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ClickShare’s wireless presentation and conferencing technology makes remote communication and interaction easy and natural for its customers. The product is a success from the Enterprise division of Barco, a global company that also produces audio-visual solutions for the entertainment and healthcare industry.
Over the past five years, the ClickShare team has grown from 10 to more than 100 people as the company’s software has helped to transform more than 750,000 meeting rooms around the world into collaboration spaces. This expansion has also brought challenges, especially when aligning ClickShare’s product management processes with the wider Barco organization.
While reviewing their internal processes, the team found that when looking back and while scaling up it became a struggle to explain why new features were developed or which customer requests were prioritized. The team knew it was time to modernize its process.
ClickShare’s Product Managers had been using the tracking tool Jira to initiate and manage new product requests with Product and Engineering teams. However, that system didn’t provide the ability to add much context around why these requests were being made.
A move to collaboration platform Confluence helped Product Managers add a little more background to requests. However, the team felt they still lacked a clear trail connecting the customer feedback collected by Sales and Customer Service and the features and fixes that developers were prioritizing.
“Customer Service has a tendency to give you a customer ask and expect a response on it as soon as possible to help that customer or Sales wants a feature added to help them close a deal,” explains Director of Product Management, Michael Vanderheeren. “We weren’t rigorously documenting these insights and showing what was important beyond what was in my head and those of the other Product Managers and our mailbox.”
After exploring a range of specialized product management tools, the ClickShare team chose ProductBoard, particularly for its inbuilt ability to trace a feature request directly back to the market insight that prompted it. The Insights feature immediately provided the full audit trail for new ideas that the team had been lacking.
With each feature request now having full context, Product Managers can make more strategic decisions about what developers should work on next. It is also easier to communicate these decisions with people outside the Product team, who finally have access to the priorities list.
Customer Service and Sales now have complete visibility into when their specific request is scheduled to be implemented and can see the wider context for why it may not be the Product team’s most immediate priority.
“At any given time, we can look at our roadmap and see exactly why we decided that a feature was important,” adds Michael. “That’s what attracted us to Productboard. We can trace a request back to a market insight or an input from an internal discussion or see that five of our biggest customers have asked about it.”
Having started with Productboard’s Insights Board, the team moved on to the platform’s other features. Clickshare uses the Portal to share new product ideas and feature prototypes with specific customers, whose feedback is then used to shape the next iteration.
The team used Portal when developing ClickShare Conference, which allows customers to wirelessly share apps to the meeting room display and connect to the microphone, camera and speakers of the room. While changing the overall product experience, a small change and its impact in an early version could have been overlooked, except that eight different customers noted the problem in their Portal feedback so the Product team knew to prioritize the fix.
For Michael, this kind of continual feedback loop that allows a product to be constantly updated and evolve based on customer feedback is the hallmark of great software.
“Netflix is a great example of this,” he says. “They look at user data and adapt and update their service based on what they see. But as a user, you don’t even know it’s happening. We’ve started to implement the same thing. Getting that feedback loop going is really valuable and is one of the most powerful benefits of Productboard.”
Productboard has become ClickShare’s one-stop shop for managing product deliverables from initial idea to research and evaluation to final execution and iteration. The Product team has continued to add more rigor to its process through the use of additional features like prioritization scores, drivers indicators and objectives.
The platform has even made creating presentations to the wider Barco business simpler, as Product Managers can simply create customized views of the roadmap or prioritized list of features straight from Productboard.
As access to Productboard expands across the business to Barco’s other divisions, the ability to customize what specific people or departments see is useful in ensuring quick access to the most relevant information.
“Though Barco creates very diverse products,” concludes Michael, “we believe that Productboard will be useful for all our divisions. My goal is that anyone talking with a customer about a potential new feature can simply access the roadmap in Productboard and tell them exactly when it will be implemented.”
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