The Importance of Reading Release Summaries

CU*BASE updates happen on a regular basis, but twice a year there are big updates and changes that occur. These are called “releases” and they impact both the availability of new tools, changes to current tools, and sunsetting of tools that now seem redundant or outdated with the new updates. Being in the position I’m at with the CUSO, I get the advantage of being invited to some of the project reviews, where various key team members from various departments meet to demo and discuss projects that will be included in future releases.

These projects are typically documented in the appropriate release planning and summary documents, made available to everyone on the CU*Answers website here: Emails go out regarding the upcoming changes, there are places where clients and CUSO colleagues can view ongoing projects, and there are even release summary webinars hosted by various teams to help walk clients through some of the new tools and changes.

Despite all these great marketing efforts, questions come up regarding new changes every time they are made, offering up another opportunity to share these resources with clients and colleagues alike. It’s important for us to pay attention to what is being sent our way and keep an eye on these changes so that we are ready before they happen. It can be tough to be standing face to face with a member or training a new employee, only to be surprised by a new feature within a tool we use every day taking us aback.

One such incident happened to me back when I was still fairly new to the CUSO world. I was training an employee to create CU*BASE Loan Products for Xtend’s lending program, when all of a sudden four new screens popped up in front of me, disabling me from being able to go forward without discussing things with a department head. I needed to ensure I would not cause any issues for the client we were onboarding this service for, and still allow for loan applications to flow from our API into CU*BASE without error. Had I read the release summary in advance as is part of my job, I would have been able to discuss with this department head in advance, and finish the onboarding in a more timely fashion, and train the employee without disruption or distraction.

One of the best parts of release summaries is discovering new tools and datasets that will be added and being able to use those right away, and share the information with colleagues so that everyone stays ahead of the curve and is successful. There are even opportunities to experience and practice key projects from an upcoming release by being part of the BETA Pool with CU*Answers. It’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on this page to see if your credit union would be a good tester of the new projects coming through, and taking part in them to get in on the ground floor with the new enhancements and changes.

Reading Release Planning documents can help you be prepared for upcoming changes, participating in the BETA Pool can open the chance for you to have an active voice in the new tools and programs coming, and reading the Release Summary documents can help you understand changes that recently took place and may be impacting your current work.

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