Howdy, present and potential ActivTrak customers! I’m George Butler, and I’m the Director of Software Improvement right here at ActivTrak. As a director, I put on many hats, some more colourful than others. I handle the event group, prioritize and assign duties, assist design and refine architectures, and I work with the technical help and gross sales groups to triage pressing customer issues. To take care of an agile product technique, it’s important that I collaborate with administration and the remaining of the workforce to create a product roadmap for the company.
A product roadmap is a abstract of the vision a company has for his or her product over a selected time period. Without one, you’re wandering around aimlessly within the wilderness!
I consider what we’ve put together is a superb product roadmap instance for others to comply with, and I hope you will discover it as thrilling as I do, regardless of the color of your hat.
Ideas for Making a Product Roadmap
In both life and software program improvement, issues often go higher if you already know the place you’re heading earlier than you begin. In the software world, the top objective is defined by the products and features that might convey probably the most value and be of biggest attraction to our present and future clients.
By defining and agreeing upon objectives collectively, your complete firm, from Administration, Advertising, Help, Sales and Improvement, can be certain that everyone seems to be shifting in the same course. At ActivTrak, we accomplish this over time by making certain the smaller selections we make day by day align with our objectives.
Part of the method of creating a product roadmap is to determine a time-frame in your plans. Personally, I wish to plan out three years prematurely. Part of creating an agile product roadmap is to simply accept that things will change dramatically between now and the top date. But having a spot on the horizon to give attention to one way or the other brings the present into higher focus.
Long-term objectives are based mostly on several elements. First, it is best to actively solicit suggestions internally from most departments within the firm. In our case, we speak to the sales, advertising, and dev teams. The second issue takes you outdoors the office. Watch industry tendencies and take heed to what analysts need to say about your market. Control your rivals and what they’re rolling out. However I feel an important think about creating your objectives is listening to what clients need to say about what capabilities they might discover useful.
All this stuff together coalesce right into a set of specific and practical options to pursue. Once I’ve an inventory of potential features, I put on one of my hats (I are likely to assume of it as a French-style artist hat) and work with administration to prioritize, scope and sequence these features. As you do the same, don’t give attention to all of your objectives all at one time. Take the “good parts” to work on for the subsequent 12 months, and publish these as the upcoming yr’s roadmap.
The Key to an Agile Roadmap
There’s one factor it’s a must to accept when creating and following your product roadmap: The only thing you might be 100% positive of is that the plan will change. Enterprise circumstances change, assumptions become inaccurate, and assets get pulled in several directions. As upkeep is a component of any street system, as it is with a roadmap. However in the event you’ve thought concerning the priorities, scope, and sequence of your deliberate developments, you possibly can anticipate how modifications will impression the roadmap and might be proactive in retaining stakeholders knowledgeable.
Wanting back at our 2018 roadmap, we have been about 80% on track. One of my favorite options we added was Video Playback. Implementing it in ActivTrak introduced some fascinating challenges for the staff, but I enjoyed seeing the onerous work pay off.
Some gadgets from 2018 have been pushed into the 2019 roadmap as a result of a change in enterprise priorities. However without my 2018 roadmap and our means to be agile, we’d be 0% on the right track (or no matter undefined math operation you possibly can perform on no goal).
ActivTrak’s 2019 Product Roadmap Example
Now that many exciting options from 2018 are accomplished, we flip to the 2019 roadmap.
Q1 will see options akin to:
Managed service provider/worth added reseller portal. This is the portal where current and new resellers can go to supervisor the person ActivTrak accounts that they resell. It provides them access to the present breakdown of licenses throughout their accounts and allows them to improve and reapportion licenses as they see fit.
Advanced knowledge console functionality. For people who purchase the Knowledge Console Add-on, all the info collected by your organization may be extra easily integrated with trendy BI tools. This allows you to do in-depth evaluation and reporting past the small print obtainable from ActivTrak’s native dashboard. Use your favourite BI tools akin to Tableau, Microsoft PowerBI, Google Huge Query and Google Knowledge Studio, and other BI toolsets.
Hierarchical admin. As it’s now, the Administrator of an ActivTrak account has the duty of configuring all users on the system: defining groups, productivity, and so forth. Hierarchical Admin permits full segmentation of duties. The task of configuration might be distributed amongst several individuals, each managing totally different teams and with no exposure to consumer info past the computer systems/teams they are assigned to.
Realtime screenshot thumbnails. Beforehand, Superior Plan users had the potential of reviewing real-time display photographs from chosen computers. Now screenshot thumbnails shall be displayed as a grid of computers that can be seen on one display, all updating in real-time.
Q2 strikes on to:
Cross-account reporting. It will embrace reviews where you’ll be able to examine your group’s productiveness metrics towards anonymized aggregates of others, seeing, as an example, how your workforce’s web site utilization compares to others’.
Optical character recognition. This add-on function will take screenshot photographs, course of them for any text on the display, and then will index this text so it may be searched. With this function, you possibly can search for any words or phrases which will seem in paperwork visible on a display, and get a returned listing of screenshots for any and all users that include the text.
AI indexing. By means of the use of synthetic intelligence, Screenshots may be analyzed and then assigned a class based mostly on the sort of image or content material in it. As soon as indexed and saved, you possibly can seek for all stored photographs that include footage of “puppies,” for example. Everybody loves to take a look at puppies.
Seen agent applet. Some organizations might want to have their finish users instantly interact with the brokers operating on their pc. We’ll add the option for admins to allow finish users to simply see the lively agent in their taskbar, along with the power to enable or disable it as desired.
Q3 drives towards:
Ingestion of different knowledge sources. The highly effective time-sequence knowledge in ActivTrak log entries present actions on a specific pc. When operating studies, it might be useful to incorporate outdoors actions in this knowledge, reminiscent of accessing a CRM system. Any external system that supports industry-standard webhooks will capable of be integrated with the ActivTrak Exercise Log so those actions may be immediately correlated with other consumer activity.
Anomaly/outliers. Upon getting historical productivity and knowledge out of your users, you’ve got a baseline of what normal and regular exercise seems like. Another AI function that we’ll be adding is machine studying. You’ll be able to take a look at this historic knowledge and generate fashions that align with the traditional conduct, after which create alarms to inform directors when there’s exercise outdoors this normal conduct.
Group-based productivity and categories. Right now, an internet site’s or software’s productiveness standing and category are international across the account. With group-based productivity, you will be able to outline totally different sets of productiveness and classes relying on which group customers belong to. You’ll have the ability to categorize an internet site as productive for one group, and unproductive for an additional.
Single-sign-on integration. Single-sign-on is a vital functionality. ActivTrak will take advantage of the most recent authentication requirements akin to OAuth2 and Okta, permitting integration and provisioning of ActivTrak accounts within present IT infrastructures.
Consumer-self viewing. Although the primary use case for ActivTrak is for managing groups of customers, there are instances where particular person users may like to watch their very own utilization instantly. This function will permit the top consumer to access the online interface and consider their usage reviews.
This fall finish line seems to:
Agent lock. In extreme instances, when a big event or menace is triggered, chances are you’ll need to lock the top consumer out of their system so exercise may be reviewed.
Automated category/productivity. When first establishing ActivTrak, you need to assign productiveness and categories to purposes and web sites. When this function is on the market, the system will recommend categories and productiveness settings. The ideas are based mostly on how other anonymous users have categorized them.
Gamification and leaderboard views. These features will present custom-made leaderboard or dashboard views, making it easier to show stats on an enormous display. Individuals may also monitor how they’re doing towards different anonymized users.
Integration with third social gathering tools comparable to Salesforce, Zendesk, Jira. This function will construct on the webhook integration with different knowledge sources. It’ll deliver pre-packaged webhook settings for use with widespread purposes. ActivTrak will acknowledge what these purposes are and move that info on to the Activity Log.
Ultimate Ideas on our Product Strategy
To drive the street metaphor additional into the ground, software program techniques want a superb foundation, just as a street does. First, let me put on my architect hat (an orange development website one). There’s an in depth enlargement in the underlying applied sciences that make these options work. Planning for and proactively adapting to the newest know-how is essential. We don’t need to have to tug over to the aspect of the street mid-year unexpectedly. Vital effort is being put forth to ensure that our underlying know-how continues to be strong. It has to deal with the present and future wants of our clients.
I hope you have got enjoyed the high-level overview of what 2019 is wanting like for ActivTrak. We’re already nicely on our strategy to designing and implementing these options. And as for the longer term, we’ll proceed to plan out features and capabilities into 2020 and past. We’re excited that you are alongside for the journey!