Since its inception well over a decade ago, literally hundreds of enhancements, integrations, and new features have been added to the Sycamore Education online management system. In order to foster a more effective environment for change, Sycamore Leaf Solutions has added an in-house experimentation and development channel which is called Sycamore Labs, and this has become the playground for the talented pool of developers and engineers working on product development.
Sycamore Labs is the place where early prototypes of new features and enhancements are launched, developed, tested, and then – if deemed worthy – added to the Sycamore Education system. Sycamore actively seeks out feedback from clients, and many, if not most, of the ideas and suggestions for enhancements and new features come directly from the day-to-day users of Sycamore Education: teachers, administrators, staff members, parents, and students.
In many instances, when an enhancement or feature has been developed to the point where consumer testing would be advantageous, Sycamore Labs will add it to the Sycamore Education system. All Sycamore Labs products which have been added to the system are clearly labelled as such, and users need to remember a few things when working with a Sycamore Labs product: 1) The item is still under development, and there may be glitches. 2) The feature or enhancement might be temporarily unavailable as it undergoes further development. 3) The new feature may or may not become of permanent part of the system, depending upon the results of testing, and upon the feedback received from clients.
Sycamore Education’s new Library Manager is one example of the effectiveness of the Lab. Due to suggestions received from Sycamore Education clients, the Sycamore Labs team began to develop plans for an entirely new Library Manager.. The Labs team started from scratch, and worked closely with several school librarians. After several months, the product was deemed ready for further testing. The Library Manager was then added – as a Sycamore Labs product – to the Sycamore Education system. Over a period of several weeks, due to feedback from users, the Library Manager was further refined, and a few bugs were fixed. At that point, the product was taken out of Labs and made a permanent part of the Sycamore Education system.
Sycamore Education clients can look forward to a host of new features and enhancements which are currently being developed through Sycamore Labs, including integrated payment processing, improvements to dynamic reporting, and highly customizable report cards and transcripts.