First off, sorry for missing a couple days of posts. I've been doing some training at work and haven't been able to make the time at home. That said... I'm back. :) This will certainly be review for most, if not all, of you, but I thought it would be important to document for any beginning raid/party leaders.
Back in the day before the expansion, the guild I co-led (Cracked Anvil Trading Co.) wasn't really a raiding guild. The guild was mostly started because 2 of my brothers and myself got tired of the random guild invites. Once we started the guild, it continued to grow by leaps and bounds by only by adding people we knew in real life. We had people of all ages, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, etc... It made for an awesome social guild and if fit a lot of our play styles extremely well.
A lot of us wanted to do more and advance past 60. So, naturally we'd run things like Scholomance and Stratholme. We ran UBRS who knows how many times (and that's where my story today will focus). We eventually progressed through most of ZG, but never did a full clear.
Now I know this is no bragging rights by any means, but man did we have UBRS down. (That makes me sound so noobish, but let me make my point.) For most of us, it became pretty much a yawn-fest. But a necessary one. We needed more people to consistently fill 20 spots for ZG, but there was some lacking in the gear category. So, for Dungeon 1 chest pieces and other drops, we ran UBRS as a guild a lot. It got very second nature for most of us... we basically put it on cruise control.
Now, Karazhan's no UBRS, but I get in the same lazy mind-set sometimes. Or at least to a small degree I do. Because we've switched some groups around not everyone in my group has killed everyone in Kara. On the contrary, most people have not. So, I should be on the top of my game in both fighting and leading (which is one of my roles). I assume that everyone has the same "hurried" attitude and that we'll all be ready as soon as I say go. I've found this to be mostly false.
By no fault of their own, people aren't always ready when I am. Maybe somebody got lost or needs more mana or had a power outage and is completely offline. (Okay, the offline thing I've always caught.) But just in case you don't know... /readycheck is your friend.
/readycheck can be initiated by a raid or party leader or a raid assistant. It provides each member of the group with a little dialog box asking if they're ready. Then it provides information back to the person that initiated it. If folks are afk (flagged afk, not just literally away from their keyboard) or disconnected, it will tell the initiator immediately. It will tell that person if somebody hit "no", which is a perfectly acceptable thing to do if you're not quite ready. Or, if everyone is ready, it will give that feedback to the initiator as well.
It's just a great tool to use to make sure that everyone is ready for the next boss or pull; especially after any short break (such as a raid wipe or enough deaths to allow somebody to step away from thier computer for a short amonut of time).