Rota swap functionality

One of our most popular rota features is the swap functionality enabling rota members to process a swap and optional return swap for those occasions where they're unable to serve an assigned rota duty. Indeed many customers have commented on the positive influence this feature has had on the health of their overall serving culture!

Overview of the intended functionality

A Rotas module setting enables (or disables) the rota Swap functionality - it's not possible to enable swaps for some rotas and disable it on others.

The functionality works on a trust basis - it's not intended to be used as a mechanism to inflict a swap on someone unsuspecting and neither is there an 'approval' system whereby swap recipients approve or decline a swap.

Rota swaps can only be processed for future rota dates. Processing a swap will send a swap confirmation email to the person adding the swap, the recipient person being swapped with, and to the ministry's overseers. It is not possible to process a swap with a child rota member - only adult rota members in the Address Book.

Rota members can only process their own swaps unless a return swap is being made, in which case the return swapper could process the swap. Rota members are unable to process a swap that will cause a rota clash - we don't allow a rota member to make a change that simply causes another issue! Similarly, rota members can only swap with available members from the same ministry or rota, and only those who are not already serving on the date being swapped. For rotas with accept/decline enabled, swapped rota members are added to the rota with an accepted serving status.

Overseers have full rota management in My ChurchSuite and can process any swap and override swap clashes.

A swap is a direct swap, including roles. Those who are swapping will inherit one another's roles, although an overseer can reassign roles where necessary.

Enabling rota swap functionality

Head into the Rotas module's settings - accessed via the cogwheels icon in the top right-hand corner of the module. Select the My ChurchSuite Options tab. In the Settings section click Edit to Enable or Disable Swaps as appropriate. Disabling swaps will prevent any rota member from processing a swap in My ChurchSuite. However, Ministry overseers will still be able to fully manage their rotas in My ChurchSuite, including processing swaps.

Organising a swap

You may have your preferred internal processes that those serving should follow when they are unable to fulfil a rota duty assigned to them. Typically a rota member who needs to organise a swap will first reach out to fellow rota members to see if anyone is available to swap with them. Within the My Rotas section are a couple of useful features to help your rota members do just that.

First, rota members can view a rota Teams member list for the rota they serve on, showing the contact details of fellow rota members (subject to each person's privacy settings), so they can get in touch to arrange a swap - perhaps contacting just those people who have suitable roles assigned.

A further option is to use the Email members button to send a private rota group email to all the rota members to see if anyone is available to swap. Note that a group email is sent to all rota members - it's not possible to filter the group email recipient list. Again, rotas members can use this to reach out to others on the rota to relationally enquire if someone can swap.

Once a swap has been agreed relationally it's then easy to process the change to the rota. Here's how...

Processing a rota swap

Viewing their rota in My ChurchSuite, rota members have a serving Actions button next to their name. From this menu, they can Add unavailability, which will trigger an unavailability notification to ministry overseers. They can then click Organise swap.

The Organise swap pop-up opens to select who they have organised to Swap with - only available rota members will be listed. The Return swap menu will show a list of that person's future serving dates for all rotas linked to the same ministry. In this way, rota members can process swaps across different services and rotas linked to the same underlying ministry.

Click Save Changes to process the swap, which will update the rota and send the swap confirmations and overseer swap notifications. A swap that causes a clash will be detected and the swap prevented. Typically, swap clashes are caused when swapping with someone who is unavailable or who is already serving on another rota for the same date/time. An overseer may be required to process the swap where a permitted clash will arise.

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