Regular releases with new or improved features are one of the ways that AvSight ensures that our platform continues to keep pace with our customers’ evolving needs and the changing face of technology. But creating new features is not as simple as it may seem. In this article, we’ll take a look at how AvSight features go from concept to reality.
AvSight has a product team who is responsible for collecting the data that informs our roadmap decisions. This includes customer requests, support and implementation data, industry changes, tech developments, and bugs. The product team meets on a regular basis and consists of AvSight employees from various focus areas. Occasionally customers are included in a direct advisory capacity, though most often customer input is derived from feature requests, support feedback, and conversations with product team members.
Team members discuss this data in-depth and make recommendations for roadmap revisions. This may include adding new items or re-prioritizing existing items.
Feature requests can be submitted using the “Change Request” ticket type in the AvSight customer support system. These requests are monitored and reviewed regularly by our product team. It’s a good idea to submit these tickets, even if you know of another customer who has also submitted a similar request. This helps us better understand how many of our users are interested in a particular feature, and may influence where that feature is placed on our roadmap.
How Change Requests Impact Feature Development
Customer feedback plays an important role in roadmap development, and special attention is given to features that are highly requested. However, popularity is not the only factor that affects roadmap placement. We also consider the following:
- Feature Importance – How impactful will this feature be on the day-to-day operations of our customers? Will it save a lot of time and eliminate bottlenecks?
- Strategic Value – Will developing a particular feature lay the groundwork for other necessary features in the future? Will it allow our platform to align with evolving industry trends and technological developments?
- Complexity – Will developing this feature require a lot of time and resources relative to its overall value? Will prioritizing it divert resources from more necessary feature development?
- Necessity – Is there an existing integration that provides the desired functionality? Does this feature align with industry best practices?
These factors don’t necessarily exclude a feature from the roadmap altogether, but they may impact where the item is placed on the roadmap.
Feature development and releases involve a comprehensive and multi-phase process. Prior to the launch of a feature, it undergoes various stages to ensure its successful implementation and usability:
Design: During the design phase, we meticulously examine the mechanics of the feature. This entails defining its intended functionality, how it should operate, and identifying other features that may be impacted by these changes. By the end of this process, we compile a comprehensive set of requirements that will be passed on to the development team.
Development: Once the design phase is complete, our skilled development team starts writing the necessary code to bring the feature to life. They also create the user interface components, including buttons, fields, and settings, which enable users to interact with and utilize the feature effectively.
Testing: After the development phase, the finished feature undergoes thorough testing. Our testing team rigorously examines the feature by simulating numerous user scenarios. This process allows us to identify and rectify any bugs or flaws that may affect the feature’s performance or user experience. By conducting comprehensive testing, we ensure that the feature is reliable, stable, and meets our stringent quality standards.
Release: Once a feature has been deemed complete and fully tested, it is packaged with other features for release to customers. Typically, releases are scheduled three to four times a year to provide a manageable and well-coordinated rollout. The release process follows a phased approach:
- Implementation Customers: The new release is initially made available to customers who are in the process of implementing AvSight. This allows them to benefit from the latest features and improvements as they integrate the software into their systems. It also gives us the opportunity to do final quality assurance in an environment that is not critical to our users’ day-to-day operations.
- Upgrade Requests: Subsequently, the new release is rolled out to customers who have submitted upgrade requests through our customer support portal.
- General Availability: Finally, the new release is made available to all remaining customers who have not yet received the update. This ensures that all customers eventually have access to the latest features and improvements.
This structured approach is absolutely crucial to creating the kind of well designed, secure, and user friendly functionality that AvSight is built on. At any given time, the AvSight product team is simultaneously working on various stages of the next 3 – 4 releases. This means that users will not see newly added roadmap items on the next release.
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