…and what better way is there than to hear from a Product Manager directly on how it's done. Here a chat with @Patric_Nordstrom, the Product Manager for Qlik Sense visualizations and GeoAnalytics.
Mattias: Hello Patric, please tell us a little about yourself. Patric: I live with my family in Gothenburg, Sweden and I’ve been with Qlik since 2017. Since I started here I’ve been involved in 13 new product releases and a total of 131 new product features.
Mattias: How much does customer feedback impact the product roadmap? Patric: For my own line of business I’d say it’s around a 70/30 split. 70% is from customers and 30% from inside Qlik.
Mattias: Why not 100% customer feedback? Patric: Well it’s not easy to balance on the path to the optimal roadmap. Although I use customer ideas and feedback when building the roadmap, I also have to listen to our Executive team, ideas from our development team and also implement and focus on new things that keep us relevant in the business, Qlik Research is very active in bringing in new concepts. So there are several different listening posts to listen to, and several strategic decisions to take from those.
Mattias: What listening posts do you and the other PMs use for collecting product feedback and new ideas? Patric: I have several discussions with customers and try my best to keep my eyes and ears open to their wishes. I know others are doing the same too. And then the increasingly important Ideas page that we have here on the community of course. The previous system was internal, so the ideas were most often registered after a Qlik Sales representative “came back“ with ideas after a customer interaction. But it wasn’t an optimal solution, so I’m extremely happy that this Community Ideas page has been set up. It is very, very valuable for all us product managers.
Mattias: So how does it work? How does the ideas reach you? Patric: After a new idea has been submitted to the Ideas page on Qlik Community it’s reviewed and assigned to a product manager depending on its nature. We then have a Qlik Sense app where we can see all ideas and their status. We can see how many have visited the individual Ideas page, how many comments it has and of course the amount of likes. There are other parameters as well but I can’t tell you all of those unfortunately. All of these parameters are then weighed together to produce a score showing how sought after this new feature is, but also how much resources are needed to have it implemented in the product. We update the status of the Idea on Community as we progress in the process. So people can see exactly where we’re at with the new idea. It’s important to also read the underlying descriptions of each status. It’s then my job to add this list of desired new features to my product plan. All product managers present their “wish list” it to the management team who in turn prioritize the new features on a more holistic level. After that is done we schedule the development with our R&D team and get resources allocated to build it out.
Mattias: How long does it take? Patric: It all depends on the complexity of the new feature of course. But in order to ensure we’re identifying the new product features most sought after we sometimes need several months before we can commit to a new feature. The actual development takes time of course, and we need to ensure we have a solid testing period before we release anything new so we continue to deliver a strong quality product.
Mattias: Can you give us a hint of what’s coming in the next release? Patric: Releases can change up until the last few days, so it’s not 100% set in stone just yet. But I am fairly confident in one new Product feature I can hint to. I won’t say it, but you can try and “buy a vowel”.
Mattias: What else would you like to tell people? Patric: Ok, this will be a feast of links, so prepare. If you haven’t already, check out theIdeas page on Qlik Community. If you’re passionate about helping us define perfection and drive the product roadmap submit your best ideas and feature requests on that page. Be active in commenting and liking the ones that are already there. With every new release I always post slides and apps on the Technical Previews page and they should definitely check out the Demo page where the team also uploads a demo app with the newest features of the latest release.
Mattias: Thanks for the chat Patric, it has been really interesting.
Go and vote: Use the Ideas page on Qlik Community! And should you ever get invited to a survey from us: please share your feedback there as well! We listen. We act.