I recently downloaded the binary file from your site. It looks like a great tool to have. Having served in that calling in the past, I was able to get a feel of the features I can find helpful during correlation meetings, PEC and Ward council. While in that calling (2002) I maintained most of my information on an spreadsheet (excel). I used this spreadsheet and maintained it every week (will probably revised it twice a week at a minimum). That helped me produced nice graphs, statistics, etc for then passing those graphics as part of my report to the bishopric during PEC meetings. I have always wanted to build (or help build) an app that helps other WML in their calling and when I saw this post I was very thrilled. May I help out in any way? I have Swing and J2EE background that I hope it can be of some help.
Some aspects that I think this tool can greatly benefit are:
- Reporting tools. Graphs, statistics, trends are just numbers but these can help discover certain facts of missionary efforts that could help improve the time and energy we spend on our work (e.g. how many families feed the missionaries, number of hours missionaries spend on conversion, retention, etc, averages, means, standard deviation). I apologize if I sound like there would be too much "math" involved, but it's a science we can put to use in this equation.
- Embed some "workflow" engine in the app. This means that an "investigator" record could be configured to be "commented" or "reviewed" by a leader (e.g. EQ president, RS president, Bishopric, etc). This could greatly improve the way a WML can view the work on specific families and report back (and quicker) during PEC. There are records the missionaries use (e.g. "Investigator record", "New Convert record", others?) that can be tracked by this workflow engine and have a proper followup (similar to what a issue tracking system would be in software engineering). Once again, this is a reporting feature.
- A Geospatial analysis (based on addresses) can be used to analyze and discover some interesting facts. For example, latest area tracked, percentage of referrals obtained by sector, membership location per investigator capita. This can lead to effectively cover the area assigned by missionaries with coordination from the WML.
- This tools could interact with a remote server for persistence (as opposed to the local drive). This would lead to a web-based integration solution where users (WML) can interact from anyplace (workplace, other home computers, etc). There are a number of known "cons" about the client/server model that would make this issue to be discussed further down the road. I know that when I served in that calling, one of my main problems was that I had to carry my laptop with me all the time. If I were to be at work and I wanted to review my spreadsheet, I would not be able to (if I don't have my laptop with me). Carrying my entire laptop just for that app was probably not an option for me at the time. Now we have Google gadget tools, web-based solutions, SMS solutions that could certainly help out tremendously only if we have a "web-based" support.
Let me know if I can be of assistance and whether there are any features I could start looking to implement.