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Shaping Salesforce Products Together With IdeaExchange
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Shaping Salesforce Products Together With IdeaExchange

We’re invested in reimagining the IdeaExchange so that we can better work with our community to shape valuable solutions that everyone can use.

I love hearing from our customers. As part of Salesforce’s customer listening function, I’m fortunate to have many opportunities to meet with our Ohana to hear what you like, dislike or think we can add to the solutions we offer. I’m not alone. Our product managers value the time they get to spend with you and are constantly advocating to take our products in directions that meet your needs.

However, as our Ohana has grown, it’s gotten harder to scale how we collect, take action on, and communicate with you about your ideas. Our always-on feedback platform, the IdeaExchange, has been one of our most used tools to listen to you. Late last year, we faced the reality that it hasn’t been scaling with our growth. So with your help, we began to reimagine how you can better shape our solutions as an integral part of our planning process.

IdeaExchange Reimagined: Program + product

The effort, which we’ve dubbed IdeaExchange Reimagined, has two parts:

  1. The Program: correct the process issues that led to you feeling like your input hasn’t been influencing our solutions and provide you with better visibility to our roadmaps.
  2. The Product: rebuild the IdeaExchange site to facilitate exercises where you get to prioritize features for our upcoming releases and fix the pain points (for you and our product managers) with idea submission and voting.

Our team is working hard (with many of you!) to design and build the new feature prioritization functionality for launch at Dreamforce ‘19. From your input and by running pilot rounds of prioritization, we’ve already learned a lot in the last few months. We’ll continue to learn how to with you, but in the meantime, here are some highlights.

Product leaders getting a monthly update on a top prioritized idea

You’re shaping our product

While we build the new IdeaExchange, our focus on the program is already starting to deliver results: new features based on your top ideas. By better engaging you at the very beginning of our release planning process via the new IdeaExchange Prioritization concept, we’re able to find out what’s most relevant now and then build it.

From the first round of IdeaExchange Prioritization from Dreamforce ‘18, you’ll begin to see the enhanced related list, related list filters, and row-level formula features in the Summer ‘19 release.

From the January round, our teams are now starting development on three more features inspired by you, which you can read about in this post. To continue this trend, our product leadership team has committed to remove roadblocks that would prevent us from delivering the top prioritized features each release. And I’m encouraged to see some of our teams go beyond the three by adding other top ideas to their roadmaps for upcoming releases.

Better together

The basis of why we’re investing in reimagining the IdeaExchange is so we can better work together to shape our solutions to make them more valuable to you. The feedback you’ve provided through surveys, usability sessions, live roadshow events, on Chatter, and by piloting the prioritization process is already proving the value of your voice. Our team altered the new IdeaExchange prioritization process and product designs directly because of your feedback. We’re now engineering a more straightforward solution that will help you focus our product managers on areas you care about most for each release.

Ideas aren’t an island

From the 65,000+ ideas that exist, identifying the top ones we can take action on is just the beginning. From piloting this program, we’ve also heard from our Ohana that whether it’s a new idea or a known issue, there’s value in considering both when prioritizing what we focus on next. Feedback is feedback and our organizational structure shouldn’t create friction to provide it and understand what is being done with it.

In the near term, you’ll see our team stay laser-focused on evolving both the program and the product to streamline the prioritization of ideas. After Dreamforce, we’ll look across Salesforce and your interactions with us to see where we can apply what we’re doing here to other areas and vice versa.

We have our sights set on improving how you shape our products with your feedback, at scale. While we do this, we may not provide updates on specific ideas you’re interested in as fast as you like. However, we are committed to investing in both the product and program to ensure what we build sets us up to better listen to and communicate with you on the wide range of feedback you provide for years to come.

Start shaping now

Your next chance to influence what we build starts today. Through June 2, participate in the latest pilot round of IdeaExchange Prioritization to tell us what we should start developing for Spring ‘20 and beyond. And continue to help us reimagine how you shape Salesforce solutions by connecting with our team in the IdeaExchange Reimagined Trailblazer Community Chatter group. I can’t wait to see what you prioritize with and for us next.

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