Doug Hadden, FreeBalance Vice President Products, presented the draft FreeBalance product roadmap. FreeBalance leverages the 6 Thinking Hats linear thinking approach for product roadmap discussion and decision. The product roadmap includes modules, sub-modules and components aligned to the Public Financial Management Component Map. The status of every roadmap item was described including those that were completed in Version 7 in 2010. Numerous roadmap items represent the FreeBalance product vision. Some were proposed recently by customers. These were all described in detail with and discussed. Mr. Hadden reminded the delegates of recent PEFA assessments and results of the FreeBalance Customer Survey: current challenges and PFM priorities.
Delegates are presented the roadmap and select items that should be delivered in the short (2011), medium (2012) and long-term (after 2012). The voting occurs on the last day of FISC so that delegates have time to analyze all of the items.
There was a spirited discussion of how to handle off-budget management. Many FreeBalance customers have progressed from operational issues like cash management and controls to considering risk management monitoring and evaluation systems.
The annual FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conference runs from January 16 – 19, 2011 in Madeira, Portugal. FISC provides an interactive forum to exchange Public Financial Management (PFM) good practices among international customers and PFM thought leaders. FISC drives the FreeBalance Accountability Suite product vision to direct FreeBalance GRP solutions. Previous FISC events were held in Mt. Tremblant, Canada (2010); Prague, Czech Republic (2009); Cascais, Portugal (2008); and London, United Kingdom (2007).