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How to suggest improvements or new features

We are always on the lookout for ways to make our products better for our customers and if you want to let us know any ways in which existing functions can be better, or about new features and functions you would like to see, we'd love to hear them and it is as simple as logging a call with the service desk. Doing it through the service desk allows us to link back to you so that we can let you know their status and if they are being included in a release. To help us best make use of your suggestions, what need to know is:

For enhancements to existing features
  • Which feature could be better
  • How it could be improved
  • The benefits of the improvement

E.g: I think the bulk upload function would benefit from being able to upload different account types because we regularly have to create dozens of new Access accounts.

For new features
  • What new thing you would like the product to be able to do
  • Why you would like it to be able to do that

E.g. I would like to be able to select accounts from a search results and edit the same field (whole and partial) for all selected accounts via the interface so that I don't need to download and re-upload files.

What happens to enhancement and feature requests

We use an Agile methodology for OpenAthens development which involves a list of things to do called a product backlog and units of work called sprints. Ideas and requests feed into our product management process where they are assessed for desirability, practicality and feasibility, and prioritised accordingly. If they are items that are already on the product backlog, then the priority of that item may be adjusted. Priorities and ordering of backlog items will change over time as the product develops and the needs of the market change.

Sprints take a sub-set of the backlog that covers a single area and select the high priority items from there for development.

Do they all get accepted into the backlog?

Some ideas will not be possible to take forward and in those cases we would tell you so and why. For example something that, whilst good for you, would be bad for other users would not go forward.

Are some more likely to get done than others?

The things that go to the top of the list are the ones that will clearly benefit most or all users of the system.

From time to time we may ask your opinion on potential developments so that we can understand your needs better.

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