HT/VT Reporting Website Overview

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
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mkmurray
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#71

Post by mkmurray »

The Earl wrote:Is there a reason not to allow the admin to define visit types, and determine which count as a visit and which do not?

I envision a screen where I can define a new visit type, and then select count / not count.
This topic has already been discussed somewhere...

I think the idea was that allowing such flexibility would cause some to feel they also have the flexibility in how it is reported to the bishop and the CHQ. There is a standard policy for what should be counted for HT and VT, and this website should stick with that policy. Exceptions to the rule are to be made in few circumstances, and at the decision of local leadership consulting the Handbook. I don't think this website should be built for the exceptions; however, if it is, it shouldn't be something customizeable by just anybody.

Now, there's a difference between an EQ president wanting to see reports that breakdown what is officially "counted" differently than the standard, but that should be independent of how it is officially submitted.
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brado426
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#72

Post by brado426 »

In testing this site, I have found that it really needs to be kept as simple as possible... this is a system that technical and non-technical people will be using. When you provide too much functionality, the non-technical users will still try to utilize the advanced features and get confused. In my opinion, the functionality of this system in particular needs to be mostly preset and only allow changes in system behavior where absolutely necessary.

I have received several compliments from testers expressing how happy they were with the system's current ease of use. I have also heard concerns that adding additional features could make the system more complicated. A well known rule in technology is that "with flexibility comes complexity." I think it is absolutely critical that this system in particular is kept simple because of the wide-range of user experience.

As an example, at first I allowed the Presidency to schedule the automatic status-request and report e-mails to be sent on whatever days in the month they wanted. Although this provided some serious flexibility, it was a disaster and caused confusion for the users. I changed it so that it now has four pre-set schedules that can be selected. The schedules notify the teachers once, twice, and three times per month and pre-set days. This proved to make things far simpler and it really did not negatively affect the overall benefits of using the system.

Brad O.
The_Earl
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#73

Post by The_Earl »

I like the ease of use, and agree that this tool needs to be accessible to all. Absolutely, the default install should be 'by the book'.

Would it be possible to put things like the visit types and email dates in a config file? That would allow customization by those that wanted to get their hands dirty, as well as easy internationalization.

I tend to build my systems with the complexity that I want, and plan for, but I am known to hide certain configurations outside of the main UI so that I can tweak things easily if I need to.

Just a thought
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brado426
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#74

Post by brado426 »

What you are asking is certainly possible. I agree that there will need to be different visit types for globalization reasons.

As we were discussing earlier, the Church will need to set the guidelines as to what Visit types were available and whether they could be modified. Perhaps there could be some preset selectable sets of Visit-Types that could be selected by the Presidency. I'm thinking that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to let people type in whatever Visit-Types they want.

The Earl: What customized Visit Types are you thinking of?

Brad O.
russellhltn
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#75

Post by russellhltn »

One point I wanted to make. While some visit types could be useful information, some may be wanted just to make people look better. For example "attempted" looks better then "not visited". But how much information does that really convey to the leader? (How hard did they try? Probably not hard enough if that's all the better they can report.) Does it justify the complexity it adds?


Another thought I'd throw on the table: "refused". Yeah, I know, I'm adding complexity. But I think it would be useful information to know that. The problem is differentiating between "we couldn't come to an agreeable time on the 31st" (scheduling failure) vs. "they told us to go away" (what I'm really trying to capture). Although .... Maybe that's something for "Notes". Since I doubt someone would change on a month by month basis. However "refused" could be used for optional local stats to tell the local leaders what percentage of willing members they are able to visit. Just thinking out loud here.
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brado426
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#76

Post by brado426 »

Russell,

One of the individuals that suggested the "Attempted" option is helping test the site. He found that his teachers needed this option because they were getting confused about the difference between "Attempting" a visit and actually "Visiting." For example, Visiting the home and knocking on the door could be looked at as a "Visit." This is why we changed "Visited" to "Visited With Family" and added the "Attempted" option.

I think you're right.... being able to mark "Attempted" does make people *FEEL* better. All we can really do is make best-guess decisions and try to figure out what works until the Church provides some guidance.

Brad O.
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brado426
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New E-Mail Features

#77

Post by brado426 »

I spent some time last weekend and this weekend redesigning the manual E-Mail features of the system and adding some useful new features.

The following E-Mail Options menu now appears for the Presidency if a teacher has a configured e-mail address:

Image

Send Request for Results – Sends a request to this teacher asking him or her to report for the month.

Send Request for Results With Comments – Allows you to enter a customized comment with the request. The ‘link to report’ will show up as <LINK>, which you can reposition anywhere within your text.

Send Request for Results to ALL Not Reported I think we have received more requests for this feature than anything else! This option can only be used between the 1st and the 7th of each month. This will send a report request to all teachers that have not yet reported. To prevent multiple Presidency members from triggering this process several times during the same month, it is only allowed to be triggered once per month. If, for any reason, a Presidency needs to resend these report requests, one can allow this by un-checking a box in the System Settings menu. This option is only available to Presidency Members and is not available to Supervisors.

Send E-Mail to this Teacher – Allows you to enter a custom e-mail to the selected teacher

Send E-Mail to this Companionship – Allows you to enter a custom e-mail to the selected companionship

Send E-Mail to ALL Teachers – Allows you to enter a custom e-mail to ALL teachers that have configured e-mail addresses. This option is only available to Presidency Members and is not available to Supervisors.

Send Request for Results to Companionship – This option automatically sends a request to all teachers within the companionship to report for the month.

Send Request for Results to Companionship w/Comments – Allows you to customize the message to all members of the companionship requesting a report for the month.

If the e-mail option above requires the user to edit the e-mail or enter comments, the following web e-mail client pops up and automatically populates the "Sender" and "Recipient" fields with the appropriate e-mail addresses:

Image

This makes the task of contacting teachers and companionships a breeze. Simply select the teacher, click a button, and you're requesting just that teacher OR all the companions to report.

The "Send Request for Report to ALL not reported" was a challenge. We don't want to allow this option to be triggered multiple times, yet we want to give the Presidency the ability to send a final request for HT/VT results when desired.

I'm also starting to implement some limited AJAX support into the application for certain functions where it makes sense.

Brad O.
scion-p40
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#78

Post by scion-p40 »

brado426 wrote:Russell,

One of the individuals that suggested the "Attempted" option is helping test the site. He found that his teachers needed this option because they were getting confused about the difference between "Attempting" a visit and actually "Visiting." For example, Visiting the home and knocking on the door could be looked at as a "Visit." This is why we changed "Visited" to "Visited With Family" and added the "Attempted" option.

I think you're right.... being able to mark "Attempted" does make people *FEEL* better. All we can really do is make best-guess decisions and try to figure out what works until the Church provides some guidance.

Brad O.
Having been frequently assigned to visit inactive people that no one knows and who don't reply to voicemail, doorbells, or snail mail, I would appreciate the idea of attempted/rejected or attempted/refused reporting. Although under current policy this data would only be reported locally, it could be used by the leadership for planning--not just for me to feel better. I'm not responsible for the recipient's response, only for my attempts & reporting.
The_Earl
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#79

Post by The_Earl »

I didn't have a specific visit type in mind, but I have a few ideas.

In essence, I think it would be useful for local leaders to add / modify visit types. If a specific EQP wants to track attempts vs. visits, we should not put barricades in his way.

A few 'special' types of visits I have been on:
New member discussions
Missionary visit to less-active members
Presidency / Bishopric 'splits'
Service visits

I have also had the unenviable task of visiting people to get their names removed, and an 'official' visit to stop HT/VT. I do not think that these should be a visit type, or even reported this way.

Maybe you could instead add an 'other' visit, that would not be counted by default, but would allow a more descriptive title.

Nevermind, that would be better served with an attention flag.....

Thanks


I
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WelchTC
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Visit Types

#80

Post by WelchTC »

I spoke with the priesthood department about the whole "Visit Types" idea. Because of the diverse geographical and cultural issues within the Church, the definition of what a visit is will be left to the local priesthood leaders, which would favor keeping the tool simple.

Tom
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