Urgent Tasks

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lrtmerriman
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Urgent Tasks

Postby lrtmerriman » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:02 pm

I have talked to a number of other clerks and our stake finance clerk, all have experienced the same issue with the 'Urgent task' message.

Everytime we log into the system we have a pop-up message that we have "urgent tasks" when we select to view them it has 'Send changes you have made..." This happens even ifyou transmit changes to SLC log off then log into MLS. Almost everyone I have talked to now just ignores the message.

Has anyone considered that having the message show up all the time just encourages everyone to ignore it since they know that it likely just contains the 'Send changes you have made...'. This could cause a user to miss an actual urgent task! :confused:

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:26 pm

lrtmerriman wrote:I have talked to a number of other clerks and our stake finance clerk, all have experienced the same issue with the 'Urgent task' message.

Everytime we log into the system we have a pop-up message that we have "urgent tasks" when we select to view them it has 'Send changes you have made..." This happens even ifyou transmit changes to SLC log off then log into MLS. Almost everyone I have talked to now just ignores the message.

Has anyone considered that having the message show up all the time just encourages everyone to ignore it since they know that it likely just contains the 'Send changes you have made...'. This could cause a user to miss an actual urgent task! :confused:


I completely agree with your basic point. Personally, I have never seen the transmission task show up when it was not needed, but I may have just been lucky, or it might act a bit differently on Stake MLS. I do often see the reminder to backup, and to print the TR Activation Report when I have just completed those activities, sometimes on the very same day.

There are urgent tasks that are indeed urgent and out of the ordinary, such as closing the fiscal year, or setting the block meeting times. It's also helpful to be reminded of donors not associated with a record number, addresses not formatted, etc. But all these tasks seem completely dependable in when the task shows up, and how it goes away when completed. I don't mind these reminders -- I very much appreciate them.

But a reminder given too often, particularly when it is incorrect, simply trains users to ignore the reminder. I would recommend the following changes:

  • Remove the reminder to print the temple recommend activation report. There is nothing urgent about that report. In our stake we print it whenever we have activated a batch of recommends so that have something to staple the yellow copies to, so we do it quite often, yet we still get reminded at unpredictable times. You're not allowed to exit MLS without a stern reminder to transmit recommend activations, which is the only really urgent thing, so adding it to the Urgent Task list is pointless.
  • Remove the reminder to backup MLS. I know that backups are important, but you are already not allowed to exit MLS after any financial changes without a strong reminder. That is sufficient -- wards will end up backing up at least once a week simply because of the financial reminder.
  • Review the "transmit changes" reminder to make sure it is given only when substantial changes have been made after the last transmission.

Hopefully reducing the spurious reminders will allow the real reminders to once again have the impact they should.

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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:58 pm

I may not be the right person to rebut your assertion, as I've only been clerking for a few months, but I've processed donations for almost 3 months now and only had the urgent task pop up at me on login when it was needed, such as after the year end. Just a data point to point out that this problem is not universal...

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:21 pm

oregonmatt wrote:I may not be the right person to rebut your assertion, as I've only been clerking for a few months, but I've processed donations for almost 3 months now and only had the urgent task pop up at me on login when it was needed, such as after the year end. Just a data point to point out that this problem is not universal...

Agreed. This problem is not across all units, as I have never seen this issue before. When we send changes to Salt Lake, that urgent task is gone until another major change is made to Finances or a Membership Record that requires another Send/Receive to SLC.

I do sympathize with your problem, however, as that would become quite annoying (to the point where I would start to ignore the Urgent Tasks myself).

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:29 pm

lrtmerriman wrote:I have talked to a number of other clerks and our stake finance clerk, all have experienced the same issue with the 'Urgent task' message.

Everytime we log into the system we have a pop-up message that we have "urgent tasks" when we select to view them it has 'Send changes you have made..." This happens even ifyou transmit changes to SLC log off then log into MLS. Almost everyone I have talked to now just ignores the message.

Has anyone considered that having the message show up all the time just encourages everyone to ignore it since they know that it likely just contains the 'Send changes you have made...'. This could cause a user to miss an actual urgent task! :confused:


Perhaps an even dumber comment since I, too, do not have this problem. Is it actually completing the transmission process? Does it print out reports afterwords?

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:27 pm

Two years ago I ran into a similar situation, only the urgent task was to back up the financial database. No matter how many backups I did, how many floppies I used, or how many times I rebooted, it always gave me the same pop-up when I launched MLS. One day it went away, so I forgot about it until just now when I read your post.

I wish I had better help to offer, other than just hang in there and hope for the best.
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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:33 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:...One day it went away...

Perhaps an MLS upgrade?

lrtmerriman,

I assume you are running the latest version of MLS? You could perhaps try a requesting a Unit Refresh?

If I understand the refresh correctly, it appears to repair and rebuild the MLS databases. It may do nothing for your problem, but it certainly won't put you in any worse of a postion than you are already in. I would think it worth a shot.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:57 am

mkmurray wrote:If I understand the refresh correctly, it appears to repair and rebuild the MLS databases.


I think you're thinking of a backup and restore. That forces the rebuild of the indexes.

The only thing I can think of is that you may get prompted to do a backup after a send/receive if that s/r had any financial information.
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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:27 am

RussellHltn wrote:The only thing I can think of is that you may get prompted to do a backup after a send/receive if that s/r had any financial information.

I guess that's possible that they are not noticing that the second prompt may be a prompt for something else. Then again, I don't think you can log off with the financial backup prompt can you? Aren't you forced to do the back up?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:45 am

mkmurray wrote:I guess that's possible that they are not noticing that the second prompt may be a prompt for something else. Then again, I don't think you can log off with the financial backup prompt can you? Aren't you forced to do the back up?


If financial information has changed, MLS will require you to start the backup process as you log off. However, when you are presented with the Save dialog, nothing stops you from canceling the process at that point. In this case, MLS will still remember that no backup has been done since financial information has been changed, and so you will have to go through the same process the next time you try to log off, until you finally do make the backup.

However, this is all independent of the Urgent Task issue. In fact, I just tested this again, and even though I made the required backup, when I logged back in to MLS less than a minute after making a backup, there was still an urgent task: MLS has not been backed up recently. I have seen this on my real stake MLS installation many times, and it is consistently reproducible with the test database as well. So although it's certainly interesting that there are some people who do not see this behavior, I think it's pretty clear that there is a problem in this area, even if we don't know all the factors.

Oh, and I really doubt that rebuilding the database indexes by doing a restore would have any effect on this particular issue, but I did that process just in case, and indeed, it made no difference.


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