Raid leading is like a lot like Project Management. What is a project?
A project has:
- A start (We start at 6pm)
- An end (We end at 9pm)
- A specified scope (What is going to be accomplished, the goal)
- A plan (The order and actions that need to be done to accomplish the goal and who is in charge of doing them)
- Resources (your great group of DPSers, Outstanding Tanks and Miraculous Healers)
- Communication (Call this in vent, healers using addons to see when someone needs special attention, etc.)
- Constraints (We need 2 tanks and three healers for this fight, this one cannot have more than 2 melee dps)
- Lessons Learned (A review of the project’s results with an emphasis on what was done well and what can we do better. I’ll go more into details about this in another post.)
This is a very high level view of a project and as you can see, there’s a lot of similarities with projects done within a business. Each of these parts is essential to a good project but the one that kills projects more often than not is Assumptions/Expectations.
Going into a project or a raid, every member of your team will have assumptions and so will you as the raid leader. When those assumptions are not written out clearly for everyone to understand, you will find that your assumptions and those of your team members can vary wildly.
You may assume that when you send out an invitation to your team for a raid on Wednesday at 6pm and say “Be ready”, that it covers it all. “Being ready” is very vague. To ensure a fast paced and enjoyable raid, try to be as clear as you can and ask for feedback or questions so you can dissipate as many assumptions as possible prior to the actual raid.
Here is a quick checklist that we use at BT:
- Be on time – It’s a question of respect towards your teammates. If you are not there 5 minutes before first pull, you will be replaced. If you are going to be late, please let us know on the board ahead of raid time.
- Have enough flasks, food and consumables for the whole 3 hours of raiding.
- Have every piece of gear properly gemmed and enchanted.
- Review the strategies of the raid’s planned fights.
To help your members, give them the information they need to “Be Ready”.
Tonight, we’ll focus on Ominitron and then Magmaw. Zierlyn, you will be using your offspec and help heal this one. Idkittens, you’ll be kiting the adds on Magmaw, etc.
There are other assumptions that should be communicated to your team whether it’s in your raiding FAQ or in your invites.
- Don’t AFK outside of the planned hourly break. If it’s needed, then tell your raid leader.
- Have vent configured and working.
- Have your PC in working order (I remember one of our members’ whose laptop had to be shutdown after overheating so much it melted a counter top).
- Make sure that you are free of other obligations during raid time. By signing up, you’re committing to these three hours with your team.
- When the raid leader calls a wipe, stop healing, die quickly and then regroup as fast as possible for another attempt.
I know seeing lists like these may worry some people and make them think “It’s a game, relax.” I agree, it’s a fun game and we’re playing it with other people. These 9/24 other people have made the commitment to do all of these things and have a good time together. By being late, stealth afking, showing up without the proper gear and needing to port back, you’re showing a lack of respect to them. Your time is not more important than your teammates’.
As a raid leader, you need to make sure your people have clear expectations of what’s expected out of them and what they can expect out of you and the other raiders. This is one small thing that will lead to smoother, more enjoyable and thus more successful raids.