MLS clean up checklist

Discuss basic duties of stake and ward clerks, including where to begin.
doclove
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MLS clean up checklist

Postby doclove » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:20 am

I am a new ward clerk and as I'm reading this forum and going through MLS I am noticing that there are some tasks that haven't been completed. These would include members not being assigned to callings, custom callings being used instead of standard callings, missing addresses, etc...

I want to clean up the database and I'm wondering if anyone has a checklist of items that should be reviewed where common problems occur. I have found this forum to be a huge asset, but it can be overwhelming to go through hundreds of posts.

Thanks.

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aebrown
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby aebrown » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:53 am

Here are some specific ideas off the top of my head:
  • Review your responsibilities as laid out in Handbook 1, Section 13.4.2.
  • Run the Custom Position Review tool in MLS.
  • Verify all household locations in the Maps tool on LDS.org.
  • Run the membership audit in MLS and clean up anything you find.
  • In the finance area, follow the suggestions in the wiki article MLS financial cleanup.

doclove
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby doclove » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:55 am

Thanks, that gives me a good starting point.

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sbradshaw
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby sbradshaw » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:29 pm

  • Verify that all phone numbers are correct and in the correct field(s) (individual and/or household).
  • Verify that all email addresses are correct and in the correct field(s) (individual and/or household).
For a deep cleaning, here are a few more:
  • Make the formatting of the addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers the same (i.e. choose a pattern and be consistent – for addresses, I'd recommend something close to the USPS standard; for phone numbers, be consistent with how you separate the area code, etc.)
  • Go through members' preferred names and make sure that people's names are displaying how they would like them to display on the directory.

russellhltn
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby russellhltn » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:30 pm

Don't be afraid to enlist the aid of the Priesthood quorums and Relief Society. Your job is to process. While I believe in being proactive, you can't reasonably be expected to gather all the data yourself.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

RossEvans
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby RossEvans » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:51 am

If you are inheriting a membership roster that has not had a lot of proactive attention from your predecessors, very likely there will be households on the list with bad addresses. The best way to get a scrubbed baseline is to do a mailing to the whole ward, which can identify three classes of error:
  • Households with forwarding addresses. (if within the ward, change the address; if out of the ward, move the records).
  • Households with undeliverable addresses (because of moves without forwarding).
  • Households with invalid addresses that don't exist (because of sloppy data entry).
For the records the latter two categories, follow the multi-step process the Presiding Bishopric has established here.

jirp
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby jirp » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:32 pm

Another common area of problems is in member callings. Be sure each group is staying stable. We had a problem with old callings "leaking" back into the list. When they leaked back in they corrupted that organization. Simply deleting the problem wasn't fixing it. In a few weeks to a month suddenly the corruption would reappear. So not only look to be sure your callings match your current but check over the course of a month to be sure they are staying. If not then you have to delete everyone in the organization, then do send and receive. Now watch for the change to propagate out to the online organizations list and to the CDOL database. Once it is out to them then you need to do a request unit data refresh. Hopefully the error will be pulled in. If not, do a send and receive and wait several days. Send and receive again. If the organization is blank still repeat the request unit data refresh. If it is not blank delete anyone or anything in the organization. Send and recieve. It sometimes takes 6 to 10 complete cycles to pull the corrupt data in so fixing a problem here can take weeks. Once the corruption is stable and not reappearing then you can reenter the data into that organization. If the callings are messed up either in CDOL or online you may want to keep cycling a little more to see if you can pull another corruption in.

So for example one of ours had a RS teacher who hadn't taught that class in 5 years who would suddenly appear. When she appeared 2 other teachers would disappear and VT coordinators would mess up and some other things. It took something like 6 tries with the who RS organization blanked to finally get the old teacher pulled in so she could be deleted. Once this was fixed now the callings data base has stayed uncorrupted in the RS section for a full year. But deleting RS also messes up VT assignments so be sure you protect all needed data in some form so you can reenter it once you get the problem fixed.

jirp
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby jirp » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:38 pm

Another cleanup step is cleaning up the custom positions to eliminate all you can to standard positions.

russellhltn
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby russellhltn » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:41 pm

jirp wrote:We had a problem with old callings "leaking" back into the list.

There was a time when MLS wasn't syncing properly with CDOL. On a unit refresh, the callings in CDOL would re-appear in MLS. That happens from time to time even without a manual unit refresh. I think MLS upgrades will do it.

So that's another action item - check to make sure CDOL callings are in sync with MLS.
Have you searched the Wiki?

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

mwgrover
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Re: MLS clean up checklist

Postby mwgrover » Sun May 11, 2014 8:36 am

I will admit it, I am a little OCD when it comes to MLS. Here are some of the things I try to help monitor for "cleanliness":

* Make sure all the phone numbers are the same format (I prefer xxx-xxx-xxxx)
* Make sure callings are in a consistent order (Primary, for instance: all the teachers grouped together, in class order; the music callings together; the Cub Scout callings together, in den age order; etc.)
* Make sure preferred names are up to date and correct
* Make sure people are assigned to correct organizations for Sunday rolls (for instance, whether certain brethren (older elders, or prospective elders) should be assigned to HP or EQ)
* Go through every organization and make sure standard callings are used whenever possible
* Make sure user permissions are correct, and especially that permissions are removed from people who have been released from callings
* Stay on top of ordinations, baby blessings, child baptisms, etc. and make sure they are recorded quickly and accurately
* Remove any references to "do not contact" in member records

Blessings to you for helping keep the Lord's records in order.


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