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How we use the Famly Roadmap
How we use the Famly Roadmap

Describing how we use the public Famly Roadmap, what numbers of votes trigger an investigation, and how we prioritise new features in Famly.

Matt Arnerich avatar
Written by Matt Arnerich
Updated over a week ago

💡 This article is all about (1) how you can get the most use out of our public roadmap and (2) a commitment on our side to be diligent about using the roadmap consistently. If you’re looking for how to submit a feature request on the roadmap, you can read about that here. We’ll keep refining our process here over time to make it even better, so if you have any feedback - we want to hear it.

What is our roadmap?

Since 2020, we’ve had a public roadmap at Famly. It’s a place for us to make sure we hear and store product suggestions from the tens of thousands of people who use Famly every day, and help us to prioritise what’s next.

Right now, we’re lucky enough to receive around 400-500 product suggestions every month through phone, email, chat, and our platform.

How does it influence what we build?

The Roadmap is just one input we use to guide our product development. Other inputs include:

  1. Highly requested features from the community discovered via research, interviews, or user experience testing and data (this includes the roadmap!)

    • For example: Custom Registration Forms or Famly Home.

  2. Technology investments to make sure Famly is online and stable all the time.

    • For example: Upgrading our code and servers to help the app run faster.

  3. Compliance and security efforts to make sure user data continues to be safe and compliant with new government initiatives.

    • For example: New curriculum guidance, ratio changes, or responding to feedback on penetration tests.

  4. Growth developments aimed at expanding Famly's user base or making it accessible to more people.

    • For example: Our new childminder package or white labelling apps for groups.

Who receives the suggestions?

The Roadmap inbox is managed by Famly employees, who review it on a weekly basis and merge suggestions with similar ones previously reported.

Suggestions made while upvoting on are automatically merged with their corresponding upvoted product suggestions. This helps us keep track of how frequently the same suggestion is received and allows us to bundle similar suggestions together so that product teams can easily understand and review them.

If a product suggestion has not been received before, we create a brand new entry and it becomes a part of our database.

Our process for handling product suggestions

Step 1: Identifying trends and needs

In order to identify trends and needs, several people monitor incoming suggestions on a weekly basis.

Furthermore, our product teams receive a monthly report that includes the highest upvoted suggestions on the product roadmap. This report is one of the inputs used to plan the product roadmap.

After the initial discussion, items can be added to the Roadmap as "Under Consideration", monitored for future consideration, or dismissed for the time being - no suggestion is deleted.

Step 2: Investigation and Evaluation

While all suggestions are open for evaluation, if Famly has received a high volume of the same suggestion within 90 days or we receive more than 30 requests for a particular feature within 12 months, the product team in charge of the requested domain automatically investigates it.

If the suggestion is unclear, the users who made the suggestion will be contacted for clarification. Otherwise, the product suggestion is evaluated by the product team.

If the suggestion is deemed relevant and feasible, it will be added to the public roadmap in the "Gathering insight" lane, along with a proper description of the problem being solved.

In some cases, the product team may determine that the suggestion is not feasible at this time. Reasons for this may be:

  • It presents a security or privacy issue

  • It’s not technically feasible to develop

  • It’s outside the scope of the Famly platform

  • It might not be the right solution to the problem

Step 3: Determining Development

It's important to highlight that the number of votes an idea garners on the portal significantly influences its potential for development. Sometimes, however, an idea with fewer votes might take precedence over a higher-voted one if it aligns better with ongoing initiatives or is easier to execute.

The 150-vote failsafe:

When a product suggestion reaches 150 upvotes it automatically triggers a process for the designated product team to add the suggestion to their 6-month roadmap. Then one of two things happen:

  • If deemed feasible, the suggestion is scheduled for development and communicated to all users who have upvoted the suggestion. The timeline for delivering the suggestion can be anywhere from 0 to 6 months depending on the complexity involved.

  • The product team evaluated the product suggestion and found that it cannot be delivered within 6 months. This may be due to various reasons, such as ongoing larger developments that must be finished or the product suggestion itself requiring greater capacity than available to complete. This would be communicated to all who have upvoted the suggestion.

We want to stress that the 150-vote threshold is just one part of the larger picture. We make decisions based on what is possible, what is in line with our goals, and what resources we have available.

Step 4: Review and Removal

We also want to make sure we’re not cluttering the roadmap with things we won’t commit to make.

If a product suggestion in the "Under consideration" section hasn't received 150 upvotes or been prioritised by the product team after 12 months on the public roadmap, the owning product team reviews whether the suggestion is set to be completed within 3 months. If not, the suggestion is removed from "Under consideration" and the people who upvoted it receive an update message.

How can I stay updated on the status of features?

Whenever a product suggestion on is moved to a different section (e.g., from "Gathering Insight" to "Planned") or dismissed, an update email is sent to anyone who has upvoted and left a comment on the suggestion on the Roadmap itself.

To make sure your vote is counted, choose how important a feature is to you, write a comment, add your email address. and hit submit.

So if you would like to be informed of a feature request status, make sure to provide us with your email address.

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