Build a User community to provide a user product roadmap for Docebo Development

  • 14 November 2022
  • 10 replies
  • 130 views

Userlevel 4

Good morning everyone.   I have been talking with a few key people in Docebo and after many conversations it has become clear to me that the Product team is not getting a full picture of what key improvements and features are needed by many of their customers.   I would like to start a Sub group that is made up of a broad range of customers from various markets where we can identify what features and functions we need to have the Docebo team work on.    These can be anything from key functionality to bug fix to filling out partially developed functionality.

 

We would need to come up with a list of things we believe should be worked on and in the order of their importance to the overall platform.  We should put together use cases and benefits.   Once we have this then we should sit down with the development team and explain each one of them and show a fully thought out solution and not just a quick fix.

 

I believe that this will help the Docebo product become more stable and more competitive than they are now.   People with experience in multiple LMS platforms and knowledge of competitive landscapes are most welcome to help us in this effort. 

 

Please PM me and we will start up a group and get this going.  Please include your market, region and the number of licenses your organization has with Docebo so that I can help get a diverse view across the user base. I have already talked to some Docebo staff to let them know this is what we are going to do and they welcome this type of feedback as they know there are needs that are not being met and that they have opportunities to make this product better.

Thank you

  • Eric VanAuken

10 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

I am curious about this and how you envision it to be different than the community for impacting and not just a rehash. While I’ll agree there’s always room for improvement, it does sound very similar to some of the goals of the community. 

Userlevel 4

I am curious about this and how you envision it to be different than the community for impacting and not just a rehash. While I’ll agree there’s always room for improvement, it does sound very similar to some of the goals of the community. 

The main difference is looking at the larger picture of what needs to be addressed.  In most cases the suggestions/ideas here point out a singular type of issue or fault.   What I am working with the Docebo team on is fixing systemic issues,

Prime examples are:   I put in a suggestion/idea to fix the rights of an instructor as they should not have the rights to add or delete material from a course.   I have also spoken up about adding a profile for Direct Manager into the assignment for a course.  This would allow for the direct manager to be the one who sees the assignments to only the people who they manage.

While both of those ideas are good ideas it is just small fixes to the bigger problem.  The bigger issue and need is to allow for truly customizable rights for roles.   Most other LMS systems allow for this and that is where Docebo is way behind the curve.   

 

What happens with their development team is that they see these simple ideas and build a bandaid solution to the problem but never go after the real problem.  It is because they do not have a systemic solution with a viable use case that explains all of the needs and a viable solution path.   I am simply working with the teams here to try and put together the larger picture and then have key customers come together and share those needs and explain to the development team how this will benefit the overall platform as well as their share of the market.

 

This is the difference behind how this would work.  I have had discussions with the internal Docebo teams and many feel that this may be a better way of driving the correct solutions.   What many people do not understand is that there is a “White Glove” approach in Docebo that they will make systemic changes for larger customers for a charge and the rest of the platform either gains or feels the pain of those solutions.   I am trying to use that mentality by having the larger customers come together and propose a solution that is not a quick fix but rather a true solution that is thoughtful and useful for many.  I am also bringing to this and looking for people who have experience in multiple platforms.  I currently manage platforms in over 60 different LMS systems and can help the teams understand what is best practice across the various LMS systems and I am looking for others with this experience to help drive the same thoughts.

I have reached out to their CEO and Product leads in the past and have had good experience influencing their decisions,   I think that we as a sub team could have a stronger voice in influencing this more than I can alone.

 

I hope this helps you understand how this is different and why this is needed as Docebo tends not to look at the larger more strategic picture and they do not have as much experience in other platforms as many of us do and they could benefit from our guidance.

 

  • Eric VanAuken
Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Hmm, interesting. From your description I actually feel like it almost points to a meta problem of the problem. The core issue you are describing comes back to solid product management, roadmapping, and feature alignment. There is a different role for individual ideas vs. that, and some would argue individual users can’t fulfil the role you are speaking of, which triggered my first thought.

From your description it sounds actually like the core core issue is how the Docebo development team and product teams are established and plan their cadence, since individual ideas are fine, but should be looked at their core to see the underlying issue instead of purely “this person asked for X, we made X”. While I agree customers should influence, I get worried of a sub dedicated group being the pure influence in that direction as it can skew to their needs (I also get worried with the phrases best practices as often that results in just more of the same when there is often value to not do it that way, as you point out there are many options out there doing the same). Have seen this happen many times in the formation of working groups, feedback groups, etc. in the product development cycle and its a tough thing to balance and not fall into. While the core needs of that group get met, other items that should have can get overlooked too.

I am aware of the white glove team, have paid for several features now available to all, and designed a couple too, we often joke about it. I am not so sure that example fits though, as inevitably its just a single person with cash resources getting their feature built, and maybe not in a way that accounts for the other user’s scenarios, and maybe not in a way that does go solve the core functional issue that resulted in the problem in the first place.

I wonder if some sort of intermediary solve is the path here, right now the community you are right is heavily focused on “I tried to do X and I couldn’t do X please fix it so I can do X”. Which is a first stage, analyzing and bundling and looking for underlying trends of these individual items should come next, and then prioritization of those bundles next. It would be awesome if there was a more public way to do this then just what we see on the individual ideas and comment updates, but again get worried of it being a closed group of select individuals, I can’t imagine that doesn’t actually already exist at the company and is already showing the problems you are describing, while yours might get fixed directly this way, I am skeptical it wouldn’t just trigger a few more segmentations down the line of the same complaint against the sub group.

Public roadmap with alignment of features and ideas would be an awesome step forward though, happy to see what you can do.

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Hypothetically ideas voting is supposed to do this, but I feel like it isn’t that representative of all users’ needs. I’m not sure how to improve it.

 

Roadmap would be fabulous.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Hypothetically ideas voting is supposed to do this, but I feel like it isn’t that representative of all users’ needs. I’m not sure how to improve it.

 

Roadmap would be fabulous.

Voting helps to prioritize community want to the team that should then be bundling and aligning to feature levels, not a pure factor since if improving a feature for one element might warrant improvement to others while ‘the box is open’ so to speak, but looking at the bundle as a whole helps to organize that too, all activities needed and have different purposes typically in product development. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Hypothetically ideas voting is supposed to do this, but I feel like it isn’t that representative of all users’ needs. I’m not sure how to improve it.

 

Roadmap would be fabulous.

Voting helps to prioritize community want to the team that should then be bundling and aligning to feature levels, not a pure factor since if improving a feature for one element might warrant improvement to others while ‘the box is open’ so to speak, but looking at the bundle as a whole helps to organize that too, all activities needed and have different purposes typically in product development. 

Can you elaborate? I think I know what you mean but not sure

Userlevel 4

Hypothetically ideas voting is supposed to do this, but I feel like it isn’t that representative of all users’ needs. I’m not sure how to improve it.

 

Roadmap would be fabulous.

Voting helps to prioritize community want to the team that should then be bundling and aligning to feature levels, not a pure factor since if improving a feature for one element might warrant improvement to others while ‘the box is open’ so to speak, but looking at the bundle as a whole helps to organize that too, all activities needed and have different purposes typically in product development. 

From my experience and with talking to certain areas in Docebo there seems to be a disconnect in what is being asked for and what is needed .   They try to go after the quick hits while the bigger issues persist and they do not seem to understand the competitive landscape and what others are doing to solve the problems.  It is a sign of a development team that is understaffed and no one at the product strategy level driving a direction.

 

I was one of the key players that drove Docebo to start the community and suggested to them the idea of voting on ideas.   I brought that over from the Oracle and Cornerstone world.   Unfortunately they are not looking at the larger picture and that is where this newly formed group could help.   

 

How to improve this is building a strong roadmap from the community and presenting it in a way that their development team can build on.    This is not to say we do not look at the ideas as a starting point for the bigger issues that are part of the community, but lets face it there are many solutions that have been rolled out that are only a tenth of the way thought or built out.   We need to help them focus in on finishing the solution and doing it in a way that the real world uses vs. that of what they think the real world needs.  For examples:  Look at Extended enterprise or Reporting or permissions and rights or recording all course attempts and completions or reoccurring training…..etc.    Many of those solutions are not well thought out and we need to help the development team understand the priority and the fully thought out solution vs. taking quick fixes for specific problems raised in the idea center.   When they do that they find that the fix sometimes breaks code or other portions of the LMS.   This is because they do not look at the bigger picture and do not do all of the appropriate QC testing before they roll something out.    I am suggesting that we need to form a team that helps with this.

 

I have already gotten a few names and will bring the group together to start the discussion I have asked for here.   I do have some reach inside of Docebo and will be talking to the appropriate teams about what this team comes up with.   

 

I hope this helps

  • Eric VanAuken
Userlevel 4

Hypothetically ideas voting is supposed to do this, but I feel like it isn’t that representative of all users’ needs. I’m not sure how to improve it.

 

Roadmap would be fabulous.

Voting helps to prioritize community want to the team that should then be bundling and aligning to feature levels, not a pure factor since if improving a feature for one element might warrant improvement to others while ‘the box is open’ so to speak, but looking at the bundle as a whole helps to organize that too, all activities needed and have different purposes typically in product development. 

Can you elaborate? I think I know what you mean but not sure

Lets take reporting for example:

There may be an idea to add Direct managers to one report.  Someone else may want to add the learning plan to another report on courses.  Yet another person may ask for a report that shows active users by the month….etc.   

 The development team will look at the idea that gets the most votes and may say lets do something about the Learning plan to course report.   It may be the easiest and quickest fix.   However the real larger solution is to have a reporting engine that takes into account the database schema and either allows users to build out specific reports that include any or all appropriate fields they need based on a more open reporting tool   Or it could be they incorporate something like Crystal ball that helps people build out the appropriate report.

 

But the main thing here is that they look at the ideas and try to check off the highest voted on solution without looking at the underlying problem/solution

Userlevel 4

Hmm, interesting. From your description I actually feel like it almost points to a meta problem of the problem. The core issue you are describing comes back to solid product management, roadmapping, and feature alignment. There is a different role for individual ideas vs. that, and some would argue individual users can’t fulfil the role you are speaking of, which triggered my first thought.

From your description it sounds actually like the core core issue is how the Docebo development team and product teams are established and plan their cadence, since individual ideas are fine, but should be looked at their core to see the underlying issue instead of purely “this person asked for X, we made X”. While I agree customers should influence, I get worried of a sub dedicated group being the pure influence in that direction as it can skew to their needs (I also get worried with the phrases best practices as often that results in just more of the same when there is often value to not do it that way, as you point out there are many options out there doing the same). Have seen this happen many times in the formation of working groups, feedback groups, etc. in the product development cycle and its a tough thing to balance and not fall into. While the core needs of that group get met, other items that should have can get overlooked too.

I am aware of the white glove team, have paid for several features now available to all, and designed a couple too, we often joke about it. I am not so sure that example fits though, as inevitably its just a single person with cash resources getting their feature built, and maybe not in a way that accounts for the other user’s scenarios, and maybe not in a way that does go solve the core functional issue that resulted in the problem in the first place.

I wonder if some sort of intermediary solve is the path here, right now the community you are right is heavily focused on “I tried to do X and I couldn’t do X please fix it so I can do X”. Which is a first stage, analyzing and bundling and looking for underlying trends of these individual items should come next, and then prioritization of those bundles next. It would be awesome if there was a more public way to do this then just what we see on the individual ideas and comment updates, but again get worried of it being a closed group of select individuals, I can’t imagine that doesn’t actually already exist at the company and is already showing the problems you are describing, while yours might get fixed directly this way, I am skeptical it wouldn’t just trigger a few more segmentations down the line of the same complaint against the sub group.

Public roadmap with alignment of features and ideas would be an awesome step forward though, happy to see what you can do.

BINGO!!!

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Agree that it’s much better to make improvements at the systemic level than applying band-aid solutions to issues as they crop up. If this initiative can do that and benefit both smaller and bigger customers, I am all for it.

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