Business Organization Processes
The Ruhr-Mark Catholic Parishes Association
The Ruhr-Mark Catholic Parishes Association, numbering about 50 employees, was founded by episcopal order on the 23rd May 1923, with effect from 1st April 1923, as “General Association of Catholic Parishes of the City of Hagen” and extended in 1979 to include the cities of Iserlohn, Menden, Unna and Witten.
The Eastern Ruhr Catholic Parishes Association, numbering about 60 employees, was founded by episcopal order on the 1st April 1927, as “General Association of Catholic Parishes of the City of Dortmund” and extended in 1978 to include the cities of Castrop-Rauxel, Herne, Lünen and Schwerte.
Under the motto “Vocation. Action. Future”, Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker put the new vision for the Archdiocese of Paderborn into effect on 25th October 2014. The vision sets out the fundamental values as well as theological and pastoral themes for the development of the archdiocese for the years to come. As a result of this vision, the two associations started cooperating on the 1st April 2017 as the “Western Cooperation Area”. The objective is to get to a full merger by the year 2025.
The Western Cooperation Area acts as service provider for its 170 or so affiliated parishes. It advises, supports and supervises the church councils as regards asset management (covering real estate, human resources and finances), and promotes the community interests to the municipal and state authorities.
The Western Cooperation Area also acts as service provider for the Ruhr-Mark and Eastern Ruhr KiTa gGmbH with its 160 or so day-care centers, taking responsibility for the operation of these non-profit companies in the areas of human resources, finance, real estate and organization.
Since the 1st April 2017 the two associations have been legally independent bodies at two separate locations, under the direction of a joint manager. Up to that point, each association had its own meeting culture and also used different media and tools to document their meetings and exchanges. Various discussions took place in the respective departments of the two associations, from weekly status meetings to monthly interdisciplinary exchange meetings, CIP (Continuous Improvement Process) meetings and management meetings. The meetings were not documented systematically or consistently, in either format or medium.
One of the goals of the cooperation between the two associations was to adapt processes to customer needs, while streamlining, standardizing and optimizing them. It quickly became clear that establishing a transparent, cross-site communication strategy, from management to employee level, was indispensable to achieve that goal. Since the two associations are not yet networked in terms of data processing, we were looking for an innovative and time-saving meeting management and minutes-taking software solution that allowed face-to-face meetings, based on transparent video conferencing. The focus was also on the implementation of an easy-to-use common platform, so that everyone involved in the process could take advantage of it and recognize its benefits.
MatchWare’s MeetingBooster fulfilled all our requirements. MeetingBooster convinced us by its user-friendliness, its performance as a site-wide shared tool, its ability to integrate external participants to meetings and the simplicity of allocating tasks from meetings. The ability to search for keywords in meeting minutes and to generate a smaller set of minutes for particular participants are also noteworthy advantages. Finally, the connection to Outlook provides excellent calendar management.
Currently MeetingBooster is used for our weekly management meetings. It quickly became obvious that using MeetingBooster brings significant time savings. To start with, the meetings are inherently structured, since the agenda can be created ahead of the meeting at the touch of a button, and each participant is then free to integrate their own discussion items and backing documentation via the “co-organizer” feature. Our previous complex minutes-taking procedure, involving additional helpers and resubmission tools, was abandoned. Now, the minutes are generated at the click of a button as soon as the meeting ends, and immediately sent to the participants. Finally the tracking of to do’s has been greatly simplified, since they can be accessed at any time during the meeting.
The use of MatchWare’s MeetingBooster has significantly optimized the meeting culture of the Western Cooperation Area and of the Ruhr-Mark and Eastern Ruhr associations, and brings organizational and financial advantages:
Our expectations for the future of our meeting culture have been completely fulfilled by MatchWare’s MeetingBooster, and an extension to acquire further licenses is already being considered. The meetings are more efficient and the collaboration is much improved.
This software solution is highly recommended to anyone wanting to structure, streamline and optimize their meeting processes.