The New Deal For Task Forces

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The following is a non-static proposed change to the procedures of the OCESS. It details proper task force functioning. It was developed by Stefan De Young in 2006.


Task Forces (TF) are the main body of Sim in that they encompass all our projects. From doors to plumbing to software development, many of the most important things of Spacesim are done using the Task Force system.

Or should I say: Lack of a system?

Currently, there is no defined way to run TF. I propose, by means of this document, to change that.

Step 1: Planning

All projects need to start somewhere, and that somewhere is with a plan. The plan should deal with things large and small: the materials required and the estimated time of completion.

Before you write your plan, you must do a bit of background research, take the dimensions of the thing you want to build, draw up a diagram, and submit all this to the Task Force Coordinator.

Ex. Sample Plan

Project: Bunk Beds

Task Force Leader: Kevan Adlard

Purpose: Build an improved sleeping area for the astronauts.

Materials: 10 2/4s, 2 boxes of 5’ screws, etc... Total: ~500$

Diagram: <Insert Diagram Here>

Manual Labor Required: 3 People + occasional Admiral help

Estimated time of completion: 7 complete worksessions

Other Comments: The bunk beds are very important so that Jon doesn’t have to be banished to the interlock anymore. You can fit boxes underneath them. They save space.

Once a plan is submitted, it will pass through 3 levels of bureaucracy: The TF Coordinator (TFC) will use common sense to see if it’s a good idea, then the MCs will use their common sense and knowledge of the budget to approve it, then the admiral has final veto powers.

If the plan is approved: proceed to step two.

Step 2: Delegate

The person who proposes the project will be in charge of it. They are the TF Leader (TFL) and they are in charge of managing their staff and time as well as submitting status reports (see Step 4: Updates).

The TFL will be granted a staff based on availability and interest. To select the staff, use Step 3: Organize.

Step 3: Organize

A list of TFs will be legibly scrawled on the board by the TFC. The list will include the name of the TF, the name of the TFL, and several spaces for “Manual Labor Required”.

When members arrive at the worksession, they are to sign up in one of the spaces for a taskforce of interest to them of which not all the spots have been already taken.

These members, once signed up, fall under the immediate jurisdiction of their respective TFL, who is in charge of making sure the work gets done.

Step 4: Update

At the end of the worksession or before leaving (whichever comes first), TFLs will be required to submit a status report. Failing to do so will provoke the TFC to come ‘a callin’ to stand over your shoulder while you write one.

This is not needless bureaucracy. This is a measure designed to keep the system on track.

Ex. Status Report

TF: Bunks TFCOM: Ensign Adlard Status: Fair

Work accomplished: All materials acquired. Wood sawed, tarred and feathered. Manual Labour used: Ensign Hotson, Sub-Commander Scothorn Estimated Time to completion: 8 complete worksessions

To do: Build frame, attach to hab walls, stabilize etc. The TFC will then see which taskforces are most in danger of failing, understaffed, or in need of a fresh perspective. They will re-allocate human resources based on their findings and report to the Mission Commanders.

Using this system will ensure that no TF falls through the cracks into decay and certain demise. It will also allow us to see whom our most active members are and which ones need to be whipped into shape.

4.1 Changes to the TF

If for some reason a change needs to be made to a TF, it must be brought up with the TFC.

4.1.1 Boredom in the Leadership

For instance, if a TFL gets bored with their taskforce that they’ve been working on for 4 weeks straight, they may apply to resign their position. They may only leave their position if they manage to find a sim member who has worked on their TF for at least 20% of the operational life of the TF, or who is willing to undergo a steep learning curve, and who is willing to volunteer to fill the former TFL’s shoes.

The only reason that a specific clause needs to be developed to combat TFC boredom is because they are the only people permanently chained to a TF, and thus the other members never have the possibility of being bored.

4.1.2 More (or less) hands needed

If at any time a TFL finds himself understaffed, he may ask the TFC to add an extra slot to the TF Board under their TF. This may not generate an immediate increase of Manual Labour in the TF, but it will let general members know that the TF is in need of more assistance. The Good Samaritan

A specific case must be addressed that is related to the above clause. If a TF is in need of a set of hands to help out for no more than five minutes (or so), they may request help from a member of another TF (in the room). This should not force them to go out of their way to help you, but as we are all one club and not just a bunch of co-habitating TFs, we should all help each other out.

Eg. Stefan is cleaning. Stephen is working on electronics. Stefan needs to clean under a monitor. Stefan is incapable of lifting the monitor with one hand while cleaning the desk with the other. Stefan asks for Stephen to assist him. Stephen complies, and sits back down three minutes later to strip wires again.

Step 5: Discipline

The TFC will run a tight ship.

Along with the MCs, the TFC will have the authority to order people into TFs (ie. to work).

When one of those three finds someone slacking, they will give them a break (5 minutes cool-down cause they just got there or finished wiring a control panel etc.), after that, a warning will be issued (i.e. they will be urged to sign-up for a TF and report to their TFL), failing to respond to that in a timely manner (within 3 minutes) will cause them to be shipped to Siberia (i.e. sent to the Perpetual Task Force of Doom).

The Perpetual Task Force of Doom (PTFD) was formerly called clean-up, and those who work on it will take it upon themselves to pick up any loose objects, organize them, procure a broom and mop from the custodians, use them, and generally tidy up. The TFC and/or MCs may be required to watch those on the PTFD to ensure that they do not stray from the beaten path into vice and fall from virtue into the bottomless pit of “hanging out”, never to return, never to be lamented by the peers, never to return to The Holy Land (i.e. 440 Albert).

All members who fail to respond in a timely manner to being sent to the PTFD will have their computer games spaced, their monitors unplugged, their intestines removed, and their livers pickled in a 85% solution of ethanol in water. And will be stood over until they comply with the wishes of the commanders/TFC.


In this way, I hope to bring about organizational reform within the OCESS and change its image from one of procrastinatoria to that of the proactivista. I hope to lure back those who left saying that they felt ill used in that they hadn’t been used, hadn’t had jobs, hadn’t had the fun of being part of a project. I hope to keep all the Gr. 9s who join next year. I hope to give everyone a sense of purpose, duty, and allegiance so that SpaceSim will never run astray and perchance bring the Evil Eye (i.e. the Board) down upon us.

Editing Needed

The above document needs to be edited to comply with the document available on the server at .