Inside Foundant – the Blog

Continued Improvement in Product Development

We kicked off 2013 by releasing version 3.2.0 of Foundant GLM on January 2 – a great way to start the new year. This release, which came on the heels of a major release in December, included improvements to the look and feel of GLM, quite a few Idea Lab items submitted by our clients, and a handful of minor bug fixes.  We’re currently in the process of starting development for our 3.4.0 release – 3.3.0 is already in our demo environment and should go into production next week – so from the perspective of development and quality assurance, things have been steadily busy.

There are a couple things I feel good about as we’ve settled into 2013. First, I believe we’re going to get more done this year than last. I don’t say that lightly – we have more users and more features all the time, and making changes to a system being heavily used can take more effort and care than doing new development. However, I have seen us delivering more already; our 3.2.0 and 3.3.0 releases have each included more content than the typical 2012 release. That’s partially a result of ongoing improvements we’re making to our development process. A stronger process helps us release higher quality code, which in turn enables us to focus more energy on enhancements and new features and less on fixing bugs. In addition, Joey Dennehy, our newest developer, is continuing to learn the system and is increasingly able to take on more work. In the last few releases, this additional capacity enabled us to address more Idea Lab items and some small (but annoying!) bugs.

Second, I believe we’re going to continue getting the right things done. Thanks in large part to our clients, we have a pretty good idea of the improvements that will add value for our users. Between our 2012 Summit, the Idea Lab dialogues, conversations at conferences, and direct communication, I know we’ve continued to get a better understanding of the types of changes our users want. Given the 2013 user groups, and 2013 Summit, there will be additional opportunities for your input in the upcoming year. Our product team has also continued to improve on prioritizing user suggestions and strategic product direction, and that’s increasingly important as we have more and more input.

I’m also excited about the number of user-generated ideas that we’ve been able to implement in the last 12 months, and I’m looking forward to continuing that trend. Of the 140+ unique Idea Lab items, we’ve implemented about 50.  I’m sure many of them have felt like obvious additions but that’s exactly why your feedback is so important. While we are often in the software – doing trainings, deploying new clients, debugging issues, etc. – our perspective is really different than that of our users, and we will miss things that can make a big difference. So, thank you for all your Idea Lab items, we appreciate your suggestions and for helping us make the product stronger.

On a final note, after the 3.2.0 release, we looked back at a version of GLM from 2 years ago – a LOT has changed. I think we’re all excited to see what GLM will look like at the end of 2013.