At the September LDSTech Service Day, Alan Smoot took a few minutes to chat with Kathryn Grant about her participation as a volunteer on the Bishop's Storehouse Inventory Reporting project.
Here's a general transcript of the video:
Alan: Hi, this is Alan Smoot at the LDSTech Service Day, on September 2nd, 2011. I am here with...
Kathryn: Kathryn Grant.
Alan: Kathryn Grant, and she has been working on one of our LDSTech projects. Kathryn, which project have you been working on?
Kathryn: The Bishop’s Storehouse Inventory and Reporting system.
Alan: Wonderful. It is affectionately known as BSIR, correct?
Kathryn: Yes, that is correct.
Alan: How long have you been working on BSIR?
Kathryn: Well, we started in August, 2010.
Alan: And it is now in production, is that correct?
Kathryn: Yes. It went into production on August 1st, 2011.
Alan: Now, from my recollection, I believe you’re probably the largest committer on this project, doing the majority of the work. Is that accurate?
Kathryn: Probably about 75 percent. We’ve had some other key contributors, also.
Alan: That’s wonderful. How many other people have worked on the project?
Kathryn: The other two key contributors were Tim Riker and Dave Summers. Tim Riker did a lot of security and access, and things like that. Dave Summers did the reporting. We did have some other volunteers involved early in the process, but unfortunately, they weren’t able to continue.
Alan: Now that BSIR is in place, who is using it? And who benefits from it?
Kathryn: That’s a great question. The main users—storehouse managers—are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Storehouse managers are now known as storehouse coordinators—we changed the term partway through the project. And the Area Welfare managers will use BSIR; basically, the system supplies inventory and reporting functions. The inventory information funnels up through the welfare organization, to the top levels of the people who are responsible for welfare.
Alan: Very good. How did you hear about the project?
Kathryn: The way I heard about it was interesting. I signed up for a different project—the music project...and then that project had to be put on hold. So Tom Welch, the Community Manager, approached me. He knew I had recently moved to the area, and had some free time. So, he asked if I’d be interested in the BSIR project. And I was.
Alan: That’s wonderful. When he invited you, and you became engaged in the work, what were some of your motivations to be a part of the whole BSIR effort?
Kathryn: Oh, wow. The main motivation was the chance to build the kingdom. It was a wonderful feeling to know that I could contribute my time and talents, such as they are, to do something to help other people. I don’t think there’s any joy greater than that.
Alan: For the people who are watching this and considering getting involved—considering working on some of the LDSTech projects—what message do you want to give them?
Kathryn: “Go for it!” And carefully consider your schedule. See what a realistic commitment is for you, because people can be very excited to be involved and will make a semi-formal commitment, but then when the rubber hits the road, when they look at their schedules, it might not be as workable as they thought. So I would say be realistic about your schedule, and also assess your skills. Look at the project on the LDSTech wiki, and figure out the best way to contribute. I also recommend that you contact the project manager (listed on the wiki), and maybe suggest some ways you can contribute. Help them get to know your skills, and say, “Here’s where I think I could contribute,” whether it’s in testing, or whether it’s in development or design, whatever.
Alan: Very good. How do you feel about the completion of this project?
Kathryn: I was excited. I felt relief, and a sense of accomplishment, when the project was finally out and serving people.
Alan: Wonderful. Is there anything else, as far as a message that you would like to give to our LDSTech community? A message that you would like to share with them?
Kathryn: I don’t think there’s any greater joy than giving of your time and talents to build the kingdom. I said that before, but it probably bears repeating. Having this opportunity to contribute—I never imagined that my technical talents could be used to build the kingdom, but they can, and there’s a need for them.
Kathryn: And for the people who like technology, but don’t consider themselves especially technical: There is a need for anyone who wants to be involved! So, consider what the Lord would have you do in your life, and if you feel right about getting involved, then do it.
Alan: Very good. Kathryn, thank you very much for your contribution here at the LDSTech. There are many people who have appreciated your efforts and your work, and there are great blessings that come to a lot of people. Again, this is Alan Smoot at LDSTech Service Day. Have a great day.
If you're interested in getting involved in an LDSTech project, click Projects on the top menu to browse the list of available projects to join.