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Public or private roadmaps

To be brave... or is discretion the better part of valour?

I love customer feedback. It's a cliche, but we really do prioritise our development around what customers want and add new features based on the problems our users tell us about that we think we can fix. And the sooner we know what customers want, the sooner we can focus on it - we don't want to be showing off some exciting new feature we've been working on only to be told "that's great, but I wish you'd done this instead..."
The answer to all of this seems to be using an open roadmap approach - as advocated by Trello:
I have grown to love Trello. Despite some frustrations (let me export easily, grrr!) it is a great tool and we have our development roadmap laid out in quite some detail in it. But ours is private - just the business and development team can see it - and I'm not ready to take the leap of faith to make it public. I fear a number of things - promising features we can't deliver or unrealistic time scales, having to explain things in greater detail, making our conversations less honest / airing our dirty laundry, showing everything to our competitors etc. Most of them I can get my head round, but making the roadmap fully publice feels like opening Pandora's Box - once you go that route, there's no going back - and I'm not quite confident yet. 
But we hope to - maybe initially with just the immediate next round of features, and grow from there. Because we do want to make that desire for customer feedback on what's coming next a reality, and in general we want all the user feedback we can possibly get. Although I also know, from personal experience, that providing feedback can be tedious - and it seems like every other website you visit has a pop-up asking for feedback before the rest of the site has even loaded. So we'll continue to look for relevant, interesting and rewarding ways for customers to tell us what they want - be that through an open roadmap or other, hopefully useful ways.
If you have any thoughts do, of course, get in contact and let us know. That's certainly straightforward enough feedback to work with.
JK
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