Distinguishing Between Agenda Signup, Assignment and Recommendation Modes

In addition to the default signup mode displayed to all members who log into the website to take a role on the agenda, there are a few different editing modes that can be used by meeting organizers. The new notification messages that appear above the menu are designed to distinguish between them more clearly — after a couple of members of my home club complained about being confused.

agenda notifications
Hey, make sure you know what you’re doing!
  • Edit Signups – the meeting organizer sees drop-down lists with the name of all members next to each role. Used to fill open roles and record changes. Great for recording assignments for volunteers who signed up by on a paper signup sheet or by giving instructions over the phone or by email.
  • Assign – Same as above, but with random assignments in the open roles.
  • Recommend – Also shows random assignments, but instead of being recorded immediately, members chosen for a role will receive an email message asking them to confirm they accept the assignment.

The “random” assignments are plugged into open roles. They aren’t entirely random because the choices are biased toward members who haven’t taken that particular role recently. But the most important thing to understand is that they are not actually recorded on the agenda. That’s what the text in red is supposed to clue you into.

Random assignment (unconfirmed)
Last attended: 2017-11-03 Last filled role: Jun 17 2016

In other words, this tool is supposed to help you fill your agenda, but I don’t want you to be confused about which roles have actually been filled.

You can either accept the suggestions or change them, but nothing will be recorded until you scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes. In Recommend mode, the role will not actually be reserved for that person. If the member wants to accept, they can do so with one click on the link in the email notification — provided that no one else has signed up for that role in the meantime.

There is also “Recommend instead of assign” checkbox that shows up in the Edit Signups / Assign modes, allowing you to mix the two modes. In other words, you can assign a list of volunteers to roles and also send role recommendation messages to a few other members. When you click the checkbox, a text entry box appears that allows you to add a message like, “Hey, looks like you haven’t spoken in 6 months – how about next week?”

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