Announced earlier this Winter, the Shire and it’s collection of companies and guilds agreed that it was time to consolidate our technological tools and better define how we use them. So far we’ve had a successful Trello Training, an audit of the our Texting Group, and a transition to only a single Facebook group. We also have an upcoming Website Training and audit of our Facebook group. More will be announced as things progress, but we’re off to a good start.
This whole consolidation is being called the 4-Stage Process and I wanted to take some time to explain it and how it will affect you.
What is the 4-Stage Process?
Simply put, the 4-Stage Process takes the four main technological tools (Trello, the Website, Facebook, and Remind aka the Texting Group) used in Terrasylvae, puts them in a logical, sequential order, and defines the purpose for each. An extended overview of the 4-Stage Process is available in the Library, but here are the highlights:
- Stage One: Trello
- Trello is used by Shire Leaders to plan and coordinate events, activities, and projects on a shared board.
- Stage Two: Website
- The Website is used by the Shire Leaders to announce events, talk about their groups, and provide information to the member of the group. For members of the group, the website is the main source of information when it comes to Terrasylvae.
- Stage Three: Facebook
- Facebook is the social hub of the group and is used to promote events/activities, share information, and discuss when away from activities.
- Stage Four: Remind
- Remind is how Shire Leaders can send last minute updates and event reminders through text to all members in the texting group.
How Does It Work?
The 4-Stage Process works by providing a series of steps that Shire Leaders follow to consistently provide important information to all members of the group. In Trello, Shire Leaders work together to plan out, schedule, and discuss everything that happens in the group. It’s a group effort when everyone knows who’s working on what, what’s going on, and how they can help one another.
Once those details are finalized, Shire Leaders can transition what they have been planning on Trello to the Website, where it will be accessible to everyone. This makes it easy for everyone in Terrasylvae know what the group is doing because it’s all in one place. If you want to know what is happening, what’s scheduled, and anything about the group you can just check the website.
After things are posted on the website, Shire Leaders can then share those details to the Facebook group where people can discuss, ask questions, and chat. Everything points back to the website so that important information isn’t lost in the endless feeds of comments and funny memes, but there everyone can still get involved and share their excitement.
Then finally, as the events approach or things change, Shire Leaders can send out quick text reminders or updates so that no one gets lost in the shuffle of changing information.
In four easy steps, Shire Leaders can consistently provide information to anyone and everyone interested in Terrasylvae.
How Does This Affect Me as a Member of Terrasylvae?
As a member of Terrasylvae, the 4-Stage Process affects you by defining where you can find all the information you need. If you want to know about an event, what’s happening, or about a particular group in general, you’ll want to check out the Website. If you’re looking to chat and socialize with members of the group, visit the Facebook Group. If you last-minute updates or reminders about events or activities, make sure you’ve joined the Texting Group.
Our goal for this consolidation is to make it easier to get information about the group and all the events. Now instead of checking multiple places or searching for the information, you can find everything on the Website (which you can then share with friends) and chat about it on Facebook.
How Does This Affect Me as a Shire Leader?
As a Shire Leader, the 4-Stage Process affects you by providing a consistent process for you to provide information to the members of the group. Most of the changes to your workflow as a Shire Leader is to enable you to consistent get group’s members what they need to participate in your group. Each Shire Leader is responsible for aligning with the 4-Stage Process, which includes following the announcement criteria of up to one month in advance for major events or 2 weeks for minor announcements. That way every member can receive a similar technological experience, no matter what group they are in, and only be presented information that is readily applicable in the near future. By the beginning of the 2020 season, every Shire Leader should feel at least some what comfortable with the process and committed to using it. If not, you can receive help from the Sage or Acolytes.
Example of the 4-Stage Process
As a Company Leader, I would like to host an event for my group. Stage One of the process is to use Trello to plan out my event and coordinate any necessary details with other Shire Leaders. I can start working on this as soon as I want and I would keep working on it until it is finalized (which here means that the specific event details are unlikely to change).
Once the details are finalized on Trello, I would then move my event over to the website, building out an Event Listing. My event listing will describe all the need-to-know information for members as well as a unique description of what this event is about. I would typically create this no more than a month or two in advance in case anything unexpected requires me to change the event.
When your event is reviewed and published, members will be able to see it on the website as one of the Upcoming Events and I can then share it to the Facebook Group when I’m ready. Depending on if my event is a major or minor event (up to 1 month for major events or 2 weeks for minor events), I would then share the event listing to the Facebook Group and announce my event. From there I could promote and chat about the event with other members.
As the event approaches, I could then send out reminders or last-minute updates to members of the group through the texting group. Most of these reminders will happen the day before or on the day of the event. If something does change the event plan, I can send out a group text to everyone who is signed up. I don’t have to worry changing the website or Trello events because by the time changes are made, the event will have already happened. At that point, you can just enjoy the event and look forward to the next one.