Logistics Team Management
News flash: You can't do this alone! You're going to need a whole logistics team to help pull this build off, and plenty of planning to keep the troops moving.
Recruiting and Organizing
Your plans are only as good as the people who will implement them – so look for people you trust! Your Logistics Team members will help you find meeting spaces, arrange for site deliveries and security, and get the site ready for a volunteer influx. You could train a fleet of volunteers to be valet parkers, or find a scout troop willing to camp out and guard the site just before the build. Team members should be positive and energetic, and they should have a strong belief in the project.
While you're recruiting, keep a list of people who are interested in the project but too busy to become a team member; they may come in handy when you need volunteers for some of your activities.
The next step is to propose a regular schedule for Logistics Team meetings. This may be something to discuss when recruiting your members. How often would you like to meet? Where and for how long? Do your volunteers have potential scheduling conflicts? Do they need childcare? Does anyone have long vacations planned? Be thoughtful and considerate toward your team members' other commitments; they'll thank you for it!
Once you have a few loyal volunteers recruited, it's time to get down to work. A first meeting sets the tone for your entire project, so try to be professional, organized and energetic. Oh, and don't forget about the fun! Remind your team of the joys of play and they'll carry that energy back to the community.
It's always important to establish a clear objective and an agenda for each meeting. Show up on time, be prepared and set time limits for each item; everyone appreciates a productive meeting, and your team members will be more likely to show up next time! Here are some topics that you might want to address at your first Logistics Team meeting:
- Personal introductions
- Review the playspace project
Discuss the overall project vision, as well as the community-build model. Emphasize the potential for a spirited, broad-based effort!
- Review your team's goals & strategies
How does your team fit into the big picture? Discuss your team's responsibilities, timeline and budget.
- Brainstorm community resources and personal connections
It's not what you know, it's who you know! Ask people on your team whether they have friends, relatives, co-workers or neighbors who can offer a particular skill or business contact. You may be surprised at the response!
- Delegate team tasks
It's a good idea to assign team members to one of your main tasks -
- Arranging meeting spaces
- Getting the site ready for Build Day
- Working to arrange security and deliveries
- Set specific goals for your next meeting.
How will you measure progress? Before you go, agree on a time for your next meeting and create specific deadlines for each of the four main tasks.
Budget and timeline
Because you're not responsible for any fundraising, you'll need to talk to your co-chair(s) and Fundraising Captain about the budget for your team. Overhead costs such as electricity and water work, portable restrooms, tents and tables should have been figured into the overall budget, but it's up to you to determine your team's needs, allocate funds, and price out materials in your area. You should also strive to get as many of these things donated as you can! Use the list below to get your money matters in order and write out the amount needed for each item:
- Meeting Spaces
- Audio/Visual and Computer Aids
- Site Water
- Site Electricity
- Site Security
- Site Restrooms
- Site Trash Disposal
Setting a logistics team timeline
KaBOOM! strongly recommends setting a series of small, tangible goals at the outset of a project; it helps keep you and your team motivated and focused. If your co-chair(s) haven't confirmed build date(s) as of yet, work with the entire planning committee to agree on an ideal timeline. Then work backward to fill in Logistics Team tasks such as necessary upgrades and delivery confirmation. Here's a sample timeline for your team; feel free to create your own (and add as many activities as you want)!
Decide on your deadline for each of the tasks below:
- Investigate Existing Facilities at Build Site
- Logistics Team Meeting #1
- Scout Locations for Meetings
- Create Facilities "Punch List"
- Logistics Team Meeting #2
- Compile List of Needed Tables, Tents, etc.
- Schedule Upgrades to Water, Electricity, Restrooms at Build Site
- Logistics Team Meeting #3
- Approach Potential Donors
- Complete Solicitation of Materials
- Logistics Team Meeting #4
- Arrange Site Security
- Confirm Facilities Upgrades
- Confirm All Deliveries
- BUILD DAY!!
- Send Thank You's
Meetings and leadership
Other than your Logistics Team meetings, you'll have plenty of opportunities to try out your organizational skills, from community meetings to fundraisers to the Design Day when children gather to imagine their dream playspace. For any event, keep the following tips in mind:
Try to choose a place in your community that is easily accessible, fits your expected turnout, and provides the right kind of setting. For a meeting that's open to the public, the space should be large but not too cavernous - a huge space with high ceilings can diminish the welcoming, collaborative feel that you'd like to achieve. Check your asset map for organizations that might be able to provide a free meeting space: a conference room, community center, library, classroom or church hall. Make sure there's enough parking, and provide clear driving directions.
Later on in your planning, you may want to control the size of your meetings to promote productive discussion and fast decision-making...but at a community meeting, the more the merrier! Because you're trying to build a base of support, be sure to record each attendee's contact information in a guest book, and distribute volunteer surveys to gather more specific information.
Choose a seating plan that facilitates your meeting's objectives. For example, in your community meeting you'll be reporting a lot of information, so you may want to opt for traditional row seating. If you are encouraging the planning committee to get to know each other or to brainstorm, you may want to sit in a circle. Last but not least, make sure you have enough chairs!
Sound and lighting
Will you need a microphone? Is there enough light for people to read handouts? Do you know how to control the lighting?
To ensure parents' full attention (and attendance!), it's always a good idea to provide childcare during meetings.
If you plan to use a flip chart, chalkboard, overhead projector, slide projector, microphone, tape player, television or computer, make sure they are available and in good condition.
Snacks and drinks are always appreciated.
Give people enough notice to fit the meeting into their schedules, but not so much that they'll forget. Two weeks' notice is usually fine for large meetings.
Designate a secretary to record everything that goes on in the meeting, from planned agenda items to unexpected issues that may arise. You'll be amazed by how quickly you forget details, and you'll need a solid record to follow up on contacts and action items.
How will you collect contact information from the people who come to your meeting? Consider setting up a guest book at the entrance, and/or handing out a more detailed survey to all attendees.
A large part of your job will be to motivate, instruct, advise and help others as they implement your plan. Remember that delegating responsibility usually enhances a project, because jobs get done by people who have a special skill in that area.
Hone your Team Captain skills with these simple tips:
Delegate complete jobs rather than portioning out small tasks
Team members aren't there to do your "busy work"! If you put your trust in them, they'll rise to the occasion and give you a more creative, thoughtful response.
Clarify the job before delegating
Make very clear your expectations, the job's priority, the deadline, who can help them, and how this task fits into the big picture.
Give help when requested
And not before then! It's important to step back, resist the urge to micromanage, and let your team members do their work. (But be there in a pinch.)
Repeat what you've heard to make sure you understood. Pay attention to non-verbal behavior (gestures, posture, tone of voice). Put yourself in their shoes.
At every meeting, it's important to record what was accomplished, what new goals or deadlines were set, and who said what.
Agree upon meeting procedures
Who will speak and in what order? What topics will be discussed? Having fair and consistent procedures will keep people focused during lengthy meeting.
Set time limits
Meetings tend to go on until someone stops them. Let people know how much time they have to speak, and stick to it.