How We Manage Feature Requests

by Jason Morehouse

checkfront-feature-requests

A customer of two years recently asked in our community forum how our feature requests are handled and prioritized. It’s a great question and one I thought I’d respond to here.

In the last twelve months our amazing support team has responded to 48,473 support requests. Along with configuration help and general Q&A, we receive a lot of feature requests. So how do we manage all of these? A lot certainly has changed in the last two years. In that time we went from a team of 6 to 27 34 today. The process of how we build our product roadmap has also changed quite a bit, in part due to the large amount of feature requests we get from the thousands of businesses that now use Checkfront every day.

When a feature request is logged by our support team (usually by way of a support ticket), it goes into our project management application (Jira). If other customers have requested it, it’s noted and prioritized accordingly. Once a week our product team meets, and in conjunction with our support team and account managers, they determine the current priorities. That discussion carries on to our development team, and they work with our product manager to build and adjust the roadmap.

No doubt our project manager Paul sometimes feels like an air traffic controller. He gets feature requests in mass from our support manager Chris, our key account manager Ravenna and our sales team. Add to that our eager development team members who sometimes just have ideas as to how to make the product better.

prod-meeting

“No doubt our project manager Paul sometimes feels like an air traffic controller”

Of course, we don’t just track feature requests. We spend a lot of time refining the features we have and finding ways to make them better. Feedback on existing features and functionality is tracked in the same way, and generally is higher priority for us. If our customers, or their customers are frustrated with a part of the system, it’s a big deal to us.

Once a feature or area of focus is agreed upon (as diplomatic of a process as possible), it’s handed off to our development team. Whenever possible we try and involve our customers while a feature is under development. In many cases we have customers providing hands on feedback with a feature before it’s rolled out to the platform.

In the end, it’s our customers – large and small – that shape the product. We are constantly refining Checkfront to make it better, and adding the features that help our customers better run and grow their businesses. It’s a lot to manage, but we love it.

PS: We have some great new features coming! Thanks for all the feedback.

-Jason

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