You need a better solution than telling your conference administrator to “look both ways” before crossing the street.
In business, there’s a metric for measuring the vulnerability of a project. It’s called “The Bus Factor” and it was first imagined by organizational scientists trying determine how many team members would need to get hit by a bus before their project would fail.
Yes, pretty macabre stuff. But it’s important to understand what could happen to your conference so you can prevent it from happening.
Turns out that, for many organizations, one bus could effectively ruin an entire conference. Why? Because small- to medium-sized societies, like many small- to medium-sized businesses and research groups, have a highly concentrated workforce. Labor is expensive and the expertise, experience and desire to pull off a successful project is rare. Mission-critical projects are assigned to individuals rather than teams in many organizations because there are so few who have the time, energy and willingness to execute them.
In fact, just the “assigning” of a conference planning project may be an overstatement. From Mira’s 18-year perspective in the conference planning platform space, it’s apparent that administrators who manage conferences often find themselves in their organizer role quite by accident. Then, after a few events, they’re identified as the “go-to” person for all things conference.
Relying on a single individual as the white-hot center of your abstract management process imperils your successful conference in many ways.
No real team. No experienced support. In other words, their conference is one bus strike away from disaster. And that’s not an overstatement.
Relying on a single individual as the white-hot center of your abstract management process imperils your successful conference in many ways. If that one highly qualified individual were to be hit by a bus, there’s a predictable pattern of failures that can quickly damage your conference:
- Passwords can be very difficult to recover when their holder is absent. It may take weeks to convince a large service such as Dropbox or Google to grant access. You may not even know which service the unfortunate administrator used to store data. “Was it Google Drive?… no, I think it was Box..”.
- Unique workflows tend to evolve over time when a single individual manages a project. Understanding how each piece works in the greater scheme of things can be difficult – particularly under the time crunch of a looming conference.
- The valuable time lost in the recovery process may discourage reviewers and authors as they wait in silence for submission actions beyond a reasonable time.
The vulnerabilities of relying on a single individual – no matter how competent and organized they may be – are limitless. That’s why your organization needs a better solution than telling your conference administrator to “look both ways” before crossing the street.
A platform, such as Mira Smart Conferencing, solves all those vulnerability issues by establishing a safe, secure and predictable workflow for your abstract management – from submissions to publication of proceedings. Points of access to data are based on your organization, not one single individual on your team.
And a platform does all of that without adding a single new staff member to your payroll.
For organizations that rely on volunteers, an abstract management platform can free up those highly motivated people to take on more society specific projects, which is probably why they joined in the first place.
Experienced project managers who work for the abstract management platform provider are a kind of “force multiplier” for your organization. With an average of 10 years of abstract management experience, Mira’s project managers quickly become the new “go-to” people, effectively protecting your organization from a runaway bus.
There’s a reason why Richard Stimac, Mira’s Director of Business Development, says it’s so important to consider worst-case scenarios. “Sometimes the most stable part of a conference is the abstract management platform project management.” That’s not a criticism of your organization. It’s an experienced observation of organizational dynamics.
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