How We Manage Feature RequestsOctober 7, 2015, Jason Morehouse
In the last twelve months, our amazing support team has responded to 42,712 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-three years. In that time we went from a team of 6 to 51 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). Then each request is carefully reviewed by the product team. When reviewing requests they try to identify two things: how it aligns with our long-term roadmap and if there is a simpler solution to the problem. In some cases, a new feature is not the best way to solve the problem.
We have a vision here at Checkfront about where we would like our product to go. To get there our product team has established a long-term roadmap. This roadmap is a result of the many feature requests that have come in from our customers over the years, as well as our view of what future needs will be. We believe it will lead to a product that has the greatest impact on our core customers and our business.
Our roadmap guides all of our feature decisions. This doesn’t mean it will never change. We track the number of requests that come in for each feature to identify trends and needs. This tracking helps us prioritize which features are added to the roadmap.
Once a feature is added to the roadmap, it’s up to our product team to scope and define it for development. Whenever possible we try and involve our customers in this process. 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.
(Updated June 8, 2017)
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