By Steven Timmons, PublicRelations Manager
Once, I was on a large IT project involving about 150 people. During a major part of our implementation, someone posted a sign in the breakroom that read, “There is no test like production”. For those that are not that familiar with Information Technology, you spend a great deal of time unit testing, string testing and otherwise testing your programs and flow. However, nothing really seems to test it like when you go live.
That brings me to the point of my story. Recently, District 25 held its first ever Virtual Business Meeting. The main process really started with Greg Pick who conveniently left the country before the actual live meeting… Clever Guy!!! I was brought in to help with running the virtual election… Not So Clever Guy!!!
Greg did the background research and I assisted as best as I could to help structure the election process including the revised process for Credentials working with David Himmelstein. After we laid out a somewhat convoluted process with Survey Monkey and Excel, TI sent suggested solutions to conduct the election. In came Election Buddy to the rescue. A very slick solution to our election woes costing only $19.
We invited Charlie Bowles in to run the webinar for us and he knew how to work Zoom, our webinar platform. Glenda Curry assisted with the webinar as another co-host and recruiting for the voting process. We had our team and we did drill. Each Sunday for weeks, we scaled up the team for a dry run to get ready for the First Ever District 25 Virtual Business meeting happening on September 16, 2018.
On September 9th, we had a live run involving the trio, Robi Ley, Jamie Pickering and Chris Raneri, plus several Division Directors. We learned a few lessons, but it went smoothly. We were ready, the next week we would go live and make history.
My only question is who in the heck invited Murphy? Murphy? You ask… You know Murphy of Murphy’s Law. “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Yes, that Murphy. Well, he/she/it showed up about 30 minutes before the live session was about to go live. Murphy must have been laughing his lower posterior off over the next hour and a half. Why? Because the wheels slowly but surely separated from our finely-honed cart.
The challenges included not being able to bring the Credentials Chair in to share his report. He eventually chatted it to me and I relayed it to the attendees. We did in fact have a quorum. Our parliamentarian was participating until we lost him (almost) never to be seen again. Score one for technology. Jodie Sanders stepped in to fill his shoes and did a masterful job on the fly to get us through.
In the confusion that continued, Robi Ley did a slow chant on how she hated technology. However, she kept her composure and held the meeting together in a masterful fashion. I was truly proud of her.
Charlie, Glenda and I did our best to work crowd control and Murphy reigned throughout the webinar. We would search to get the different presenters to the mics as Robi calmly orchestrated the meeting. Slowly but surely, the items were presented, and the presenters were checked off.
I did appreciate the patience of all the participants as we worked to get through the meeting. I appreciate the assistance of all the people that helped pull the meeting off on the 16th. I appreciate the meeting successfully ending as Robi adjourned the meeting and we shut it down.
I understand that this will not be the last of District 25’s Virtual Business Meetings. But one thing I can say without a doubt in my heart… It will never, never, ever be the first again. There truly is no test like production.