As any software development company will tell you, there are always more features to add to a version than there is time to implement them correctly. Hence, we face a challenge: implement more features with limited functionnality, or implement fewer features will full functionality.

It may be tempting to implement as many features as possible: spread-sheet product assessments and feature comparisons would proudly bear the YES checkmark next to all the lines in the requirement list. However, being able to say "yes, we have reports" quickly followed by the limitations of the feature is no way to win your prospective client's heart. As they use the feature, they will quickly realize that, although the feature is there, it is stripped-down and not what he or she expected.

I believe that if we are going to implement a new feature, not only should it work, but it should also be complete. It should have all the functionnality that is expected. If you can import user data, you should be able to import all user data, not just the user name and password.

The end result is a piece of software that is truly usable, that clients will enjoy using.

So, how to choose, then?

This is the difficult question. How do we choose to implement a feature over another?  There is the what the market wants, what the users want, what the developers want, and what the boss wants. Who wins?

With AceProject, we keep an updated wishlist where we record how many times a specific feature has been requested. When we get ready to start working on a new version, we look at the file and choose what we will include. It's a good way to stay up-to-date with what our clients want and at the same time, get a bigger picture view of what people ask to add or change in AceProject.

Once we've chosen which requested features to add in the new version, we discuss what we would like to add to make our system kick butt, so AceProject is not only user-driven, but remains the brainchild of our President.

A team effort

AceProject's development is very much a team effort. Our users are a big part of AceProject's team, and their suggestions never fall on deaf ears.