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RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:47 am

RussellHltn wrote:My past experience is that the problem isn't the work, it's the approval process. And that tends to run slower then even the employees expect.


If I had any influence, which I likely do not, this approval process would be stretched out long enough to reconsider this architectural decision. It apparently was made quickly and explictly in the name of expediency -- because retaining some valuable report functionality now in MLS "would push us back to mid 2009." I think it would be better to take a little more time and get it right.

(BTW, I now have gotten past my LDS Accounts login problems, and have registered this dissent on the Wiki, where it properly belongs.)

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:07 am

boomerbubba wrote:I really should be making this comment on the Wiki, but I have been temporarily frustrated in setting up my LDSAccount. I am a little disturbed that this major issue is already marked there as "Resolved."

Although I agree with the concept of shifting all data entry for HT/VT to the new application, and understand the reasons why this is a good idea, I think it is a big mistake not to write the basic information back to MLS for read-only reporting. That is where bishoprics and clerks get their integrated reporting functionality, and removing even the HT/VT assignments from the MLS database will be a step backwards in the direction of balkanized report sources. Bishops, who are used to getting that basic info at their fingertips in one place, will be tempted to mutiny.

Thank you for signing up on the Wiki and providing your input. The more people we have looking at that Wiki and pointing out the potential problems, the more likely we are to catch everything. We need input from everybody because then we get a variety of backgrounds and experiences. This is important because everyone uses MLS slightly different from everyone else, especially those export files.

I would like to hear more detail about how not having HT/VT in the export files could cause problems. I am not very familiar with using the export files in anyway, and so I don't know what issues could arise. However, the Wiki is probably the best place for the discussion.

EDIT: By the way, the resolved thing is not permanent at all. It wasn't a Church Employee or anything putting a stamp of approval on it. I made the Wiki template myself as a way to mark something has Resolved when discussion about it seemed to slow to a conclusion. Its status can most definitely be lifted and the discussion reopened.

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Postby RossEvans » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:29 am

mkmurray wrote:EDIT: By the way, the resolved thing is not permanent at all. It wasn't a Church Employee or anything putting a stamp of approval on it. I made the Wiki template myself as a way to mark something has Resolved when discussion about it seemed to slow to a conclusion. Its status can most definitely be lifted and the discussion reopened.


I am much relieved to hear that. I am new to the Wiki, and that "resolved" stamp did give me the impression that the train had already left the station.

Just for the record, the commenter on the Wiki called Rossevans is the same person on this forum called boomerbubba. I failed that part of the login IQ test with LDS Account.

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Postby TechnoBabel-p40 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:45 am

dkjorgi wrote:
Afterall its not the coding that takes the majority of the time.



Anyone can sit down in a room and come up with an idea for an application that they want to build. Very few people can actually build the application. I don't like statements like "coding doesn't take the majority of the time" because it belittles those who are actually doing the job of creating the product and makes it sound easy and unimportant. Creating an application is not easy and just because some organization spend a majority of their time talking about an application rather than creating it doesn't mean that it has to or should be that way.

I'm sure you didn't intend to belittle the job that anyone is doing, but I hear others talk this way about the actual development process and it bothers me.

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Postby mkmurray » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:07 am

TechnoBabel wrote:Anyone can sit down in a room and come up with an idea for an application that they want to build. Very few people can actually build the application. I don't like statements like "coding doesn't take the majority of the time" because it belittles those who are actually doing the job of creating the product and makes it sound easy and unimportant. Creating an application is not easy and just because some organization spend a majority of their time talking about an application rather than creating it doesn't mean that it has to or should be that way.

I'm sure you didn't intend to belittle the job that anyone is doing, but I hear others talk this way about the actual development process and it bothers me.

I interpreted his words differently. I thought he was saying that on many projects, the coding phase isn't usually the longest phase. Many times the requirements gathering and architecting phases seem to take the longest. I think there is some truth to that.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:03 pm

mkmurray wrote:I interpreted his words differently. I thought he was saying that on many projects, the coding phase isn't usually the longest phase. Many times the requirements gathering and architecting phases seem to take the longest. I think there is some truth to that.


Well said.

It had to be read in the right context (I was comparing my work situation to the one facing the church over the HT project) where the work is done within an organisation that follows all the steps of software development. As well as the requirements gathering and architectural design there is also the testing phase. And then one also has to consider the environment and in particular security.

TechnoBabel wrote:Very few people can actually build the application. I don't like statements like "coding doesn't take the majority of the time" because it belittles those who are actually doing the job of creating the product and makes it sound easy and unimportant.


When I hear you say "build an application", "Creating an application", "development process" then I interpret you for those to mean the coding stage and thats fine with small projects and/or in small organisations but not with the opposite being the case.

To me ALL the steps of software development are important (research, design, coding, testing). Majority means > 50% and I still think a properly developed application in a big organisation does not have coding taking the majority of the time. If we think coding should take the majority of the time then I think we are belittling the importance of the other stages of the development cycle.

Having said that I am sure we have all seen many different setups. I have seen projects where the developers were "code monkies" as the analysts had done such a detailed job there was no room for creative coding. The developers were depressed due to lack of technical challenges but the product itself was a success.
But I have also seen projects where the analysts had not done a detailed spec so it was up to the developers to put the details into the code. This meant the developers were designing while they were coding. They loved it as they could be more creative. This project had a much higher bug rate.

TechnoBabel wrote:Creating an application is not easy and just because some organization spend a majority of their time talking about an application rather than creating it doesn't mean that it has to or should be that way.


If you mean creating = coding then I would say coding is easy when the design is done properly but when the design is not done properly and not detailed enough then coding is certainly not so easy.
Coding is not easy if the research has not been done either.

TechnoBabel wrote: I'm sure you didn't intend to belittle the job that anyone is doing, but I hear others talk this way about the actual development process and it bothers me.


Then let us take that up with those people.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:09 pm

dkjorgi wrote:It had to be read in the right context (I was comparing my work situation to the one facing the church over the HT project) where the work is done within an organisation that follows all the steps of software development. As well as the requirements gathering and architectural design there is also the testing phase. And then one also has to consider the environment and in particular security.

And in the Church's unique situation, there is approval from Priesthood organizations in addition to the standard runs through QA, Legal, Design, etc. departments within a normal organization.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:15 pm

mkmurray wrote:And in the Church's unique situation, there is approval from Priesthood organizations in addition to the standard runs through QA, Legal, Design, etc. departments within a normal organization.


Very good point too.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:30 am

boomerbubba wrote:I think bishops, other leaders and clerks also can live with getting their reports of HT/VT statistics and visit details off the new app.

But the plan to strip even the data for HT/VT assignments out of MLS cuts into the quick of basic MLS membership reporting.

Every bishop I have worked with over the past decade actually has lived mostly by his PDA, which in turn is driven by integrated reporting and exports out of MLS. The basic reports that summarize for the bishop most everything important about households and families include who home-teaches whom or is not assigned to teach at all (a key indicator of activiity), and who is a familiy's home teacher in an emergency. Ditto for visiting teachers. Similar summary export reports have just been released in MLS for propagation to Outlook or other contact managers on PCs, or to cellphones, as .vcf files.

The home-teaching file also shows which quorum a MP brother is assigned to.

If you asked a focus group of bishops if they are ready to give that up, I think the idea would be voted down decisively.

boomerbubba,

I don't know if I'm totally convinced that the use of MLS export files is as widespread as you propose. Perhaps all of your bishops have used such exports because you were there working them? :)

This is why a focus group might be helpful, or perhaps a survey sent out to Ward Clerks/Bishops or something. It could ask them if they even knew you could export from MLS and if/how they use the exports.

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Postby aebrown » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:46 am

boomerbubba wrote:But the plan to strip even the data for HT/VT assignments out of MLS cuts into the quick of basic MLS membership reporting.

Every bishop I have worked with over the past decade actually has lived mostly by his PDA, which in turn is driven by integrated reporting and exports out of MLS. The basic reports that summarize for the bishop most everything important about households and families include who home-teaches whom or is not assigned to teach at all (a key indicator of activiity), and who is a familiy's home teacher in an emergency. Ditto for visiting teachers.


mkmurray wrote:boomerbubba,

I don't know if I'm totally convinced that the use of MLS export files is as widespread as you propose. Perhaps all of your bishops have used such exports because you were there working them? :)

This is why a focus group might be helpful, or perhaps a survey sent out to Ward Clerks/Bishops or something. It could ask them if they even knew you could export from MLS and if/how they use the exports.


Although boomerbubba emphasized the negative effects of removing HT/VT info from exports (which is certainly an issue for many wards), I would note that removing HT/VT data would lead to significant losses in administrative capability in MLS even if the data is never exported.

For example:

  • The New Member report lists the recent convert's home teachers. If companionships and assignments are not in MLS, this will be blank.
  • The Household Report shows the household members, the HT district, home teachers, and visit record (and the same for VT).


These reports will no longer have meaningful data if the HT/VT data regarding companionships and visits is balkanized to a separate system.


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