Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

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johnshaw
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Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby johnshaw » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:17 pm

A question to the forum,

How do we create awareness or let our voices be heard that we NEED development efforts thrown our way?

  • We need a blog-like tool with richness
  • We need to have a consumption model (RSS feeds or notifications of changes)
  • We need REGISTRATION/sign up tools tied to LDS Account to track girls camp/youth conference and other sign-up stuff... make sure we can order shirt sizes, etc...
  • We need to have a workflow for wards and stakes to issue and track callings online
  • Auxiliary Leaders MUST have access online to reports/info
  • Clerks must be able to do more online

There are just off the top of my head, but It appears, having followed development over the last few years that something is always going to come up from a LARGE CHURCH perspective. Gospel Library 3.0 on ipad so the missionaries that are getting ipads have a marketable approach, branding the websites with 'Hasten the Work' - LDS.org improvements are fantastic, and the church is reaching the general membership, but where is the stuff to help us middle managers.

Thousands and Thousands of person hours are spent each week coordinating and trying to track issuing callings to members. Registration and private data are being filled in all over the place... we are creating websites to meet members needs, mostly to the detriment of policies against them, but what can we do?

Is there anything we can do? Can we ask members to pay 11% and fund a special programmer tactical ops team? Can we ask regular people like clerks to serve in advisory positions to teams that 'provide' our services? We need to increase the number of people working on these solutions!

Otherwise Stakes/Wards will continue to look beyond the language forbidding websites and other technology because we just are not meeting the needs of our people?

any takers... what can be done?
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

russellhltn
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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby russellhltn » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:33 am

The suggestion we've been using is take it up with your stake president to talk to the area authority.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby aebrown » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:24 am

I'd suggest that we learn:
  • To distinguish between wants and needs;
  • To follow the handbook, including the counsel to simplify.
  • To be patient.
But to the extent that there are real needs that are not being met, RussellHltn's suggestion to send the request up the priesthood chain seems wise.

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johnshaw
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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby johnshaw » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:58 pm

I need to spend more time with my family
I need to protect the privacy of members of our stake, particularly minors

There isn't anything in that list that I would identify as a WANT. These are items that EVERY Stake/Ward/Branch NEED - if we had them we could spend time ministering to people rather than administering overhead.

I'd had my stake president escalate it.... is everyone else content to duplicate ENORMOUS amounts of effort across each and every stake, ward, and branch in the US&Canada?

Here is an example of escalating through a Stake President to an Area Authority.... We have 3 meetinghouses where we share wards with 2 other stakes in the same meetinghouse. We all know the calendar does not do this well at all, and it is even acknowledged in the help files. I wrote up a detailed description which my SP escalated, and to the Church's great credit, someone got back with him, the email trail had been passed from person to person, and the final person got back to him and sent him a link to the help file explaining how this isn't possible with the current calendar. The very link was in the original problem statement. I imagine that is how it will go each and every time we try and escalate things. Here is what the issue is, and the church will explain why it's that way.

What we need is to influence a change, not to reiterate what we already know to be a limitation.

Anyway... it really sortof boggles my mind that people are so willing to spend valuable time in duplicated effort each and every week that could be addressed. This process needs some improvement. What in the world is correlation for, if not to reduce duplication??... we're already pretty clear on the priesthood direction (the main goal of coorelation).
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby lajackson » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:51 pm

JohnShaw wrote:I need to spend more time with my family

Then spend more time with your family. Your responsibility as a husband and father is more important than anything else.

JohnShaw wrote:What in the world is correlation for, if not to reduce duplication?

Correlation has nothing to do with duplication. Under correlation, we study the same things at the same time so that we will all be on the same page when we have our gospel discussions at home. To remove duplication, we would combine classes and only have one teacher teach everyone. They are not related.

In your original post, you list six items that you feel strongly we need. They are all very valuable tools that may have the potential to assist in the work of ministering to our fellow Saints. If we could not do the work without them, I am certain they would be under development.

But we can do the work without them. And we have been for years.

I am not opposed to technological advances that will further the work. But the greatest online tools in the world will not help someone become a better home or visiting teacher, a better quorum or class instructor, or a better father or mother.

The only way to do that is to know the people to whom we minister, communicate with them on a personal level, and follow the promptings of the Spirit in ministering to them.

I will trade T-shirts for testimonies any day.

Just my personal opinion based on my personal experience over a lot of years.

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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby TinMan » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:14 am

I don't even know what half the things on your list are. "Blog like tool with richness?" "consumption model?"

Why is it I "must have" or "need" things when I don't even know what they are?

russellhltn
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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby russellhltn » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:46 am

JohnShaw wrote:and the final person got back to him and sent him a link to the help file explaining how this isn't possible with the current calendar.


Ah, the old "good answer to the wrong question". Then what happened? Did the SP explain that this was a feature request?
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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johnshaw
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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby johnshaw » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:26 am

It eventually made it back to me as a 'final answer' and the stake president had put enough effort into it at that point, he felt pushing back would not buy us anything.... which, again, is only further evidence of why that model will just not work, if the desire is to have input from those using the solution.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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johnshaw
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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby johnshaw » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:30 am

TinMan wrote:I don't even know what half the things on your list are. "Blog like tool with richness?" "consumption model?"

Why is it I "must have" or "need" things when I don't even know what they are?


The newsletter / lesson planner are the biggest pieces of that issue, As a member I have no idea when something is added, and I have to check every time, if there were a way to deliver that to individuals, through SMS/Email/RSS feeds, creating subscriptions, as a member, I can keep informed about stuff going on... that is what I meant by a consumption model.

Blog-like tool that people will use rather than the Newsletter....
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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johnshaw
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Re: Wards/Stakes/Member CHURCH IT NEEDS!

Postby johnshaw » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:55 am

lajackson wrote:
JohnShaw wrote:What in the world is correlation for, if not to reduce duplication?


Correlation has nothing to do with duplication. Under correlation, we study the same things at the same time so that we will all be on the same page when we have our gospel discussions at home. To remove duplication, we would combine classes and only have one teacher teach everyone. They are not related.


Well, since you delighted in taking me to task about what correlation is, and in your vast experience referenced, I take issue that you don't really understand what correlation was and is historically. It doesn't seem to me that you've studied the history of correlation that started under President Heber J. Grant with then superintendent of sunday schools David O. McKay being on the original task-force. The list of recommendations from that committee were largely based on an underlying the principle (from President Grant) to eliminate DUPLICATION (because it eliminated COST). For Instance, magazines were being produced by RS, YMYWMIA, Primary, Priesthood, etc.... all having editorial boards, editors, producers, etc... We were running church schools competing with government run schools, etc.. Church buildings used to be constructed at the whim of people, now they are cookie cutter stamped plans... create once, build a ton.... saving duplicate effort/money on building design. Create a curriculum at a 7th grade level to reduce the effort it takes to translate to the worlds languages. Saving COST in hiring more advanced speakers of each of those languages, and eliminating the Duplication of or the most efficient use of the 3-hour block teaching the gospel (eliminating duplication of some gospel principle lessons and eliminate the exclusion of some gospel principle lessons - providing a balance of lessons that otherwise might not be there when thinking about multiple departments doing their own thing. Just to name a few of correlation's focus.

The history of coorelation is much more complex than what you've stated here, but it is always true that a duplication of effort under girded MOST of what correlation started as and why it is the way it is. In our example today, the COST is just a bit different.

lajackson wrote:In your original post, you list six items that you feel strongly we need. They are all very valuable tools that may have the potential to assist in the work of ministering to our fellow Saints. If we could not do the work without them, I am certain they would be under development.

But we can do the work without them. And we have been for years.


I can't think of a single tool that already exists online that we can't do without according to the statements you've made here. I totally don't get why asking for improvements and new functionality and trying to find a way to move these items forward is mutually exclusive to ministering the gospel.

lajackson wrote:I am not opposed to technological advances that will further the work. But the greatest online tools in the world will not help someone become a better home or visiting teacher, a better quorum or class instructor, or a better father or mother.

Again, not sure where this line of reasoning comes from... asking for and insisting on better tools to MANAGE and RUN the operations and administrative aspects of the church are not mutually exclusive to ministering as you seem to make them here. And in fact, only serves to eliminate much of the chaos, and time involved, which can drive the spirit away and takes time away from all those wonderful items you mentioned.

I realize that many people don't do well thinking in a grand scale. When I think about the amount of time it takes to call a new EQ president, and then look at that for every stake in the western hemisphere, I have to wonder just how much effort is wasted in that space. When one chooses to myopically look at 'my own world/work, or experience' then I can see why 'dealing with it' doesn't seem to be a big deal. It is difficult for a human who thinks nothing of the few hours it might take to help arrange things like calling a EQ President in their own stake, and thinks of that as a 'part of doing business' - it takes vision to think about that at a macros level rather than a micro level.

I've been either an ExecSec or a Ward-level, Stake level clerk now for nearly 20 years, and I have LARGE Enterprise IT expertise in a Software Services and Infrastructure Services company - these things are near and dear to my heart. I'm not saying that I Need to spend more time with my family, what I'm saying is that Each and Every Clerk, ExecSec, Secretary, Auxiliary President putting in time and effort every week Needs to spend more time with their family. I can manage myself just fine, and while I appreciate the advice, I'm not in this for ME, or My stake. I'm in this for the Church as a whole.

While at this time I can't link to anything specific, there is a stated intent by the Church teams developing these tools, to make improvements for the sake of time and effort. If the stated intention is to save time, but then only deliver part of the solution/system, asking for it to be finished to complete the intent doesn't seem out on a limb to me.

I tried to state in my original post, that there will always be something that draws more attention. Is there something that can be done to provide the completion of the promised results? Maybe the MoreGoodFoundation could be used :)
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense


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