Fridays are great. And every week, we treat ourselves to a feature which is just crying out to be developed!
Over the last two years, we’ve learned that development is a fine art; demanding a rigorous process from concept through development, testing and launch. And a feature going live on the system is actually only the beginning. Feedback from customers, refinement, improvements – admittedly a few bugs! – until the new button or widget is safely and securely nestled into the system for all to enjoy.
The process we follow is one of incremental change. Gradually improving our software with small but powerful changes over the course of numerous seamless updates – rather than major whole-scale changes which can end up more confusing to the user than helpful. The monthly process of deciding on which features move from our ideas board across to the world of code is always a challenge. Mainly because we simply get too excited about the endless possible improvements we could make. But one way or another we get there – defining a list of big-hitting items which will make the most positive difference to our customers.
The whole cycle can be an incredibly intensive, despite the fluency at which we now follow this process every week and every month. So with anything that demands constant focus, it’s always good to take a step back and mix things up once in a while. Hence the ‘Friday Feature’ – admittedly a term which I coined about 5 minutes ago. Every week, I try to push through a feature which brings a smile to the faces of our support team (and hopefully to our customers too). The rules are simple – brainstorm over a coffee to pull a feature from our ideas board, and make it a reality. It could be anything – a tweak to terminology, a user interface improvement, a swanky new button which saves 5 mouse clicks. A bug-bear which needs to be squashed – resulting in a huge sign of relief all round.
This week’s feature is simple (as it should be!) We pride ourselves on a manageable Pipeline system – tracking opportunities, tenders and contracts for all customers in your portfolio, big and small. For multi-site tenders, a helpful tool-tip shows a breakdown of meters included in the tender. But for single-site tenders, that’s really not ideal. Why not just display the meter number – right in front of you, smack bang where you can see it?
Decision made, coffee drunk, and the Friday Feature is coded and being tested for yet another software update this weekend. Everyone’s a winner. That’s how we roll at UC.