Those of you who have endured a product roadmap session with me know that the insight into our direction comes with a price. That price is me badgering you about your own plans and priorities, how you plan to use any suggestions you make, whether you agree with our current direction, what you would do differently or prioritize lower, etc., etc., etc.
If that sounds needy and neurotic, then I am communicating accurately. But we have to continuously validate and revalidate all plans in this volatile market. And no decent Product Manager wants to be caught solving yesterday’s problems tomorrow. So I would like to invite you all to help IDERA with a more continuous and community-driven interaction to keep a pulse on the top needs, wants and desires of you, our customers.
We are openly soliciting requests and ideas for current and future products, voting and discussion of those ideas among our customers, product management, and engineering. Rather than only rely on ad hoc cumulative feedback to fill the development backlog for evaluation. We are giving you a direct voice, and a way to check on the status of your idea as well. We won’t commit to anything as soon as it is suggested, but once we have an idea of how broad the interest based on votes, and an idea of cost based on evaluation; we will update the status to tell you whether it is pending, planned for a release, or rejected for some reason.
Getting the Most from Your Software Vendor addressed the broader question of different ways of interacting with us effectively. And this feature request section is one of the ways we are going to start asking you to use. This community feature request option will begin to replace using Tech Support to submit feature requests as trouble tickets. It takes Support of the loop of taking dictation. And it gives you to opportunity to present the idea in the form that will appeal to others, which is important because of the voting aspect and possibly discussion of alternative approaches.
Once a particular request has been determined to have sufficiently wide appeal and popularity; that is just the start. Then we have to balance that with all the other general work required by the market forces along with the relative cost of the different candidates for inclusion. And we may investigate some high cost items further with market research or detailed surveys when the costs are higher.
This model has been commonly used to quickly sift through options for investment in the products, or development of a new product. The graph below makes it seem more deterministic than it is often, but the general idea is always to sift the ideas into four buckets. Time Sinks are DOA; so any high cost idea with little broad appeal is automatically dead.
Fillers are where we expect lots of ideas from the field, little improvements with low cost to gradually improve the product. We all live for the Quick Wins, which are also low cost but with a big return both for you and IDERA. Unfortunately, those ideas are hard to find, but we will act on them whenever we do find them and adjust other plans appropriately.
That brings us to the Big Bets, those ideas that are high cost but worth it because of the impact. That is where we may take longer to come to a decision to completely vet the investment with analysis and research.
If you are registered on the community then you have already started. If you haven’t then why are you waiting?
Do all this and join with us as well as fellow customers in helping to shape the product development and future product development. Once again, I encourage you to read through Getting the Most from Your Software Vendor for a broader perspective on working together. We hope to get a more interactive discussion among multiple customers using this method of Ideation and give you more insight into the factors that drive which changes are included or not included in future releases.