The Move from Idea Place…and a Move Toward Greater Transparency with Features and Fixes
As announced in the recent “Idea Place Product Idea Sessions are migrating to Customer Influence” blog post (and as reported in Coffee Corner and Q&A by some eagle-eyed members who spotted the news earlier), we are migrating the SAP Community Idea Place session to a new Customer Influence site.
Scheduled for September 18, this move is part of a much bigger transition — as SAP shifts away from Idea Place for improvements requests to a new single site (Customer Influence) for capturing requests for improvements. The why of the transition, along with higher-level explanations of functionality and process, is covered in the “Idea Place Product Idea Sessions are migrating to Customer Influence” post, so I won’t rehash all of that here. Instead, I’ll focus on what this means for SAP Community. I also want to share some information about member requests and bug reports in general.
SAP Community has always been a bit of an odd duck in Idea Place. Idea Place is meant to gather customer recommendations for improving SAP products (which is why some of the status options include “for Portfolio” in the name…something not applicable to SAP Community). In our case, however, we’ve been inviting ideas for improving the site and the experience.
Since launching our Idea Place session, we have compiled nearly 300 ideas — with nearly 1,400 comments and 3,000 votes from 1,800 users. We have also been criticized for not implementing enough of those ideas — although I think we’ve done a good job of providing status updates and explanations for what we are doing and why. And while I recognize that some things appear to have languished in “under review” for months, it’s simply because we’re prioritizing and sometimes lumping ideas together into bigger experience improvements. (Audrey Stevenson did a great job recently in her “Improvements Coming to Content Lists in Your Profile” blog post of showing how specific Idea Place requests materialized in feature development geared toward a single theme.)
The point is that we do read and react to the ideas, and we’ll continue to ask people to request improvements via the new Customer Influence site. On top of that, the vast majority of those hundreds of entries in our Idea Place session will be moving over to the new site — where people can continue to vote, comment, and track. Also, if you bookmarked an idea, it will redirect to the appropriate page on Customer Influence.
The fate of an idea depends on its status. The status options for Customer Influence are similar to Idea Place, but there are some differences.
The Archived, For Future Consideration, and Needs More Info statuses are being retired. Ideas with one of those statuses won’t migrate. Approximately 40 ideas are currently set to one of these statuses. SAP Community Experience team members are re-examining to see which should be changed. (Note that the Archived status has been used primarily for redundant ideas — to help ensure that voting for the same feature wasn’t split among several ideas. After setting a redundant idea to Archived, we would direct people to go vote for the original idea instead. Here’s a recent example: https://ideas.sap.com/D44234.)
All of the other statuses — Submitted, Acknowledged, Under Review, Accepted, Planned, Already Offered, Delivered, and Not Planned — will remain pretty much the same, and existing ideas with those statuses will migrate to Customer Influence. (“Ideas” will be called “improvement requests (IRs)” in Customer Influence, BTW.) Ideas/improvement requests with an Already Offered, Delivered, or Not Planned status are considered to be in a “closed” state — as no further processing is required. The others will remain open until they are delivered or declined. The exceptions are Submitted and Acknowledged, both of which will close after 12 months if no action is taken with them (and their vote counts are low). (Please note that the 12-month period begins at the time of migration, not from the time of submission in Idea Place. So older Acknowledged ideas will still remain open for 12 months in Customer Influence, starting on September 18.)
So, as you can see, we’ll be retaining almost all of the ideas in the new Customer Influence site. Still, you might be worried about requests slipping through the cracks. In fact, you may even be thinking beyond Idea Place. After all, we did gather feedback during beta and captured bugs that had been reported with the Using SAP.com tag. And just as was the case with Idea Place, members complained that we didn’t do anything with that input either. Which is why I am happy to announce officially (and finally) the availability of the Features Requested and Issues Reported page. (Catchy name, right? Just rolls off the tongue.)
The first tab of the page (Features Requested) provides a brief overview of member input, broken down by topic. This includes everything from Idea Place, but also covers beta feedback. For every item, we’ve included a description of the feature requested, when the request was made, and status information. Wherever possible, we’ve linked to additional details and cross-linked similar requests.
The second tab (Issues Reported) provides details about bugs that members shared (via the Using SAP.com tag, for example), as well as errors discovered by our team. This tab is also broken down by topic and provides details about the issue, when it was reported, and its status. If the report came via a community conversation, we link to the appropriate thread.
I should point out that both sections are works in progress, so if you look at a table and think, “Hey, what about that really aggravating bug?,” please keep in mind that we’re still in the process of compiling information. Still, if something strikes you as particularly glaring, please let me know in the comments and I can look into it.
As Oliver Kohl explained in a recent post and Gali Kling Schneider emphasized in another blog, improving the overall experience is the top priority for the SAP Community platform. That’s why our roadmap is more than a breakdown of piecemeal deliverables — it illustrates a bigger picture in which a collection of elements (epics) combine into themes that provide the most value to the community. But as Gali stated in her post: “This is not to suggest that requests for features and reports of issues have become less significant.” Our efforts to ensure a smooth transition from Idea Place to Customer Influence (without losing any of your input), while also building out a single source for all updates about features and issues, are meant to provide even more transparency into the ways in which we are listening and reacting.
So please keep the feedback coming. And keep us honest.