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Idea: Roadmap Manager app in Hornbill


samwoo
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  1. 1. What do you think of this idea?

    • Yes
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    • No, but understand the need for others to have it (I would not use it)
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Hello,

Apologies - I didn't know where to put this.

I was wondering if I could propose an idea for a new Hornbill App - the Hornbill Roadmap Tool.

We are currently using Spreadsheet's for product Roadmaps and it is getting very messy.

I've looked online and there are other Roadmap tools out there (https://roadmunk.com/ for example - looks good)... but I believe when it comes to internal development (creating brand new software from scratch or making changes existing software) it would be a good idea to have a place outside of the Change Calendar where we can maintain Roadmap - style information for each individual Application. This can be then be linked to the Assets Manager, Service Manager, Project Manager etc and to also be visible on the Portal (with security or without).

An example of how I would use this is for one of my main applications that i manage (next to Hornbill) I would like to replicate the Supplier's roadmap information in Hornbill, as well as being able to include my own work on the very same roadmap for this software. I can then ensure that a ticket or task is created when a Major step in the Roadmap is around the corner. This Roadmap can be manipulated so that if i get to that part of the year where i'm expected to have something done by, I can extend or move it to another time. And best of all the user's can see the Roadmap for that particular application against a Service (or another screen) in the IT Portal so they can get an idea of what's upcoming.

This is probably overkill and I cant think of how feasible it would be in Hornbill except for it being useful in my case - but there may be plenty of use for it that i've not though about.

The Change Calendar is good for changes, but it gets hugely cluttered that it can be difficult to look at certain things at a glance hence the reason for the Roadmap idea.

Thanks,

Samuel

 

EDIT: Here are the fields we have on the "Spreadsheet" version of the Applications Matrix / Roadmap:

Application Name, Notes/Status, Purpose, Department, Owner, Tier, Primary , Secondary, Super User(s), API's Asked, Comments , Current version, Latest Available Version, Date of next upgrade, , Annual support mainenance, Renewal date, Example PO, Account Manager, Wiser Resolver Group, Supplier, Hosted , Current DB server spec, Current App server spec, Current Web server spec, Spec New DB Server, Spec New app server, Confirmed, Overview Document

As you can see it's very extensive and hard to maintain... and we lose the history too when it's updated.

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Hi Samuel,

I would agree and Product Manager would be the right term for this app.  It is something that we have discussed several times here at Hornbill.  Defining and managing requirements for a product is almost a precursor to something being done in Project Manager.  I can see that this would provide a complete suite of apps for a complete life-cycle of a product, from product ideation, to project, to support and customer management.  

I'll definitely raise the question internally.

Regards,

James

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@Victor

Portal-wise - Very similar yes but maybe with the additional views more akin to a Swimlane or timeline but only showing certain content based on what the Product / Application the Service deals with.

We will still need a visual Product / Application management tool in Hornbill, maybe an extension of the Asset Manager also being able to visualise a Roadmap for each Product / Application, with the ability to publish these to the Portal.

Is this too much?

Thanks,

Samuel

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6 minutes ago, James Ainsworth said:

Hi Samuel,

I would agree and Product Manager would be the right term for this app.  It is something that we have discussed several times here at Hornbill.  Defining and managing requirements for a product is almost a precursor to something being done in Project Manager.  I can see that this would provide a complete suite of apps for a complete life-cycle of a product, from product ideation, to project, to support and customer management.  

I'll definitely raise the question internally.

Regards,

James

Posted my message the same time as you.

Thanks @James Ainsworth for bring this to the discussions with your internal team.

Cheers

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We already have a "Product Manager" app under development.  It handles (or is planned to handle) the following major data entities. 

  • Products
  • Components
  • Releases
  • Defects
  • Features

The basic aim of the application is to provide product lifecycle management. Once a product is defined, you can create releases.  Released have a lifecycle so Planned, In Progress, Released as well as a status, Alpha, Beta etc... A release is essentially a container of Releases and Defects against a product.  A release is considered feature complete when all Features associated with the release are implemented and all Defects associated with that release are Fixed. The application will allow you to manage/generate release notes etc. The Portal interface will provide a way for customers up-vote/down-vote features and defects, features and defects will also have a lifecycle, when they are open they will either be in the product backlog, or they will be associated to a release. 

Thats a very high level overview but thats the essence of the high level specification.  The application is targeted at "Software Companies" who make and support software products they make. 

You can achieve the same thing using Service Manager, mapping problems to defects, enhancements to changes and releases to releases but I felt that the business of managing software products has some very specific needs that if we tried to meet with Service Manager would either be very hacky or would take Service Manager off in the wrong direction.  

I have no target date at the moment, the development work so far as been unprioritized. If there is sufficient interest from say 3 to 5 companies already using our platform who would like an app like this that we can wok with, and who would be willing to help drive the feature set and once built be willing to do a case study I would be keen to put together a working group and prioritise development of the application.  In exchange for that early input, testing and roll-out I would of course offer those companies the use of the app for free, for life. 

@samwoo does that sound like the sort of app you are looking for? Interested?  Anyone else interested at this point in time? 

 

Gerry
 

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@Gerry

We currently do not use Release Manager aswell as not having a Release Manager in the Business. Everything we do goes through Change Control. I do not think we will ever use it.

We have an Applications Team (which I am a member of where Hornbill is one of my primnary Applications) and there is about 6 people providing support for quite a lot more than 30 Applications at least. Each Application is broken down into tiers

1. Business Critical (Super A)
2. Important
3. General

We provide Technical Support - so dealing with backend stuff such as Upgrades, running SQL, setting up interface scripts, make changes to the applications for our front-end users, running reports for them, resolving incidents when logged via the Portal, liaising with Suppliers with regards to any queries, dealing with setting up users or doing password resets, licenses etc.

There are also Super Users who deal with the Administration side of these Applications (not all have though!)

My idea is to have a place where we can hold all the information required about a Product and it's lifecycle for Applications/Products that we support and maintain... we do not create any software though (with the exception of creating processes/ sub-applications? within certain Applications, such as Dynamics 365 (which is done via another team entirely) and CRM).

Our Suppliers have set Roadmaps (which could span 2 or 3 years) which will contain information such as...

  1. When they expect new releases to come out
  2. Whether or not the will be software changes to the server or application such as Oracle Weblogic being updated to the latest version
  3. They will have details of when an Application goes out of support and at what version it will go out of support. etc.
  4. It will contain details about the new updates / backpatches such as what browsers are supported on each release or what the minimum Java version is required

We can use the information above to prepare for changes in the future of the Application, by maybe creating a notification, task or request to flag up things we need to be aware of or do.

We would also need to store information about the Application itself which we currently store in a Spreadsheet, but it's hard to maintain a history of any changes to this spreadsheet. (I can send you a sample if you'd like of what information we hold on there).

Will the Product Manager cater for a scenario such as this?

Please bear in mind that this is just me throwing my ideas around - everyone wants to move away from an excel spreadsheet at some point :) - I am not expecting this to be a thing though as it's scale would be immense.

Quote

 have no target date at the moment, the development work so far as been unprioritized. If there is sufficient interest from say 3 to 5 companies already using our platform

Does the count of voters on the poll help in this case?

Thanks,

Samuel

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@samwoo

Thanks for the explanation. I seem to have misinterpreted what you meant when you said "creating brand new software from scratch or making changes existing software" In which case what I was proposing is not for you, I would suggest what you need to be using is change and release management functionality provided within Service Manager which is designed to do what you want which is manage the release cycles of COTS software and hardware configurations. A release can have one or more CHANGES and PROBLEMS associated with it, and of course a release is considered complete when all CHANGES and PROBLEMS associated with it are implemented/resolved.  I am not an expert in the detailed workings of Service Manager, @James Ainsworth would be able to jump in here and offer more guidance. 

Gerry

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Hi @samwoo

I can see that there are a  number of ways that you can tackle your requirement.  With functionality that you have already there are options to use assets as your container to manage the software from your 3rd party suppliers.  From an asset you can store a number of attributes about the software and from the asset plan changes, use the Timeline for discussions, add attachments, vendor information, link to Services, and more.  Assets have the concept of sub-states which could be used for your Business Critical, Important, and General categories.   Project Manager, Boards, and workspaces could also play a role.  Keeping it within Service Manager does also help with the transition between planning and support.   A Service for each of these areas could also be used as a high level container.  This would be more of a Technical Service or Supplier Service for your technical staff rather than a Business Service that is more focused on the end users.  Lots of options.

I would tend to agree with @Gerry that a Product Manager app would be more aligned to someone who is creating and managing the life-cycle of a product rather than managing software that is supplied by someone else.

If the idea of using an asset or service for your requirement sparks an interest we can look at helping configure with the current features and look at other additions that might help with managing this.

Regards,

James

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@Gerry we create Apps, and manage them how we always do - excel spreadsheets and MS project... 

even if we haven't created the App in house, managing the lifecycle and feature requests through a product app rather than relying on Subject Matter Expert knowledge, would bring a level of governance that we currently lack

 

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@Darren Rose

Ok well that sounds like it might work for you.  Do you envisage any specific integration requirements between the Products you manage and Service Manager? I ask because as of now the work on Product Manager has been as a stand-alone App, not an extension to Service Manager.  

Gerry

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