Upcoming "clerks" website

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barkeraj
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Upcoming "clerks" website

Postby barkeraj » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:02 pm

I am doing some early research for an upcoming project to make a website to help stake and ward clerks similar to what we did for Stake Technology Specialists. The current STS site may be refactored to support these additional callings, they may get their own site, or who knows what else (see the "early research" part of the above).

So some questions I have:
  1. How has the current STS site served those who have used it? Is it organized well? Can you find what you are looking for? Does it work for you?
  2. As clerks, what information would you be looking for? Is it similar to the structure of the STS site (Letters & Policies, Troubleshooting, Glossary).
  3. How can we best help you fulfill your calling?
This is your chance to give some input to influence what the site will be. So speak up now or no whining later =P

Obligatory statement that this is in progress and so the scope of the project may change, or it may not happen. I make no promises that input will be included in the final product, but it will definitely be considered.

Bring on the input!
Aaron Barker
Front-end Development Lead for LDS.org (content portions, not apps) and Ward Executive Secretary.

BlackRG
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What clerks need...

Postby BlackRG » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:35 pm

Speaking as our ward financial clerk....

What we could really use (please don't flog me) is a good way to get at the financial data we work at from the church at home. Why? For the simple reason that certain church offices are (understandably) closed on Sunday. Say I've got an issue with a certain transaction or a returned check, I have to haul it home (and print out any applicable information I may need to go with it) to call on a weekday - that or somehow time things so that I can go up to the Church during the day (when church offices are open) to call regarding the problem. If I could get at my records from the house when making these calls, things would be much easier. Would also help for those times that I get a call from one of the bishopric along the lines of "Uhh, we goofed and did >this<, how do we fix it?". Now I don't think such abilities should be used to do clerking offsite as it's invariably going to lead to someone storing records off site (which probably shouldn't be done). But there you have it. That's one of my main problems.

Would also be nice if when I have an issue with a particular line item in MLS I could click on it to question it instead of heading over to the message section and making reference to it.

I do realize your question was about the website and not MLS, but a lot of what we do centers around MLS so the more integration the better. Also, if there's actually going to be a website for us, it would be a huge plus if we could access it from the actual MLS computer we use.

When we send messages to support from MLS, it would also be nice if these messages could be seen from the website - thus enabling us to respond back faster because we can check for responses without having to run down to the church to check and see if there has been a response.

Naturally letters and policies should be included on the website.

A section where audits and what not can be scheduled/communicated with the stake wouldn't hurt either. Could be nice to allow for easy passing of messages back and forth between the stake and the ward concerning clerking matters as well.

I'll see if I can get the membership clerks to log in and comment on what needs they perceive.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:58 pm

As a STS, one thing I found missing from he current site is emails that have been sent out via MLS and/or to the personal email of the STS. One of them done, done is February of this year, clarified the policy on connecting administrative computers to the Internet. Yet, I don't see that email in the polices and letters section.

Looking at the site, the broadcasts calendar should be limited to just broadcasts.

A better tie-in with mls.lds.org would be nice too.

I'd also like to see things subcatorized by task, such as "audio visual", "administrative computer" and "FHC computer". I know there will be some overlap, but ti cuts down on the confusion. Many of the things on computers only apply to one of the other. For example, each has it's own computer policy. It will also help if one is a "sub-STS".

Likewise for the clerk, it probably should be sub-divided in to Ward clerk, membership and financial.

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opee
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How to... answers

Postby opee » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:13 pm

How about information on the following (especially for new clerks or clerks who have never experienced some of these events):

How to transition to a new Bishop (ordering supplies, changing information, printing signature cards, etc.)
How to checklist of weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual duties
How to create a good filing system
How to "pass" an audit (financial and membership)
How to get started as a stake/ward clerk (suggestions on the most important things to know and do to get started)
How to find resources that your Bishop/Stake President didn't know he could access (Online Leader directory, etc.)
How to maintain copiers, computers
How to order supplies (from ldscatalog and Corporate Express)
How to prepare for a Ward/Stake Conference

Just a few thoughts...

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Postby scion-p40 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:18 pm

opee wrote:How about information on the following (especially for new clerks or clerks who have never experienced some of these events):

--------snip-------
How to "pass" an audit (financial and membership)
...


--------snip--------

As a (non-church) auditor, I can't pass this one up. The easiest way to pass an audit is to: 1) read the directions and, 2) then do your best to follow them. Too many folks don't read the directions for the work they're doing or omit information requested.

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opee
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Postby opee » Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:17 pm

scion wrote:The easiest way to pass an audit is to: 1) read the directions and, 2) then do your best to follow them. Too many folks don't read the directions for the work they're doing or omit information requested.


I agree. [many] "are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it--"

I think that the "how to" should point out to clerks what the Audit is and says, and what they need to do to to pass an audit (do their job). I know that I never saw the audit instructions until I was audited. It would have been nice to see it beforehand--and would have saved the auditor time...

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:55 pm

There is some information on some audits on the clerk training area under Melchizedek Priesthood in Serving in the Church, I looked at the membership clerk training there and audits were mentioned including some very basic information about the audits.

I don't recall as far as the financial side though, although one thing that I sensed was a big problem until recently is maybe less so now after they released the training on how to use the 'other' account on the financial clerk side of the training available. The other account always seems to be the one that trips people up when it comes to financial audits.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:28 am

scion wrote:--------snip--------

As a (non-church) auditor, I can't pass this one up. The easiest way to pass an audit is to: 1) read the directions and, 2) then do your best to follow them. Too many folks don't read the directions for the work they're doing or omit information requested.


Exactly, when I was the financial clerk of my Mission the previous clerk before leaving always complained about the audits because there were always problems. But I read the instructions about twice a month (It takes about an hour and a half to read them all and understand) and I only had two minor problems one of which was that I didn't have the documents well organized.

So reading and knowing where to find the instructions helps a ton.
- David

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darthwader-p40
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Suggestions

Postby darthwader-p40 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:54 am

I have recently been called to this position (STS) - and so I was very excited to see this site... (I only found out about it here though!)

I thought it was great that there was a section for troubleshooting... However, it is hard to browse for related articles - the only way to navigate to the documents was to search for something and you had to know what to search for. It would be nice to have this broken down into some sort of categories - still providing the search.

Maybe a section for tips/tricks/suggestions, best practices, etc.
Piliin ang tama... (CTR in Pilipino)

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barkeraj
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Postby barkeraj » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:19 am

darthwader wrote:It would be nice to have this broken down into some sort of categories - still providing the search.


We had a great debate when creating the site as to if we should have browse and/or search. The problems we discovered with browse were:
  1. The maintenance of a given topic being in multiple categories. For example a printer issue could be under drivers, printers, hardware, software, etc.
  2. The alphabetical titling and then looking for a given item. For example for a printer problem would it be "Printers on Microsoft Windows" or "Microsoft Windows Printing problems" or "Windows printing problems" etc etc.
Can you give me more specifics on your situation? Were you just wanting to look around to familiarize yourself, or looking for a specific issue that you couldn't think of a good keyword to search on?

We went with the search only version to get something out quickly knowing that we may expand to a browser later on. With the above issues still being valid I would like reasons that a browse would be advantageous.
Aaron Barker
Front-end Development Lead for LDS.org (content portions, not apps) and Ward Executive Secretary.


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