Our guiding principles to handle Feature Requests

05-Mar-2020 · Felix Fung

"I want something that is not in Backstage, what can I do?"

From time to time we received requests from clients wanting to add a new feature in Backstage. We welcome every piece of suggestions because they help us in building a better software. However, for the very same reason, we cannot work on every of these requests without careful evaluation. Otherwise Backstage will soon become a bulky and hard-to-understand monster.

We position ourselves as a software developer as well as operator of Backstage HR system. Through efficient development and operations, we are able to provide affordable yet powerful HR software to those who would like to grow with us and other clients. There will be trade-off with this (e.g. turning down non-HR development) but we choose to stay with the rule. Following are some principles we used when evaluating your requests:

Objective and reasonable: we may missed out some considerations in our design and we are happy to surrender to logic and reasons. This also relates to data accuracy and richness. Many clients help pointing out such cases and make Backstage a better place.

Clean and subtle: as we added more features to Backstage, the software itself is growing in complexity so do ease of using and the effort to maintain. We also need to consider all existing clients such that their uses are not affected. For example, adding a new checking rule is easier than adding a new report, which in turn is easier than changing the layout of a particular page.

Number of clients who will be benefited: if multiple clients will be benefited from this change, then there will be a higher probability that we work on this. For example, after having several clients in the F&B industry, we extended our leave entitlement to support Holiday as leave balance.

Is Useful boosting Productivity and Friendliness in workplace: if you found yourself repeatedly doing the same task in Backstage, let us know and we are happy to tackle this problem. Also, if you have a great idea to engage your staffs, let us know and we will look at this. A recent example is the "To Do List" module that we are excited to add into Backstage free of charge.

"What if I really need this?"

We will discard some requests which seems to be subjective or making Backstage less maintainable. For example, if we spend time to discuss the color or font of every buttons in a particular page, we will soon run out of time and never get the proper work done. For other workable requests, we will suggest a workaround, queue this as a feature request, or issue a quote for you as customization. Actually this is the application of "Quality, Time, Price" triangle:


(source: https://favpng.com/png_view/animators-project-management-triangle-quality-cost-png/XEZNsqNf)