View Full Version : vBulletin Product Development Process or What's to Come Part III

vB.Org System
27 Sep 2010, 20:00
Shortly after I started we made changes to the development process (which will be the subject of a future post.) Along with these changes, we also made some initial changes to the QA process. Both of these set of changes were designed to streamline, and make our process more expedient and effective in terms of development and QA. So far these changes seem to be working. The initial changes however, did not include intake and processing of feedback from the community or internal stakeholders, for that matter, on future development.

Another reason for not including feedback into the process was that I wanted to understand the product better and become familiar with the community and the needs of our customers. Alas, finally the time has come to effect more changes. Please note that while we are positive about these changes, they are not set in stone. The process will morph as new challenges arise and the product itself evolves.

The following diagram illustrates the changes we are about me make:


The general idea behind this process is that everything funnels down to a sprint. The crux of the problem we are trying to solve is prioritization. By normalizing features and enhancements across multiple axis, then prioritization as a problem is enormously simplified.


Bug handling will not change. Bugs will continued to be confirmed, scrubbed, and prioritized in the way they have been. Bug prioritization is hard. Bugs affect different boards differently. Thus, each board will think differently about the same bug. We feel that the current handling process is working well. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." However, overtime, it will evolve.

Community Feedback:

Community feedback is core to making vBulletin better. I feel very strongly about the statement and it saddens me that we don't make better and more effective use of such a valuable resource. That is a problem we are solving with this process change as well.

I want to set the right expectation: while all ideas are good ideas, we will not be able to go after each single one of them. Priority will be given to those ideas that are closely aligned with our overall strategy or have an immediate and direct effect on vBulletin for all stakeholders. Those ideas that we decide not to follow up in the short term will be placed in the "Long Term Backlog" and will be revisited on a regular basis as the product evolves.

I know some of you would like to know more about the strategy and direction of the product. My previous post showcased a mid-term direction of vBulletin. As we can share more information about our plans, we will.

vBulletin Product Team:

We view vBulletin as a very important property and center to Internet Brands. Internally, we have a group of people that breath, eat, sleep, walk vBulletin. These people are not only very passionate about the product, but also very dedicated. They contribute with ideas as well.

Something we wanted was to make sure that no priorities received preferential treatment, that is why any suggestions generated by our customers, or our internal team are evaluated together from a prioritization point of view. Consolidating these suggestions also helps us manage overlapping ideas, or ideas that might potentiate with each other.

As a result of this process change, the product feedback forum will be closed starting on October 11th, and we will use Jira as the intake and processing system for feedback. Jira will allow us all to vote and track New Product and Enhancement requests. It will also facilitate our communication back to you on the status of the request.

We will try to migrate as many requests from the current feedback forum to Jira as possible. Undoubtedly, some will not make it. It will take time, so please be patient. At the same time, you are welcomed to re-enter your feedback in Jira. If you are so inclined and if you could, I would appreciate it you would note in the forum that you already took care of migrating the item so we, on one hand, do not duplicate the effort and are more efficient, and on the other, we do not pollute Jira with duplications.

Thank you, I look forward to your feedback.
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