Saturday, May 11, 2013

Organizing oSC13 - 68 days before

Cron Job in Google Blogger failed to publish the post I wrote yesterday morning in yesterday afternoon, so many of you saw it comming out some hours ago. I hope I did not confused anyone with that and I will take advantage of this 'failure' of Google Blogger (or with what I did wrong in there and missed it) and write today about situations like that, that can happen while organizing a conference.

So yesterday I wrote about alternatives and the importance of those while working on making a conference come to life. Today I will write some things about things that go wrong and you cannot or at the moment don't have the ability to think or predict. 
I will start with a Murphy's law "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong" that usually happens through the procedure, no matter how hard you try and how many alternatives you have. Good news is that this can be predicted to some point, the bad thing is that this prediction is not always easy and some times you just have to do a lot of double checking in order not to avoid it but to fix it before someone notices it. The quicker you accept that things can and will go wrong the faster you will be relaxed and concentrated enough to fix it quick(again: before someone notices it :D ). Let's start by how you can predict things from going wrong, although as said before that does not come with a 100% guarantee that won't happen but still...

The easiest way to do it is to find someone who is actually a professional in the task you need to be done and that is why selecting and sometimes rejecting some volunteers from doing something is equally important. What I mean by all that? Ok so let's say that you have a task that need to be done and that task is about writing a press article until the X deadline. Now what you need is someone who is actually qualified in finishing the task, in our case writing article, so if you have a professional journalist that is volunteering then you are a happy person and this gives you the best safety that this task will be successfully and on time. The thing is that if you are doing this like we do, meaning voluntarily there is a great possibility not to be able to find as I mention in my example a journalist or even if you do, he/she may not have the time to do this in the time you want. This gives you two actual choices both of which I will write at some point later. Either you adapt the time of your article either you select another volunteer based on some facts. Now let's say that you have the right guy for the right work, if you do this is how you can prevent that things will go the right way and nothing will go wrong. It sounds really simple but it is very common for people to give tasks to the first who asked it and don't look to the abilities of each person just because we want to get rid off one of the 10.000 tasks that we have in our head. I knew that from before but I still did that a couple of times on the heat of the moment and that exactly where the "prediction is not always easy and some times" is hidden. 

Now you have the right person for the task and this person is doing his/her job perfectly, unfortunatelly this is not the complete task. The task is completed when this task once it is finished it is out there for all to see, meaning in this example the press release to reach the press you want to. No matter how perfectly the task is done it must reach its goal, otherwise it is a task not done. So you have to double check everything just to be sure. Recently I fell into something like just because for some reason the person did a task thought wrongly that he had finished. This of course was communication error but still the task was not completed and if you ever thing that you will start organizing a conference without communication errors happening then my opinion and my so far experience says that you are dreaming.

Last but not least for today is that if you use a tool like Trello that we use have the person that took the task assign himself/herself to it so that other people will know it.It will save your volunteers and yourself a lot of time and nerves. 

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