Software development is easy, but managing software development is hard. When asked for timelines on feature requests, software developers will offer vague answers such as “soon”, “next release” or the ever-helpful “it’s on the roadmap,” expertly avoiding a definitive answer as well as the best politician.
As Mappt is a new product, feature requests come in thick and fast, much faster than our team of handsome developers can implement. Because of this, prioritisation becomes key.
All feature requests (and bug requests) made to the Mappt team, be they verbal, written or mimed, are catalogued into our internal “backlog,” to be reviewed, estimated, prioritised and scheduled for implementation at a later date.
When work on the current set of features and bug fixes is complete, the Mappt team sits down at the Table of Meeting and looks through each item in the backlog, fleshing out the details and putting an estimate against each one.
Each item is then prioritised against the others, giving us a rough “order of implementation.” We then calculate how much developer time we have to address these items, based on developer availability, as well as set a target date for implementation. From these figures, we can confidently determine exactly which items will be implemented (and bugs fixed) by the target date. The team as a whole agrees to the defined set of work, making a promise to deliver on-time, and pets are given up as collateral.
This is all roughly based on the principles of the Agile method of software development.
The whole process usually takes anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the urgency of publishing a new version to the Google Play store. This means that at the time a feature request comes in, even in ideal circumstances, it may be a few months before it finds its way into a public Mappt build.
Of course, there are always exceptions. In cases where items are critical to client needs, we can accelerate development or offer custom builds. We consider these types of situation on a needs basis, so feel free to contact any of the team if you need some special love.