How We Implement Client Feedback Into Function Point’s Software

“FP listens. If we have product improvement suggestions they listen and often incorporate those into their ongoing software updates. Not to say they do every crazy thing we suggest, but the stuff that makes sense for all their clients always make it into the updates.” – John W. Penney from BlackDog Advertising.

It goes without saying that reviews like this one make us folks on the product team very happy.  We believe that the best way to solve a user problem is to collaborate with our clients, so to hear this kind of client feedback is very fulfilling. We follow the agile, iterative design methodology, and we’re constantly getting feedback to ensure we deliver the best features to help our users do their job more effectively.

A common question we receive from our clients is: How does the Function Point Product team decide what to work on and when?

Look At The Big Picture 

The first thing we do is look at the big picture of the user problem landscape. We often get very similar suggestions or questions about a particular area. Often times, these are symptoms that all point towards a larger problem. So, as individual requests come in, we tag them with the relevant user scenario and the affected modules. We then combine this list with our findings from user interviews and onsite shadowing sessions. This allows us to get a big-picture view of the major challenges our customers are facing.

Then, Prioritize The List By Asking 4 Questions:

1. What’s The Impact?

The first thing we evaluate is if this is something that affects the majority of our customers or just a select few. The more time our development teams spends on little things, the less time we have available for bigger issues. So we typically say no to requests that are only relevant to a specific customer.

2.  Does Solving This Problem Align With Our Product Vision?

The next question we ask is about alignment. Does addressing this issue fit within our product vision? At FP we take a unique approach to agency project, time-tracking and workflow management. Time is money, and we link the two to help agencies and in-house creative departments plan, execute, complete and analyze their work.

So, something that helps with staff resourcing should absolutely go into our product backlog. Something that’ll help people manage their personal to-dos? Not so much.

3.  What Are The Risks?

During the Lean UX 2015 conference that I attended, Selena Hadzibabic told us to ask ourselves: “If we do this, how can we screw up?” As a part of an agile and creative product team, it’s very easy for us to get enthusiastic about something new. The flip side is that we can neglect to consider the potential ramifications it may have on the product or to the workflow management of our existing users. This question helps us think about the risks involved when dealing within the problem space.

4.  How Much Is The Cost Of Delay?

Lastly, we ask: “How much will it cost us if we wait to address this problem?” Evaluating the Cost of Delay is a key concept in prioritizing an agile product backlog. This approach gives us a true sense of what the value of a feature is weighed against the effort required for development. By doing this, we ensure that we’re providing the biggest bang for our users’ buck.

On the topic of providing the biggest bang for their buck, sometimes we receive feature requests that we classify as “quick wins”. These are items that take a relatively small amount of effort to implement compared to the value it provides for our users. The Development team will be working on a multitude of these stocking-stuffer-type items just in time for the holidays! Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming “quick win” releases!

If you looking for a long-term win, learn what Function Point can do for your creative agency. Book a free personalized demo with one of our workflow management software experts, and we’ll show you exactly how streamlining your workflows can help your creative agency thrive.

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