with our Kumoricon activities.
    * I gathered the materials needed for the club and divided our expenses between Kumoricon business and Private Club business. This goes beyond just buying all the Pocky on the shelf; Pocky Club relies on importers, Asian groceries like Uwajimaya, and a network of members throughout the west coast to obtain and collect an assortment of new flavors of Pocky every year. This enables Kumoricon to have a wide selection of Pocky flavors to supply to their staff, guests, and attendees beyond that sold by the vendors in the Exhibitor's Hall.
    * I filled out the paperwork for the Kumoricon related expenses to be compensated by Kumoricon and included in the required budgets.
    * I provided estimates of expenses for the year to be supplied to the department.
    * I coordinated the Pocky Club Panel (mostly a Presidential duty).
    * I saw to the distribution of Pocky Club documentation among the staff as well as the attendees. This facilitated Pocky Deliveries during crucial planning phases outside and prior to the convention itself.




Cartographer/Layout Coordinator.

    * I gathered the room statistics (square footage, ceiling height, seating capacities, technical capabilities, entrances and exits) from the Facilities Liaison and the hotel itself.
    * I compiled the raw data into lists and charts for review by staff. Including draft of the full hotel space available to the convention to work as a framework for the Ops and Prog layout drafts.
    * I gathered information on local transportation (bus routes, trains stops, Interstates, and parking), local businesses (anime related shops, food places, copyshops, liquor stores, etc), and local hotels from visiting the area, talking with locals, and again the Facilities Liaison and the hotel itself.
    * Over the course of the year I also took cues from the general staff and attendees to find out what information people wanted and did my best to include that data on my maps and charts.
    * I coordinated information with Operations and Programming to find out the new layout of the convention space and kept up to date on changes over the course of the year and updated the maps in a timely manner, making them available to the people of both departments as revisions were made.
    * After the information was approved by the executives, I put that information to use in creating a map of the area around the hotel and a map of the interior of the hotel for use in con publications (and in doing so met the document expectations set by Publicity) and distribution to attendees.
    * I made myself available to answer layout questions dealing with the panelists and the rooms available to them.
    * I assisted the Signmaker in estimating signage needed for easier navigation within the convention space and also created the powerpoint presentations for each individual room (not something that is likely to be done until we are at such a high tech facility again).
    * At the convention itself I oversaw the arrangement of tables and desks throughout the lobbies for use by Registration and the information booths. I also made sure that the hotel staff and Facilities liaison understood the layout needs of each room and the transitions needed when that room's programming changed.
    * I also tried my best to gather the room numbers of various staff and convention suites to enable easy location of personnel and materials outside of the "convention space".


Further conjecture would be unprofessional and not help your efforts.
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2008, 09:08:14 pm »
Wow, it's actually pretty useful to see even just those three job descriptions.  If such detailed information were available through the org charts I'd know exactly who to contact if I had a need, or if no one fit, and a search was also empty, I'd be able to ask the department's director about it.  Possibly resulting in such a position being created by them later if they got enough requests.

This is just a drop in the bucket of making a complete list, but it does give me an even better idea of why a list would be needed, how it would be useful, and very importantly for me, what a system that has such a list would look at feel like.
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 11:27:24 pm »
Michael, the board has been gathering this information to make such a book. They heave been gathering this information since October. They will put it all into one big book when they're done. Wait for that "Tome of Conly Knowledge" (as Dawn puts it) to be completed and then maybe you can put that information into a database.
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2008, 01:29:33 am »
Michael, the board has been gathering this information to make such a book. They heave been gathering this information since October. They will put it all into one big book when they're done. Wait for that "Tome of Conly Knowledge" (as Dawn puts it) to be completed and then maybe you can put that information into a database.

Why wait when it's so much faster to parallelize tasks by sharing information in the first place?  You may even find that there are inter-dependent relationships which result in the sharing of information simplifying, optimizing, or altering one or more of the tasks based on the knowledge involved with the other tasks.
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008, 07:51:47 am »
Why wait when it's so much faster to parallelize tasks by sharing information in the first place?  You may even find that there are inter-dependent relationships which result in the sharing of information simplifying, optimizing, or altering one or more of the tasks based on the knowledge involved with the other tasks.

Board member don't parallelize though. They work really hard on one thing at a time. Parralelize isn't a word anyway (or so the spellchecker says  :P ), that's what the board calls "working at cross purposes" and if you do stuff like that they get mad at you. If someone else is doing a job you shouldn't try and do the same job too. The same thing happened with me last year when I posted an org chart with staff info on it. Boy they shut that down quick!

If the directors aren't already doing this then that means there's some OTHER thing that is requiring their attention. If that's the case then maybe they could be convinced to hand over all their little 3x5 cards to you and let you construct your database for them so that they'll have the information all sorted out easier. That would give them one less thing to worry about for awhile and then you'd have your precious data.

Of course they'd still have to get together and do their little organization party but everything woulod already be typed up for them and it'd be easier to reorganize as they saw fit

And don't tell me what I "may even find". >:(
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 09:53:36 pm »
I suppose that's all true.  However without a detailed department report listing their current tasks how am I to know that it's already being worked on?  Also, making such a list would allow them to delegate the groundwork of tasks that they can't focus on at the moment, so that when they do have time all the grunt work is already done, and all that's left is the actual decision making process.
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Offline AnimeMatrix

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2008, 08:12:28 pm »
Though I don't want to sound antagonizing and mean (though it'll come off that way), but why Michael Evans, do you have such an interest in how other departments are run? I notice you post here alot with critiques to how things are done around here and I must say, it makes you sound like a pretentious know-it-all, which frankly frustrates some people. I'm not judging you because I don't know you and I've never met you before, but I'm just really curious as to why you have so much to say about Kumori Con and the Executive board.

Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2008, 11:47:08 pm »
Though I don't want to sound antagonizing and mean (though it'll come off that way), but why Michael Evans, do you have such an interest in how other departments are run? I notice you post here alot with critiques to how things are done around here and I must say, it makes you sound like a pretentious know-it-all, which frankly frustrates some people. I'm not judging you because I don't know you and I've never met you before, but I'm just really curious as to why you have so much to say about Kumori Con and the Executive board.

I think you may be getting slightly the wrong impression.  It's not really that I want to know personally, but rather that I want it to be easy for anyone to find out exactly who to go to so they coordinate activities, ask questions of individuals who should know, most easily be able to determine the answer, etc.  That's why a good list of existing jobs and their responsibilities would be useful.  I think it would encourage better inter-department communication, a goal that I've seen some directors working towards, though not via these means exactly.

As far as interest in the executive board its self, shouldn't any responsible citizen and/or member of an organization take interest in how their leadership functions?  Granted, such interest is usually more passive when it seems like things are running smoothly.
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Offline staze

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Re: Request for Comments: Departments and Tasks
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2008, 01:46:11 am »
I think you may be getting slightly the wrong impression.  It's not really that I want to know personally, but rather that I want it to be easy for anyone to find out exactly who to go to so they coordinate activities, ask questions of individuals who should know, most easily be able to determine the answer, etc.  That's why a good list of existing jobs and their responsibilities would be useful.  I think it would encourage better inter-department communication, a goal that I've seen some directors working towards, though not via these means exactly.

(Quick Definition: PD = Position Description, i.e. Job Description. Org Chart = Organizational Chart, e.g. Map of the company/department).

It's easy, and it's worked for some time, and works in any corporation. You talk to your boss, and they talk to theirs, etc etc etc.

If you're not staff, you look at our website, and contact one of the emails listed, at which point the person that gets it forwards it on.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I've pushed for PDs and Org Charts since I was Ops director in 06 (just ask, several people got really annoyed with my incessant emails about it). But ultimately, as I've said before, writing those PDs, and designing those org charts falls straight in the lap of those department directors. And they can dole out that responsibility as they see fit (they can write them all themselves, or they can have people that have done the jobs do it, or they can ask the new people to do it, or hell, they could ask John Q Public to do it...).

And ultimately, Org charts are for the benefit of everyone. PDs, are generally more for the benefit of the person doing the job, and the person above said job. That way, both worker and "manager" know what's expected, and can ask "why" when they're being tasked with things that fall outside of said PD.
-Staze
Founding Member, Altonimbus Entertainment
"You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?"