App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

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rhusted
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#11

Post by rhusted »

I think my statements were more harsh than I'd intended and I'm very sorry about that. I'm expressing some frustration in not having tools available to simplify the administration of the Duty to God program. I've heard a lot of members express concerns regarding scouting and Duty to God - these are not just my comments. So we can either discuss them in a spirit of brotherhood, or we can take an opportunity to flame each other on an open forum. I believe that the former will be a more productive use of our time.

Let me say that I'm grateful that the Church has implemented Duty to God and provided a website and materials. However, as a local leader, I'm finding it challenging to implement because I don't have the tools available for tracking progress (like those available on the Young Women Personal Progress website). It seems like a simple thing for someone to duplicate the parent and leader summary pages for Duty to God. It would make a huge difference for leaders to be able to administer the program.

A few points:
1. Handbook 2 briefly mentions Duty to God in Section 8.12. The two paragraphs encourage young men to participate in the program. Far more attention is given to scouting in Handbooks 1 and 2 (8.13.4 - 9 paragraphs, 8.13.7 - funding - 6 paragraphs, 11.2.1, 13.2.8, 15.1.2, etc.)
2. If Duty to God is the program used throughout the world, then it should be more standard and emphasized than a program that's used in a few select countries (US, Canada, and Commonwealth Countries - England, etc.). Scouting is becoming more and more of a niche program and it isn't fair to our brothers in other countries to feed Scouting at the expense of Duty to God.
3. Our YW program does not have a Scouting equivalent. Are our girls less important than our boys?
4. Scouting requires a lot of resources to run - and while this is easy at the ward level, it's a challenge at the branch level. Duty to God, however, requires the same priesthood resources that have already been called in the YM organization.

I think we can discuss this as brethren and avoid being judgemental. The program is a good one, it just needs some additional tooling to make it a great one.
eblood66
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#12

Post by eblood66 »

This topic has been discussed multiple times over the last several years. Two relevant threads are here and here.

As indicated in this post enhanced leader tracking for DTG was obviously being discussed by the relevant church departments back in 2012. Since nothing has been announced or implemented it seems that either the general authorities with responsibility for DTG decided against making that change or there have not been sufficient resources to implement it due to higher priorities. We don't know which.

The only sure way to suggest a change and be sure it gets to the decision makers is by using a Feedback link on an lds.org page. In this case since we know it has already been considered it would be very important to articulate exactly how this would make the program more effective to have a chance at changing an existing decision or changing development priorities.
russellhltn
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#13

Post by russellhltn »

rhusted wrote:Brethren,
Without being flip, there's no one here that answers to that name. We're all techies with a few developers. There are no high-level decision makers here. If you feel strongly about this, I suggest you discuss this with the stake president with an eye to escalate it to the area authority. Decisions about how the programs work are made by the Priesthood, not by the folks working at our level.
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seanmcox
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#14

Post by seanmcox »

russellhltn wrote:
rhusted wrote:Brethren,
Without being flip
Perhaps not flip, but some kind of fusion of "maladoit" and "pedantic" comes to mind.

I'm pretty sure there's a difference between "The Brethren" and "brethren". The Brethren refer to other men, (especially priesthood holders) as brethren quite frequently. So, if you are addressing a group of priesthood holders, brethren is totally appropriate. Since he uses the word later on in a place which is not the beginning of a sentence, we can see clearly that the "improper" noun, "brethren" was intended. I can further see nothing in the post that presupposes that rhusted was presuming he could get ahold of high level decision makers by posting to a forum. To affect a change in the software, he probably would do well to elevate his concerns in the way you described, but as a software engineer myself, I have a hard time imagining that such a course would actually be more effective than trying to provide feedback on this forum. Stake presidents are busy people. They are also not "high level decision makers" in any sense that would affect the church's software development. In my experience low-level decision makers and tangentially related professionals are often quite effective to communicate with.

I would imagine that providing such channel of communication is an important function of this forum. If not, then it is mismanaged indeed.

Anyhow, we have enough unique cultural vocabulary and verbal nitpicking already without inventing new pointless rules that make communication and understanding even harder.
lajackson
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#15

Post by lajackson »

seanmcox wrote:To affect a change in the software, he [rhusted] probably would do well to elevate his concerns in the way you described, but as a software engineer myself, I have a hard time imagining that such a course would actually be more effective than trying to provide feedback on this forum. . . .

I would imagine that providing such channel of communication is an important function of this forum. If not, then it is mismanaged indeed.
Sorry to disappoint. There is no mismanagement. There are two ways to provide feedback to the software developers. This Forum is not one of them, and neither one will cause a change to the software.

The best and quickest way is to provide information through the Feedback link. A second way is for a stake president to share the need with his priesthood leaders.

Keep in mind that neither method causes the software developers to do anything. They follow the instructions and priorities of their leaders at Church headquarters. Those priesthood leaders do see and consider feedback. And they do see and consider inputs from priesthood leaders in the field.

Then they, as priesthood leaders, decide what changes will be made and what priorities and resources will be used to make those changes.

The purpose of this Forum is to discuss and help users with the tools the Church has made available to us. The priesthood leaders who direct the work of the programmers rarely visit or see this Forum. They do not take direction from the bottom up. They take direction from the top down.
russellhltn
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#16

Post by russellhltn »

seanmcox wrote:I would imagine that providing such channel of communication is an important function of this forum. If not, then it is mismanaged indeed.
The way the church works is quite different from the way the world we're used to works. In "the world", the consumer is king and businesses are generally eager to get feedback to improve the product for competitive purposes.

In the church, the customer is the Priesthood department or sponsoring auxiliary - not the end users.

The forum is primarily user-to-user support, tips and tricks on how to use the software. For some sections, it can be useful for verifying a problem and getting bug reports to the developers. But the developers have no authority to do development on their own, so added features have to be approved by the appropriate authority. There is no conduit from the forum to the decision makers.

I don't have an explanation as to why the YM functions work so much differently from the YW's. Perhaps it's a development priority, or there might be something to it that hasn't been explained to us.
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burad
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#17

Post by burad »

Back to the question from Rhusted, is there any plan to replicate the functionality of the YW Personal Progress online web site that provides summaries for both leaders and parents?

There are references to it in multiple places on the My Duty to God but actual links are just not there. Am I missing something, or did this not make the budget cut?

Thanks,
Brad

(Original quote from Rhusted)
"The YM Duty to God site is far less impressive - basically a copy of the YW site without the "Additional Resources" section that make the YW PP site so remarkable and useful. Surely the YW Personal Progress tracking application "Leader Summary" and "Parent Summary" could easily be copied and used for tracking Duty to God as well? "
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sbradshaw
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#18

Post by sbradshaw »

Where are you seeing references?

This has been wished for and requested for a while, but I haven't seen anything official from the Church about there being plans to upgrade the Duty to God site.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.
russellhltn
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#19

Post by russellhltn »

burad wrote:Back to the question from Rhusted, is there any plan to replicate the functionality of the YW Personal Progress online web site that provides summaries for both leaders and parents?
I'd imagine that's up to the Young Men General Presidency. They'd be the one to sponsor such development. We rarely hear about things ahead of time, so I can't answer if there are any plans or not.
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n.oliver
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Re: App's for Duty to God progress tracking?

#20

Post by n.oliver »

FWIW this would be great. For the time being we have to duplicate effort and track this in ScoutBook, taking extra effort from the YM's secretaries in the stake. Understandably, our data in ScoutBook will never be as current, and possibly as accurate, as that already in LDS.org.
(Then there's the scenario of people changing units...)
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