The goal of the enhancements process is for customers to describe functionality & features that they believe SirsiDynix should add to the software.
The enhancement process begins in the Enhancements Forums, which are accessible from the SirsiDynix Support Center under the Community menu. (If you do not have access to the Support Center, please contact your site administrator.). If you do not have an account for the forums, you can register for one uses the link above. There are generally two forums for each module or add-on product (i.e. circulation, cataloging, e-Library, etc.), with additional forums centered around other special needs (system administration, consortial issues, K-12 school issues, etc.); one general "discussion" forum on which customers post questions & comments, and one "enhancements" forum on which customers post suggestions for enhancements. When a customer posts an enhancement request to an enhancement forum, other customers (and SirsiDynix staff) can respond to show their interest in the request, request clarifications, suggest alternatives, and so forth.
Volunteer forum moderators monitor each forum and, if needed, guide the discussion. If the moderator judges that an issue can be addressed via a software enhancement and there seems to be enough support and consensus on the forum from other customers, he will post the formal final wording of the request and create a poll for that thread. The poll will appear at the top of the thread, and customers can then vote on the poll. Threads with active polls appear at the top of the first page of the forum, to make them easier to find.
There are typically six options for each poll: Five options for "Yes", indicating enthusiasm/importance (with 5 meaning "I believe this is more important than any other enhancement request" and 1 meaning "It might be nice to have, but it's not all that important to me"; the sixth option is "No", which actually means "No site should have access to this enhancement, even as an option." If an enhancement poll gets even one No vote, that makes it less likely that SirsiDynix will agree to implement that enhancement; multiple No votes nearly ensure that SirsiDynix will not agree to implement it. (Because both number of votes and level of enthusiasm/importance are taken into account to determine the top requests each year, if you are not interest in a particular enhancement or it is not something your site would use, it is better to abstain or vote Yes with a low enthusiasm/importance than vote No.)
Each forum follows an approximately yearly enhancement cycle, ending with a formal submission of the top enhancements from that forum that year to SirsiDynix. The end of the enhancement cycle is marked by a deadline for voting on polls. Once the deadline has passed, the moderator will compile a list of the most popular suggestions from that forum and submit them to the COSUGI Enhancements Coordinator. The Coordinator will compile a list of suggestions from all forum moderators and submit it to SirsiDynix. (The number of proposed enhancements that SirsiDynix accepts from each forum each year varies, based on the resources the company has available for development, and how many enhancements from their internal suggestion process they have already scheduled for development.) Forums may have threads go to the polling stage at any time during the year, but the nature of the enhancement cycle is such that many people only read a forum when its deadline approaches, so there will often be more threads begun and more topics moving to the poll stage in the months before the deadline as moderators work to ensure that the forum will have enough polls that are active to be able to submit the maximum number of them that SirsiDynix will accept that year.
It is possible, though not likely, that SirsiDynix will also decide to implement one or more requests that did not make that year's list or did not even make it to the polling stage, due to being closely related to functionality that they have internally already decided to implement.
After the proposed enhancements are submitted to SirsiDynix, the company conducts internal meetings to evaluate the enhancements. SirsiDynix communicates responses to the coordinator. Sometimes SirsiDynix will request clarification. Sometimes they will decide not to implement a requested enhancement—usually because the feature already exists, is already being planned, would require that a significant amount of the software be rewritten, or cannot work within the context of the software. If they decide to implement the enhancement, they will indicate its development priority: whether it will definitely be in the next release, will probably be in the next release, or will be in the next release only if they have some extra time.