Defining the VelocityEHS Software Product Roadmap
The definition of innovation is “the act or process of introducing ideas, devices or methods.” It is fitting for VelocityEHS as we are constantly evolving and improving our software. Our clients have learned to expect a continuous stream of releases with enhancements and new features. As a result many clients have asked the ultimate loaded question for any Product Manager: “how do you come up with what goes into the product roadmap?” While there’s a lot of consultation and consideration that is applied to planning out the roadmap, we usually answer this question by explaining the three main sources where product ideas come from.
Source 1: The VelocityEHS Client Community
One of the most important sources for features that get added to the product roadmap is the VelocityEHS client community. Client suggestions are gathered through several avenues. Sometimes client support inquiries result in new feature requests which are added to a categorized list of product ideas. Similarly, during new implementation and follow up projects our implementation consultants gather new client needs that may not be met by the existing system and add them to the list for future consideration. New ideas are also generated during the early analysis and design stage, as the product management team engages the client community by reviewing new designs for early feedback.
Source 2: The Sales Process
Another source for product enhancement ideas is through market demand as identified through the sales process. During the sales process it is common to receive RFP’s (request for proposal) that contain detailed feature requests. We review these documents and identify potential gaps that may be coming up with some frequency. The more we see a similar unmet requirement that is in line with our product strategy, the more likely it is that it will make it onto the roadmap. In addition to the RFP’s, the sales team is a great source of ideas as they are constantly interacting with clients and prospects discussing the software in detail.
Source 3: Internal Innovations
Another major source of features on the product roadmap is from internal innovations. These are the great ideas our developers, analysts, consultants and other employees come up with. Ideas range from new ways of reporting on data, improved user experience, or other totally unexpected and new ways of using the application. Research into evolving global environment, safety and sustainability challenges along with collaboration from everyone on our team fuels the creative ideas that inspire future developments of our solution.
All three of these main sources for product ideas are tracked in a list referred to as our product backlog. As part of maintaining our product and company strategy, we review the product roadmap regularly. During these planning phases, the product backlog is reviewed and prioritized based on the several factors including frequency of the request, fit to our strategy and needs of our existing client base, and overall scope of the feature. This process allows us to ensure that we are serving the majority of our client and market needs.
Have an idea or a suggestion you would like to see in our software? We welcome feedback; it contributes to our strategy of constant innovation and allows us to cater to our clients’ satisfaction and success.