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Community Manager
Community Manager
When gali.klingschneider unveiled the roadmap outlining our upcoming plans and priorities for feature development, she also promised monthly updates that would (and I quote) "let you know if we are on track to deliver everything that we announced."

Well, if I'm to be completely honest, it's been a little longer than a month. Nearly two, in fact.

While updates have been available (and a variation of this blog has been bouncing around for weeks), we delayed a bit as we fleshed out a slightly different approach to how we convey the roadmap.

As shown in Gali's post, we were looking at the roadmap in terms of two huge categories: content discovery and community feel. Those categories, in turn, consisted of features (e.g., the development of new functionality) that supported the overarching goals.

This general philosophy and thinking have not changed. But we've gotten a bit more detailed in our explanations, to reflect better the overall agile principles driving improvements to the SAP Community platform and experience.

For starters, we’ve shifted toward categories called themes (a term familiar to anyone who has worked in an agile environment) -- or, put another way, goals that should provide the most value to the community. A list of themes and their descriptions appeared on the wiki page dedicated to the SAP Community roadmap when Gali published her post, but we have since revised them. The themes now are:

  • Content discovery

  • Navigation

  • Content structure

  • Social and reputation

  • Profile

  • Search

Achieving a theme is contingent upon the delivery of certain functionality -- including functional packages known as epics. Looking at the roadmap with fresh eyes, you'll see that the three-month span of the roadmap now outlines the epics planned -- with connections made back to the relevant themes. For example, as the wiki pages for the SAP Community roadmap illustrate, @Mentions -- one of the most demanded features -- is an epic tied to the "social and reputation" theme.

Speaking of @Mentions, as the roadmap's update on the wiki shows, @Mentions and the bulk of other epics are moving forward as planned. The following four items have been pushed back, however, for the reasons indicated:

  • We had intended to enhance content information in April -- meaning we would add content types to the profile (e.g., comments) and meta info about the content, including a content item's primary tag and accepted answer status for questions. As part of the enhancement of content information, we also planned to allow the sorting and filtering of the content in the profile. We've had to move delivery of this epic into June, due to unexpected integration efforts with Blogs and Q&A -- and also due to the fact that the assigned team was working on the new mega menu (which was also required before these enhancements could be delivered).

  • Also related to profile: We had planned to begin work on advanced features in June for logged-in users, so they could manage their profiles, social graph (i.e., your followers and the people following you), and settings better. But these features don't fit within the current UI concept well -- so they'll need to be part of a larger profile redesign. As a result, we require additional time to think about the best approach before beginning work next quarter. Building and delivering the features themselves will require months of work.

  • The roadmap listed archive classification for April. Through this classification, we would tag the archived items, so that they would be shown with similarly tagged community content (i.e., blogs and questions). This initial tagging did happen in April, but we need some more time to review and fine-tune as necessary. We are still determining when we'll be able to roll out this tagged archive content.

  • We have made changes to the Browse the Community page -- as shown on the roadmap and described in the Re-paving the Roads: An SAP Community Navigation Update post from my colleague jcantrell. As a next step, we plan to enhance Browse the Community further with on-page search. We are targeting this month for delivery. We had hoped to deliver sooner, but work on the mega menu pushed development back slightly.

Meanwhile, as shown in recent release notes and on the roadmap wiki page, we have delivered several items as intended -- such as the mega menu (i.e., the "header navigation). Other big updates include a new subheader with breadcrumbs and the epic of a consistent Actions menu across the community -- with standard links for all users. These links are: Ask a Question, Write a Blog Post, Send a Message, Manage My Blog Posts, and Get Started.

Please note that users within the Coffee Corner will also see Start a Discussion as an Actions link -- and this is the only area of the site where this choice will be available. Also, SAP Community moderators and administrators -- once logged in -- will see additional links in the Actions menu, based on where they are in the community (e.g. Questions & Answers, Blogs). Some moderation entries will come this month.

While we're on the subject of moderation: Profiles for moderators will now show which tags they moderate. Note that some moderators -- such as yours truly -- aren't assigned to any specific tags, and, instead, just try to help with the overall moderation queue. My colleague, moshe.naveh2#moderated_tags, on the other hand...

That's it for now. We'll be back in a couple weeks with new release highlights and in a month with another roadmap report. You can catch up on previous highlights via the Community Updates page.