Welcome to the Smartsheet Forum Archives


The posts in this forum are no longer monitored for accuracy and their content may no longer be current. If there's a discussion here that interests you and you'd like to find (or create) a more current version, please Visit the Current Forums.

Smartsheet and the Elusive Roadmap

Kara LumleyKara Lumley Employee
edited 08/17/17 in Archived 2017 Posts
08/15/17 Edited 08/17/17

Dear Smartsheet users,

 

A few months ago, we made the decision to remove our public roadmap, which has caused frustration for many of you, particularly in our Smartsheet Community.

 

We removed the roadmap for a few reasons - as priorities and resources change, we couldn’t give the expectation that the roadmap was set in stone - and, as we grow larger, we need to be careful about how our competitors may use this information. Our current alternative to posting the roadmap is to ask you to sign up for our new Early Adopter Program (EAP). The EAP will give you an opportunity to use and and provide feedback to functionality that is not currently available to non-EAP users. 

Another source of frustration I’ve seen is with our voting system in the community - folks have great ideas, and we respond by saying “we will add your vote for that”.

What happens after that? Why has a certain feature been voted for for years but we still don’t have that? Do those people at Smartsheet listen? Does the feature need a certain number of votes in order for it to be developed? Is there a mysterious man behind a curtain deciding on what gets worked on?

Those are all great questions.

All votes do get sent back to the Product team, so we can see exactly where your pain points are and how we can make Smartsheet easier to use and make you more efficient. Often times, one of us will reach back out to a user so we can understand your specific workflows.

There is not a certain threshold or number of votes that a request needs in order for us to pass it along to our Development team. We analyze the cost of building the feature, the benefits of it, if it is inline with our strategic goals, and when we will have a team available to make it happen.

An example of an often requested functionality is cell-merging - it’s in the top 5 requests from users. People who are switching over from spreadsheets to Smartsheet can have a particularly hard time adjusting to Smartsheet for this very reason. The reason why we have not implemented cell-merging (yes, I would LOVE this, especially for my RACI matrixes) is because we are actually quite different than a typical spreadsheet application. We have over 8 different column types that store data differently, and we have not found a solution that is easy to implement while still offering the flexible column types.  For now, the cost of researching and developing cell-merging is not in parity with the benefit.

On the other hand, we know that you’d like to have the ability to select multiple options from a dropdown list. This is something that is we need to just sit down and spend time on thinking about create and implement. This is not a technical limitation, like cell-merging, but rather a time and resources limitation. We are working on many fronts to combat this - including aggressively hiring for our Development team, prioritizing and re-prioritizing what we will be working on next, and, of course, listening to stories of how these ideas will benefit you.

In short, we just wanted to say that we do listen, we do care, and value all feedback -positive and negative- that comes our way.

Smartsheet has some very exciting releases planned for September (stay tuned!) and the rest of the year, and we couldn’t do it without you.

If you have any specific questions, or want to share your feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Thank you,

Kara Lumley

[email protected]

Smartsheet Product Team

Comments

  • Richard Rymill SBPRichard Rymill SBP ✭✭✭✭✭

    Kara

    Thank you kindly for those very experienced words of wisdom. We love what you do and are quite excited about what you may reveal in September. 

    I too agree about cell merging. If new users of Smartsheet just use it as they did Excel, they will miss out on 3/4 of the benefits of Smartsheet, so finding new and better ways of working is the fun part. 

    My reminder vote is for Dynamic Dropdowns ie one to many, without having to involve integration Apps, but until then we have workarounds at least. 

    Then could we have some Conditional Logic? wooooo ! i'll stop there. 

    Thanks Kara.

    RichardR 

     

     

  • Stephanie TaylorStephanie Taylor ✭✭✭✭✭

    Kara, 

    I am part of the EAP and would like to find to how I can access the roadmap.

     

    Thank you,

    Stephanie

  • Shaine GreenwoodShaine Greenwood Employee
    edited 08/17/17

    To add to this, please make sure to submit your product enhancement requests using the form under Quick links on the right of the community site.

    This is the best way to ensure that our Product team is aware of the feature you want, how you'd imagine the feature looking/working, and giving our Product team a chance to contact you about the feature, if needed.

    I also still want to encourage that we talk about feature requests in the community, as long as the request has also been submitted through the form. I love open discussions about enhancement requests, so that people can share ideas about how they'd like a feature to work and possibly provide helpful workarounds.

  • Hi Stephanie,

    Someone will reach out to you directly via email with steps on getting access to the roadmap.

  • Kelly OspinaKelly Ospina ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for the update. One of the things I love best about Smartsheet is how responsive you are to the user community, and our feedback and requests. Looking forward to the September releases.

  • Merged Cells! please god no.  They are often used too frequently by people who often don't understand how best to model a data set and don't understand the loads of problems merged cells can cause.  Man alive the problems I've encountered over the years with merged cells.

    There are tons of other really good improvement suggestions for an already brilliant tool.  please concentrate on them first  ;o)

    I'm happy for the road map to stay secret, I understand that.  I feel listened to by the Smartsheet team and so long as that continues I'm happy.

     

    Adam...

  • KurtKurt ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Shaine,

    I would ask that Smartsheet consider adding a dedicated Idea board, instead of a form submit, to keep track of everyone's enhancement submissions.  This way, it is easier for people to find and vote for other people's suggestions, as well as adding their own.  It is also a great way for you to share progress back with your users.  They can see which Ideas have the most votes, which ones have already been developed, which ones are in consideration, and even which ones have been ruled out (and why).  This way, you don't have to share your whole roadmap, but you still give your Customers a sense for what has a reasonable chance of being developed (or not), and when.

    Thx!

  • Chris McKayChris McKay ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 04/16/18

    Hi Adam,

    I'll disagree with you here.

    I hate to be blunt, but those who believe that merged cells would impact their data sets do not understand data models either. and have failed to plan their information architecture to include data and presentation layers. There are loads of ways to get around the issues others have described, some of which I've addressed on this Community forum. Often, there is a need to present data without any other contextual information and often that means grouping columns of information together. Merged cells (if implemented correctly) do not prevent the author from including tables, pivots or arrays underneath that are unaffected by whatever filters or sorts that have been applied to the "header" or "title" row(s).

    I really not a fan of anyone dictating what shouldn't be included in a product based on their own experience or preferences. If you don't like merged cells, then you can simply choose not to use them.

    I'll also disagree with anyone promoting particular feature enhancements over others just because they have a need. Feature enhancements should take a back seat to bug fixes and proper documentation (something that still needs some work). Only then should Smartsheet begin working on enhancements in line with their roadmap which itself has been prioritised based on their own vision, resource availability and strategic plans (e.g. revenue projections, legislation/compliance, growing user base etc.) and what is being asked for (here and via the customer success managers).

    Kind regards,

    Chris McKay

This discussion has been closed.