Comments in Church's HT/VT Application

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WelchTC
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Post by WelchTC »

Your points are well taken. As of now, comments are off the list for legal reasons. There is nothing at this time "fighting for" these features can do. The legal concerns at this time have trumped any valid reasons for having the feature.

For the customizable types, the issue will again be discussed with the Priesthood department. Until it changes, we will leave it the way it is. Thanks for the arguments. They help.

Tom
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Post by kennethjorgensen »

For those despairing:

Just because certain things are not in version 1 doesnt mean it will stay out forever. Once the application is up and running and working then I wouldnt be surprised if small additions similar to what has been suggested could go in. Somehow it is much easier for non-developers to imagine what is ok and what is not once they have something more "solid" to see and feel :-) Have patience.

I feel good that the church stays on the "safe" side rather than haste into something and look on the bright side: PPI's havent gone away.
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brado426
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Post by brado426 »

dkjorgi wrote:For those despairing:

Just because certain things are not in version 1 doesnt mean it will stay out forever. Once the application is up and running and working then I wouldnt be surprised if small additions similar to what has been suggested could go in. Somehow it is much easier for non-developers to imagine what is ok and what is not once they have something more "solid" to see and feel :-) Have patience.

I feel good that the church stays on the "safe" side rather than haste into something and look on the bright side: PPI's havent gone away.

They do already have something to see and feel... but they are apparently not interested in looking at it. I still think someone should collaborate with the groups who are already using a similar system and then use that gathered information to make some of these decisions. This would avoid many of the problems that I worked through over the past 3 years and would provide the Church with a system that more closely fulfilled the needs of its users.
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WelchTC
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Post by WelchTC »

Brad O. wrote:They do already have something to see and feel... but they are apparently not interested in looking at it. I still think someone should collaborate with the groups who are already using a similar system and then use that gathered information to make some of these decisions. This would avoid many of the problems that I worked through over the past 3 years and would provide the Church with a system that more closely fulfilled the needs of its users.
The problem is that you don't know what you don't know. Talking with your users to find out if they found value in a "comments" feature is a little bit like asking a person who just bought a chocolate bar if they like chocolate. These people have no insight to the bigger legal issues. Do they have a deep understanding of what international and national laws dictate in regards to collecting information? Do they have a history of legal challenges that indicate how some types of procedures can cause problems?

Tom
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brado426
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Post by brado426 »

tomw wrote:The problem is that you don't know what you don't know. Talking with your users to find out if they found value in a "comments" feature is a little bit like asking a person who just bought a chocolate bar if they like chocolate. These people have no insight to the bigger legal issues. Do they have a deep understanding of what international and national laws dictate in regards to collecting information? Do they have a history of legal challenges that indicate how some types of procedures can cause problems?

Tom

I'm not only referring to the Comments feature. By "fighting for these features", I'm referring to two things: 1) spending more time with the Church's legal representatives in an attempt to find out if an alternative is possible and 2) spending time with some of the groups that have real-world experience with this and use their feedback to assist in making some of these decisions as to what will and will not be included.

If every avenue has already been taken, there is nothing more I can say. From my point of view, it seems as though something further could be done, but you're right... I have no clue what has been going on behind the scenes... all I comment on is what I am seeing from my point of view... and from my point of view, I am seeing some not good things happen.
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daddy-o-p40
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Post by daddy-o-p40 »

tomw wrote:MLS does not provide an easy means to create and manage districts and also limits one person to use the computer at a time and only form the ward house. Having an online offering will be a much needed improvement.
...
As far as the customizable visit types, that is more a policy issue. Until the Church officially weighs in on what constitutes a visit, different that what is already set, we have to follow the existing policies.

Tom
Visit History
I agree that having a Home & Visiting Teaching assignments managed in a more accessible way is needed and much better that what MLS offers currently. The trick is to tie the visit history obtained from the online solution into MLS so the reports the wards use have the visit record in them. Has this kind of integration been included in the design scope?

Customizable Visit Types
I think it is important to clarify if not differentiate a bit.

As far as "what constitutes a visit" that is spelled out on the Ward Quarterly Report (previously known as the Member Progress Report.) For Home Teaching we record "Total Families visited by home teachers." In years past the Member Progress Report had said "Total Families visited by home teachers in their home" For many a visit in the home remains the definition but I have seen slippage from that increasing in recent years. If the church is looking for consistency then it should be defined on the Ward Quarterly Report to avoid further confusion.

The value of having a customizable visit type is to distinguish between the effort of the home teacher and the visit history for a given household. Too often this visit record is misunderstood to be a record of the home teachers effort when it is more accurately just a reflection of the households visit history. This is why having a visit type of "attempted" which does not constitute a visit is a valuable differentiator for ward or stake leaders.

IMHO
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson
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Post by mkmurray »

daddy-o wrote:The trick is to tie the visit history obtained from the online solution into MLS so the reports the wards use have the visit record in them. Has this kind of integration been included in the design scope?
There was a long and complicated discussion about this on the Wiki, championed by boomerbubba here on the forums.

I don't even really know what the current status is, but here are links to the discussion from a while back if you want to get fully up to speed (I've tried to keep the discussion in fairly chronological order, although a lot of it happened concurrently in different topic threads):
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!
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Post by lajackson »

Brad O. wrote:If every avenue has already been taken, there is nothing more I can say. From my point of view, it seems as though something further could be done, but you're right... I have no clue what has been going on behind the scenes... all I comment on is what I am seeing from my point of view... and from my point of view, I am seeing some not good things happen.

I can only speak for myself. I do not have a way to turn off the Moderator tag or I would for this post. This is just me talking.

I admire your willingness to share something you have birthed and loved and developed with the Church. I understand your frustration with the direction some things have taken. I know personally of the lonely feeling that comes from not knowing what is going on behind the scenes. It is akin to sweating blood and tears in a Church calling and then watching as your replacement seemingly undoes everything you were inspired to do. It brings new tears and frustrations and is very difficult to watch.

Thank you for what you have done. Thank you for being willing to share your heart and love and unrewarded effort in a way that has the potential to benefit all who home and visit teach. Thank you for being willing to give up a part of you without knowing how much of it would survive to benefit others. Thank you.

I truly do know what you are going through. I admire you very much for doing it. It is a selfless sacrifice that has turned out to be harder to bear than you thought it would. Please know that you are not alone.
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mkmurray
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Post by mkmurray »

Just wanted to throw this out there as an update to all interested (however, there is no need for debate about legal issues again)...

Chad Fullmer, a Church employee overseeing the HT/VT Application community project, just made an edit to the Functional Specifications on the LDS Tech Wiki that states that Home/Visiting Teachers...
...should be able to request a PPI or contact from their supervisor or quorum president in order to discuss (offline) qualitative info re: their report.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!
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