The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry

The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry

October 7, 2019

 

You know that feeling when you plan the perfect lesson and everything is going great and then, out of nowhere, something goes wrong and the lesson just falls apart?

Well, we had that feeling last week.
 
We had planned and prepped for our October release for months. We ran endless diagnostic and load tests and tested the software for weeks to check for any bugs and issues. We even postponed the release for a week to ensure that everything would go off without a hitch. Just like that perfectly planned lesson, everything was looking exactly how it needed to be. But then we started the lesson and unforeseen issues arose.
 
A glitch in the code caused key strokes to lag for some users. We had never seen this before, and it was completely unexpected. Our developers investigated and pushed out a code fix as quickly as possible.
 
Because you all were so excited to get back into the software last Monday after it was closed down for three days, we experienced the highest traffic surge in the history of the product. We were excited about the enthusiasm, and, while we had tested for high numbers, that influx revealed a gap in our server capacity that we corrected immediately.
 
Some users experienced reset passwords. That one has us stumped. We’re still investigating why that happened, and, as soon as we have an answer, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, our CSS team is handling clients with this issue as quickly as possible.  
 
A few clients have expressed frustration that this release happened during the school year, and, unfortunately, that was unavoidable. Our software services both traditional and year-round schools, so there is never a good time to release such an update. Many members of the MI Write team are former teachers, and we certainly understand the challenges when the software we have built our lessons around doesn’t work as expected. This is why we strive to make all of our releases as seamless as possible. We release updates every 2-3 months with some releases being more significant than others. Our previous releases have gone off without a hitch, but it seems like our perfect streak ended in October. Future releases will not be as significant, and we will make sure to communicate even earlier (and test even more!) when future release​s are scheduled.
 
While we are excited about our new brand and the new features we’ve developed, our excitement is greatly tempered by the hiccups and bumps you experienced. This experience is not aligned with our standards, and we apologize for any issues in the last week. We know that an apology doesn’t make up for your frustrations, but we hope that our level of service and our continued dedication to providing powerful software that directly impacts student learning and teacher instruction will help make things better.
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding that, despite the most carefully laid plans, things sometimes go awry.
 

Sincerely,

MaryBeth Crissman
Vice President of Assessment Technology