IL User Suggestions: How Your Ideas Become Reality
On February 11th of this year, our Customer Engagement Coordinator, Jeff Campbell conducted an Open Lab episode with IL’s Director of Product, Jon Caliri. The subject? How user suggestions can turn into actual features or improvements that we implement into our software.
If you’re familiar with InventoryLab, especially if you already use our software, you might be wondering if we really give any consideration to user suggestions. The answer is absolutely! While we can’t implement every suggestion or request, we do take our users’ concerns and ideas very seriously. All user suggestions go through a lengthy review process which Jon breaks down in detail in the webinar. IL believes in transparency when it comes to sharing our processes. As Jon puts it, “I don’t want it to be a mystery, what we do, because there’s no reason that it should be.”
So, what exactly is this process? Read on to find out more.
The Pathway From Idea to Implementation
We have different avenues of obtaining user feedback, questions, and suggestions. Sometimes users will make suggestions or requests through our Support Portal. Often these ideas come from users who are experiencing issues and wondering if certain changes are possible to make their IL experience easier and/or more agile. Sometimes we’ll receive direct suggestions during a webinar or Open Lab episode. Every single idea or suggestion is taken into consideration; after all, user feedback is what drives us to constantly improve our software.
The first step after we receive a suggestion or idea is to capture it in our project management system, Jira. If the idea is new and has never been suggested before, one of our awesome Customer Champions records it in Jira.
Once the idea has been captured, the development team will review it. The Team Owner evaluates and organizes new ideas every month. Team Owners also meet with Jon every two weeks to discuss new ideas and themes and the potential for implementation within the current IL roadmap. We have 7-week development cycles with both a full-time American team and a full-time team in China so we can work around the clock to constantly improve the user interface and experience.
Sometimes user suggestions are included in the current development cycle. If the decision is made to implement a suggestion or idea, it could be part of a larger project or a standalone enhancement. Once the idea is implemented, it is released either mid cycle or at the end of the cycle, in part or in full, depending on the size of the project.
For more details on how we review user suggestions, why some ideas are delayed, and why some aren’t used at all, check out Jon’s episode of Open Lab here.