Laclede’s LAN started with four friends opening their LAN parties to the public in 2004. At those LANs, new friendships would grow, with many of those LAN-goers getting pulled into becoming staff, resulting in an organization that always grew organically. While this approach worked, bringing us to where we are today, it had several limitations:
Our Job Graph Became Overly Complex
In the beginning, it was simple to keep track of which staff members were responsible for which areas. If you had an idea or wanted to get involved, it was easy to jump into the mix. But over the years, as tasks switched hands, people came and left, and tools like Discord changed how we interacted, our communication graph became overly complex. Related tasks that should have been grouped together were split across different staff members, and these arrangements would morph after every LAN.
Hyper-Informality Makes It Easy to Miss Things
With the tasks split and constantly changing hands, and communication happening asynchronously over the internet, it became easy to miss important happenings. This resulted in an “all-in” or “event-only” staff divide. Either you were involved in everything, or you showed up to LANs and helped where possible.
This culture leads to dangerous scenarios where an “all-in” staffer could miss just a few critical messages, resulting in an inferior LAN party experience.
When Everyone Is “All-In,” the Law of Triviality Is in Full Effect
When you have to be “all-in” to keep up-to-date on happenings that affect you, it’s natural to get involved in everything. After all, you want to make sure the upcoming LAN is good as it can be, so why not express every concern you have over any work that’s getting done?
While well-intentioned, this resulted in spending a disproportionate amount of time discussing minor topics, resulting in a higher volume of communication, making it that much easier to miss a critical conversation that affects your job. Meanwhile, many “all-in” staffers would find themselves trapped in 20-minute conversations about a topic they were completely uninterested in.
See also: Law of Triviality.
TL:DR; — It’s Too Difficult for Newcomers to Get Involved
If you wanted to join the Laclede’s LAN staff and become an influential staff member, you’d have to overcome all the limitations listed so far. You’d have to grok the communication graph enough to work with others effectively. You’d have to get caught up and involved with enough of the communications to ensure you didn’t miss something important to you. And, you’d have to, at the least, listen to multiple conversations you weren’t interested in at all.
With this reorganization, our goal is to address the above issues while encouraging creativity and without stifling organization flexibility. We’re breaking the organization out into teams.
- Each team will have clear (and documented) responsibilities.
- Each team will have leader(s) who are members of a ‘LL management team’.
- The ‘LL management team’ will consist of board members and be responsible for the “big picture” without getting too involved in the any other teams’ details.
- Event checklists will track cross-team progress.
- Individual teams can choose their communication and organization tools and methods as long as they fit into the larger picture.
The Initial Teams
We expect these teams (and their responsibilities) to evolve as we discover what works well.
|Core Tech||Build a resilient, performant, monitored technology platform that powers the LAN parties.||Andy Tevlin, Nick Sarakas, Patrick Byrne|
|Event Coordination||Handle the key logistics for each LAN party.||Zach Waske||James Dudley|
|Event Experience||Make the atmosphere fun, unique, and memorable.||Nate Cowen, Tim Dollarhide, Adam Kruger|
|Game Server||Provide high-quality game servers (and tools) anywhere, anytime.||James Dudley||Justin Benedick|
|Marketing and Communications||Spread the word, build up the pump, keep Laclede’s LAN on people’s minds, and sell tickets.||Melanie Molina, Nate Cowen|
|Streaming Team||Stream the LAN parties, both at the event and online.||Nate Cowen, Andy Tevlin|
|Tournaments and Community Events||Ensure a high degree of quality in competitive tournaments. Provide fun and dynamic challenges. Keep the community engaged.||Tony DiPietri, Tim Dollarhide||Melanie Molina|
|Website and Registration||Provide user-friendly technology that makes the LANs accessible.||James Dudley, Nick Sarakas||Melanie Molina|
Join A Team Today!
If you’d like to get involved with Laclede’s LAN, and any of these teams interest you – contact us today!