Product Enhancement Requests
When Building a Software-as-a-Service Application
Part of building a SaaS application is the need to balance the needs of the many with the needs of the few. Or the one. (Yes, that’s a Star Trek reference. Well spotted.) We get some great ideas from our customers, who find new and amazing ways to use our software every day. Because of that, though, we have to be mindful of how we handle those requests. Some of them will make the system more useful for everyone, while some are very specific to that one client’s needs. With that in mind, we thought it might be helpful to understand our process and how we handle these requests.
Ideas come to us through several channels. We often hear of ideas during implementation, but they also flow in from active users on a regular basis. As they are presented, we add notes in our own system. (If you aren’t aware, we use our own software to manage our work. Ask your other software partners if they do the same.) This also means that ideas that are added through a support ticket entered on our portal or an email sent to the support team end up in the same place.
All of those ideas are funneled to our Chief Strategy Officer, Kane Frisby. Kane works with the rest of the product management team to evaluate these ideas and determine which ones make sense for us to include on our roadmap. Not everything makes the cut, of course, though we try to keep as much in consideration as we can. We think it’s fair, though, to try to make a determination in a reasonable amount of time as to which items make sense to pursue.
For ideas that won’t be considered, we mark them as such and consider them closed issues. We send that feedback to the source, and make sure they have an idea of why that decision was made. If it will be considered further, then we make sure to send that feedback, as well. Our goal, at Dovetail, is to make sure that every idea has been reviewed and a response sent to the source.
If you’ve had the chance to look at our latest release notes, you’ll notice some of the items are marked with an asterisk on the page – these asterisked items are improvements or fixes that have come as a direct result of this process, and we like to highlight how much development work is done on those ideas. We are firm believers that the best ideas come from those who use the system every day, and we want to make sure we acknowledge their contribution. It’s one of the foundations of a strong partnership, and core to our goal of providing a great product and a great experience.
Any new ideas?
So if you have ideas you’ve been keeping bottled up, drop us a line. Maybe yours is one that will be in the next release!