I thought it might be interesting if I provided some insight into how we decide which features are included in each Opsview release cycle.
The long and winding roadmap
We are very lucky to have a committed user community and this is a great source of feedback and ideas. Part of my role is to work with customers and prospective customers to figure out how to get the most out of Opsview in their IT environments. This is another extremely valuable source of feedback about how existing features could be developed and which new features we should be considering. One of our biggest challenges is taking all of these great ideas and figuring out which ones the product development team should work on.
Ideas are captured in our Atlassian JIRA system and this forms the feature backlog. For a feature to move from the backlog to the product roadmap it goes through a scoring and review process. This allows us to work out what the relative priorities are and how much effort will be involved in developing the feature. The scoring system takes into account the following factors:
- Opsview Enterprise customer feedback
- Opsview Community feedback
- Feedback from pre-sales discussions with potential customers
- Input from the Opsview team
- Where the feature sits in terms of our long term product strategy
- The level of complexity involved in developing the feature
The resulting score helps us to narrow down the feature backlog to a roadmap covering the next year of releases. Usually this comprises three Community release cycles with corresponding Enterprise releases. The roadmap is under constant refinement and there is always scope to insert features or change priorities. This allows us to remain flexible and responsive.
If a feature is sponsored it will usually take priority. Features requested by our customers receive a higher weighting however the features appearing top on the roadmap are usually those where there is a high level combined of interest from customers, pre-sales and community users.
From concept to code
Customer / Community (User) feedback is our primary source of feature ideas since this means we’re always addressing ‘real’ issues. Our challenge is to translate ideas into more concrete feature specifications and then into code. This is where the Opsview team’s creativity is involved, spotting related threads, designing solutions that will work for everyone and figuring out the tricky details.