For those of you who are new, I am community manager at Projectplace. Hi:) I come from a diverse background but my main interest throughout my career has been customer communication. I have worked in this field as a trainer, support technician, technical writer and finally landed on the post of community manager. I often get the question “What does that mean; what do you actually do?” and I usually answer that I am a modem. The reason I like this analogy is probably that I did modem support in the early 90’s. I might as well say that I am a translator or interpreter. As I see it, I have two main tasks:
1. To translate all the feedback about Projectplace from users, staff and other channels into something that is useful in our product development/organisation. To make sure that the voice of the people who are actually out there using our product in every day life is heard loud and clear in our office too. I use many channels to listen to what you think is really good and what needs improvement the main one is of course Projectplace Ideas.
2.To keep you, the community, informed about what’s happening in our product development. What plans do we have for our product? How do we look at project management support in the future? What can you expect from us in the short and longer term?
Let me take a second to thank everyone who engages over at Projectplace Ideas. I love reading your feedback and it is great to see that so many people have great ideas and also take time to comment and improve och evolve each other’s ideas. So what happens after you have done your bit?
Like I said, I read all your ideas, comments and feedback. I divide the feedback into some basic statuses.
- Business case: This status should probably be updated soon but this is the status for bigger improvements. The top ranked ideas (with the highest number of votes) get discussed in our Product Council where we look at development and the Projectplace service in the 3-18 month perspective.This could be ideas that are completely new development or that require major changes. Examples are Wiki, Procurement, Resource Management
- Quality backlog: This backlog contains minor changes to existing functionality in the service and is quite frankly huge. Most ideas that we get from you tend to be about tweaking the service. They end up here and the competition is fierce. A tip is to market your idea in your project or with other Projectplace users as we really only have time to discuss the ideas with the most votes. I take this feedback into two forums, the Quality Council and I also have separate meetings with the design team to talk about top ranking ideas with this status. I also remind our designers and developers to look through here when we make changes to various parts of the system so that we keep your opinions in mind.
Once we decide that something in either backlog should be taken further, the normal route is investigation->pre-study->development->testing->release. However, there is no guarantee at any point until we have released it.
- Bugs: Well there’s no way around it, sometimes there’s a problem that is just a problem and needs to be fixed. There are two priorities here and if your bug is in the low priority status it basically means that we will not release a fix for it outside our normal release dates. We really try to minimise the number of fixes between releases as the most testing is done on the releases and “in between” fixes sometimes just create more problems than they fix. High priority bugs tend to be affecting everyone, the login, the project overview or make it impossible to use Projectplace.
- Tips: Sometimes the functionality is already there but in a place you didn’t expect or think of. Then I try to guide you to the right place, sometime with the aid of a screencast.
Projectplace Ideas is an idea forum where our users and other interested people can give feedback straight to Projectplace. The ideas/feedback is ranked by other users. I read everything on there. Once I have read it, I might ask you for more information to make sure that I actually understand properly. After all I might be presenting YOUR idea to the rest of the company so I had better get it right.If you want to be involved more in what we do and our product development, you can also sign up as an advisor. Our advisors get involved at very early stages to give input on design ideas or prototypes. Sometimes we will send out a quick poll to the advisors to help us out in a specific question, sometimes we will ask advisors to come in to the office (or online meeting) to give input.