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?