I’m sure every company has the same problem with software enhancements. The company needs or wants their software fixed, patched, or provided additional software support fast, but in all reality, it may be years before it's implemented into one of the upgraded versions that matches your immediate needs. Here are a couple of techniques or avenues to advance your software ehancement request.
First submit the software enhancement request to the software company, listing detailed information.
This includes describing the enhancement you are requesting;
Explain benefits or changes that would result from the enhancement;
Provide steps to take to in getting to specific areas or changes (Don’t let the developers guess at what you are wanting/needing);
Add the step by step procedures that you are having to implement for the current work around system.
Set software enhancement priorities for the software company (High to Low). Verify if it’s a "bug" or an "enhancement". Bugs should be resolved quickly by implementing patches. A customer should never have to request previous functions to a software enhancement request.
It should be the individual submitting the request to keep track of all enhancements submitted, and not the software company's responsibility.
Make sure that the software company receives the request and has forward or submitted the request to development for review. If possible, the company should request to be placed on an approved software enhancement mailing list.
Check all versions Release Notes to see if the enhancement was implemented to mark off your list.
A company should join an organizations and participate in forums to gain contact information, and talk to fellow colleagues regarding their experiences and to gain knowledge on what works in their business environment. Should try and discuss how they utilize their system and what type of environment they operate in, including any issues they have encountered. They may have resolved some of the same issues that you could implement and eliminate the enhancement request. If you find that they agree in regards to the software enhancement you submitted, then provide them with the information so they can submit the same software inhancement request. The more companies that complain or request the enhancement, the higher the priority for this request goes.
Follow up on the request, through Technical Support and Development
Get third party vendors and consultants involved in your request.
However, there is always another option. As a company, you can pay a company for a development team to implement the enhancement for your company. Check on their cost per hour, and how many hours they expect for the software enhancement to take. This will help you determine if it’s worth pursuing or to continue and wait until the enhancement is implemented in a version of the software compatible with your in-house system.
Sometimes the loudest and most determined person gets the desired results. Good luck on your endeavor for software enhancements.
Do you have any suggestions you would like to share or concerns you would like to voice? Please share your feedback, it may benefit and help others.
Senior Project/Program Director for ApplicationXtender
University of Arkansas for Medical Science