Rota swap functionality

One of our most popular rota features is the swap functionality within My ChurchSuite enabling rota members to take just a little appropriate personal responsibility for resolving those occasions where they're unable to serve their assigned rota duty. Indeed many have commented on the positive influence this functionality has had on their overall serving culture.

While there's nothing preventing a rota member adding unavailability at 11.30pm the night before they're due to serve the next morning(!) - educating serving teams with clear and reasonable expectations, and providing 'easy-to-use' functionality to enable them to organise and process their own swaps (while keeping everyone in the loop) saves ministry overseers and those in the office from being the ones ending up resolving these types of issues.

Overview of the intended functionality

We recognise that some churches and organisations prefer to mange all rota changes in the office and do not wish to allow rota swaps. A Rotas module setting enables or disables the module's swap functionality entirely. Note that it is not possible to enable swaps for some rotas and disable it for others.

ChurchSuite's swap 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 'approvals' system where an overseer or rota member can accept or decline a swap request.

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 and send swap notifications to the person being swapped with and to the ministry's overseer(s). It is not possible to process a swap with a child rota member; only with Address Book contacts.

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 any changes that cause potential other issues. Similarly, rota member can only swap with available rota members and only those who are not already serving on the date being swapped to.

Ministry overseers have full rota manage permissions in My ChurchSuite and can therefore process any swap and override rota swap clashes.

The person being swapped with will inherit the role(s) of the person organising the swap, and vice versa where a return swap is made. In this way rotas members cannot use 'swaps' as a way to change roles - only a ministry overseer can make role changes.

Enabling rota swap functionality

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

Organising a swap

Churches and charitable organisations will each have their own 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, each rota member is able to view the Members list of the rota that they serve on. Clicking on a member in the list will popup of their contact details (subject to that person's privacy settings) so they can get in touch to arrange a swap - perhaps contacting just those people who have appropriate/suitable roles assigned.

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

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

Processing a rota swap

When viewing their rota in My ChurchSuite, and for each date a rota member is set to serve, there's an ellipses button next to their name (the circle button with three dots). From the menu the rota member can add their unavailability - which will trigger a helpful notification to the ministry overseer(s). They can then click Organise swap.

The Organise swap page is opened. Select the person being swapped with from the Swap with drop-down menu - 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 swap across different services and rotas derived from the same underlying ministry.

Click Save Changes to process the swap, which will update the rota(s) and send the swap confirmation and swap notifications.

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