Knowledge Anywhere understands the importance of staying ahead of the curve with new features and functionalities. In this article, we will take a behind-the-scenes look at how Knowledge Anywhere chooses new features for our online training platform and plans our roadmap in order to create and manage a continuously improving learning solution.
Understanding Customer Needs
Understanding our customer's needs is critical to delivering a successful training platform. To gather customer feedback, we use a variety of methods to obtain client feedback, including LMS surveys, user testing, one-on-one conversations, customer user groups twice yearly, and multiple "Submit an Idea" forms on our platforms. We take all feedback seriously, whether it's a small suggestion or a major pain point.
Here are a few examples of specific features that we've created based on specific customer feedback:
- Digital Signatures
- Using Hire Date as a course assignment criteria
- Open Sesame and Linkedin Learning integrations
- Instructor Led Training (ILT) Waitlisting automatically "upgraded" to a solid seat
Once a new feature is released, we communicate with our customers through email notifications, LMS notifications, Help Desk Announcements, website video demos and blogs featuring our latest updates, personal communication through Account Managers, and scheduled customer virtual user groups, where we walk through the new features live.
Identifying Industry Trends and Innovations
Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in the eLearning industry. This helps us not only to anticipate customer needs but also to set ourselves apart from our competitors.
To stay informed about the latest developments, we regularly attend industry conferences, follow industry thought leaders, and keep a close eye on emerging technologies. We also analyze data on user behavior and usage patterns to identify any areas that could be improved.
One example of a feature that was added in response to an emerging trend is our integration with virtual reality (VR) technologies. As VR became more mainstream, we saw an opportunity to provide a more immersive learning experience for our customers. Our team worked to develop relationships with VR training creators that allow our users to create and deliver customized VR training modules, which have been well-received by our customers.
We also consider if the technology used in the feature is compliant with industry standards and if it's upgrading or changing, such as Google Analytics' move from Universal to GA4, or Microsoft retiring .NET frameworks. We ensure that our technology stack is always up-to-date and compatible with the latest industry standards.
Evaluating Development Effort and Business Impact
In this section, we will discuss how Knowledge Anywhere evaluates the development effort and business impact when deciding on new features for our product roadmap.
Firstly, we evaluate the effort required to develop a new feature against its potential impact on our business and customers. We consider factors such as customer retention, value, and potential future sales revenue based on the new feature. Our product development team talks cross-departmentally with sales, support, developers, and account managers to get a feel for how we can add value to our customers' experience while also improving our bottom line.
From here, we place all potential feature requests and ideas into a roadmap planning platform and estimate each idea's development effort vs. business impact. This creates a chart, showing where features fall on a weighted matrix. Then, the product development team discusses and chooses the top priorities in the next upcoming sprints, continuing additional research and creating wireframes before introducing them to the development team.
In conclusion, successful roadmap planning for an online training company requires a deep understanding of customer needs, identification of emerging trends and innovations, and a careful evaluation of development efforts and business impact. By gathering customer feedback, keeping up with industry trends, and weighing the costs and benefits of new features, Knowledge Anywhere develops a roadmap that meets the needs of current and future customers. To talk with a team member about our roadmap, you can contact us here.