Our Product Roadmap and vision
At Arbor, we’re always looking for new ways to help schools work better. When we develop new features in our MIS, we design them to be intuitive, and to help school staff work faster and collaborate more at all levels.
Our Product Vision is to give School Leaders, Teachers and Admin Staff the tools they need to work faster and smarter - together. We have three core objectives:
- Provide staff with meaningful data they can use to identify and act on trends
- Design a school-focused MIS that helps speed up daily tasks and save staff time
- Develop ways for staff to work better together, creating more joined-up school communities
We keep these objectives in mind when building our Product Roadmap
Each term, we review the feedback we’ve received from customers and ask ourselves how Arbor can make the biggest impact to your working life. We prioritise based on this. We then publish our prioritised plans on our Product Roadmap, the go-to place to see what we’re working on.
On the roadmap you can see:
- Working on now - What we’re currently working on this term.
- Done - already live in Arbor! - Our most recent releases from less than a year ago. Check out our Change Log for full details of how to use any new features, or search our Help Centre
- All Categories - Feed back on what areas you'd like to improve in the future and how. We may not be working on these areas right away, but we still welcome your feedback.
We achieve our Product Vision by working hand-in-hand with you to ensure everything we develop makes a measurable difference to your daily working life. It’s also important to us that everyone who uses Arbor has the same quality of experience. One way we achieve high quality of experience is standardising best practice ‘out-of-the-box’.
If you have a piece of feedback or a suggestion for a new feature we should develop, we’d love to hear it. There are three ways you can share it with us:
- Comment on our public-facing Product Roadmap - Upvote your favourite feature and leave a comment describing how we can support you most. Upvotes and comments feed directly into how we prioritise and build what we’re developing each term.
- Feedback Forums at ArborFest - Product Managers lead Feedback Forums tailored to different staff roles (e.g. Teachers, SLT, Trust Admin Staff). These forums bring together our network of schools, connecting you with others who do the same job. We’ll work together to identify and prioritise the most impactful improvements and new features to build.
- Customer Satisfaction Survey - Toward the end of each term, you’ll receive a quick survey from us intended to measure the impact Arbor is having on your day-to-day. We review the data from all our schools in order to understand what’s working well and how we can improve across the business.
We use the “RICE” framework in order to prioritise our Product Roadmap. This support us to:
- plan what we work on next, from smaller improvements and new integrations with popular platforms to big new features
- make sure we make the biggest impact in the shortest or most appropriate time frame.
How does RICE work?
Each term, we plug in all the customer feedback, market analysis and ideas we’ve gathered and weigh up how beneficial features will be. This feeds into the “RICE” calculation. We then consider other factors like how long it will take us to build the feature. Here’s how RICE breaks down:
- Reach – How many members of staff will this feature benefit in each school? How many schools will benefit across the country?
- Impact – How often will staff use this feature? How much of an improvement will it make to their working life? Does this feature support us to achieve our company mission statement?
- Confidence – Do we have enough data and research to understand what schools need in order to develop this feature?
- Effort – How long will it take us to develop this feature? What expertise do we need to build it?
Because we get a lot of product feedback and suggestions, we're not able to update you individually as to whether we're working on your suggestion. On our Product Roadmap, you can see what we’re considering, what we’re working on now and what we’ve already released.
Look out for your customer newsletter via email each month, which includes a roundup of all the features we’ve added or improved. You can also bookmarks our Change Log.
How to submit your feedback
You can access our Product Roadmap to see what we’re working on and what’s coming soon by clicking this link: our Product Roadmap
Click on the roadmap item you're interested in to read more or submit feedback.
Have a look at the new features we're working on or considering, and let us know how important this would be to you/ your school. Tell us about why and how a feature or enhancement impacts your day to day job so we can really appreciate the value it might add.
Use the voting buttons to have your say and add a comment!
If you can’t find the feature on our Product Roadmap, we’d love you to join one of our upcoming Feedback Forums and speak to one of our Product Managers. We run Feedback Forums at ArborFest - invites to ArborFest are sent out via email.
- If you work in a MAT Central Team, encourage your schools to send their feedback to you centrally. Use the prompts/questions in the Collecting feedback for MATs section below. This will enable your team to review feedback against your implementation plans and identify most requested key improvements. You can share them with us at Feedback Forums. This way, we’ll be able to understand how Arbor is working across your trust and identify improvements that will benefit all your schools.
- If your school is part of a MAT, share your feedback with your MAT Central Team. Colleagues from other schools might have the same ideas.
Every term you’ll receive a quick survey from us giving you the opportunity to let us know how Arbor is impacting your day-to-day. We gather this data from all our schools to help us measure the impact we’re having more widely.
We send this out to our schools via email near the end of each term, so look for the next survey landing in your inbox soon!
Collecting feedback for MATs
If your school is part of a MAT, please pass your suggestions on to your central team. A representative from the central team should join one of our MAT Feedback Forums to let us know what would make an impact for all of their schools.
During MAT Feedback Forums, we’ll work through our ‘RICE’ framework to identify key improvements and prioritise our Product Roadmap for the upcoming term. Please ask your schools to contribute to this by responding to these prompts ahead of the Feedback Forum - you could use a Google form to collect this.
First and Last Name
- Title / Role
- Email address
- School Name
- What is the theme of your feedback?
- New feature
- How urgent is your feedback?
- What area of the MIS does your feedback relate to?
- Provide your feedback. Please be as detailed as possible.
- If Arbor is able to prioritise your feedback, what's the main impact to you and others in your role?
- Save time
- Save money
- Improve workflow
- Improve access to key information or data
- Improve quality of key information or data
- Increase school/MAT/community collaboration
- Increase school/MAT/community communication
- Improve the experience of the Product
- Are you happy to be contacted about your feedback?
- Is there anything else we should consider when reviewing your feedback?
The Arbor Support Team won't be able to submit feedback on your behalf. We encourage users to submit their own feedback using one of the methods outlined above to ensure that we know exactly what you need and why.
The Community is not actively monitored, so you cannot use this to submit feedback. The Support Team does not comment on Community posts.
If you’ve submitted feedback through one of our channels, our team has seen it and will be evaluating it using the RICE framework.
Because we get a lot of product feedback and suggestions, we're not able to update you individually as to whether we're working on your suggestion or whether it has been released.
You can check out the Product Roadmap to see if your suggestion has been added, and book mark our Change Log for our most recent releases and improvements.
Before you get in contact with us, please ask yourself these questions:
- Have you searched or looked at the How-tos in the Help Centre to see if what you’d like to do is already possible, perhaps in a different way than in your previous MIS?
- Have you posted in the Arbor Community to ask other schools how they manage this in Arbor?
- Has your school booked training with your account manager to learn how to tailor Arbor to your needs?
If something in Arbor is not working as it’s supposed to, please report this using the Contact Us form at the top of the page.
It would be good to be able to bulk print seating plans within cover. I had out side supply in today and had to print each seating plan individually going into three different members of staff. Could this be an option within cover the same as the registers.
Hi Gill, thanks for your comment. Please submit this to our product team using the process above!
I have not been receiving the fortnightly newsletter - how do I sign up for this?
Hi Francesca, thanks for your comment! We'll need to check some things in the background. Please email email@example.com
Is it possible to have reading ages added to the lesson dashboard overview page? It currently has SEN info, pastoral notes, etc.
Hi Stephanie, this isn't possible at the moment. To submit this feedback to our product team, please access the product roadmap above and add your feedback in there.
Hi Johal, if you go to the left-hand side of the student or guardian's profile, you can already view the log of all the emails sent to or regarding the student.
We receive external emails to our own email accounts that we have to log onto Arbor the same way we would if we received a letter. I want to be able to log these on so that they go into the Communication Log. Currently I can only log on a Letter or Telephone call.
Does that make sense?
Hi Johal, this isn't possible at the moment. To submit this feedback to our product team, please access the product roadmap above and add your feedback in there.
It would be great if it was possible to issue report cards to students electronically, it seems a little odd that it is only possible to issue electronic reports to parents/guardians electronically.
Are there plans to add this functionality?
Hi Sarah, this isn't possible at the moment. To submit this feedback to our product team, please access the product roadmap above and add your feedback in there.
Is it possible to have a choice option in Attendance, Absentees by date. At the moment it defaults to sending an sms unless you do not have credit then it will give you the option to send an email. We would like to be able to choose to send by email as sms cost to send and we call in the first instance. Could this be added please?
Hi Sally, this isn't possible at the moment. To submit this feedback to our product team, please access the product roadmap above and add your feedback in there.
It would have been better if we have a feedback/idea portal that can be shared with other Arbor schools so we can vote on which feedback/idea is good. This will allow us to see other feedback to ensure we are not duplicating feedback. At the moment, I am not able to see the feedback from other schools so cannot vote on them.
Hi Adam, we find it most useful for schools to submit their own feedback without view of others so we can get to the bottom of as many use cases as we can, to satisfy as many schools' needs as possible.
Our product team keeps an eye on how many schools request a certain feature. We don't mind duplicated feedback as we track feedback by school - the more schools raise a certain piece of feedback, thew more we can see that making a change would have a big impact!
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