The Power of Timeliness

My team at Georgetown is tackling a large upgrade of Ellucian’s Banner Operational Data Store product.  You’re probably already wondering what this has to do with timeliness.  Ironically, we haven’t been timely at all in keeping pace with Ellucian’s software updates on this product.  When I stepped into my current role, I made a commitment to get all of our software products upgraded to the latest version.  This is important to not only to get support/maintenance benefits, but also to take advantage of the latest software features – many of which positively impact our business.

Ellucian ODS

This large upgrade that we are completing for Ellucian’s ODS product further exposed the benefit of timely and responsive team collaboration.  To give you a sense of the magnitude, this upgrade impacts over 400 reports across thousands of users.

  • To better collaborate, we setup a Google Spreadsheet, which enabled the team to perform collaborative testing in real-time.
  • From an IT perspective, we documented all of the reports that we wanted the end-users to test by functional area.
  • We then assigned points of contacts in each functional area to test that collection of reports.
  • Feedback, errors, and successes were all tracked consistently in the Google Spreadsheet.

So – where I am going with all of this?  The point of the article was to talk about timeliness.


I’ve seen this in other cycles, but we noticed that the testers that performed their testing early actually received more feedback and were more successful in their efforts.

  • By submitting feedback early, it enabled my team to more quickly respond. In some cases, we had time to screen share with the users.
  • My team was also timely and provided quicker responses to these initial pieces of feedback. This was due to bandwidth.  The had more flexibility to respond earlier in the testing cycle.
  • As a result, the teams that submitted early feedback received more iterations withing the same testing cycle.  This made their efforts more successful overall.

Ellucian ODS 8.4.1 Testing

There is a lot of meaning behind the old adage, “The early bird catches the worm.”  In this case, it had a direct correlation to the success of testing.

In many other cases, timeliness and responsiveness can also have a positive impact on:

  • Employee morale
  • Customer satisfaction
  • And, if you’re in the commercial world – profit