Product development at Scientia has always been collaborative and based on actual need, not perceived need. Input from our customers has never been more important as we transition from on-premise installations to a service delivery model.
Click here for a full list of the ways you can contribute to the development of Scientia's software solutions.
Idea Manager is an application which enables our customers to directly influence our software development priorities. Our Product Managers gather ideas from suggestions made through the Self-service Portal (see link above) as well as other interactions with customers and colleagues such as Account Managers, who may present ideas on behalf of a customer. The Product Manager serves as a filter to prevent the duplication of ideas that could easily happen if all these sources were able to enter ideas directly.
Each Product Manager has their own instance of Idea Manager: one for planning and scheduling; one for resource-booking and publishing timetables; and another for scheduling and managing exams.
Ideas are submitted by raising a case through the Self-service Portal. The support team will triage the case and, if it’s an idea for enhancement, it will be given a PRB reference number which is relayed back to the customer. The creation of the PRB triggers an email to the Product Manager who will triage to see whether this is (a) a new idea worth considering, (b) an idea that is already being considered or (c) something that doesn’t fit with our direction of travel.
The Product Manager will then:
- Add an idea to Idea Manager and populate the Third Party Reference field in Marval with the idea number;
- Populate the Third Party Reference Field with the number of the existing idea; or
- Add a comment explaining why the suggestion will not be considered. The user is free to argue their cause and / or rally other users to back them up if they disagree with the explanation.
Once in Idea Manager, voting works much like a political election or poll. The Product Manager will hold a webinar that introduces the candidate ideas where they needs user input to help determine which should be implemented with highest priority.
Rather than having a polling day, there will be a polling period - usually around two week - when users can see and discuss the ideas and decide how to cast their votes. The deadline for voting will be announced at the webinar.
Each institution will have 15 votes or “chips”. During the voting period users can cast up to 5 votes for any idea, so could rate 3 ideas very highly, giving them 5 votes each, or spread votes across 15 ideas, or anywhere in between. The votes represent the value to the user of having that idea implemented.
At the deadline, the Product Manager will take a snapshot of how the votes stand and use that result to help shape the next round of development work. Once the deadline is passed users can re-cast their votes any way they like, add comments to existing ideas or just wait until the next “poll” is announced. It’s the standing of the votes on the day that will count.
A user with products in more than one product range (e.g. they have Syllabus+ Enterprise and Exam Scheduler) will have access to two instances of Idea Manager with 15 votes for each. Votes are never “spent” - the user always retains 15 votes to distribute however they wish in response to the question being asked by the Product Manager. It’s easy for the user to recall all their votes in order to redistribute them.
Still unclear? Watch our walkthrough video on using Idea Manager.
If you are unsure who at your institution has access to Idea Manager, please contact your Account Manager.