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Part V: Best Practices for Maintaining and Advancing Your OMS (part 1 of 2)

Best Practices for Maintaining and Advancing your OMS - Part 1 :

Understanding the Need for Software Updates

What does it mean when there are “defects” or changes that need to be addressed within an evolving software environment?

We have grown accustomed to allowing our various technology devices to be updated with a new version of the operating system – or even with a simple upgrade within our favorite app. It's usually simple enough – the phone needs to connect to the internet, the upgrade comes through, it’s applied, and then we can get back to using our device as usual.  

Sometimes these upgrades happen in order to elevate the offerings of the software or add new features. However, just as often they are needed as users discover anomalies or “defects” while using the software that needs correcting.  This is a very normal result of software finally being used “out in the wild” that helps to reveal necessary corrections that help the software work with more regularity and efficiency.

So, what exactly is a defect or bug?

software bug is an error, flaw or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in ways unintended by the developers.  The technology term for the process of finding and fixing bugs is termed "debugging" and often uses formal techniques or tools to pinpoint bugs. Various automated tools perform testing which detects most defects – but we still find problems the good old fashion way – through everyday use of the software.  Once detected, the bug is isolated, analyzed, corrected, tested, and then moved to production.  Sometimes the process is quick, other times, it can be painful finding the cause of the “undocumented feature.”  

While problems, defects, and bugs show up in every part of our lives, they are more easily noticeable within the technology environment.  If one were only to focus on a number of imperfections and not of the millions of functions and features that work perfectly every second of every day, it would be easy to start writing off every piece of technology we use!

But since we as technologists know and expect bugs to be a normal part of making the software stronger and better for our users over time, we’ve developed a best in class approach to ensure they cause as little disruption to everyday software use as possible. In Part II of this article, we will take a look at the best approach for resolution of defects once they are identified to ensure uninterrupted effectiveness of any aspect of the software.

Other Articles

Part VII: What is a Change Request?

What are the best ways to engage in change requests with your OMS technology partner from both a technological and institutional perspective?

Part VI: Best Practices for Maintaining and Advancing Your OMS (part 2 of 2)

What happens if a software bug goes unaddressed? Check out Part VI of our series and learn why it's necessary to address software bugs and defects.

Part IV: The Vital Role Change Management Plays in OMS Implementation

Preparing your personnel for the change to a new OMS is an essential part of any successful implementation.