We have an open invitation for users of our software to pitch enhancement requests to us by email. Every year we receive more than 350 such requests. Each has to be considered and this can take anything from a couple of minutes to many hours as we delve into the software and assess the cost and implications of each change.
We ‘process’ these change requests two or three times a year in advance of planning development for the coming period – our updates are usually set six months in advance.
This year, 50% of the content of our updates has been determined by these user enhancement requests. While that is a statistic of which I am proud, it means that many requests from users are yet to be action and they would prefer that I focus on them. This is where it gets tricky because everyone considers their request the most important. Many say that if I make their one change sales of the software will skyrocket. It’s not true, of course, but users wanting their change made don’t see that.
While I own the software company and its intellectual property I am happy to engage with the client base in an on going conversation about software enhancement. Such robust debate undoubtedly results in better software.