July 31, 2018
Your feedback is a crucial part to our development process. It is one piece of the overall pie when it comes to building our software. As a customer of ours, chances are pretty good that you’ve sent over feedback or had a conversation with our team that led to a feature request. This is because your feedback is a crucial piece in the puzzle, and there is an overall strategy that comes when crafting software.
Have you ever wondered how we determine which features to to add and when?
Well, because of the size our team we can be nimble and spot market needs quickly, shift priorities if needed, and build and push quickly, meanwhile keeping our fees low. Because of this strength, we have to be very strategic with what we push and when. Without direction and strategy, we would not be able to invest our resources in the most important aspects of our system to actually help you grow and manage your events with ease. Read on to learn how our team strategically builds our software with you in mind.
We are constantly having information pour into our team. Through customer feedback, our data reports, and various new opportunities, we have to sift through the information to make well-informed decisions.
Our customer’s feedback is the heartbeat of the product. This informs us of how people are using our product. Where are the obstacles? What are the sweet spots? Because we receive various feedback, we are able to spot trends and overall needs in the marketplace that our individual customers may not see.
Though feedback is a large piece of what informs our decisions, we also look at data. We know that only a small percentage of our customers actually share their feedback, so we have to look at the hard facts of the overall system to catch obstacles that people may not be communicating to us. For example, if we have a hundred people sign up for our Reserved Seating beta feature but only 60 go live with it, then we know that there is something causing the other 40 not to go live. We then try to find that missing piece with customer feedback.
Out of both the feedback we receive and the data we review, we spot new opportunities that we strive to implement to our product. An example would be our memorized exports. No one asked for memorized exports but we spotted an opportunity to help automate you receiving your data. Now it’s one of our most popular features.
As you can see we have an abundance of information that helps us make well-informed product decisions. Unfortunately, we can’t build everything. If we continue to tac on feature after feature without thought or purpose, our system would begin to become a complex Reg-Foxenstein. Though we pride ourselves in being flexible, we want to keep things simple. So when deciding what to build, we start to apply a strategy.
Successful organizations have clear priorities which come from laying down company goals. A team’s effectiveness dissolves when there are no clear priorities to align to. Without priorities in product development, the team will spend time building features that have no real impact on our overall customer base. When more customers use our system, we know we’re giving something customers need. Our goal is to save you time and money. Features that can clearly show how much time or money it can save a customer will rank higher than another feature that does not. Steve Jobs would say “Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” We have to say no to lower priorities ideas to say yes to the ideas that make the most impact.
With limited resources, we have to be strategic when addressing features or enhancements. Our development team’s time is very much like a limited income you have to budget. A portion needs to go to necessary bills (aka system maintenance) and then the remaining can go to fun things like improving the experience and building out new features. If the portion of that resource is spent building a lower priority items, that is time taken away on larger more impactful features. When determining which prioritized items get built, we look at return on investment on the item as we see our time as investments versus squanderings. Instead of spending our resources, we want to invest our resources into items that return the most impact on our customers.
After all the strategic planning and decision-making, we now have items that are queued up for development. The leaders in our development team now step in to allocate and schedule our resources for building and implementation. When an item is selected for development, it must be fleshed out as much as possible. How is it going to look? How is it going to work? What are all the use cases and how will each type of customer use this? As it gets fleshed out and built, it goes through rounds of testing so that when it is released, it releases smoothly.
It can be easy to think one enhancement would be easy to implement, but each decision not only affects our company but our product and each of our customers. We constantly step back to look at the bigger picture of where we are going as a company and take you with us. Our whole goal with our product development is to remove obstacles and see potential breakthroughs with various ideas that help make your life easier while managing your event.