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Smartsheet and the Elusive Roadmap
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.
Smartsheet Product Team