Policy Example: Facilitation Team and Team Processes

Facilitation Team and Team Processes
Windsong is a legal strata and is thus subject to the Strata Property Act. We do not elect a strata council as described in the Act. Our by-laws allow us to include every Windsong resident in our decision making process. All decisions in Windsong are made by consensus at community meetings unless an individual or a group has been delegated particular decision making authority by the Community Meeting. Community meetings are held on the first Friday of every month, starting at 7:30 pm.

The Facilitation Team meets about two weeks ahead of the meeting to prepare the agenda. Any Windsonger may suggest agenda items. Such items must be received by the Team before or at their planning meeting. The Team can assist in the preparation of agenda items. The agenda is then posted on the main bulletin board by the mailboxes one week ahead of the meeting. It is also sent out via email.

At the Community Meetings, we use a colour card system to prioritize the order of speakers and for determining whether we have agreement on a proposal. Rather than go into detail about how this works, we warmly invite you to see it in action at a community meeting. All Windsong members are urged to attend meetings. Renters have equal say in all decision making, and they are encouraged to voice their opinions along with owners.

The members of the Facilitation Team are responsible for facilitating the Community Meetings and recording the proceedings. Minutes of the meetings are posted on the front bulletin board prior to the next meeting and, once they have been approved are filed in binders in the Community Office where they are available for any resident to read.

Facilitation Team

We propose that a facilitation team be established with the following responsibilities:

to receive requests for decisions from community members
to assist in the preparation of the requests for presentation
to facilitate community meetings
to document community decisions
We suggest that the Facilitation Team consist of six members, each serving 6 months. Three of the members’ terms would overlap by 3 months with the new team members. The community business meeting roles of the team are:

discussion facilitator
process facilitator
All Team members may ask substitutes to take over their roles temporarily if they want to participate in the discussion.

It is important that some members of the Team be skilled in group facilitating. Members will be encouraged to take such training in addition to communication skills training so that they can be effective in facilitating meetings.

The Team would also be responsible for keeping the Policy Manual up to date.

Requests for Decisions

We propose that:

each request be accompanied by the reasons for making it
each request be displayed in a book or bulletin board (it may be accompanied by a suggested solution or answer).
each request be accompanied by the name of the requester(s) and the urgency of the request
the Facilitation Team consider the request and process it in one of the following ways:
inform the requester that the request is unnecessary because:
it is equivalent to an already submitted request
there is already a policy, guideline or initiative in place for it
direct the request to an existing team or individual for implementation if there is an appropriate policy, mandate and/or budget
refer the requester(s) to other members with similar requests so they can combine efforts
assist the requester(s) to prepare the request for presentation to the community
Preparation of Requests for Presentation to the Community

We propose that:

the Facilitation Team ensure that the formal request contains the following elements:
a description of the problem to be solved or the question to be answered
criteria for solving the problem or answering the question
background information
if the request includes a suggested solution or answer the Facilitation Team ensure that the following is included as well:
a clear description of the suggested solution or answer
costs (if appropriate)
who and what may be affected
timeline for implementation if appropriate
the Facilitation Team prepare the agenda for each Community meeting, suggesting order and negotiating time allotted for each item with the requester(s)
Communication of Agenda Items

We propose that the Facilitation Team communicate all relevant information about agenda items to all members of the community, a minimum of one week prior to the Community Meeting. If feedback is desired before the meeting, more time may be needed.

Community Business Meeting

We propose that all requests for decisions, except those referred elsewhere at the time of the request, be addressed at Community Business meetings. The purposes of the business meetings are to:

brainstorm to develop possible solutions to questions presented
review and if necessary rework suggested solutions or answers
determine readiness for making decisions re suggested solutions or answers
make decisions
record decisions
delegate: further research, development of possible solutions or answers , decision making or implementation of decisions made
plan for evaluation of implementation if appropriate
At the meetings:

participants will approve the agenda
approve minutes of previous meeting
Facilitation Team members will facilitate the discussion, attend to group maintenance functions, act as timekeepers and record the proceedings
Communication of Decisions

We propose that all decisions made at community business meetings be communicated to all community members within 3 days of the meeting. This should be done through e-mail and by posting the minutes.

We propose that all assignments to teams or individuals be clearly articulated so that expectations are clear.

Proposal No. 3 - Coordination & Tracking System.

The CCS team proposes that a 3 - level coordination system be used to track which jobs are getting done, and more importantly which jobs are not getting done and that need to be filled, or brought to the community’s attention for further decision. Does the community want to invest the effort of time and / or money to ensure that the job gets done, or are we willing to let this job go?

Community Work Processes (from CCS policy)

Level 1: Individuals

All Windsong adults are responsible for the ownership of a particular job and /or area that they have signed up for. That individual keeps track of how consistently the job gets done, how long it takes to do the job, and his/her own CCS hours that become a part of his/her household’s total monthly CCS quota. Since the definition of CCS is broad, individuals are encouraged to find some kind of job that fits their ability. At a minimum, it is the individual’s responsibility to communicate any gaps that he/she notices to the team coordinator, including if their job is not getting done.

(e.g. A Windsonger has taken on the responsibility for the laundry room. He regularly sweeps, mops, and empties the garbage, but notices that behind the machines is very dusty. He doesn’t want to take this on as well, and communicates to the common house coordinator that this is something that probably should be done, but that he’s not going to do it. As well, when he is too busy in his personal life to maintain the laundry room, or when he is going to be away on vacation, or sick, he communicates this gap to the common house coordinator who will then seek to address this.)

In this way, team coordinators can track gaps in the system and enlist help to get the job done, either by letting the community know that this job is available, or by hiring someone to get the job done.

Level 2: Team Coordinators:

Current teams: Common house, B&M, Outdoors, North and South Atrium, Recycle, Re-use, Garbage, Tech, LAN, Finance, Safety, Social, CAT, Parking, CCS, Marketing, Expectations Gathering/Orientation, Web-site.

Each team coordinator is responsible for tracking a particular area of the current CCS job sign-up sheet.

Depending on the area or team, it may be preferable to have 2 coordinators for a given team. If team coordinators cannot be found, we may consider paying someone. Team coordinators are responsible for supporting individual coordinators in tracking gaps, as well as what is getting done, and have the power to hire out and pay people to do jobs that no one in Windsong is willing or able to do.

Team coordinators are also responsible for tracking their overall area with respect to minimum standards, and to communicate such standards, and can request support from the CCS coordinators (see below for definition). Team coordinators are also responsible for organizing blitzes periodically.

The time spent coordinating will be tracked by team coordinators, and submitted as part of their own household’s CCS monthly quota. In tracking the time that coordination takes, the community will be able to see how many hours it takes to run and maintain Windsong.

Here is the Windsong Building and Maintenance Team’s Process from Allan Laity. (aka AJ)

1 The team coordinator creates and maintains a monthly agenda, which is emailed to the team members along with a monthly notice stating time and place.

2 This agenda is then used as the basis reference for action during the monthly meeting and is compiled with input from the community and team members.

3 Discussions within the team meeting then lead to decisions around maintenance, repairs, and researching items to resolve future issues.

4 Then the team members with the specific skills, experience and time take on the various jobs and tool purchases needed to be resolved, while the coordinator oversees these commitments.

5 If for one reason or another the team members cannot take on these commitments the coordinator will then go outside of the team to locate and hire professionals. The professionals will also be overseen by the coordinator.

6 Team members with specific professional skills and experience will be paid at a rate of either $25 or 30 depending on the complexity of the work. These payments are calculated after the CCS monthly requirements are met.

7 The coordinator with assistance from the team will create a yearly budget which is presented to the Windsong finance team, which will then present their budget during the Yearly A. G. M.

8 A monthly work sheet and Contingency fund sheet are compiled on an ongoing basis of all team expenditures with a opening and closing balances for the possible use of the accountant.

9 All invoices accrued by the team's actions flow through the coordinator which takes the responsibility to check and sign them before passing these on to the Finance team for payment.

10 At the end of each month the coordinator will then send to the community at large by email an accounting and expenditures of the team's activities within the team minutes.

These procedures have been compiled by AJ.

Level 3: CCS Admin Coordinators:

CCS coordinators will create and track the overall accountability system, create the communication systems that will help individual coordinators and team coordinators track gaps, support the team coordinators to help fill job gaps, orient new people to the system, and keep track of and balance the quarterly CCS household accounts. We propose that 2 CCS coordinators share this task.

The CCS admin team is responsible to the community to maintain and track the overall CCS system. Any community member can approach the CCS admin team with any questions regarding the status of any particular area or job concern in the overall maintenance, sustenance and well-being of Windsong.

The time spent coordinating the overall CCS system will also be submitted by the coordinators as part of their own household’s CCS monthly quota.