A renewed approach to highly voted Server suggestions for Jira and Confluence

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If you've been an Atlassian customer for a few years, you might remember when we explained how we take highly-voted issues from jira.atlassian.com into account on our product roadmap: votes are important, but they aren't everything. That hasn't changed. But the way we communicate about feature requests for Jira Server and Data Center, as well as Confluence Server and Data Center, is about to. 

Our goal is two-fold:

  1. Be more transparent about what's included on the roadmaps. 
  2. Once a feature request has been incorporated into a roadmap, ship it to customers faster.

Customer suggestions for Jira and Confluence Server are coming in by the dozens every day. And that's great! They provide a window into your world that would be hard for us to have otherwise. We read all of the suggestions you send us. Seriously – we do. But we haven't been as good about responding to them.

In some cases, we put a request on the back burner so it can be tackled along with related items on the roadmap. In other cases, the request is quite niche and gets overtaken by requests that would be relevant for a broader set of customers, or isn't in line with the strategic direction of the product. (If that sounds like your request, check out the Atlassian Marketplace for apps that might suit your needs.) 

We understand that not getting a response is frustrating. Without an indication of whether your suggestions are being received, and how likely they are to be implemented, it feels like we're not even listening. This is especially true for the highest-voted issues.

Frankly, you deserve better.

What you can expect from us

In the coming months, you'll see us responding to a lot more of the highly-voted issues in jira.atlassian.com's JSWSERVERJRASERVER, and CONFSERVER projects. We can't promise you'll always be happy with the answer. But in cases where we decide not to put your suggestion on the roadmap and close out the issue, we can promise a thoughtful, thorough explanation of why. 

And let's be honest: we'll never be able to implement all of the suggestions submitted, so you'll notice us close some issues as Won't Fix. But that doesn't mean you're at a dead end. Our ecosystem of Solution Partners can customize your installation in just about any way imaginable, and the Atlassian Marketplace already has add-ons for many user requests that we decided not to address in the base product (e.g., advanced subcomponent support). 

We're also designing a new workflow for issues with statuses that make it easier to understand which suggestions we're considering, and where it's at in the process. We'll use this new workflow, along with a regular cadence of ongoing updates, to keep you better informed going forward. 

What we ask of you

None of this will happen overnight. Please bear with us as we work through the backlog of open issues and implement these process changes internally. 

In the meantime, keep those suggestions, votes, and comments coming! 

In Jira Server alone, we addressed over 5,000 votes so far this year. This includes some big feature requests such as Kanban backlog, as well as enhancements such as allowing deletion of sprintsdrag and drop of subtasks, the ability to see remaining estimate in the workload by assignee summary, and most recently, the #1 voted issue for Jira Server, priorities per project.

As you can see, your participation is vital to our products' development. 

Thanks for being part of our team

Your requests give us amazing insight into what will unleash more of your team's potential. Your votes tell us that small tweaks can make just as much of a difference in your work as splashy new features. And your comments help us get the details right.

I want to extend a huge, heart-felt thank you to everyone who has submitted a suggestion, voted, or commented. We look forward to hearing more of your feedback in the years to come. 

 

Cheers,

Keshav Puttaswamy

Head of Product - Server & Data Center, Atlassian

12 comments

Was passionate about one issue (along with likely 788 other companies) and our votes didn't align with your road map.  Not happy about being unable to comment in closed issues to let us tell you our displeasure when you mark things as won't fix (you can at my company so it's something you are intentionally doing).   I can tell you that every company I worked at would fix an issue that had 788 people complain about it.  Plug in workarounds are not easily added in larger companies (you know the ones who pay you more).  People want things that work out of the box.

I must say, I agree with Mark. When browsing through your JIRA projects you often find comments by Atlassian claiming that a feature request does not align with a products roadmap. But when hundreds of customers, many paying thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars annually, request a feature, a slight detour of the roadmap would be more beneficial than ignoring the requests. You are a large company and swatting away feature requests by referencing the (undisclosed) roadmap, to me, doesn't exactly fit with your claim of being a highly agile company.

Dear Keshav, I think all users will appreciate more feedback and transparency from Atlassian site.

However, please remember, that your customers are not part of your team - it's the other way around. It may be harsh, but your customers (mostly businesses ones) don't need you and your philosophy, they need a good tool that will get the work done. We as customers don't buy "Atlassian". We buy "Jira", "Confluence" or any other tool that we decide is useful for us. I do understand that you are responsible for your products, and you cannot implement features that will break the software, even if customers want it, because you have the knowledge WHY it will break the product, and customers don't. And this is the area where we would need some transparency. We get far too brief information on reasons why you reject some of the widely expected features or bugfixes (yes, no matter what voodoo mumbo jumbo marketing people will try to force, some of the issues on the public tracker are BUGS, not features).

Another thing is the feeling, that Atlassian avoids more complex overhauls, even if this would greatly increase technical debt in the product. Renaming existing groups (thus switching to identifying groups by id instead of group name) is one of such areas. There was a moment few years ago, when it still could have been done with medium-large team and medium impact on the whole system. Now so many internal and external modules base on the group name as identifier, that changing the group behavior would be extremely hard and it will surely break a lot of things in existing instances. But day after day it gets harder, and one day it will become impossible. We, customers, need YOU, Atlassian, to be BRAVE, and to be part of OUR TEAM. Understand our needs. Take actions. Help us with the good product, and we will reponse to you with money and satisfaction. Grow with us, but don't act like dominator, dictating do's and dont's.

I concur with Gregory 1,000%!! 

Keshav, I appreciate the promise of transparency and communication, but let's be honest, Atlassian just sucks at it!  (Think about how Atlassian has basically created this site so that customers/vendors can assist customers instead of Atlassian itself)

Customers (some of us who spend millions per year) are left to rant and rave in the comments on Jira tickets as well as here on the Community site, with rarely an acknowledgement from the company that promotes and espouses transparent collaboration and teams.  This sentiment is not only felt by customers, but by partners also!

The reason there are new plugin/addon/app vendors popping up every day is because we're all so frustrated with Atlassian's perceived and/or real disdain for what customers actually want.  Every other day I contemplate building my own issue tracking or wiki application!  This is because I don't expect (based on history) Atlassian to actually listen to customers.  This shouldn't be the case!

Instead of spending $425M for Trello, and probably spending similar amount in man-hours to build Stride, ($1B +/-)  how about working on Jira & Confluence so that your customers are ecstatic and happy to renew our licenses.  I suspect that a lot of customers are always on the lookout for a better Jira/Confluence product.

>Think about how Atlassian has basically created this site so that customers/vendors can assist customers instead of Atlassian itself

That's one of several misunderstandings people make.

This community is the fourth incarnation of a forum for end users that Atlassian set up shortly after they were founded.  It is not support and never has been intended to be a support type thing.  It's for us to talk and collaborate.

Except that it now is the location for support for starter licenses, as of just before the last summit

https://www.atlassian.com/blog/announcements/support-for-server-starter-10-user-licenses

And on https://support.atlassian.com/, the Community is placed much higher than the actual support link, just like the marketplace. I think this is a clear indication as to where Atlassian would like its customers to go first when looking for support.

What would be really good, if you would have one developer fixeing all those anyoing little bugs which are normaly done in a couple of minutes. For example: JSWSERVER-7238JSWSERVER-15251 or JRASERVER-59215. That would at least make us paying users feel, that you care about these little things. Since we do not really know how many people are at the development for Jira one has the feeling that the development is far away from agile. If you for example look at Gitlab yoou see a constant change (perhaps to much) but at least you see progress. I'd love to see that the development of Jira would speed up a liitle bit to show us, that you mean this serious!

Thank you for your feedback. As I reference in the article, we have room to get better in terms of responding to your suggestions on JAC. That is exactly what we are doing both in those highly-voted suggestions directly in JAC as well as overall improvements to our workflow so we can keep you better informed. The biggest area we are working on is scaling our efforts so we can more effectively prioritize your feedback and give you updates.

Oliver, in this article, I am focused on issues on JAC that are Type=Suggestion. Separately, we are also looking at ways to improve our communication on issues that are Type=Bug. Stay tuned for updates on that front.

As Gregory eloquently put it, our ultimate goal is for you to feel that we are part of YOUR team. Thank you again for your passion and for sharing your suggestions.

Heads up! Based on your input, we have rolled out an updated workflow for Server feature suggestions. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Confluence

Tables

  • As a user I would like to be able to select a whole row or column on a table in one click
  • As a user I would like to be able to select multiple, whole rows or columns using Command+Shift or Control+Shift
  • As a user I would like to be able to format selected row(s) or column(s) together
  • As a user I would like to be able to copy & paste my column & row selections to add to the table
  • As a user I would like to click & drag to select multiple cells and it's contents at the same time to make changes to the selected content
  • As a user I would like a way to select the whole table (with my mouse) to copy and paste or format the entire table

Formatting/Page layout

  • As a user I would like to be able to select a Tabs macro that enables me to create tabs in my page so that I can better organise information 

These would make a huge difference immediately to whether all my company's product teams (and past company's I've worked for) use Confluence in replacement of Google Docs/Word Docs and Dropbox Paper and Excel/Google Sheets.

 

Patient regards,

Haifa

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