Anatomy of a Scheduling Failure & Feature Suggestion(s)

MC Matthew Cropp Public Seen by 66

I'm in a group where we do a bi-monthly meeting, and rotate who the "host" is, who is responsible for determining the meeting time.

My usual process is to do the schedule poll, pick the date, and then follow up with a check poll that contains the call coordinates to collect RSVPs and remind folks of the call 24hrs in advance.

One of the members who is less familiar with Loomio than I am took on scheduling our most recent call, and today we discovered that most, but not all, of our members were unaware that it was scheduled for today. I did a little bit of digging, and discerned the following as the point of failure:

When the schedule poll closed he sent the results with the date and a calendar invite to folks. I believe his assumption was that the calendar invite would automatically add the event to all of our calendars, as it seems like most platforms do. However, it appears you need to click a link on the invite email to do so.

A handful of group members either did that or transcribe the event to their calendar, but the rest did not. My sense is that they were operating under the assumption that the calendar invite would automatically appear on their calendar without further action, and so it never ended up on their personal calendars, and the meeting ended up needing to be rescheduled.

Feature Suggestions: This experience suggests two possible feature tweaks to improve the scheduling process.

  1. Automatically add calendar invites to people's calendars: This action seems implied by the option description in the calendar poll, and the fact that it requires an additional step to do so was at the root of our particular failure. So, removing that step and allowing the poll to send a calendar invite directly to the group members' calendars would solve the problem.

  2. Add an automatic "RSVP Poll" follow-up option to the time poll: This is what I've been doing operationally, which ensures there's an open poll that reminds folks of the upcoming meeting within the Loomio system. However, for newer users, the expectation that they follow a multi-poll pattern for scheduling seems a bit much, so having the capacity to automatically generate a second poll from the first for collecting RSVPs for the date would smooth the process.


Robert Guthrie Tue 14 Jul 2020 10:42PM

Hi @Matthew Cropp. Thanks for this feedback, totally agree... Have you got an example of an app that automatically adds calendar invites?

We require the facilitator to select the winning time, then click send outcome. The Calendar invite option is automatically selected.. So I'm a little confused how this could be more automatic.

RSVP poll is a good idea, and something I'd really like to see happen. Ideally we can integrate with the "accept" "decline" buttons that exist with your email client, and support voting without leaving your email.