Author Topic: Keeping Track of Tasks  (Read 1597 times)

Mike Fox

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Keeping Track of Tasks
« on: March 08, 2014, 12:34:16 AM »
One thing I have learned is not to plan too far ahead at the railroad. But this does bring up something that we regulars need to think about. While we see and know what is going on and what needs to be done, those who are not don't see or know these things. There is always maintenance of some kind, and lots of stuff any one of any ability can do, but don't know that it needs to get done.

   I would like to see, and maybe even start, a list of things that need to be done or should be done, so anyone can look at the list and head out and do it. This could be updated as things get done or thought of to be added. A simple line through the task would signify they are done. And perhaps a contact name for the project so that they know who to look for or ask questions about the project.

   So with that, I shall start a new topic. I will start and keep a separate list for posting near the sign in book, so those that are not readers of the forum also benefit from this, and others can add to the list.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

John Kokas

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Keeping Track of Tasks
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 02:05:11 PM »
Ya know Mike,  many of us come to the RR to get AWAY from the "honey-do" list!  ;D  All kidding aside, I think your idea is right on the mark.  I know when I used to come down from Bangor that I would spend time trying to find out what needed to be done and asking lots of questions.  This would save a lot of idle time and also relieve the regulars from having to run around and answer questions, find stuff, and organize folks.   Bravo!

Wayne Laepple

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Keeping Track of Tasks
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 04:26:57 PM »
Two or three years ago, I suggested that a white board on an easel be set up outside the shop listing the day's projects and who was leading each one, so that casual volunteers could take a look and find a project where they could be useful. It would also serve to direct visitors to the scene of the action. That idea was rejected by the Powers That Be, and instead, a chalkboard was hung on the back of the station door to provide similar information. It wasn't very effective, and the last time I saw it (before the station door was replaced last year), the information on it was the same as I'd seen six months earlier. In fact, we do need a more effective way to direct casual volunteers, potential new volunteers, and visitors to activities around the museum. But I'll leave that to folks who are more creative and smarter than I am to develop.

Mike Fox

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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 12:45:50 AM »
Those ideas were great Wayne, but someone would have to maintain it. Then it gets forgotten. The same will probably happen to this. But it seems easy enough to get started. Bigger projects like the 9 or building buildings were the ones on the boards, this list will be for anything that needs to be done aside from the larger projects.
Mike
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Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Keeping Track of Tasks
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 05:14:48 AM »
The volunteers at Essex use a to do list to great success. One or two people will actually make the list up either throughout the week as projects (for the weekly Wed night sessions) accumulate and/or on Wed afternoon so the volunteers can pick from the list as they enter the shop. The person who usually organizes the list  also the one who co-ordinates the various work parties around the shop and elsewhere.
There is also a white-board in the shop displayed quite conspicuously for the regular paid shop employees. The board is divided into different projects or groups of projects-by-category. Things coming up in the next few days, weeks, months go in one area, individual car/loco, and boxes for individual employees are some of the different ways I've seen things categorized, often with all of the above on the board at any given time. (It's a BIG board!)
I think the chalkboard idea could work nicely for big weekends when many projects would be happening simultaneously. I'd suggest a large (say, 4x5' or "portable classroom size") board placed in the front of the shop near the street-side doors so people coming in from the road can see it upon arrival.
I think page-sized lists would be helpful for ongoing lists when mostly regular people who are already familiar with the shop/campus/operation(s) and could be kept in a place/places easily found.
Ok, that's my input. I'm sure something more refined will percolate from these grounds.  ;)

Wayne Laepple

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Keeping Track of Tasks
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 08:37:43 PM »
Mike, I totally understand that "someone" has to take the responsibility of maintaining a weekly project list. (James does it on line, but not everyone who comes around looks at his Wednesday postings.) That means that one of the regulars has to recognize that encouraging casual volunteers and potential new volunteers/members is an important part of what we do, just as important if not more so than the projects themselves.

I think your idea of a list of smaller projects is also a good one. I'd suggest that it be written on a large piece of poster board at some central location where volunteers can see it. Said list would also need to note where the necessary tools or materials for the project are located. When the project is completed, the person who did it can cross it off.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Keeping Track of Tasks
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 08:58:13 PM »
[Mod's Note]
This topic was split from Alan Downey's request for tasks when he and his dad visits us.

Mike's "todo" list can be found in the "Members Only" section of the forum. Members should log into the forum to view it. If you are not a member - JOIN US! If you are a member, and cannot access the todo list, please contact me.
Ed Lecuyer
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Mike Fox

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Re: Keeping Track of Tasks
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 12:42:15 AM »
Or show up at the museum and help with it.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...