Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Training and role of the STS
natet
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Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby natet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:45 pm

I had a Relief Society President text me today because she couldn't find the leadership resources section on the church website and needed to submit a food order before she left town tomorrow. Luckily, I remembered that last week when I logged into the site on my laptop, the church site appeared a little different than it had before, and I was able to help her figure out where the menu item had moved to. But, this led to a couple of observations: one new, and a couple that I've been ruminating about for some time.

First the new. Today, while trying to help her out, I logged into the website using 2 different browsers on 2 different platforms (firefox and chrome on Windows and Mac). I got 3 different versions of the site. In chrome on the mac, I got the same site organization that had been used prior to last week, in chrome on my laptop, I got the new site organization (a grid icon with tiles for the different options, with a very limited menu under found by clicking on a user silhouette). Using incognito mode in chrome on my mac I got a hybrid of the 2, and in firefox on my windows box, I got the original site. This was quite confusing to me, and I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to someone who doesn't work with web technologies on a daily basis. I really think that some effort needs to be made to let members know before large changes like navigation are applied to the church website. We have to remember that not all the leaders who have to interact with the site are as comfortable with tech as we are.

Second: with the move to doing more and more through the website, I have been frustrated with the fact that I no longer can see exactly what the users are seeing when they contact me for support. When I was first called as a STS, everything was done through MLS. This was frustrating to leaders because they had to come to the church building to get parts of their callings done. But, it made it much easier to support members. I had the latest MLS installed on my computer with the test unit, so the member could call me on the phone, walk me through the steps they took, and I could get a good idea of what was going on. Like a lot of STS's, I also set up an administrative user in MLS so that I could go to the building during the regular hours church support was open and I could walk through the steps the member took with a support rep, thus saving them from having to take additional time off work so that they could be present for what could be an extended debugging session. Now when I get a call, I have no idea what their interface looks like, so I can only offer vague suggestions, or I have to set up a time to be able to look over their shoulder. In some applications I've developed, we have made the functionality (logged and documented) for an admin user to be able to impersonate another user for the purposes of being able to debug issues that the user saw, but just providing screenshots of the interface for different groups of users would be helpful. That way if an Elders Quorum President calls, I can at least have an idea of what the interface looks like for them.

Third: I think that some tweaks to the permissions are in order, and I don't know who to talk to about it. For instance: As an STS, I can't view the broadcast schedules. I had to ask the stake clerk to add me as an "assistant stake clerk", as well as "assistant stake clerk: Stake Technology Specialist" so that I could view the information on our last stake conference broadcast. This has had the unfortunate side effect of me getting email notifications for stake clerk things like financial transactions.

russellhltn
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Re: Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:37 am

natet wrote:For instance: As an STS, I can't view the broadcast schedules.

Where are you going that you don't have access?

Also, you may want to review your role as outlined in Handbook 1: 13.3.3.2. It includes managing the computers, but it appears to me that it's the ward clerk that's to be providing support for the record keeping programs (See 13.4.2.1, 4th and 5th paragraph). The ward clerk in turn is trained by the stake clerk.

Obviously, if you're filling a role that's different from the vision outlined in the Handbook, you're going to find you don't have the rights needed for that role.
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drepouille
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Re: Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby drepouille » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:38 am

Have you submitted Feedback?

When I was STS, several people came to me for training on how to use church software. Not my job. If you need training, ask your ward or stake clerk. My job as STS was to ensure all the computers and A/V equipment were running properly, not to teach members how to use them.

Three days ago, as ward clerk, I watched a bishopric counselor hunt for the link to Leader and Clerk Resources on the church web site. As soon as I realized that the 3x3 box grid opened a new menu, I sent a broadcast to my ward council informing them of the change to the web site.

And the last I heard, we have never been authorized to install MLS on a personally-owned computer, even using the test databases. When we needed to conduct MLS training, we moved the stake clerk's PC into the high council room and connected it to a projector.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:12 am

It's not common for the Church website to have a different behavior for the same user in different browsers. I'm guessing they're either doing a staged rollout, or A/B testing.
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Re: Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby lajackson » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:40 am

drepouille wrote:And the last I heard, we have never been authorized to install MLS on a personally-owned computer, even using the test databases.

It was authorized, as long as it was the test database. The value went away because the test data never changed, so all of the nursery children became unbaptized members of record, and when CUBS was implemented in an earlier life, there was no way to install the financial section of MLS with a test database.

So I have not done it in a long time, and I am surprised that enough of MLS even runs as a test environment.

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Re: Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby seanhyte » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:18 am

natet wrote:Third: I think that some tweaks to the permissions are in order, and I don't know who to talk to about it. For instance: As an STS, I can't view the broadcast schedules. I had to ask the stake clerk to add me as an "assistant stake clerk", as well as "assistant stake clerk: Stake Technology Specialist" so that I could view the information on our last stake conference broadcast. This has had the unfortunate side effect of me getting email notifications for stake clerk things like financial transactions.


An STS, if the calling is entered properly in LCR, will have access to broadcast schedules. If not, there must be somting else going on, and you may need to contact GSC. Also, STSs do not have access to LCR or MLS, it has been debated several times if STSs should have access and it allways comes down to the Church's desire to limit who can see what to portect data/privacy. An STS role (on clerk computer side) is to help with hardware of the clerk computer and help installing the software on the system, but outside that the STS really can't help with LCR/MLS as they don't have access. You must have a dual calling if you have access to MLS/LCR. If leaders are expecting you to handel all the workings of MLS/LCR it techinically is outside the STS role. In my role as an STS, I have had clerks sit next to me so they could login to MLS/LCR and they could show me issues they were having, I could give my best effort support as sometimes it was just some simple user error, but many times they would just need to contact the stake clerk for support and if the stake clerk could not help, they would need to contact the Global Service Center(GSC).

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Re: Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby bhatch4 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:57 am

seanhyte wrote:
An STS role (on clerk computer side) is to help with hardware of the clerk computer and help installing the software on the system, but outside that the STS really can't help with LCR/MLS as they don't have access.


The STS position seems to be a bit more than hardware and local software.

For example in the patriarchal blessing section it says:
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/hel ... d?lang=eng

It is expected that the Technology Specialists will be the first line of help for all users, so it is particularly important that they are familiar with all aspects of the Patriarchal Blessings System.

Unless there is another form of Technology Specialist that I’m not aware of, that means me! Except as a STS I don’t have access to the patriarchal blessing section, and I have never seen it before. Yet I’m still supposed to be the expert? This came up recently because our stake patriarch had issues logging into the system and reached out to me for help.

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Re: Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:09 pm

I wonder which "Patriarchal" section is it talking about? The ones that all members access, or just the leadership?
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Re: Some thoughts on the web centric leadership resources

Postby bhatch4 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:26 pm

russellhltn wrote:I wonder which "Patriarchal" section is it talking about? The ones that all members access, or just the leadership?


The area the help page directs to seems to be more focused on leadership. If you back up a level in the help doc it's all leadership focused. The next paragraph also mentions technology specialists as potentially coming to the initial training too. Maybe at one point in time the STS did have more access to the patriarchal blessing system?
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/hel ... /?lang=eng

Each area, stake, or mission should hold an initial training meeting for anyone who will access the Patriarchal Blessings System. Before this meeting, attendees should review online training material pertinent to their calling. Everyone in attendance should have an LDS Account. Training may include the following:

Area, stake, or mission presidencies, secretaries, and clerks
Patriarchs and scribes
Ward and branch leaders, including: bishoprics, branch presidencies, secretaries, clerks, and technology specialists



In my situation I confirmed that he was still assigned to the correct calling and then messed around on his home computer before learning that his account wouldn't load in Safari, but it would do fine in Chrome. So he's just been using Chrome since then.


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