I went to a meeting yesterday of the X2 Advisory Council. This is a group of users/tech director types that our student information system developer (X2 Development Corporation) set up to to help drive product development cycles for the Aspen SIS. We meet roughly once a quarter to review their product roadmap and help set priorities.
This time, however, they took a different approach that I thought was incredibly effective and was clear evidence that with their product now quite mature and stable, the company is keenly focused on delivering the most useful and usable product it can to its customers. Before the meeting, one of the project managers asked all of the members of the Advisory Council to identify the top 10 things we'd like to see changed in the system. Aside from a review of new features in their upcoming release, we didn't talk much about the roadmap.
As it turns out, many of the problems we identified were either fixed in the coming release or scheduled to be addressed this summer. Better integration with Excel, scheduling improvements, updates to their special education module, you name it. They're even eliminating the pop-ups that invariable give our users fits (try telling a parent accessing their student's grades for the first time how to disable the pop-up blockers in three toolbars and their browser over the phone).
X2 Aspen just keeps getting better. Although I can't discuss the details or exact outcomes of our discussion, suffice to say that we certainly pushed for some pretty cool new features that will take a rock solid product and make it even more useful. If X2 can pull it off (and I think they can), new and current customers have a lot to look forward to.
This is where you come in, though. What would you change about your SIS? Include the name/vendor and the top features you'd like to see added, the top "features" you hate, and even, the features you really like. Talk back below.