Coordinator’s News

October 2022

Greetings to my friends I have already met, and those I am still yet to meet.

Not sure you’ll enjoy reading about this but I feel I need to write it for this month.

It has taken me a while to realise that I love building systems. Working out the steps needed to get a job completed and how we will be able to do this again and again, be it daily, weekly, monthly or annually.

I have to find meaning in all the tasks I do and all the tasks I ask people to help with. One of the first systems I developed at SpringDale was around the way our classes are named and recorded. This system has been tweaked a couple of times over the last 18 years to help put more intelligence into the class code. We now have a 12-character code for each course – first 2 characters determine which book and what category it is listed under, next 4 characters – denote the subject, next character denotes the room, next 2 characters are for the year, the next character is for the school term number, then a character for the day and then a character for the time of day.

You can read the class code and work out where, when and what is happening eg. CRWGTMT224HM reads CR – craft, WGTM – What grandmother taught me, T – in the training room, 22 – in 2022 (this used to be a single year date until we clocked over the 10 years we’d been using this and then we had to extend the code to 2 digits), 4 means it happens in term 4 (ie this school term Oct- Dec), H in our system stands for Thursday and M represents Morning.

Another system we set up early on because I couldn’t work out where people might store physical documents or electronic documents in our system. I needed to do some thinking about SpringDale before I went to have a tough conversation with a particular group.

We set up a numbering system for SpringDale Activities Core Services in the middle – Family, Publications, Classes, Groups and Community Support, – and these are headed up with Management and Reception and backed up with Finance and Maintenance. Everything fell into one of these buckets. Then there are sub categories to make finding information much easier (we hope).

I would much rather use my time for long term solutions than short term ones. Thus, I might have some piles of things waiting patiently for the long term solution to become obvious. Those who have seen the office that some of those piles are in – might look in horror – mostly so long as nothing is moved, I do know where everything is.

Perhaps some of this behavior is due to my love of the Periodic Table of Elements – its simplicity with the position of each element, enables many things to be known about that element because of where it is placed.

Having systems helps to reduce the number of decisions that you need to make and I know I only have so many decisions that I can make each day. I believe that if systems are simple, easy to understand and a good investment of time, then the benefit will shine through and others will appreciate and use them. I love a good system that makes my life easier.

Happy to chat about systems to anyone anytime. Hope to see you at SpringDale soon.

Warm Regards,
Anne Brackley OAM
Chief Enthusiasm Officer & Coordinator
SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre Inc.

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