Simple Safety Coach Product Development Process
By Mike Harper | 08/06/2020
In Part I of this blog series, we discussed why we created Simple Safety Coach. Part II provided an overview of what we have put into the software, and why. Now in Part III, we’ll talk a little bit about how we go about building out additional capabilities and improving the quality of the software.
The initial release included support for what we considered a couple of foundational features of safety, accident reporting and safety observations. We took that core “on the road” not just to sell, but to learn.
From each person and company that we have talked to, we ask and listen to the issues they are facing. When we do this, we’re on the lookout for three things:
- Is Simple Safety Coach a good fit for you – can we help solve our challenges? We aren’t going to be right for everyone, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to try determine that up front.
- What are the broad-based capabilities you might be looking for? Things like employee participation programs, SDS management, mobile app, etc.
- What is needed to make Simple Safety Coach fit into your business processes. Some of this has to do with what reports are needed, what access is needed, what data is needed, etc. Most often this feedback addresses the “how” something should work which is the next level of detail from the “what” it should do.
Everything we hear that has the possibility of being applicable and value-add goes into a “product backlog” (the product backlog is a list of all of the possible capabilities that could go into the software). We then periodically “groom” the backlog, which ranks and determines what the development team works on building into the product. Our goal is to incorporate a balance of incremental improvements to existing capabilities as well as new features.
When we hear the same thing from multiple sources, it ranks higher within the backlog. At times, we get requests that, on the surface, seem to be very client specific. When we encounter those situations, we try to back up and determine the objective, then see if we can meet the objective in a way that would be useful across a broad range of clients.
We repeat this continuous improvement process, so that you, the client or prospective client, can not only have your actual needs addressed initially, but also have a partner that is listening and improving as the world, and you, evolve.
At the end of day, Simple Safety Coach is addressing a need that we saw in the marketplace. The need for an intuitive, comprehensive and affordable tool for assisting organizations in building a robust and engaging safety component within the business culture was clear. Leveraging my background in SaaS software delivery, it was readily apparent to me that we could help customers create a safer and more productive workplace…..and YOU are the best advocates for how that should happen!