Curating ideas into the Icebox | Product Development Process

Continuing the discussion from Overview: End to end OFN Product Development Process


Curating the ideas into the Icebox

Definition of Icebox: a place to store things that are of value but not yet prioritised to be built.

All the ideas that are developed by the community need to be curated into a list of “items” (one per idea) that are easy to read/understand, follow a common template, and can be eventually selected for inclusion in the Product Development Backlog.

Creating Icebox Items

Who can create them:

(Current list as of December 2017)

Where they are created and managed:

They live here in the Community channel within the #product-dev:icebox category.

Eventually, once the idea has been prioritised, scoped, and built, the Icebox item will be archived and therefore removed from the list.

Also when an icebox item is created it is added to the general roadmap spreadsheet to be eligible for priorization (see below).

What form should they take:

The information required for an Icebox Item is set out in sections:

  • What is the need / problem
  • Who does it impact
  • What is the current impact of this problem
  • What is the benefit in focusing on this
  • Links to more detail
  • Potential solutions that will solve this problem

Note: The template is connected to the #product-dev:icebox category, and therefore will show up when you select this category for your new topic.

How much detail is required:

Not too much at this stage of the process. The Icebox Item needs to be succinct and concise, with just enough information to be able to paint a picture of why it is important. This makes it easier to understand and prioritise these items quickly and without too much reading required. This is why we require links to any further information, so that if you want to you can deep dive into the detail but you don’t have to.

When we talk about these items:

Each month at the OFN Global Hangout there will be a standing agenda item for the group to discuss any new Icebox Items, or to request one to be created if you are not one of the listed curators.

How do we identify Icebox Items that are important

It is the responsibility of the people who create the Icebox Items to also vote for the ones they feel are a priority over the others. To do this:

  • Each person has up to 10 votes to spread across all the items in the Icebox. It is your responsibility as a voter to only ever have a maximum of 10 votes. You can put 1 vote against 10 items, or you could put 3 on 1 item, or even up to 10 on 1 item. So long as in total you have no more than 10 votes, you can do whatever you like.

  • The process to add your vote is described on this page.

  • These votes will be used by the Product Curator group to determine what should go onto the Product Feature Backlog, so choose wisely, and be sure to vote. If you are not on the Icebox Creator list but want to have a say, please get in touch with one of the Creators who can represent you :slight_smile:

@danielle I think the “Links to more detail” is missing in the template :wink:

I like the feature that @sigmundpetersen is proposing !

Another idea we had was potentially to hack the tags possibility on an item, every entitled user could #hisname, and update a #nbvote tag, but then we need every entitled contributor to check he has not more than 5 or 10 active # at any time… so until the icebox item has not been analysed and feature candidate specced and given stories delivered, he cannot give his vote to another item.

not sure if everyone can edit labels / tags on an existing post @MyriamBoure - it might only be us admins?

it seems to include ‘max number of votes’ per user in it already. doesn’t say they can vote multiple times on same item but doesn’t say they can’t, and kinda looks like they can . . might be worth trying. Seems much more likely to get used than workaround process w tag editing

Yep, we can try. For now I have tagged as “listed” the icebox items that I referenced in the detail roadmap spreadsheet. And started to tag as “iceboxed” the wishlist items that are structured into an icebox item. I think we could have some process like:

  • people share their needs on whilists
  • from these messy ideas, non structure wish, we get the “focus point” (not solution) need and open an icebox item, and start listing maybe some feature candidates. We can then “close” the corresponding wishlist items, or at list mark them as “iceboxed” to know they have been treated. So that could be a way to go through the 130 wishlist item and tidy up.
  • once the icebox item has been listed in the spreadsheet, so referenced in a more flexible tool that will enable to compare and prioritize maybe more easily, just add the tag “listed” to the icebox item
  • and I guess we can use discourse to vote (or we could do it just by adding a column and letting people put their name on it to vote in the spreadsheet… I’m afraid if the icebox list has 50 entries that it’s going to be pretty hard to compare and vote in it :-o )

Another idea, what about using our Loomio group for voting? Seems the dot point type fits our requirements re. max number of votes and voting several times on same :slight_smile:

@MyriamBoure @enricostn

Wahou, sounds like a great idea @sigmundpetersen ! Ping @danielle :slight_smile: We would need though I guess to curate all possibilities in advance as we can’t have 100 items to vote on, but that could be something useful! Let’s see when we organize the first vote session :slight_smile:

I’ve not used Loomio before…so will leave it in your collective hands to create something brilliant @MyriamBoure @sigmundpetersen :grinning:

Hey @MyriamBoure @nick how do we get this item added as a permanent thing to the Global Hangout agenda? Or actually, step this back a step - how do we get an explanation of the product development onto the agenda (and in a meeting that we know people who weren’t at the Oz gathering are there to hear about it) so we can then get the standing agenda item in place? :smile:

I agree I suggest as you say @danielle that we have a “roadmap stading agenda” in our discussion where we can:

  • share how things move forward
  • share and discuss tensions in the process
  • ask clarification questions, align
  • or as this morning propose some experience in the way we put in place that process

Actually I think we should remove that part from Curating ideas into the Icebox | Product Development Process as the priorization doesn’t happen when we create the icebox items, we need to kind of see them all to be able to choose which one we want to see happening in priority…

@Kirsten @danielle don’t you think Sally should also be able to curate ideas into icebox and vote? I mean for me the people doing that should have a clear understanding of the problems users are facing and which ones are the most urgent and important ones. So basically support people are legitimate to me.

Sally and I removed ourselves from the list @MyriamBoure - we didn’t want the power :slight_smile:

For now @sigmundpetersenI updated the post to reflect the first iteration we are having on dot voting, if we can avoid another tool would be great, and also given the number or options people can vote for not sure Loomio is the best option actually… sometimes easy and old spreadsheets remain the best :slight_smile:

Yes agree! :+1: Keep with Good ol’ Excel for now :slight_smile:

ok - I am going through and putting some votes in, but I especially want @sstead to review what I’ve done and suggest changes if you think necessary. You are much more in contact with Australian users than I am and I could easily not know about significant things!

ok so now having done this, I see that there aren’t that many ‘user issues’ in the pipeline - a lot is background etc. Main thing is that we are assuring users that bugs are getting taken care of, and I have put some votes to mobile / UX as i understand that’s a priority for prom coast etc @sstead