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Temple Service Tracking and Notifications

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:26 pm
by olmy
I'd like to propose a web-based registration, tracking, and notification system for Wards and Stakes to sign up for Temple Service.

This tool would include:

* registration by members (or Ward clerks)
* tracking of service commitments by each ward, stake, and Temple administration
* appropriate reporting of service commitments and actual service results
* automated email reminders for members signed up for Temple service
* alerts to appropriate Ward clerks or designates should a Temple service assignment be cancelled (to provide enough time to find a replacement) or missed

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:56 pm
by JamesAnderson
I heard once that a stake did similar things but in different ways, mostly by paper, to do the same things. However, after presenting stats and charts made from those stats in a stake leadership training where a general authority was present, the general authority simply told them to throw the stats and what was used to track them out.

The main reason given was that temple attendance and temple service was and is an individual matter.

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:31 pm
by aebrown
JamesAnderson wrote:The main reason given was that temple attendance and temple service was and is an individual matter.

I completely agree with that philosophy for temple attendance. But temple service is an entirely different thing. It's really much more like welfare service.

For example, the temple needs some weeding done by 20 volunteers on Tuesday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. If the assigned stake doesn't send 20 volunteers at that time, there will be weeds on the temple grounds. The same is true for temple cleaning assignments, and it is no different from having people at the cannery to process peas, or at the welfare farm to thin the corn.

In our stake, we spend a lot of time and effort dividing up these assignments to the wards, getting members to sign up or making assignments to them, giving reminders, finding substitutes for late changes, etc. I don't know how high a priority such an automated system would be, but if it existed, it would be helpful. I don't think the idea should be dismissed, thinking it is somehow similar to temple attendance -- it's quite different.

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:07 pm
by JamesAnderson
It's those 'summer shutdown' assignments that are often where we need to get X number of people at X time to help them take care of routine cleaning and even minor maintenance tasks. Large temples like Provo often require a lot of people to get over 100,000 square feet of floor space taken care of, that is usually larger than four average-sized stake centers around here, so to ensure that it does get done, the temple and even the various stakes assigned to it need some way of being sure the crews are adequately staffed to get whatever needs to be done at a certain time on a certain day during that cleaning/maintenance process.

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:22 pm
by mevans
I think a general purpose sign up application could cover all sorts of service assignments and activities. Then a leader just creates a new service assignment and people can sign up. Leaders would need to be able to edit the list contents (for example, not everyone wants to use technology so a leader could manually add a ward member to a list). Maybe even ward members are notified by email that there's a new service opportunity.

I realize this sounds simple at the start, but could get too complicated quickly because there are other attributes that might need to be associated besides someone's name. I just see so many times that a list gets passed around at church. The list gets lost. Next week they start with a new blank sheet of paper, etc.

I think this could be incredibly useful, but it needs to be thought out a little bit. I can envision this having connections to the calendar, newsletter, etc.

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:01 pm
by JamesAnderson
And not just temple matters either, how about missionary splits, ward missionaries needing someone to fill because one of them got sick and the others are tied up so to speak on other assignments, or moving or other welfare types of things. Or even activity-related assignments.

Might even end up being a local version of the 'Vineyard' site, where you sign up to do certain quick tasks, and this could be similar.

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:08 pm
by olmy
Temple cleaning assignments, in particular, is what prompted me to make the original post.

I was given an overview recently of how the Boston Temple manages its temple cleaning assignments across the stakes and wards that fall in its area. They currently some spreadsheets (in Google Docs, if I recall correctly) that have touch points and data administrators working in it from the Temple, the Stake, and from the Ward level. They use it for the initial assignments, try to refer back to it to manually issue reminders of when someone's temple cleaning day is approaching, when substitutes need to be found, and then report on it afterwards to see whether a given ward actually did their cleaning assignments.

It was a very manual process that was just crying for some kind of workflow/resource mgmt tool.



Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:47 am
by mevans
In the absence of a church-provided resource, there are some other web sites out there that people use for signups. One that comes to mind is This can be used to help people who are sick. We've used for meal signups as well as signups for other things sick people have needed. I'm forgetting some others right now, but there are some sites to use for signing up volunteers for activities, too.