The Earl wrote:Some examples:
HT/VT Web reporting tool
space for per-person phone numbers
LUWS ... email address verification / enable disable
questions about the meetinghouse internet rollout
Are these comments read?
Are they considered seriously?
Are things moving as fast as I would like?
Is it worth my time to participate here?
Are we 'communicating' with the Church?
Not really. They listen, but there is precious little information coming out.
Thank you for your examples.
I guess this last item is what bothers me. I understand that CHQ does not report to me, but without some type of feedback, I am not effective in focusing my efforts, either. My only conclusion must be that I am wasting my time. And I wish that were not true.
For example, you mention two items that clerks and admins have been asking about for nearly five years now. A brief response would save a whole lot of time and effort by a whole lot of people. Something as simple as, we have the request and are considering it, or we hear you and we are not going to do it, or it is a wonderful idea but we cannot get to it until ten years into the Millennium.
Something. Otherwise, we poor misguided folks fool ourselves into false delusions and hopes. Should we keep asking? Frankly, I have better things to do with my time.
The Earl wrote:The familysearch wiki has ... made an EXTRAORDINARY effort to include users in their process.
I give them credit for doing better than any other area, although I have not been able to participate because of a mistake I made in setting up my login from which I could not recover. I asked for help from the help desk. It took them two months to respond. I had long since given up hope that they would but, out of the blue last week, they fixed my problem, for which I am grateful.
The Earl wrote:I think the winds are changing, and we are about to see a big change in the feedback loop I think.
I hope. I do see glimmers from time to time.
And now, I owe a success story. The MLS folks will remember a time when printing was a nightmare. First, printing took forever until we solved printer driver problems and finally talked the help desk into sharing them with others. Then, there were sections of pages that would not print. To their credit, the MLS developers were wrestling with a hole in the underlying Java program they were trying to work around. Nevertheless, those of us who needed to print could not print worth beans.
I called the help desk in the middle of this fiasco with a box that would not print at all using MLS. Any click of any MLS print button took the computer to the desktop, as if Java and MLS had never been running. It was consistent, every time. I could duplicate it. It happened over and over. I could not reinstall or make the problem go away. It was also incredulous to the help desk folks, every one of whom I knew by the sound of their voice before they even gave their names, and none of whom had the slightest clue how to solve the problem. Suggestions from higher levels of support did not work, either. They had no solutions.
But, I had a branch president an hour away who could not conduct tithing settlement using his computer, could not write checks, and crashed after every deposit without knowing if the Send/Receive was successful. It was bad. I copied his unit data onto the ward computer in my building and overnighted a batch of donor summary reports to him so that he could do tithing settlement.
In the midst of all this, I finally told the help desk that if they could not solve the problem, I was going to take a ward off-line, make two of them in the same building share a computer, and put the other box out in the branch so that they could function.
I guess a light finally turned on that I was not going to go away. A few minutes later I got a call asking me to box up the branch CPU and overnight it to Salt Lake, that they were ordering a replacement box for us, and that they wanted me to do it without turning on the branch machine again.
So that very day I sent the branch computer out west to the promised valley. By the next Sunday, the branch had a working computer and the two wards were back on their own machines.
The best part of the story is that two days later I got a call from SL thanking me for sending the box. They told me that they had figured out the problem and were recoding MLS to work around it. And from the very next release of MLS, printing was almost never a problem again.
So yes, I have had a success story. (I have two more just like it.)
I do not think I should have to be a squeaky wheel to get help. Asking should be sufficient. I appreciate feedback, even a very small amount. And my most favorite line, we will no longer be sending any finance deposit or membership information. Call me when you have a solution that will work.
(Five weeks. I just knew you would ask. And that leaves one other success story.) [grin]