BriteIdeas FAQ

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What is a Hard Error?

A hard error is any sort of data or application error that doesn't require a change to BriteCore's procedures or workflow. If you experience a hard error in BriteCore please use the "Oops" button to report the issue so it can be automatically ticketed in Trac. We will resolve your error as soon as we can, as we have dedicated staff on duty for this purpose. We want to resolve problems as much as you, so we can move on to growing our product.

What is a Change Request?

A change request is a work item that requires programming changes to how a feature, element, or process works or displays in BriteCore or BriteQuote. We used to refer to these changes as "features" and "defects". However, those terms can be confusing and often impede productive discussion because a defect for one client may actually be a requirement for another client. Regardless of what you perceive the request to be (feature or defect), any time we change the code base of BriteCore, we are changing the way users interact with the software. Those changes need to be reviewed, documented, and funneled through a standard change management system in order for our product to remain stable. To better promote product consistency and sustainability, we will filter all code-based "change requests" through BriteIdeas from this point forward.

Anything that is questionably incorrect or the correct behavior is not clearly defined is a change request. A change request requires an SRS (Spec) and documentation because clients, developers, or vendors are anticipating the current behavior and will have to change business processes when the behavior changes. There are many opportunities to get it wrong because a change of behavior requires that every responsible party understand everything that is being modified, and the chain of consequences that will result. An example of this would be adding the primary named insured's mailing address to the top of the agent dec, or InsVista files mirroring printed deliverables. While we might all agree in principle that we would like to see these things happen, the specifics of exactly what we do and how we do it require a great deal of planning and synchronization across all BriteCore clients and IWS staff. It is our intent that many defects will in fact be directed through BriteIdeas, not because we disagree that the functionality should be modified, but because we want to take the time and care to make the right change the first time. We have pushed relentlessly for stability over the last two years, and this is a crucial step in the fight for high quality.

How are votes established?

All clients receive 20 votes in BriteIdeas. This number is set somewhat arbitrarily and fixed across clients as a means of controlling the overall volume of the combined queues. Votes are weighted according to three factors: Support Dollars, Ownership of IWS, and New Business Referrals. See Voting on a Change Request for more information.

Where can I find my total number of votes?

All clients receive a total of 20 votes in BriteIdeas. However, each client's votes are weighted differently based on three factors: Support Dollars, Ownership of IWS, and New Business Referrals. To find out what weight your company holds, contact your personal Account Executive. To view your number of votes unallocated, log in to BriteIdeas and view the area just below the Search function in the top-right corner of your screen. You should see your company's number of votes unallocated in BriteIdeas. Example: 8 of 20 Votes Unallocated. See Voting on a Change Request for more information.

How do I know how many votes I've used?

When you log in to BriteIdeas, you can see your total number of votes and the number of votes you have unallocated. You can use that number to calculate the number of votes you've used. For example, let's say when you log in to BriteIdeas, it shows that you have 8 of 20 votes unallocated. That means you've used 12 votes and have 8 of 20 remaining. See Voting on a Change Request for more information.

How do I know how many times I've voted on a single item?

When you log in to BriteIdeas and go to the Community screen, you'll see a green counter next to each of the change requests listed in the queue. This number represents how many times you've voted an item up or down in the queue. Positive numbers represent your up-votes towards the item, and negative numbers represent your down-votes on the item. To entirely remove your votes from the item, click the black arrows next to the item until the counter displays "0". To see a list of company votes per item, go to the Reports screen and click on the Votes by Company link.

What if I change my mind and want to vote on something else?

If at any time your priorities change and you want to vote on something else in BriteIdeas, you can pull votes off of items by using the black arrows next to each change request you've voted on. If you aren't sure how many votes you've put towards an item, look at the green counter next to the change request. This number represents how many times you've voted the item up or down in the queue. Positive numbers represent your up-votes towards the item, and negative numbers represent your down-votes on the item. To entirely remove your votes from the item, click the black arrows next to the item until the counter displays "0". To see a list of company votes per item, go to the Reports screen and click on the Votes by Company link.

How is the popularity of a proposal determined?

Proposal popularity is determined by the community as a whole. Popularity of the change request is illustrated by the number of hearts filled in red. These hearts are calculated based on a percentage of up-votes versus down votes, see Voting on a Change Request. For example, if there are five, fully colored hearts next to a change request, then that change request is universally loved by the community––no one has down-voted it. If a request is not universally loved (someone in the community has down-voted that request), then we know we need to investigate why that request has been down-voted before it's "Locked" for development.

How are Community change requests ranked?

Community change requests are prioritized by score. Scores are determined by the number of votes received, times the weight of each vote, see Voting on a Change Request. For example, if a client with a 1x weight and a client with a 3x weight both put two votes on a single request, that request will have a score of 8. This number also takes into account any down votes made by members of the community. Building off of our previous example, if a change request has a score of 8 and a client with a 2x weight uses 4 votes to down-vote the change, then that change request will now have a score of 0 since -2 x 4 = -8.

How are Funded change requests ranked?

Funded change requests are supported by pledges and ranked on a first-funded, first-developed basis.

What do the red hearts next to each proposal signify?

The hearts you see next to each change request represent the percentage of up-votes versus down-votes towards the change. If there are five fully colored hearts next to a change request, then that request has received zero down votes and is considered universally loved by the community. If a request is not universally loved by the community, then we know we need to investigate why that request has been down-voted before it is "Locked" for development. See Voting on a Change Request for more information.

How is an item's "Score" determined?

Community change requests are prioritized by score. Scores are determined by the number of votes received, times the weight of each vote. For example, if a client with a 1x weight and a client with a 3x weight both put two votes on a single request, that request will have a score of 8. This number also takes into account any down votes made by members of the community. Building off of our previous example, if a change request has a score of 8 and a client with a 2x weight uses 4 votes to down-vote the change, then that change request will now have a score of 0 since -2 x 4 = -8.

How is an item's level of difficulty established?

The difficulty of a change request is determined by a Product Analyst at IWS. This is often based on several factors including, but not limited to: feedback from the community, type of request, involvement with major features, and defect probability. Once the level of difficulty has been established, IWS will update the appropriate BriteIdeas queue with an estimated timeline of completion for the change.

What does the "Fund Me" button do?

The Fund Me button allows users to sponsor part of all of an item's completion cost by pledging funds. Once funds are pledged, the item is removed from the Community Queue and placed in the Funded Queue. IWS works on items in Funded queue on a first-funded, first-developed basis. IWS will not begin work on a funded project until the cost of it's completion is fully sponsored.

What does it mean when a Community item is "Locked"?

When a change request is fully supported through votes and entering the development stage, the change request––along with its votes or pledges––is Locked in BriteIdeas. This means IWS has begun full scale development on the request and resources are assigned to the task. When the change is completed, it will be sent to sponsoring clients for testing. Following testing, the change is documented and released to all live BriteCore sites. At that time, the change request is promoted to the "Completed" queue in BriteIdeas and any locked votes are released back into the available pool.

What does it mean when a Funded item is "Locked"?

When a change request is fully sponsored through funding, the change request––along with its votes or pledges––is Locked in BriteIdeas. This means the item is queued to be developed at the next availability. When the change is completed, it will be sent to sponsoring clients for testing. Following testing, the change is documented and released to all live BriteCore sites. At that time, the change request is promoted to the "Completed" queue in BriteIdeas and any locked votes are released back into the available pool.

How do I know when a change request is completed?

Completed changes are promoted to the Completed queue once they are documented and released live to all BriteCore sites. The Completed queue holds a list of changes IWS has deployed since the inception of BriteIdeas. In order to make it to the Completed list, change requests must go through a multi-phase change management process that includes Phase I: Proposal and Promotion, Phase II: Design and Documentation, and then Phase III: Development and Deployment.

You'll know when a change request is fully supported (through votes or funding) and entering the development stage, because the request––along with its votes or pledges––will be Locked in BriteIdeas. During the lock phase, IWS begins full scale development and resources are assigned to the task. Once the change is completed, it will be sent to sponsor clients for testing. Following testing, the change will be documented and released into all live BriteCore sites. Finally, the change request is promoted to the "Completed" queue in BriteIdeas and any locked votes are released back into the available pool.

What should I do if my change request isn't receiving enough votes?

If your BriteIdea isn't receiving enough votes from the community to place it at the top of the priority list, you can choose to fund the project by clicking the "Fund Me" button next to the change request in BriteIdeas. Clicking this button will allow you to sponsor part or all of the project's completion costs by pledging funds. IWS will not begin work on funded projects until they are fully supported by one or more clients.

What does the NEW flag mean?

When a change request moves from the Community to the Funded queue, a NEW flag appears next to the funded item. This flag is removed by IWS once it's no longer "new".

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