2019 Q3/4 development roadmap revealed
That was one huge release.
If you didn’t catch this news then I am referring to Method Grid version 06 which took the (awesome) technical team the best part of four months to design, code, test and deploy. The key feature it introduced was a prerequisite for our professional clients – the ability to configure access control across the platform. You can read all about the benefits of this new feature set here > Configurable Access Control.
With the short pause-for-breath that this release afforded, we asked our user community to let us know what they want to see next with respect to future, functional enhancements to the solution.
This blog aims to reveal the results of that survey (a huge thanks to everyone who took the effort to complete) and how it has influenced our next phase development roadmap.
What macro “use case” do you most want future developments to address?
The first question we asked concerned the macro “use case” that you would most want the solution to focus on with respect to future developments. These were scored on the following system:
- Not sure/Don’t understand
- This would put me off the solution
- Not interested
- Very relevant/beneficial
Across all the survey results, this resulted in the following ranked order:
What to make of this?
Well, no huge surprises. It matched what we are talking about with many of our customers – and what we are seeing in practice. There is also a relatively tight banding in the scoring i.e. all of these “use case” areas are of interest to many. It does, however, reinforce the potential to further introduce aspects of project/process based assurance i.e. to support users who harness “master” grids into specific “instances” of actual delivery. There is real potential to take this (existing) functionality to another level, say, with the introduction of resource and scheduling assignment, pending activity notification, enhanced management reporting etc.
Fundamentally, what this survey revealed is what we are seeing in practice. Once a company/team invests in building structured/codified content (initially as the common, central reference point for “best practice”) it then is a short, logical step to using such master grids for actual, live delivery assurance. Cloned grids – somewhat uniquely – then work as both (a) a rich knowledge resource for practitioners – AND – (b) a work/task productivity and management reporting solution. So, building out this feature set further – whilst retaining the solution’s inherent simplicity – makes a lot of sense.
What new features do you most seek?
The survey also asked what specific features you would most value next – as beneficial to these “use case” scenarios. Suggestions were scored to the following legend:
- Don’t really understand
- Not interested
- Low priority
- Please prioritise
- Need this now!
Against this scoring schema the ranked features (most popular first) were as follows:
To understand how this ranking influenced our immediate development priorities, please read to the end of the blog.
Would you recommend?
We also asked you all a question from which we could derive our Net Promoter Score (NPS) which can range from -100 to 100. The resultant scores were as follows:
What does this mean?
Well frankly, we were delighted with that result as an early-stage business and product.
Research indicates that the average SaaS business’ NPS is 34-to-40 and the dream-to-achieve scores are anything north of 50. So, to be looking at these figures as an early-stage solution is hugely encouraging for us. We are, of course, hugely grateful for this level of active user advocation!
Possible future grid builder design
Aside from the survey returns, we also spoke to many of you and this was, of course, hugely valuable discussion. In these conversations, we shared a mock-up draft of a potential future re-design of grids (in a builder’s view):
This potential direction of travel (refreshed UX and new features) was universally well received.
And how all of this helped set the current roadmap …
So, with the survey results in and all these more-detailed discussion completed, we turned next to our development roadmap.
As an aside, we actually use Method Grid to facilitate such prioritization discussions – it is perfect for moving elements (each representing a new feature) within a benefit * implementation-difficulty matrix. A future blog/video will describe how Method Grid can provide the digital frames for such facilitated sessions.
The prioritised features that we are set to work on with immediate effect (anticipated Qtr 03 2019 deployment) are as follows (in order):
- New member gamification. This is designed to make the new user experience far more intuitive and enjoyable – encouraging a new member to explore all aspects of the solution.
- New grid design (per illustration above) including the ability to have multiple-element-wide stage columns. This latter aspect will significantly improve the overall aesthetic of some grids (especially ones that can become very deep with multiple elements in a single stage-theme cell).
- Own-brand colour palette configuration (with respect to the overall color palette and the label colours). We hear you! This feature is sought by many, many users.
Then – and this likely to bleed into Qtr 04 activity:
- Single sign-on.
- Assignment of owners to tasks/elements/stages/themes/grids.
- Grid export to Microsoft PowerPoint (into a native, editable image). This was a surprisingly popular request.
In the background, the solution team is taking a step back to explore how the solution can be fully harnessed to support the project/process/engagement delivery “use case” i.e. to be increasingly powerful as a task and workflow tracking productivity aid.
Beyond the assignment of owners, we are fascinated as to how we can also support users who seek to use their playbooks to manage real-time projects and schedules – helping to keep integrated teams “on track” as they work through a methodological process (and allowing senior managers to track portfolios of such work).
So, busy times ahead.
A final, heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who contributed to this exercise. The solution really is one that grows and evolves as a function of a thousand minds and the thoughts of our real-world users really are the most important of all!
Is there a feature you would love to see us add to our development stack? If so, please let us know in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org