How big is your span!

In the fire service we often talk about “Span of control”. It is the number of people who can be safely supervised without taking on too much work load and too much risk. In the fire service the number is 5-7 people normally. So for every engine or truck company there is a company officer. (which is normally around 3-5 people) This allows the company officer to safely supervise “his guys” without much problem. For every fire station there is a Station Captain which will supervise anywhere from 2-5 companies. (Usually designated by apparatus, but not always)  “Span of control” is (or at least should be) applied to every level of supervision.

So guild leader when is it time to assign a new officer? I believe this should happen when ever you reach a specific number of people. A good example is that if you have more than 10 people logged in most of the time it might be a good idea to have another officer to take up some of the work load. If you have more than 20 logged in most of the time add a second officer, and so forth. Only you can determine what “span of control” to use, but for me the trigger is 10 active players on-line per officer.

Not all officers need to talk directly to you. In AIE and other guilds you would have an insane amount of officers and would want to tier your officers so that you essentially have supervisors for your supervisors. I realize this is only an issue for a handful of guilds but thought it should still be addressed.

So how do you assign your officers? Well, just like a fire department of course. Assigning people based on function (i.e. Truck, Pumper, Hazmat, and Ambulance) is only natural and easy to do. Start with the natural divisions in your guild. PvE, PvP, and Casual play all seem easy divisions to make. How about splitting PvE into Raid Alpha and Bravo, etc.  You could split PvP into arena teams and battleground teams.  Try splitting casual play into RP and levelers. If you do this you can get a better feel for what is being accomplished in guild and can help “control” the chaos that is your guild. This will also allow you to better support guild functions as a whole. (and not just the ones you like)

So who do you promote? This is a hard question! Easy answer is someone you like, but the truth is much more complex.  You want to find someone who enjoys the areas of game play that maybe you don’t care too much for or struggle with. You want someone who will or have worked hard to improve the guild. You want someone who wants the job and can do the job. Most of all you want someone who has your back.  I inherited more than a few people who are capable of being officers in my guild, but when it came time to make a decision I decided on the one person with which I knew that I had mutual trust.  I trust a lot of people in my guild but sometimes I wonder if some of them truly trust me.

I hope this gives some good guidance to fledgling guild leaders and give veteran guild leaders some pause for evaluation of their guild.

Until next time,

Don’t stand in the fire!


~ by firemantony on November 30, 2010.

One Response to “How big is your span!”

  1. Experience helps a great deal- if you find someone with experience you can trust, then you can generally get an idea of where their old guild failed in the past, at the very least (the primary reason they’d be with you now).

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