User-Developer Forum; 10th Year Anniversary Print

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the User-Developer forum held annually by Software Achkar for the Real Estate Sales Department of the German Finance Ministry. The forum is attended by at least one user from each branch office in Germany, approximately 50 employees in total and it usually runs for two days.

The forum provides an opportunity to achieve several goals simultaneously:
- Direct users receive an overview of new features
- Software Achkar receives information about further customer requirements
- User problems are discussed
- New state and federal legislation that must be reflected in the software is reviewed. As employees from each state are present, legislative differences between states can be clarified easily.

An added benefit of the forum is that it facilitates internal knowledge transfer between employees as to how procedures are handled in different states. By sitting in the same room, Software Achkar believes that each user feels like his needs are heard and considered. Users have the opportunity to make direct proposals and the developer receives direct feedback. The user’s problems become the software developer’s problems and hence the burden is passed from user to developer. Software Achkar is one of the only companies who considers the normal user directly in this unique forum and the end result is a sense of harmony between the software developer and end user and a software product that grows and changes according to the real user’s needs.

The best measure of success is when a client comes to you because your service is recommended by somebody they trust. In 2008, the Real Estate Rental Department of the German Finance Ministry followed suit and requested that a similar forum be held for their employees. Every year the knowledge transfer improves.