Parking Tags

September 9th, 2011 by pyrodogg

TC Maker member Chris Odegard recently implemented the Parking Tags system for the Hack Factory. The system was envisioned at i3Detroid and brought back to the Hack Factory by some of our members who recently went to Maker Faire: Detroit.

The goal of the Parking Tag system is to keep the space cleaner, safer and more accessible to members by identifying a projects responsible parties and setting certain expectations. Some expectations include projects being completed within reasonable time frames or moved around so as not to consume valuable space; safety of equipment and items around the shop; if it’s borked or broken don’t use it, try to fix it.

The system consists of the four color coded tags below. Here is a quick introduction:

The Parking Permit

The parking permit is intended to identify the party responsible for a project or its supplies, and when the project started. Permits are valid for 30 days and can be renewed for an additional 30-day period, subject to shop manager approval. This policy should keep things fluid around the shop so that projects don’t stagnate and take up precious work space from other projects.

You are able to indicate that your project is fragile/in a critical stage so that other members will not move your project without contacting you first.

The Parking Ticket

The Parking Ticket is used to identify any item that needs to be removed from the space for a variety of reasons, including: abandonment, personal and property safety, items parked in a hallway, etc.

The tag includes space for description of the infraction, issuer, and time of issue. Items so tagged have a two week window to be fixed up, removed by owner, or made safe before they will be removed from the Hack Factory.

All members are encouraged to use this ticket to tag items that are breaking the rules. Please keep in mind that the issuer is required to make a good-faith effort to contact the owner of the item (should be easy since it should have a permit ;) . If the owner cannot be reached, please bring the ticket you issued to the attention of a Shop Manager.

Borked or Broken

The Borked or Broken tag is used to identify things that just aren’t working correctly around the space; it serves two functions. First, it identifies to users of the item that either additional care must be taken, or that it’s completely unusable.

Second, it brings the item to the attention of  other members who might not be regular users of said item but have domain knowledge on how to fix it.

Project Invitation

The Project Invitation is intended to highlight a project so that other members know that they are welcome to get involved with it. Since the space is open 24/7 it’s likely that someone sharing your interests might be a regular at times you’re not at the shop. This tag can help initiate the conversation for others to join in working on your project.

This tag may indicate that a project is open for immediate involvement, i.e., pick up the tools and go at it. It might also indicate that the owner is looking for help but should be contacted first. So please look closely at the specific ticket before diving in.

This post is just a brief introduction to the different tags.  Please refer to the Parking Tags wiki article for evolving, up-to-date information.

If you have questions about the parking tags, you can look up any of the department heads, the shop manager or ask your question in this forum thread.

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