Management Information System (MIS) for schools
Category : Blog
Schools are at the heart of Arbor. Hear from Arbor’s Head of Product, Hilary, all about how we use feedback from schools and the “RICE” framework to shape the vision for our MIS. At Arbor, we’re always looking for new ways to help schools work better. When we develop new features in our MIS, we
Schools are at the heart of Arbor. Hear from Arbor’s Head of Product, Hilary, all about how we use feedback from schools and the “RICE” framework to shape the vision for our MIS.
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.
The vision we work to in our Product Team is made up of three core objectives:
1. Provide staff with meaningful data they can use to identify and act on trends
2. Design a truly school-focused MIS which helps speed up daily tasks and save staff time
3. Develop ways for staff to work better together, creating more joined-up school communities
The way we achieve these objectives is by working hand-in-hand with school staff to make sure everything we work on makes a measurable difference to their working life. It’s also important to us that everyone who uses Arbor up and down the country has the same quality of experience.
That’s why our product roadmap is public-facing and we welcome Arbor schools to contribute their feedback to it. Our Product Managers keep an eye on the roadmap regularly for comments which feed directly into how we prioritise the products we’re developing.
We also gather feedback from schools via termly feedback forums, surveys and our customer festival – ArborFest.
In the Product Team, we use a method we’ve adapted from the “RICE” framework in order to prioritise our roadmap. This helps us plan what we work on next, from feature improvements, to new integrations with popular platforms like TimeTabler, to big new ideas like our all-in-one classroom management tool – My Classroom or the Arbor App.
Using the RICE framework helps us prioritise our roadmap to make sure we’re developing the products that will make the greatest possible impact to the greatest number of school staff in the shortest or most appropriate time frame.
The framework is a calculation – we plug into it all the customer feedback, market analysis and suggestions we’ve gathered, plus how beneficial the new features will be to schools. We then weigh these up with other factors like how long it will take us to build new features.
Here’s how RICE breaks down:
We really value the insights we receive from our Arbor schools. Comments on our product roadmap are really useful in our product development process, but we’re also piloting new ways of gathering more detailed feedback from schools to help us measure the impact we’re having more widely. We’ve launched several channels for this:
Termly Feedback Forums
Once a term, we hold feedback forums tailored to different staff roles and school phase (e.g. Teachers, Business Managers, Trust Admin Staff) to gather feedback on the new product features we’re working on. These intimate sessions with one of our Product Managers are a great way for us to hear how our ideas are going to impact everyday school life, and how we can improve them to help you work even more effectively.
If you’d like to find out more about the feedback forums we’re running this term, get in touch with your Arbor Account Manager.
We send an NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey to Arbor schools every term, which helps us understand how Arbor is helping you save time, understand your data better and improve school life overall. Measuring the impact we have on schools is a core part of what we do – it’s also what our investors ask us to demonstrate.
Last term, our schools told us:
Following the really successful event we hosted earlier this year, we’re taking ArborFest online! Arbor schools are invited to join us for a two-day virtual programme on 12th and 13th November packed with talks by the Arbor Team and fellow schools, and product feedback forums where you can find out more about what’s on our product roadmap.
Arbor schools – check your email inbox for your invitation and link to sign up for all sessions!
It’s great to see from our recent feedback that Arbor schools feel that we’re listening to their needs – that’s what motivates us every day.
Discover how Arbor could help you work more easily and collaboratively this term – either by booking a demo, or joining one of our webinars.
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