8

We intend to implement a system that will allow users of our application to suggest new features (eg Uservoice) and vote for or against certain suggestions.

Can employees working on the application (dev / ux / management / etc): - Formulate new suggestions from this site? - Vote for or against existing suggestions?

What are the arguments for/against if any?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Todd A. Jacobs Mar 27 at 3:59

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

7

I think there are two questions here.

First: Can the Development Team formulate new suggestions from this site?

YES!

You can make a weekly or biweekly meeting (name: Grooming) (time box: half hour) where you can collect all new suggestions.

Second: Can the Development team vote for or against certain suggestions?

NO!

It will be better to push suggestions to the Product Owner or Investor or some person who takes care of the product. The Development Team has to talk about what and how to implement but not about whether it will implement or not! That is a job for someone else.

I hope this was helpful. Best regards!

5

Assuming the employees working on the application actually use the product as it's being developed, as in "eat your own dog food", then they surely have useful input.

If they are simply coding, testing or documenting the system then their vote would need to be accompanied with a good business case as to why they want the feature added/removed. Otherwise, they may want a feature removed because it's a lot of trouble to code/debug/test or they may want a feature added simply because they feel the product is inferior without it.

Point being, that if you trust your employees as being perfectly objective then they could vote "blindly", otherwise their voting needs to have a reason behind it.

4

Voting will depend on their usage of the application and how priorities are defined.

Suggestions of new features are always welcome, regardless of the source of it.

It's still important to understand the purpose behind it. In the majority of the cases, such proposals are either to improve overall application usability or to automate some processes.

Once the above is understood, they should be prioritised alongside other items. It's important to ensure their voting won't skew the priorities. These items should be assessed alongside other business needs based on its costs and benefits. Business should buy in these changes before its implementations. This is specially important in cases an improvement required by development causes a production issue - the first you'll hear from business might be "I'm paying for you to work on what I told you to do, not on it". Avoid it by explaining the benefits of these improvements.

0

Employees can make suggestions to the product manager as the brainstorming of ideas.

The product is owned by the product manager. The product manager has to consider the overall market fit, the company's short term to long term strategy, the profit margin, the timeline of delivering the product, in order to decide what direction to go. If the employee's suggestion aligns with everything the product stands for, the product manager would definitely like to use the suggestion.

The employee should make suggestions, raise any questions if needed, but should also understand it's not a battle of employee vs. customers, but a battle of the current company to competitions.

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