How closely do you partner with your education platform provider? Synonyms for the word partner are colleague, collaborator, teammate and ally; which is exactly how your education platform provider should be described. A large part of any partnership or collaboration is transparency and clear communication. Here at InReach, we believe that an essential element of partnering with our clients is sharing our vision for growth, including how our product will evolve to foster further success. One manifestation of this is sharing our product roadmap, or plans for new enhancements or product features we have.
In all honesty, sharing the product roadmap is not only about transparency and communication, it provides other benefits as well. By sharing our thoughts for the future we can get valuable feedback from our clients. They often suggest ways to refine the planned features to better meet their needs, and help us prioritize certain features in the development timeline.
Also, when clients realize that we welcome their input, they are more likely to suggest enhancements and let us know how we can better serve them. It is easy to become so focused on the day-to-day running of a CE program, that there isn’t time to stop to think, “How could this be easier?” or, “What would make this process better?” Sharing our product roadmap serves as a reminder that part of our partnership is about making deliberate and strategic product improvements to enable our clients to flourish, and for that we need their input.
Sharing is also a safeguard. Everyone has a tendency to get excited by the latest technological trends, and want the hottest technological “must-haves”. However, if this is allowed to unduly influence product development you end up with something that may look pretty and shiny, but doesn’t meet the real-world needs of users. So by sharing with clients, we ensure our product development team stays grounded and focused on the features that will really move the needle.
Finally, as a company that utilizes agile development principles, client feedback is part of our development process. Agile development is incremental and iterative with the development team constantly revisiting everything from basic requirements to design. This “inspect-and-adapt” approach allows for adjustments and tweaks based on feedback and ultimately ensures that what is built matches what is needed.
So if you haven’t seen your vendor’s product roadmap ask to, or find out how you can make enhancement requests. If you’re a current InReach client, checkout our most recent roadmap sharing session.