Rawns (26th March 2012)
SIMS Change Requests (CRs) in SupportNet
Following a period of review in Autumn 2011 and Spring 2012 with school and
LA customers we have given consideration to the current Change Request (CR)
process, feedback from which is slow and gives rise to dissatisfaction.
LA and school colleagues may be aware that we have recently published our
Technical and Product Roadmap documents. This effectively means that we know (in
large part - there is some contingency) what we are going to be doing now up to
and including the Spring 2013 release. Clearly priorities change and sometimes
we do move items in the development backlogs around. However, Product Managers
are aware which CRs are scheduled for inclusion in the next year, and which are
Previously we have left all CRs in the online repository that can be accessed
and voted upon in SupportNet. However, this does cause dissatisfaction as some
have been there a long time, there are duplicates and it is difficult for
customers to spend a long time looking through the amount of submitted CRs.
Therefore we are going to undertake a 'cull' of all CRs not included now the
roadmap has been constructed. This will allow the CR process to begin again now
for the following year.
We will shortly review all CRs and close all those that were created more
than one year ago. Of those remaining we will remove all those that have
received less than 20 votes. Closing a CR in the system will result in an email
confirming that this has happened to be sent to the customer who raised the CR.
If you feel strongly about the non-inclusion to date of a CR that you have
raised then you can re-raise the CR for consideration for the following year's
Consequently, we will be removing all non-included CRs, or those that
do not meet the above criteria, at the end of March 2012.
Please be reassured that we are not simply 'throwing away' the vast amount of
useful information we have collected in the CR database. These CRs, and the
descriptions for improvement will continue to be used by Product Managers as the
basis for future product planning for enhancements and, in due course, new
versions of the software. Our review has shown that we have actually included
many of the CRs in the software. For example, we have delivered 7 of the current
top 10 SIMS Personnel CRs into the software - some over three years ago. Clearly
we could have done a better job of communicating this and closing CRs. This
pattern is generally repeated across the SIMS suite. By moving to an annual
process we expect customers to be better informed about where any particular CR
is in the context of the roadmap planning.
Finally and importantly, we are currently building a new system to record CRs
with better tools for reviewing, commenting and voting on the submitted CRs as
part of an improved customer portal. SupportNet was built many years ago and the
technology for online communities to collaborate, share and discuss has improved
massively in that time. This too, when it becomes available will further enhance
how we manage, and you interact with CRs for the SIMS software.
If you have any questions about this new approach, please contact me directly
at graham.cooper@<take a guess>.co.uk
Last edited by matt40k; 26th March 2012 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Resource ID: 19298
Rawns (26th March 2012)
That deserves some stickiness
Perhaps they'll use Sharepoint as a tool, for collaboration and to improve their portal. They've obviously invested time and money into it anyway, they should make public use of it. Even have a demo school online for people to access and get a good feel for the product.
Or is that a bad thing..
The CR system on the whole is broken. It is nearly impossible to find anything in there, leading to duplicates and splitting of votes etc...
Deleting old ones seems kinda like a cop-out, compared to fixing the problems with the system - ie. making it easier to find existing CRs.
I welcome this change whole-heartedly, which has been required for some considerable while now.
As one who has regularly participated in the Software Consultation meetings - where CRs are anyalysed, discussed and proritised - I understand more than most the frustrations that system causes. Both Customers and the Product Managers will benefit from a rationalistaton of the wole system and I agree that a clean start is the best way forward.
I will personally lose quite a number of CRs that I have had on the system for some considerable time, but there is no point leaving them there if they are so far back that nobody can/will support them any more!
In any case, I know for a fact that some of the areas have been rationalised/prioritised already (I was at those very meetings!) - they just have not been updated on the current system!
Just glad they are doing something. Hopefully they'll keep on top of whatever solution they end up.
I bet duplicates still appear because many users won't bother to 'search' for similar requests. On the current system you can spot virtually identical requests on a visible list (i.e. without scrolling to Page 2 in that section!), some of 'em within a couple of entries of each other!
Last edited by Sivadam; 27th March 2012 at 03:26 PM.
Thought I'd check mine this morning and see what is still outstanding. Strangely it seems to have wiped out all my own votes.. So I put them back in and added two more to the totals!
It's marked as duplicate and 'delivered by Autmn 2011 Release'. It ain't delieverd yet - you still can't Review Profiles via SLG - and 'Unapproved' Reports still do not feed back to SLG. And I was at the last SLG Software Consultation meeting when these CRs were discussed and rationalised with the ex-Product Manager!
Now that is one that I might just revive if it is not included after the changes are made to the CR System! It's over 3 year's old now and well supported - to say that few users will go back that far to find it!
Glad this is happening, but I would also like to be able to submit CRs via customer support managers, customer briefings, account managers, etc. I usually think of these things when in conversation with Capita staff but they are unable to move the process forward, just direct me to SupportNet. Seven years of the same answer has led me to stop attending meetings as I feel there is little point if feedback from customers cannot be acted upon. Drives me nuts!
Last edited by skunk; 28th March 2012 at 05:37 PM.
I'd just like the ability to attach screenshots to Case Logs. I mean, it's 2012 after all.
matt40k (28th March 2012)
Support for CR No. 1203-1071007 would be appreciated today. We need to get 20 votes on by the end of the day to ensure that it is preserved in the new system!
It is re. Discover and is asking for a further breakdown analysis of Absence Categories!
Thanks to those that feel they can support it!
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