MLS Suggestions

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
margiestroble
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Postby margiestroble » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:56 pm

RussellHltn wrote:While this sure sounds like a bug, I suppose I could try to put another spin on it.

Are we concerned about the stats as a way to measure how well the Visiting Teachers are doing, or how well we are doing by the current ward membership?

Or to put in another way, if a sister who has been VT 100% moves out, it would lower your historical stats, right? Which means you'd have to actually increase the number of visits with the current membership just to hold the same percentages. But the revised historical stats provide a more accurate baseline for the current Visit Teaching. Because if the remaining members are visited the same way as they have been in the past, the percentages for this month will match the revised historical percentages.

Frankly I think this should be looked at as a feature as it helps you better evaluate where you stand now.




My concern is the fact that the total number changes after it has been entered. It doesn't change right away because I have exited out of that stat feature, then gone back in and it was as I entered it. But, later on, like the next month when I'm entering the contacts, it has changed. It should stay that way. Nobody is going in and changing the total number, so why should it change?

This is the issue on my part. I realize that if someone who diligently does her vt'ing moves and if whoever takes her route over, or it gets split and those sisters don't get visited like the other sister visited them that the numbers will drop. I'm not addressing that issue as that has nothing to do with MLS. That's just a fact of life.

Margie

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:39 pm

margiestroble wrote:This is the issue on my part. I realize that if someone who diligently does her vt'ing moves and if whoever takes her route over, or it gets split and those sisters don't get visited like the other sister visited them that the numbers will drop.


Sorry, I wasn't clear. I wasn't talking about when a Visiting Teacher moves out, but when a Visiting Teachee moves out.

Here's what I think is happening: MLS keeps a record of VT visits for each sister for 12 months. It's not a record of the teacher, but a record of the teachee so you can tell if a member's needs have been met. When a sister moves out, her record of being visit taught is lost. This causes a change in the stats. And I think it's causing a change in the prior months' stats.

The other thing that should be checked is it sounds like you are changing the total visits. Shouldn't the visits themselves be recorded for each sister and let the computer calculate the number?

margiestroble
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Postby margiestroble » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:24 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Sorry, I wasn't clear. I wasn't talking about when a Visiting Teacher moves out, but when a Visiting Teachee moves out.

Here's what I think is happening: MLS keeps a record of VT visits for each sister for 12 months. It's not a record of the teacher, but a record of the teachee so you can tell if a member's needs have been met. When a sister moves out, her record of being visit taught is lost. This causes a change in the stats. And I think it's causing a change in the prior months' stats.

The other thing that should be checked is it sounds like you are changing the total visits. Shouldn't the visits themselves be recorded for each sister and let the computer calculate the number?




I see what you are saying, that when someone moves out, their record is deleted from that ward's system, so therefore, it changes the number in the stat report area. So, say for February, the total is 200, for the purpose of having a easy number to work with, and in a month, 5 sisters move out and none move in, then the software automatically changes the number to 195 instead of 200 for February, because 5 sister's records are now gone. That is not giving a true report for that month because 200 sisters were actually contacted, not 195.

I don't understand why once a certain month's info is entered, that it should change. But, I guess it goes along with the amount of sisters in the ward for that month. But it's not an accurate report for that month.

Yes, I am entering the contact information and letting the system calculate the total and give the percentage. But, as I've said, by the next month, that number is changed, all depending upon how many have moved in or out of the ward.

So, when I give my total number of VT Contacts to the Ward Clerk and then by the time a printout is needed or printed for the Bishop, that number and percentage can be different. I've even had him ask me if the number he had written down was correct because it didn't match the computer.

If a report is supposed to be for a certain month, or at the end of the quarter, it would be nice if the software could remember the total number and not allow it to change because someone moved out of the ward and their visit info disappeared. After all, they were a member of that ward for that month and they were visited, so why shouldn't that info remain in the stats?

When someone new moves into the ward, their visit info doesn't come along with them from their previous ward, so that also makes the percentage lower. So, in cases like that, their former ward and their new ward's stats will both be wrong.

For an example, say you had 10 sisters move away that had been visited. You get 10 sisters that move in. The total number of sisters would be the same, but the VT Stats would go down, right? Is that the type of reporting that needs to be given, or should the correct reporting be given? That's my beef.

I'm just saying it's not a full proof way of knowing the actual number of sisters that were contacted within any given month because of move ins and move outs. I save my hard copy with the totals on it, but it ends up not matching the computer because of people moving in and out.

I don't know if this is the same with HT'ing or not.

When the Bishops, Stake Presidents or Salt Lake look at the numbers, it would be giving them false information.

Margie

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:29 pm

margiestroble wrote:When someone new moves into the ward, their visit info doesn't come along with them from their previous ward, so that also makes the percentage lower.


Someone moving in may affect the totals for that month, but I don't think it changes the totals for the months prior to their move in. In other words, if 10 sisters move out this month and 10 move in, then the number for last month (if my theory is right) will go down by 10. This should affect both the total number of sisters and the number of sisters taught. If, for example, of the 10 sisters who moved out, 5 of them were visited, then the total number of visits should go down by 5 and the total number of sisters goes down by 10. If only one number changes, that is certainly a bug.

mtolman-p40
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Historical Stats should not change

Postby mtolman-p40 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:47 am

Russell,

Here is what is being asked:
We need to be able to have a stat that gives us the history of what we have been doing. IF a sister was VT 100% and moves out, that should have no bearing on the past stats because during THAT time it was valid and counted (or did not-depending on the situation). As a leader of either organization (HT/VT), they need to be able to compare to what they have been doing to be able to accurately gauge progress etc. They fully realize that if a sister/brother moves out that was 100% taught, they would have to pick up the slack somewhere else in the ward to maintain the same percentage. But it we don't lock these numbers down, then they have a constantly moving target.

I sent a followup message through the MLS system but it has had no reply.

I agree that this is most likely a bug that needs fixed. My proposal would be to fix the previous 10-11 months which would allow the wards time to enter in stats from the previous month (s). If we actually can get someone to take up the issue and they have to peg a time, then I would vote for one month in arrears. IF that is too little time for the RS/HT numbers to be entered in, then it must not be important enough for them.

After discussing again with RS president just now, I suspect that IF we can get someone to take this issue up, there will need to be some dialog to make this fix work for all units. They can always call.
Way back when MLS was being designed and we were a pilot, they actually called !!

Mike - ward clerk
8645927056

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:55 pm

mtolman wrote:I agree that this is most likely a bug that needs fixed. My proposal would be to fix the previous 10-11 months which would allow the wards time to enter in stats from the previous month (s).

If we actually can get someone to take up the issue and they have to peg a time, then I would vote for one month in arrears. IF that is too little time for the RS/HT numbers to be entered in, then it must not be important enough for them.
That is pretty harsh, and doesn't factor in system glitches where data is lost, or a non computer savvy EQ president is being replaced by one that is, or one that still needs prodding to use MLS. I have on more that one occasion had the HPGL call me up and wonder what happened to his HT reports from three months ago because they were showing no visits had been made. Fortunately he had hardcopies still available so that we could manually re-enter these visits

I think this is a bad idea. This is a trivial problem. If a ward has 100% VT for that last 13 months (which is what MLS tracks), and that represents 100 visits, if one sister moves out, then the number of visit for the past 13 months goes down to 99, but the percentage still remains at 100%. This only becomes an issue if your ward experiences a lot of churn (i.e. lots of move ins and move outs) as most student wards do and most residential wards do not. Additionally, new move ins are not computed retroactively into the stats and currently can't be counted has having been visited during the month of their move it.

The benefit of having reliable stats does not outweigh the benefit of being able to retroactively enter HT & VT due to a slacking EQ, HPGL, or RS pres. that wasn't computer savvy or simply wasn't encouraged to track visits in MLS. At best, trying to fix this "bug" will only make a difference of one or two percentage points in the overall scheme of things, and require an extra level of vigilance on the part of those tracking HT & VT. Some units make have "just the person" for such things. Many of us do not have those kinds of people resources available to us.

This is focusing on numbers ahead of focusing on people. The current system may not be perfect, but it is more than adequate for 99.99% of the scenarios out there (IMHO). I think those at HQ know that any HT & VT percentage has a built in error of plus or minus a few percentage points for this very reason.

If you really want accurate stats, have someone print out the VT or HT statistical report each month after visits are recorded so you have a hard copy to hang on to. If you need to have an accurate report (like for some stake meeting) you can then manually go back and massage the statistical report numbers prior to printing it out and taking it with you. This is not that complicated to do, and hasn't been since about MLS 2.0.

Please leave MLS the way it is in this regard. Don't take away, limit, or restrict our ability to edit VT & HT visits for the past 13 months.

atticusewig
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Postby atticusewig » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:50 pm

There seems to be a pretty easy fix for this issue from the
developer's side:

Just add another database table for historical stats, and put
in some logic to allow a choice between using the historical
stats table (which is only changed by user intervention and
not by membership moves), and the table that updates based
on current membership (the way it is now).

Blaming clerks who do extra work to remove "Name Unknown" placeholders, is just foolish. Do you know how ridiculous it
looks handing out reports to leadership riddled with
"Name Unknown" printed all over it ? Of course these
placeholders should be removed by clerks.

I personally think the historical method is less confusing,
but can see the value of the re-calculating stats as
mentioned earlier in this thread. While some might like
it for planning, I feel it's a bit revisionist. Still, I think
options shouldn't be taken away.

Let people choose which method they consider is the
best way to plan Home or Visiting Teaching.
Anything we can do to help increase visits
to our brothers and sisters, should be encouraged.

- Atticus Ewig

SR Ward Clerk-p40
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Postby SR Ward Clerk-p40 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:45 am

At least now I understand where the NAME UNKNOWN entries in the HT detail report came from! :D

jbh001
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Add Full-Time Missionary as a default calling

Postby jbh001 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:10 am

Full-Time Missionary should be added as a default or predefined calling within MLS. The logical place to group this calling is in the Out of Unit Callings organization. This predefined calling can then be used to populate the relevant portion of the Officers Sustained form as well as filter the Potential Missionary Couples section of the Bishopric Action and Interview List. This was discussed here.

jbh001
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Fix Custom Positions bug

Postby jbh001 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:25 am

Navigating to Organizations > Other Callings > Custom Positions and selecting All at the Show: drop down list yields the same results as selecting Miscellaneous from the same drop down list instead of truly showing all custom positions (i.e. Miscellaneous + Out of Unit + Custom Organization). This was discussed here.


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