Sarah Atkinson

IRESS Labs: A simple analogy

Blog Post created by Sarah Atkinson Employee on Oct 2, 2018

As UK Training Manager, I’ve been having a good look at Labs recently. I like it a lot.  I am no Product Management expert or technical whizz, but what I like to think I have a good knack at, is explaining technical things in as simple way as possible.


One of the things I like to do with anything new is actually picture myself as a user, sat in the office with a job to do, and think about what I would like to know.  So that is exactly how I approached looking at IRESS Labs.  How can I explain it to our clients in a way that is really simple and non technical?


My favourite way is to think of XPLAN as a big house, with over 8,000 rooms (the number different screens XPLAN has!).  So we know we need to re-decorate our house – we want it look fresh, modern, delightful.  But no-one can revamp 8,000 rooms at the same time.  Not even with the best paint-brushes.  So, in collaboration with clients, we’ve worked out which rooms would have the greatest impact first.  And it isn’t just a lick of paint, it is a re-model and maybe an extension too.  So our first rooms - Global Navigation & Opportunities are just that – some elements are a fresh look and some are an extension with new functionality.


We don’t want to wait until the end of the revamp to do a big, velvet curtain reveal of the room; we want you to be involved and have a look while we are mid-renovation. Tell us what you think, give us your honest feedback, try it, come and have a look round.  Don’t be shy.  We want you with us through the journey and that is exactly what the toggle in Labs will do; Allow you early access to the remodel, and join us on the project.  Only when we feel the room is totally ready, and we’ve taken on board your feedback and iterated the changes and touch ups will the toggle be removed and the new room will be available to move into.  But don’t forget we don’t just work on room at time, as we are finalising one room, we are starting the primer coats on some other rooms!


So house renovations aside, I hope this gives you a good simple explanation of what Labs is about. If you prefer a more technical explanation that’s fine too.  There’s loads of useful resources in the Labs section of Insights.  My biggest piece of advice is: Get involved!


I recently ran a webinar introducing Labs in this way, and you can access a copy of it here.