mls 3.5

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:27 am

Since hearing general release on this board and confirming with LUS last week that the rollout would be 10/12/12 - I've had 12 clerks report back that no update was presented, nearly every one of them went in to the church on Saturday to perform the 90 minute process so it didn't interrupt their Sundays.

No release notice, no no release notice caused 2 hours of wasted time from the clerks in my stake. I am absolutely at my wits end when it comes to this stuff. Our all-voluntary clerks must be treated better by our tithing-funded working-for-a-living staff. Remember we are doing this AFTER we have already put in the hours we work to support our families, this time is precious to us, and the lack of communicating with us demonstrates (whether intended or not) that you do not value our time.

MLS staff, team, developers..... We know you have the capabilities of sending email to us --> PLEASE, PLEASE, Stop wasting our time and communicate what we need to know. Delays happen, that's fine, I may miss the email telling me the release was delayed... fine, it's on me then. But there has to be something better than a post to a board on a Friday Afternoon at 4:52 pm.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:44 am

lajackson wrote:Why wait?

Since we already know it is going to happen, and we already know what we should do to prepare, we have advised our clerks to prepare, and not to wait until the last minute.

It turns out it was good advice. Those who prepared are fine. Those who are just now getting around to it have just discovered that their lamps have no oil and they needed it this week.

Most of our machines locked late this week and have started the transition. Just as in the painting of the ten virgins (one of my favorites for a whole number of different reasons), those who were prepared knew to continue with a few extra Send/Receives. Those who were not prepared have been calling asking what to do.

I realize this is late, but I am unprepared to appreciate this analogy very well. We do prepare things, but there are serious differences IMHO here. First of all, a message wasn't sent out to the TEN that said... sometime in the next 3 weeks there may or may not be a wedding you need to be prepared for, oh ya, and BTW... we won't use this same mechanism to inform you when you need to be there, we'll let some people know who ask us about it, or post it on the side of a barn at our home we know you don't really frequent, even if you can't read. Oh, ya, and while we won't inform you only 4 of the 10 need to be there this time if the other 6 show up we'll send them home, knowing that you can just fill your lamps again (what is time and money to us anyway) and we'll expect you to show up later when we suddenly and unexpectantly send for you (but remember, we won't actually inform you, we'll post the information somewhere we know you don't really frequent).

I like to plan my time, I know it is a pretty quirky thing, but it is common when I'm asked to work 50 hours a week for my employment , about 25 hours to support a church calling, and have something left over for my family. I have clerks that drive 1/2 hour to get to their meetinghouses. It falls well within common courtesy that when you ask someone to complete a process for you that you tell them what to do, and when to do it. The what was communicated nearly completely, the when, a bit harder to pin down. We can't overlook the fact that the 5 who had their lamps full, at least knew when they needed to have their lamps full. A month is a long time in the life of a ward, callings change, classes can change, etc... it isn't beyond reason to wait until you know when it will happen to print the reports. It seems so out of the ordinary to people in this day and time, they assume they will know when something like this will happen to their computer.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:46 am

TinMan wrote:Meanwhile, because we can't close the batch, we can't print the deposit report so the deposit is locked in my safe at home.
The breaks the two deep requirement when processing donations and making deposits. You should have made the deposit. The WIKI has guidelines on how to do this when the computer fails. You should never take deposits home.

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:53 am

Three of us were 3 hours at church last night trying to fix the problem. I had already been at the Church for 10 hours. I still had General Priesthood to go to in the evening. We did like 10 send/receives. That is after we did 3 thirty minutes apart in the morning during ward council and bishopric meeting, LIKE THE INSTRUCTIONS SAID TO DO.

We couldn't print out a deposit slip. I thought it would be worse to lock the deposit in my desk drawer at the Church than having it in my gun safe at home. At least I know where it is. We called the Stake Clerk for help. His response: "You guys do deposits every week. I do them 5 times a year. You know the system better than I do. Call local support in the morning."

Where in the instructions on finances does it say to go to the WIKI guidelines for help?

Honestly: The "tech" answers you techs have for us non-tech type people is laughable sometimes. I see on another thread that it is "a know issue and will be fixed soon."

Perhaps it would be a good idea next time you do a major update to a system on a Sunday, you have some tech support people available for us to call?

Maybe they will release me. Some weeks I would really love going back to teaching 11 year olds in primary where the most technical thing I have to worry about is catching my finger in the 3 ring binder with the lesson and pictures in it.....

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:13 am

Okay Gary. Help me out. Here is the Wiki page for financial clerks:

http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Financial_clerk

which category talks about how to make a deposit when you can't close a batch?

Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:15 am

TinMan wrote:Where in the instructions on finances does it say to go to the WIKI guidelines for help?
To me the WIKI sit has become the instruction manual with the details on how to do the various about of work that clerks need to do.

Beyond the little information in the Handbooks 1 and 2, the WIKI and this Form is the best place to go for information. The information I receive in this form has put me light years ahead of clerks who don't use them, in magnify my calling.

However, I don't have to come to the WIKI for information as the training is very specific about not breaking the two deep rule once envelopes are opened. It would have been quite simple to make a list of the checks and check numbers on a separate peace of paper and include that in the deposit envelope, as that's all you place in the envelope once a batch is closed.
TinMan wrote:Honestly: The "tech" answers you techs have for us non-tech type people is laughable sometimes.
Trust me I'm fare from a "Computer Tech" I'm just a clerk like you trying to do a good job in my calling.

I'm a Farrier (Horseshoer) by trade.

Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:16 am

TinMan wrote:Okay Gary. Help me out. Here is the Wiki page for financial clerks:

http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Financial_clerk

which category talks about how to make a deposit when you can't close a batch?
Donations and Computer Failure

https://tech.lds.org/wiki/Donations_and ... er_failure

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:29 am

Gary_Miller wrote: Trust me I'm fare from a "Computer Tech" I'm just a clerk like you trying to do a good job in my calling.
You know about WIKI pages... ;)

How does a "normal" person know about them? The only place I have ever hear of them is here. Why didn't my Stake Clerk say "go check the WIKI pages?"

If that is where we should go for answers, why isn't it the first thing that comes up when you push the "help" button in the financial system? Why haven't I gotten any correspondence that says, "If you have problems with MLS or the finance system, go to the WIKI pages?"

Frankly, as a bishop, I don't have time to read all the WIKI pages.

Oh, BTW: I wouldn't have thought to look in "computer failure." Our computer was working fine. It was the software that was giving us problems.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:41 am

TinMan wrote:How does a "normal" person know about them? The only place I have ever hear of them is here.

There have been multiple MLS messages over the years that have informed clerks about the resources available on LDSTech. It's been a while since one has come out, but important messages should have been filed and become part of the body of knowledge of your clerking staff.
TinMan wrote:Why didn't my Stake Clerk say "go check the WIKI pages?"

I don't know. He has a responsibility for being on top of the information available. The stake has received the same messages over the years.
TinMan wrote:If that is where we should go for answers, why isn't it the first thing that comes up when you push the "help" button in the financial system?

MLS is a desktop app and doesn't assume an Internet connection is available. But the current Record Keeping and Auditing Training page contains a link to the wiki. Every clerk should be extremely familiar with that page, since the semi-annual audits require that every clerk take the online training.

It's in the process of being replaced by the new Record-Keeping and Technology Support site, but that the content has not been moved there completely yet. Once that site is completely operational, I'm sure that it will get a lot of publicity.
TinMan wrote:Why haven't I gotten any correspondence that says, "If you have problems with MLS or the finance system, go to the WIKI pages?"

As I mentioned, that information has come through MLS messages.
TinMan wrote:Frankly, as a bishop, I don't have time to read all the WIKI pages.

And you shouldn't. The Wiki is searchable, after all. In any case, it's your clerks, not you, who should be on top of this information -- you have more important things to do.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:57 am

TinMan wrote:You know about WIKI pages... ;)

How does a "normal" person know about them? The only place I have ever hear of them is here.


I learned about this Form and the WKI site when I was taking my online training under the Record Keeping and Technology Support area of LDS.ORG. But I'm freak when it comes to learning all I can about my responsibilities.
TinMan wrote:Why didn't my Stake Clerk say "go check the WIKI pages?"


I don't know why don't you ask him. Our stake clerk talked about them at the last leadership meeting. I was surprised how many clerks just in my stake did not know about them.
TinMan wrote:If that is where we should go for answers, why isn't it the first thing that comes up when you push the "help" button in the financial system? Why haven't I gotten any correspondence that says, "If you have problems with MLS or the finance system, go to the WIKI pages?"

Frankly, as a bishop, I don't have time to read all the WIKI pages.
You should not have to that's the reason you have clerks. My Bishop would have never know what to do, nor should he have to, he would have looked at me and asked what do we do. Of course I would have already done it and all the Bishop would have gotten was a phone call letting him know what happened.
TinMan wrote:Oh, BTW: I wouldn't have thought to look in "computer failure." Our computer was working fine. It was the software that was giving us problems.
And you don't consider software failure a computer failure!:)


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