Enhancements Process FAQs

Q: How are moderators selected and what are their qualifications?

Q: What is the role of the moderators?

Q: Are there any rules for participating in the Enhancement Forums? If so, what are they?

Q: What features are available in the enhancement forums?

Q: Why does SirsiDynix only allow us to submit a limited number of enhancements annually?

Q: How long does it take between posting an enhancement request and the enhancement appearing in an actual version?

Q: What enhancement requests have been submitted in past years?

Q: What happens to requests that do not make the annual top enhancements list?

Q: What happens to requests that SirsiDynix declines to implement?

Q: What happens to lower-priority enhancements that SirsiDynix agrees to develop but then cannot finish in time for a release?

Q: Who should I contact if I have any questions or run into problems?

 


Q: How are moderators selected and what are their qualifications?

A: The process of recruiting moderators is overseen by the users' groups. Moderators need to be familiar with the module under discussion, and need to be able to review forum activity at least weekly, summarize discussions accurately and impartially, create suggestion polls in a timely manner, and be available to select proposed enhancements for submission to SirsiDynix when the time comes.


Q: What is the role of the moderators?

A: Moderators monitor forum discussions and decide when and if to turn a thread into a poll. Moderators may encourage more discussion or request clarification. When creating a poll, moderators summarize the discussion, outline the goals/benefits of the enhancement, and describe the desired "look and feel." On an annual basis, moderators tally the votes and submit the most popular requests to SirsiDynix as proposed enhancements.


Q: Are there any rules for participating in the Enhancement Forums? If so, what are they?

A: Each institution is limited to one vote per poll, though this is currently not enforced by the software.

Posters are asked to be polite and to stay on topic.

If you vote "No" on a suggestion, please add a response to the thread indicating why you voted that way, since even one No vote can be enough for SirsiDynix to turn down an enhancement request. If SirsiDynix can see exactly why someone voted No to an otherwise popular request, they may take those concerns into account when making their decision and creating the development specifications. (Especially if the reason is something that they can easily account for during the design process.)

Please do not start the subject line of a new post with the word "SUGGESTION". Moderators add that word to the subject of their post of the formal wording of a request and it therefore serves as a way to find past formal suggestions.

It is a good idea to look through the customer wiki enhancement pages and search the forums for the topic of your request before posting it, as it is possible someone else has already suggested the same idea, in which case adding your support to the existing thread, even one from several years ago, is better than starting a new thread. Posting to an existing thread prevents discussion of the topic from becoming fractured across many discussion threads and thus difficult to follow, and your post of support of the existing thread may be all that thread needs to demonstrate sufficient interest & consensus to be elevated to the poll stage. (Put another way, a new post to an old thread is more likely to get to the poll stage faster than starting a new thread, as a new post will have to attract new posts of support.)


Q: What features are available in the enhancement forums?

A: Sticky Suggestions - All threads that have suggestion polls available for voting always appear at the top of the first page of the forum.

Polling - While you are viewing a poll, you can record your support (or not) and rate your enthusiasm on a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 expressing the most enthusiasm. If you change your mind, you can later change your vote.

View Polling Results - If you have not yet voted in a poll, click "View Results" to see the current results. If you have already voted, you will automatically see the current results.

Completed polls - After an enhancement has been submitted to SirsiDynix, the poll will be closed and no more votes will be accepted. Its "Sticky" status will be removed.

Search – The forums are all indexed, and the indexes are accessible both by the search form that exists with the forum software, and by the general search form of the Client Care site.


Q: Why does SirsiDynix only allow us to submit a limited number of enhancements annually?

A: In the past, SirsiDynix committed to more enhancements than their development system could handle. Customers were unhappy when their favorite enhancements remained unfulfilled. SirsiDynix decided it was better to accept fewer enhancement requests and actually follow through on fulfilling them.


Q: How long does it take between posting an enhancement request and the enhancement appearing in an actual version?

A: Due to the nature of the process, this can vary greatly from request to request. If a request quickly garners a lot of support and a general consensus for how the suggested functionality should work, it may be quickly elevated to the polling stage. If it then gets a lot of high-enthusiasm Yes votes, or there are not many other requests on that forum, it may make the list of top enhancements at the next forum deadline.

Once an enhancement has been submitted to SirsiDynix, a top-priority enhancement should generally take between 12 and 18 months to appear in a delivered release.

Therefore, the minimum amount of time between posting an enhancement request and seeing the enhancement in a delivered release is approximately a year to a year and a half. For a busy forum with a lot of requests jockeying for the top positions, two to three years is more likely, as it will likely take more than one cycle for a request to gather enough votes of sufficient enthusiasm to be one of a cycle's most popular requests.


Q: What enhancement requests have been submitted in past years?

A: All threads on the forum are kept for several years, so you can find many old suggestions within the forums by searching for "SUGGESTION". Additionally, lists of the requests that have been submitted in past years, along with their current status, and links to the relevant forum threads are available in the customer wiki on the Client Care site, as are lists of requests that have been elevated to the polling stage but have not been submitted.


Q: What happens to requests that do not make the annual top enhancements list?

A: After the most popular requests have been submitted and their polls have been closed, the remaining polls will be open for voting in the new cycle.


Q: What happens to requests that SirsiDynix declines to implement?

A: If SirsiDynix declines to implement a request, the forum will have to discuss it again, taking into consideration the reasons, if any, SirsiDynix gave as part of their decision, and then vote again on it. In most cases, if there is still interest in the request, a new thread can be started to discuss modifying the request to avoid whatever issues SirsiDynix raised, and once consensus on a new wording is reached, the revised request can be elevated to the polling stage and go through that process again. In a select few cases (such as those where the customers are interested in functionality SirsiDynix could develop in the time available but is not interested in implementing), the moderator may open a poll about the request as it currently stands in order to gauge continued interest, and thus could potentially re-submit it at the end of the next enhancement cycle.


Q: What happens to lower-priority enhancements that SirsiDynix agrees to develop but then cannot finish in time for a release?

A: Enhancements that SirsiDynix agrees to implement but then cannot finish in time for a release will not be automatically rolled over into the list of enhancements to be implemented in the following release. Instead, there will be a brief reconsideration process on the forums as part of the then-current enhancement cycle, in which customers will indicate which of those enhancements are still considered desirable and should be scheduled for the following release. (This way, those enhancements do not have to go back through the entire enhancement process. Also, if there is a lower-priority enhancement that is no longer needed due to other technological, societal, legal, etc. changes, the customers get a say in the decision to drop it from development.)

No decision has yet been made on how these will affect the number of enhancement requests SirsiDynix is willing to commit to for a given release.

It is technically possible for an enhancement to end up in a quasi-Limbo in this way, continually being resubmitted by the customers but then assigned a low priority and getting bumped from the final release. However, because they must go through the process each year, both the company and the customers will be continually reminded that they exist, so when SirsiDynix reconsiders the priority of these requests in future enhancement cycles, they also will have to consider the long-term customer demand.


Q: Who should I contact if I have any questions or run into problems?

A: For questions and concerns about specific forums, contact the moderator for that forum.

For questions about the overall enhancements process, contact the COSUGI Enhancements Coordinator at enhancements@cosugi.org.