Transparency is in the eye of the beholder

My former colleague Tom is always addressing some very interesting issues. Today he decided to broach the issue of transparency with Microsoft and why some people seem to hate us no matter what we do. The post is very through provoking (as always), but even more so are the comments in answers to Tom's challenge of voting on which groups at Microsoft do the best and worst jobs engaging with the community.

So far the results are

Best: Scott Guthrie's org (.NET), VSTS, CodePlex

Least: IE, Windows, and Office

We're not on the list yet 😉 Being transparent has always been one of our top priorities. In fact, as I write this we are working on ways to be even more transparent. This includes transparency into our processes within p&p as well as our newly created product backlog that identifies exactly what the individual teams are focusing on. You can read more about these new processes in Grigori's Scrum of Scrum's article.

As to the overall sentiment, I think as a company we are doing more now than we ever have before in terms of that transparency. We have over 3000 bloggers within MSFT. Many of our Product Groups have adopted a shipping model with frequency CTPS which gives customers a greater insight. SDR's (Software Design Reviews) continually. We've got community supported efforts like the AJAX Control Toolkit, p&p deliverables (shameless plug) and finally we have the effort that our executives are putting in to reach out to the community, like Scott Guthrie's recent attendance at ALT.NET. And don't forget the recent work with the OSI.

I am not trying to toot any horns here, but I think we have made tremendous strides.

What about you?

Comments (3)

  1. I really don’t understand how in less the one year public oppinion on the work of the P&P team shift from "agile", "inovative", "cool" to "it’s ok, but check out how the XY product does that"

    I think that the lack of the strong commitment and transparent road map are the reason. If you just comapre the blogging activity of the P&P memeber team one year ago and then, the difference is obvious.

    Heck, I had a douzen P&P blog feeds back then and today I am subscribed only to this one and couple of southworks…

    Even David Hayden start ranting about P&P work 🙂

    Guys, please speed up the pace and return to the spotlighted part of the scene. There are a lot of people like me who relly respect your work and belive in you.

  2. Thanks for your feedback

    I am sorry to hear that you feel there is a lack of strong commitment on the part of the team. Are you equating this with the lack of blogging activity? Can you be specific? Whose blogs did you used to read that you no longer do? As to the roadmap, what haven’t you seeen that you’d like to see?

    I can’t give any magic answer as to the public opinion. We’ve received a bunch of criticism from a segment of the "Alpha geek" community about our products being too complex, overkill, etc. On the other hand others (even in the same community) have said they really like the work we are doing. We are listening though and have been working on shipping smaller, less tightly coupled deliverables.

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