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. You’ll also find this information in our Updates soon.
- Next - What we’re planning to work on next.
- Already live in Arbor - Our most recent releases. Check out our Updates for full details of how to use any new features, or search our Help Centre
- Considering for Roadmap - What we’re considering for the roadmap in future.
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.
- Termly Feedback Forums - 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 every two weeks, which includes a roundup of all the features we’ve added or improved. You can check out past roundups in the Updates section of the Help Centre. Each term, we’ll also update you on what’s planned for our next term’s Product Roadmap.
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 the image below.
Have a look at the new features we're working on or considering, and let us know if you think it's ‘nice-to-have’, really important or critical to how you work. You can also let us know a bit more about why and how a feature or enhancement impacts your day to day job. Simply click into an item and use the voting buttons to have your say!
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 each term to help prioritise our Product Roadmap for the term ahead.
- If you work in a MAT Central Team, encourage your schools to send their feedback to you centrally. We can provide a template for you to gather their suggestions. 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.
When is the next Feedback Forum?
Save the dates for our next feedback forums happening at Spring ArborFest, our virtual conference from 18th-19th March, dedicated to schools and trusts using Arbor MIS. You’ll be able to join one of our sessions to submit your feedback for consideration for the Summer term Product Roadmap. Click the links below to register:
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 or module 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?
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 keep an eye on our Updates for our most recent releases and improvements. text
We’re reviewing your feedback as part of our next Product Roadmap cycle, using the ‘RICE’ prioritisation framework. Keep an eye on our Updates for 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 to our Support Team via email at email@example.com.