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Stores teams and ideas for them #360
improved concept for organizing teams - For a better understanding it helps to understand / know the foodsharing.de store system.
Experience from Foodsharing.de
A team from a store can have maximum 3 "Store managers".
1) Small team - members know each other
This is the easiest part. If the team is small and the members have some connection
2) Big Team - members hardly know each other
This is the most difficult part to manage. As the team growes (due to either very "desirable" pickups or due to the workload of the pickups). People know each other less and less. This usually leads to a shift into hierarchies. It comes more and more that the "store manager" is seen as the one "who takes care of everything". This leads to a overload of work for the store manager. More and more also complains of personal differences are put onto the store manager instead of the foodsaver feeling personally responsibility to find a adequate solution themselves.
It was never intended that all workload should be put onto one person or that they would become like a "baby-sitter" for everything.
you name it.
People like to talk to other people about whatever is going on and usually they like to turn to someone who "has the power" or is seen as an "administrative role".
I would like to be able to define "Virtual" Roles(groups?) and describe them.
Example for roles
How should these roles be assigned ?
It would be nice if there would be an overview page or some visualisation of the groups assigned to the foodsavers.
This might seem like a lot but this could make clearer what tasks a team needs and that people are more aware that they can be involved more. Right now everything falls back onto the store manager resulting in an overload.
Lots of good ideas for the case that we do implement store teams, thanks @Sliverriver!
Today @fstaiwan said that he'd like to have store teams like the ones on foodsharing.de. There are certain benefits as well as disadvantages in having those.
Some arguments against store teams à la foodsharing.de:
From my POV I think it would be a shame to close the stores off from the wider community, but I still see the problems.
I think it could be nice to have something like a tag system: when you take the tag of a store you are added to a chatgroup and receive urgent news (as soon as there is a chat, of course...
I also think that having store coordinators is a good idea. I also like the super nuanced approach Kristijan painted above, but I somehow feel that implementing these kinds of things would be too prescriptive. (A modular rights management kit is still my favourite, but I guess that won't happen very soon...^^) But store coordinators are a role that could also come with certain rights.
to prevent the greed there is the "karma-system" that berlin is using. basically you get points for less attractive pickups or chores (cleaning fair -share-points) but therefore you gain the privilege to do a pickup at more desireable stores. and because you can choos how you want to contribute to the community by many tasks that are managed through stores you have more choice. it helped them quite a lot.
It is not, @nicksellen. Afaik one of the BOTs of Friedrichshain made some kind of plugin, that extracts the info of who did which pick-ups and aligned it with predefined point values. The point values are reassessed regularly and reflect the desirability of a store. This is then put down in some kind of table and each month an automatically generated personalized summary goes out to every foodsaver, who did a pick-up in the district. Still, I guess most of the work is done manually (like excluding foodsavers from stores or adding them), also the reassessment is quite a hassle and there is a lot of discussion and discontent as well...
@djahnie ah interesting, good to know. That's more the kind of direction I like for a couple of reasons:
it's not a plugin - it is a seperate program. (windows .exe)
Just for sake of completeness and a bit off-topic: the foodsharing e.V. forbids the use of the software based on data privacy laws:
You can try to get a good English translation here: https://www.deepl.com/translator
This discussion quickly boils down to the very reasons why people save food:
I think most people are really motivated by (1) and this causes a lot of problems that are hard to solve via software.
Imagine a cooperation where foodsavers fight against each other to get pick-up slots? What if we tell the stores that people really want the food and they should try harder to sell it?
Imagine a cooperation where there's only spoiled food and nobody wants to pick it up? What if we just tell the stores that they do a good enough job at selling the good food and stop the cooperation? (Maybe they could do better storage management though)
The parts where foodsharing really shines are cooperations where there's a lot of good food that the store can't or doesn't want to sell anymore. That needs motivated people to pick up the food and distribute it among others, because it's too much to eat all alone.
If ppl really would care about food waste or have a more self-less approach they would engage more then just pickkng up from "good" stores- which mostly serves themself. In the start of foodsharing there were more of those idealists and hippies who put more effort into these topics. As it is now, most of the idealists where shut down and what was once a communty grassroots movement is turning into self serving.
The software could probably made legal(thats what some believe) if the data privacy agreement would allow it. everyone can just call up the landestadenschutzbeauftragten- there are nice and really helpfull to talk to. Depending on how you ask there might have been a way.
I'll collect some needs here why people would want store teams. There could also be alternative solutions for them, like roles for stores.
Reasons to choose an alternative store team architecture than foodsharing.de include:
There are a lot of features you want, but a combination of all of them would be very complex for smaller groups so I think a need for a matrix where functions can be turned on or off depending on the size and challenges of the group in question. A complex tool would be too cumbersome for them to use. I also think functions requested needs to be prioritized so when the discussion of features settle down there is a need to vote for a list of functions that are going to be prioritized.
The point in regard to privacy laws can be a bit tricky due to different countries do not have the same laws in this area, but there are a lot of data that can be processed externally without needing to worry about privacy since most of the data is not private. For example to publish the number of pickups per week and put that in to proportion of volunteers without publishing there names, but I agree the line is rather thin. Perhaps opening for statistical plugins that can be added per group rather then encouraging the use of external programs where sensitive data may be stored in plain text and leak for example. There could be a group of volunteers who have the education to review the data from those plugins to ensure privacy concerns are handled properly.
I still see a need for API functionality to publish how much food is collected on the different groups websites etc. Our possible user-case is that we have requested the list of all business in our town that are registered for handling food products and another list of how much some of those business (we are working on getting a more complete list) throw, so far about 1000 tons where one store alone managed to throw 175 tons per year. We may want to correlate that data with the number of places we pickup at to show how we matter, yet how much is left to do. We could even go down to separate parts of the town to show our impact there and color the map of the city accordingly to enlighten people on the scale of the problem in there area. We see it as our task to also educate the public in the matter of food waste, not just saving some of the food. Without a external API all the data would need to be on Karrot and that would not make sense, but rather generate a lot of performance issues for the Karrot backend.