How many times have we wanted to be the fly on the wall to understand what is going on, what is said and decided? In this article, I will open the curtains to the behind the scenes of how bugle’s product team works on creating and developing the bugle platform, how everything happens and why it happens.
The bugle training platform as we know it today, the appearance, the features, etc. has been changing over the years, because evolution is essential. But how do we evolve? How do we know what to improve? How do we decide what will be better for the product and its users? In fact, we don't know, we find out! To decide on ideas for new features, we research in various areas, we analyse usage, ask for client feedback, ask about user needs and product technical needs. All of these points are important when making decisions about building and improving our product.
In planning our road-map and day-to-day work, the balance is always made between three important pillars: correction of existing bugs and improvements, development of new features, and maintenance / technical improvements. It is not always easy to balance these three points and, of course, sometimes one of them overlaps in terms of priority. For example, it’s not as important to keep launching new features while there are a few bugs to fix - as we want users to have the best possible experience and not lose interest or stop using it. Also, I always make sure structural background technical maintenance and improvement work is a calendarised as a priority – we don’t want the developers team complaining they won't be able to keep the code stable and there goes the product we worked so hard to build. So, it is very important to try to maintain the balance between the 3 pillars and to solidify the product.
In order to make this possible, categorisable and objective, knowing what should be resolved in 1st, 2nd, 3rd,..., in the bug report form for example we use a scale from 1 to 5 (1-Exploded, 2-Feature can't be used, 3-It's broken but feature can be used, 4-Feature works but design is broken, 5-Small details) to classify very clearly the impact of the bug and thus the priority of correction. All bugs, without exception, are written down and even if it takes us longer to solve them, they are never lost or forgotten.
Opportunities for improvement and suggestions, whether internal, from our customers or from our friends, are also reported and written down, in which case the classification criteria relates to our North Star. Each of us, when submitting an improvement / suggestion, is encouraged to think about how the suggestion will impact the 3 metrics of our North Star (Published training minutes, number of students with access to training and student engagement). More on our North Star coming soon – stay tuned!
In addition to the day-to-day work, the product is always analysed as a whole and in that sense we draw an annual road-map in which we define which fundamental and nice-to-have functionalities are going to be built so that the bugle platform is increasingly better, more captivating and easy to use. The inclusion, definition and construction of new functionalities has an inherent process behind it, which is based on understanding the “pains”, through the collection of feedback from customers and the internal team, the “gains” that the new functionality will bring and the job to be done so that the functionality is ready and corresponds to the initially planned.
“Pains” and “gains” are the 2 weights that most influence the way we prioritise the order of developments because if, on the one hand, we want to have a unique product (although we are well on our way to fully achieve that, ideas still keep coming), on the other hand, we value immensely the feedback from those who use the platform every day. Thus, "pains" and "gains" are analysed in detail and if they cover the majority of users, the necessary developments are included in the road-map by degree of priority.
The analysis of new features can however be subjectively influenced, and it has already happened, which is why we also assess the extent to which our North Star will be influenced by the new development. Our “dipping compass” keeps us on the right path, guiding the bubbling ideas.
The platform is much more than what we see when opening the back office and front office. There is a whole “magic” behind that our developers build, maintain and improve on a daily basis. This is the 3rd pillar of balance, one of the highest importance, and that is why it is essential that the maintenance and improvement of the structure of our platform is a constant concern in our day-to-day activities.
Have we always had a well-defined prioritisation methodology? No!
We learned and continue to learn every day that it is necessary to detail, classify and prioritise in order to be able to correct, improve and evolve our bugle platform and have happy customers who successfully and fully use our platform.
As you have already noticed, maintaining the balance between these 3 pillars is a daily ball juggling and there are only so much work hours in a day. But our ideas, imagination and willingness to move on never ends.
Bugle is not just a product, it is not just a digital training platform, it is much more. It is a project that we believe in, with a super professional, dedicated, fun and above all human team, always giving the best of themselves. We all row together in the same direction!
Would you like to see the bugle platform in action? Click here to get a free demo - you can choose from three types of demo: watch a video, demo as a course and personalised video call demo with a member of the bugle team.
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