Summary of Chapter 15: Strategic Scheduling
*Excerpt from Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide
, copyright Congressional Management Foundation.
- follow the six steps for developing and
implementing a strategic schedule:
- define office goals.
- evaluate the impact of office goals on scheduling.
- communicate goals to staff.
- assemble the scheduling team.
- develop scheduling criteria.
- conduct a strategic review.
determine roles and responsibilities for the Scheduler(s) and any other staff who
are part of the scheduling team.
forecast a long-range scheduling plan for either the first session or the entire
serve more constituents by conducting a variety of proactive events in
the district/state, such as: individual appointments; community or open office
hours; site visits; online, in-person, or tele-town halls; advisory boards; and field hearings.
consider the Member’s travel schedule,
the distance from DC to the district/
state, and any additional job duties,
before hiring and deciding where to locate
the person responsible for district/state
- hire an experienced, top-notch
scheduler if the Member is still going to
see every invitation and decide all details.
rely on reactive scheduling, where
the office simply responds to
invitations or requests. Instead,
actively seek and creative opportunities to
neglect to get feedback from event
attendees. Only by knowing what went
right and wrong can the office improve
future scheduling trips.
overschedule. Schedulers must learn to
say “no” diplomatically and take the heat
because of it.
ignore the Member’s needs for
“down time” or reading time. While
Member’s schedules are necessarily busy,
they do not have to always keep pace with
a hectic campaign-like schedule.
wait too long to respond to
invitations which angers those who
invited you, nor reply too quickly, which
might result in last-minute cancellations.
ignore or avoid conflict between
the Member’s family and staff. Build
a cooperative relationship by setting up
ground rules for the family’s involvement
in scheduling and interaction with staff.