Work the system: Tips for High Impact Feature Requests!

Some of my best ideas come to me in the shower.  I wouldn’t admit that out loud to anyone, but I know that I’m not alone.  In fact, someone has even come up with a shower “note tablet” to capture those thoughts before they wash down the drain along with your shampoo.  (Apparently the key is waterproof crayons.)

lightbulbWherever it is that you do your best thinking, many of you have come up with some great ideas for ways to improve policyIQ.  We receive lots of feature requests, suggestions and ideas – and like all organizations, we have limited time and resources.  When deciding what to work on next, we rate each request by how much impact it will have and how much effort is required to make it happen.

When you request a new feature, in a way you are trying to sell the idea to us.  You want us to put your request to the top of the list.

1.) Don’t tell us how you want to get there – tell us where you want to end up

Sage advice that I received from a mentor early in my career – and I still hear those words every time I make a request.  For example, rather than asking for the ability to rename the standard Expiration Date field, explain that you would like alert messages to be sent 30 days before the Renewal Date on your Contract pages.  There are a number of benefits to this approach:

a. Sometimes there’s a work-around or a very similar option that already exists, but you might not have known about.  We love offering immediate solutions when we can!

b. There may be a completely different way to solve for the same issue – one that will benefit even more users.  (More impact!)

c. We get to better understand how you are using policyIQ, which will benefit everyone in the end.

2.) Tell us how you are doing it today

“I am using the Expiration Date field for our contract Renewal Dates, because I need to have the contract owners alerted 30 days before the Renewal Date.  However, I had to add some instructional text to the Contract Template to explain, as ‘Expiration Date’ means something completely different in the world of contract management.”

If you can help us understand what you are doing today – whether it is an existing process or the lack of an existing process – we can better wrap our heads around how we can help you.

3.) Give us the bottom line

“If we were able to tie alert messages to the Renewal Date on a contract, we could roll out policyIQ to 20 additional contract managers in our organization.”

Let’s face it – it’s in our best interest to add features to policyIQ that will sell more licenses and keep you using policyIQ for a longer time.  Tell us how a feature will affect your use of policyIQ – either by making you a happier (and therefore long-term) customer, or by expanding usage into new areas of your business.

4.) Ignore all of this advice – and just ask!

If you’ve read this and thought “Man, submitting a feature request is much more difficult than I thought it was”, then please feel free to ignore everything I just said.  Many of our best feature requests came from informal conversations and questions about the best way to set something up.  You don’t need to formalize your requests – you just need to submit them.

Since the first version of policyIQ back in 2001, our team has depended on user feedback to help set the direction of development in policyIQ – and we want you to keep those ideas coming!

This entry was posted in Customer Relations by Chris Burd. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris Burd

Chris is the Vice President of the policyIQ group at RGP. She gets geeky about compliance and technology, and gets to spend every day working at the crossroads of the two. With policyIQ since 2005, Chris has worked with hundreds of policyIQ clients to implement technology and enhance their internal compliance environment. In past lives, Chris worked as a system implementation consultant, a e-commerce specialist, a customer service call center manager, and - for one short but memorable summer during high school - a machine operator on midnight shift in a plastics factory. In her free time, she spoils her nieces, reads too many books, and spends more time than she should taking photos of her cats. She's on a mission to visit the hometown of every US President - so far managing to get to 14. She would like to be a rock star when she grows up.

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