Article

Customer-driven development engaging users worldwide

In Sectra UserInfluence, Sectra users worldwide come together to discuss product development options with each other and with the developers that are responsible for programming the actual features.

When Sectra implemented functionality for keeping teaching files in Sectra PACS in 2012, Frank Joosten, head radiologist at Rijnstate Hospital in the Netherlands became involved in the development of the solution. Through the web forum Sectra UserInfluence, he took an active part in providing feedback from the very beginning, all the way through extensive prototyping.

“I was able to participate in discussions from the very early phases of development, when Sectra shared lo-fi prototypes,” says Dr. Joosten. “I put forward my feedback and ideas and I was happy to see them become realized, sometimes in the way I had suggested and sometimes in an evolved way after feedback and input from other users.”

The discussions about the implementation of teaching files have to date involved about 25 participants from all corners of the world, including the Netherlands, the US, Japan and the UK. The discussions were initiated in February 2012 when development started and are still ongoing, now of course focusing on improvements and new features in upgrade scenarios.

“In my opinion, Sectra’s way of working with customer feedback early in the development process is unique in the business, I’ve never run across it anywhere else, says Robert Jan van Etten, PACS administrator at Rijnstate hospital, and another active participant in the forum. “The way that we get to interact directly with developers and product managers is very valuable, and it helps to ensure that the products Sectra releases really solve actual challenges in our operations.”

Beverly Rosipko, PACS administrator at University Hospitals of Cleveland, adds:

“It is nice to know the customer has a voice in the development of the product. It is also great to get other people’s perspectives on the various options/changes that are proposed.”

Sectra UserInfluence was launched in April 2011, as a new and more efficient way to allow a continuous dialog with our users during the development of new functionality. Already, some 60 topics have been discussed within the forum that has some 700 active users, both customer representatives and representatives from Sectra, such as developers, product managers and application specialists. Maria Vrang is one of the moderators of the forum, and product owner at the product management department.

“Thanks to Sectra UserInfluence, we are able to gather feedback from so many more customers than if we had to rely only on visits. Another advantage, compared with, for example, emailing or phone calls, is that everybody can see and comment on interesting topics, not only the parties directly involved in a dialog,” says Vrang. “This really helps us solve real problems for real users.”

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