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Developing New Features

May 27, 2020

Having served hundreds of schools over the past decade, and as we continue to serve schools worldwide, we get many requests to improve the QuickSchools product and service, from a variety of different markets and business needs. So how do we decide what gets worked on and what doesn’t?

Prioritizing based on Impact, Effort and Demand

First off, we have to make sure everything works, and works well, for all of our customers. So typically as we receive feedback from customers, we’ll work on features that have the biggest impact on our customers. This would typically include bug fixes, but also includes improvements to performance, security and usability. If something affects more of our customers, that’s what we’ll work on first.

The next thing we look at is the level of effort. Obviously, easy fixes tend to be worked on first, while harder and more involved solutions will take a longer time to address. We want to make sure any fixes we introduce do not create other issues in its wake. So complicated improvements will take longer as well.

The last thing we look at is demand. This applies mainly to requests for new features. Seeing as engineering resources are limited, we’re obligated to work on items that again impact more of our customers. So items that are higher in demand would naturally be worked on first as well.

As mentioned in recent articles, our current focus for the near term will be on online learning. We believe this is something that most schools will need, as students are forced to stay home for extended periods of time. We’re excited to share these new features with you, as and when they become available. So stay tuned.

Jumping the Queue (Sponsorship)

So what happens if you have a request that does not prioritize well, either because (1) it’s a low-impact / low-demand request that does not benefit many of our existing customers, or (2) the request although with merit is a little too complicated to be developed in the near term. Simply put, our engineering queue just has too many higher priority items that are pushing back your request to be prioritized later. 

In some cases, if the effort is not too immense, there may be situations where a school can “sponsor” the development of a new feature. These are offered on a case-by-case basis. Basically, with a small contribution by the school to off-set development costs, QuickSchools would reprioritize your request for immediate development. QuickSchools would also co-invest in the feature, and engage additional resources, in order to expedite development. We would only offer this if we feel that there is a long term benefit to the QuickSchools customer base, such that our investment costs can be recouped over time. In addition to expedited development, the school would also be guaranteed that the initial release of the feature fits the schools requirements exactly. It’s a win-win situation!

Custom Development

So what if the feature you’re looking for is (again) of insufficient demand / impact (as evaluated by QuickSchools), and there is no opportunity to sponsor the improvement? At QuickSchools, we never want you to feel stuck with what you have, which is often the case with software these days. 

So with QuickSchools, you do have the ability to build your own apps. We offer both an open API as well as a Developer Console to build new screens within your QuickSchools account. In some cases, you may be able to engage QuickSchools to build apps for you (we have a daily rate for engineering development).

If you need something, just ask!

So to conclude, we’re always looking for feedback. Please share your needs with us. It’s really the best way for us to grow. And your feedback has allowed our product and service to evolve over the years. And remember, sometimes we may even have the feature you’re looking for, and have just hidden it as part of our private beta. And if you really need something that we don’t have, we can provide you with options for sponsorship or custom development.

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