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Callings app or Software?

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:27 pm
by wrigjef
Our bishopric uses an old magnetic board in the bishops office to track callings and consider new assignments. The Bishop is considering a more up to date method and is even willing to personally donate a large screen tv so it can be mounted to his office wall. Has anyone developed software that would mimic the function of the magnetic board where you can move names around to spots underneath headings? Perhaps an app that can be run on an iPad and mirrored to a tv, or else software that can run on a laptop feeding the tv?

Re: Callings app or Software?

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:57 pm
by davesudweeks
wrigjef wrote:Our bishopric uses an old magnetic board in the bishops office to track callings and consider new assignments. The Bishop is considering a more up to date method and is even willing to personally donate a large screen tv so it can be mounted to his office wall. Has anyone developed software that would mimic the function of the magnetic board where you can move names around to spots underneath headings? Perhaps an app that can be run on an iPad and mirrored to a tv, or else software that can run on a laptop feeding the tv?
There are some other posts on the forum where individuals have created apps, but the problem is populating them without violating church policies on protecting private membership information. My only recommendation on the TV is to check with the FM group first - your unit does not own the building, you are tenants. The FM group owns the building and if you mount a TV to the bishop's office wall without permission, you may show up one Sunday to find it was removed.

Re: Callings app or Software?

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 3:19 pm
by wrigjef
I would expect that the privacy issue could be taken care of by keeping the populated software or iPad secure following policy just like we do with other confidential records. FM has already said no to the tv but we got around that before by running it through the stake. If we can sell the stake president on the idea/need, FM typically does whatever is directed by the Stake. FM didn’t want us to have whiteboards mounted either but a call from the Stake President changed that.

Re: Callings app or Software?

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 5:14 pm
by drepouille
I always cringe when someone suggests creating a new database that duplicates an existing database. Keeping the two databases synchronized can be a full time job.

The Tools app and the Directory are automatically synchronized with the data in LCR. If leaders are not satisfied with the way LCR, the Tools app, and the Directory display callings, they should raise the issue with their area coordinating council.

If a bishopric wants to see the current callings displayed during bishopric meeting, they could use a TV or monitor mounted on an A/V cart. A laptop could be connected via HDMI, or you could use a Chromecast to cast your laptop display or your Android phone screen to the TV or monitor.

Re: Callings app or Software?

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 5:48 pm
by russellhltn
wrigjef wrote:I would expect that the privacy issue could be taken care of by keeping the populated software or iPad secure following policy just like we do with other confidential records.
That's assuming the software and it's data is stored on the local device and not in the cloud somewhere. Anymore, that seems to be so "last decade" way of doing things.

Even so, the Meetinghouse Technology Policy says:
4.9.3 The use of MLS data and membership information in third party software is prohibited
My personal belief is that anyone entering personal information about someone else into an electronic system, without their consent, and the system was not created by the church, is assuming all legal risk should anything go wrong. The church is unlikely to come to their defense when they've used systems not spelled out by policy. That risk my be low, but it's not zero. And the fall out could be life-altering.

In this case, it's likely a moot point as I don't know as the software exists. "Position Management Software" is close, but deals with a business/HR setting. To really be useful, the software would need to understand priesthood office and gender requirements for each of the positions.

I know I've walked into a bishop's office to find an array of pink and blue 3x5" index cards on the floor. Not elegant, but simple and cheap.

Re: Callings app or Software?

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 6:10 pm
by wrigjef
drepouille wrote:I always cringe when someone suggests creating a new database that duplicates an existing database. Keeping the two databases synchronized can be a full time job.

The Tools app and the Directory are automatically synchronized with the data in LCR. If leaders are not satisfied with the way LCR, the Tools app, and the Directory display callings, they should raise the issue with their area coordinating council.

If a bishopric wants to see the current callings displayed during bishopric meeting, they could use a TV or monitor mounted on an A/V cart. A laptop could be connected via HDMI, or you could use a Chromecast to cast your laptop display or your Android phone screen to the TV or monitor.

I don’t believe in duplicating what already exists either, especially in a database. The only thing that I am trying to duplicate is the functionality of a magnetic calling board.

Re: Callings app or Software?

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 6:19 pm
by wrigjef
russellhltn wrote:That's assuming the software and it's data is stored on the local device and not in the cloud somewhere. Anymore, that seems to be so "last decade" way of doing things.

Even so, the Meetinghouse Technology Policy says:
4.9.3 The use of MLS data and membership information in third party software is prohibited
My personal belief is that anyone entering personal information about someone else into an electronic system, without their consent, and the system was not created by the church, is assuming all legal risk should anything go wrong. The church is unlikely to come to their defense when they've used systems not spelled out by policy. That risk my be low, but it's not zero. And the fall out could be life-altering.

In this case, it's likely a moot point as I don't know as the software exists. "Position Management Software"
is close, but deals with a business/HR setting. To really be useful, the software would need to understand priesthood office and gender requirements for each of the positions.

I know I've walked into a bishop's office to find an array of pink and blue 3x5" index cards on the floor. Not elegant, but simple and cheap.
I was asking for advice. I expect that most people here have put confidential information on an agenda in word or put together notes or calling information into an excel spreadsheet. That's confidential information in third party software.

For right now I’ve downloaded a copy of “stickies” from post it notes.

Re: Callings app or Software?

Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 9:24 am
by BrianEdwards
If leaders are not satisfied with the way LCR, the Tools app, and the Directory display callings.....
I think the Church is unlikely to provide this type of "sticky-note" capability, to help leaders as they consider how to manage the domino-effect of potential changes. I echo the concern with data on the cloud... and yes, this also means Google Drive which I'm sure is heavily used around the church for all the right reasons. I think we should always keep in mind that anything put on the cloud is potentially visible to others, so we should limit whatever info we include, and always password-protect or otherwise safeguard the data. That said, basic info like a member's name and their calling, is different than the cellphones, addresses, and other more personal info.

So more to the O.P.'s point, hopefully whatever solution is chosen, allows for the data to be protected, or at least a very minimal amount of data should be included in the app's "sticky notes".