Talk:Major Functions

From ConRunner
Jump to: navigation, search

There has been some discussion in email about how the function chart is broken out. Personally, it make perfect sense to me, which it should, since I wrote it. Each grouping represents a different amount of contact with the members and a set of similar duties with similar skills to be performed. But that is me speaking from a systems engineering background (with some other flavors thrown in). It isn't an organization chart, simply a way to show what things need to be done.

Apparently Conventions were invented and labled before that sort of function breakout was. And some folks can't look at functions without immediately thinking how the Departments should be set up. OK, assuming it is a more or less standardized way to breaking things up, then maybe the Major Functions page should look like the Departments page. That isn't the model I had in mind when I set it up this way, but if people can't get past one without the other, then maybe it should be done.

However three things are critical here.

  • First, the Major Functions page will also be on the front page for the forseable future, so it has to look good. It also has to bee a good guide to the content of the site.
  • Second, the way Departments is organized makes no sense to me (see, I'm like the naysayers, but from the other side) so I'm not the one to lay this out in the new way (or the one to try to explain it in the accompanying article(s)).
  • Third, this is going to break a lot of Categories. All the associated articles will have to be realigned to match the new places they end up in.

Volunteers? (that article needs work too, by the way)

--Bill Taylor 09:12, 13 Oct 2005 (PDT)

ps. for those that just have to know, Google "J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 Operations Logistics Communications". The layout I gave here is about 1-2 generations old, but that search should give you the current way. Scan the results to get a flavor of how this is used. BT

realignment isn't too hard at this point and would be worth it

I understand your way of thinking, Bill, but part of the problem is that some of the functional terms, such as Operations, are already in common use as department titles. The most common use of the term in conrunning is going to want to prevail over your more general/categorical use, and we should let it I think (why seek out unnecessary wars?).

Another goal is for this site to appear to have valid information on it. If an experienced smof looks at your functional breakdown and suffers such dramatic cognitive dissonance that they don't think the site is constructed by knowledgable people, they'll go away and we'll lose them as participants and contributors.

If you want to discuss the philosophical functional breakdown of conrunning functions, you could do that in an introductory article, but some topics, like Programming and Registration, are such big topics that they will want to have their own categories. Not all categories have to be main headers on the front page, though, do they? Also, it seems to me that some terms you use on the main page just aren't used in fandom very often. "Marketing" for example, is used much less often than "publicity". Merketing seems more corporate, I guess. -and why do you have "Marketing" under Member Relations and "Press Relations" under Communications? Isn't Marketing more a form of communication/publicity than it is a service you do for your members? Of course, Press Releases, Advertising, and Flyers, go under both "Publicity" and "Publications." This is why many cons don't even have a separate person handling publicity and just put responsibility for that function under the Publications Head. Of course, those cons that don't have someone in charge of Press Relations often find themselves scrambling to find someone to escort the press around at the last minute...

I like the Communications header. I would keep the Operations Header but basically categorize Everything into Operations that you currently have under "Operations Support" Except for Hospitality, which should be its own Category -either that or put Hospitality under Member Relations. Featured Guests is really more of a Programming subtopic, plus all of the subtopics that are currently listed under Operations -As someone on Smofs commented, those are all Programming functions/subtopics. Masquerade should also definitely be a subheader under Programming - its absence from this front page is noticable and could piss of the costumer types. I'm not really sure where to put Dealers here. Maybe under Member Relations? They aren't an event so much as a resource. And a type of member.

There's going to be overlap. Many things you have under Member Services are usually handled by Ops. But you could always have more than one category for an article - one of the nice things about a wiki.

Hope that's helpful

-Netmouse 13:20, 13 Oct 2005 (EST)

Member Relations is organized around finding new members, keeping them happy while they are at the con, then getting them to come back. Secondarily about research and analysis to make the other three things work better. I didn't put it on the list, but feedback from the members would be going here, so the Con can figure out what to fix for the next time. Marketing is about figuring out who to talk to (who is the target audience?, where are my prospective members?) and what to say. Once you know that, you tell Publicity to say it (they figure out how - magazines, mailing lists, room parties, etc.). Marketing is doing the planning, Publicity is doing the execution. Turns out both jobs could be done by one person, or the same group of people.

I agree that Hospitality could go there too, but I was thinking it is more directly connected with supporting the main programs. Consuite could almost be a program in itself, at some Cons.

The Featured Guests could go many places. I just thought they would be treated as a special class of Member. And the Dealers are under Operations because they are a primary feature the members will be looking for, even though they aren't a scheduled event as such.

Masquerade could use more visibility, true. But so could Dancing and Filk and Gaming and probably other things I don't pay attention to. Economy of page space played a factor too. Art Show made it because it really is huge. The others deserve their time in the sun as well I guess. Wikipedia has a browse page that let you see pretty much every major category of thing on the site. We're too small for that yet, but it might come in handy later. --Bill Taylor 11:40, 13 Oct 2005 (PDT)

sooner would be easier

Bill said: "That isn't the model I had in mind when I set it up this way, but if people can't get past one without the other, then maybe it should be done [changed]."

Which I read as "There is an existing standard terminology in this field, but it doesn't match the terms I'm used to from another field, so I used those instead. Maybe that should be changed." Yup - it should.

It would be simpler to change it now than later. Changing the name of "Operations" to "Programming" is more important than regrouping functions. Fannish experts disagree on grouping and that might even be a useful topic of discussion (though it's been thoroughly explored elsewhere). We agree on nomenclature and the only function of non-standard names is to diminish the credibility of Conrunners. --Brucemoko 21:11, 13 Oct 2005 (PDT)

Actually, what I meant was, "People are seeing one thing and insisting it is something else. Rather than continue to correct them, maybe it could be converted to what they expect". And I'm not disagreeing with that. I just don't want to do it. Anyone else is free to do it however. You clearly know what the others expect to see better than I do. But to take off on another page, the Departments page should have a full explanation of How and Why different arrangements might be appropriate. Major Functions is about the big pieces and how they fit together. --Bill Taylor 21:34, 13 Oct 2005 (PDT)

There are three distinct issues here. Many people are conflating them. 1. The name problem 2. Mistaking functional categorization for organizational structure 3. Disgreements about specific functional categorizations or organizational structure.

The first issue stands by itself and should be corrected immediately, while it's easy. Using "Operations" to mean "Programming" doesn't work any better here than it would at hospitals.

The third issue I'm not worried about, since people can reasonably disagree and will.

The second issue - Bill seems upset that people keep taking function categories as organizational units. But there's no text that would indicate otherwise, and the first item on the list - "Executive Committee" - is clearly an organizational unit, not a type of function. Maybe if it said "Executive Decisions"? Or if there was some explanatory text?

As for anyone else being free to do it - maybe by the time I'm done with art show pages, I'll know wikis well enough to feel comfortable doing that. But it would be far easier to do now than in a year (and it will probably take me that long. I've only been able to do a page per day because I had the week off).