The API Feedback Loop: Your Feedback Powers Everything We Do
13 Jan 2016
One of the benefits of doing an API, is so that you can take advantage of the potential for a community feedback loop, driven by internal groups, external partners, and even in some cases the pubic. Under my API management research, you can find a number of building blocks I recommend for helping power your feedback loop, but sometimes I like to just showcase examples of this in the wild, to show how it all can work.
I was reading the Letter from our co-founder: 2016 Product vision, from Electronic Health Record (EHR) provider Practice Fusion, and I thought the heart of the blog post, represented a well functioning feedback loop. As Practice Fusion looked back over 2015, they noted the following activity:
- 798 product ideas submitted with over 3,000 comments.
- 64 community ideas already delivered as product features.
- 45 new ideas currently being worked on.
Acknowledging that this feedback "powers everything we do". They continue listing some of the major customer requests that were fulfilled in 2015, and close the letter with an "eye towards the future". It is a simple, but nice example of how a platform's community can drive the platform road map. Sure a lot of this comes from the SaaS side of the Practice Fusion operations, but it works in sync with the Practice Fusion developer community as well.
The lesson from this one, to include in my overall research, is to always have a way to collect feedback from the community, tag ideas for discussion as potential additions to the road map, and carefully track on which ideas get delivered, and which ones end up being included in the road map. This is something that is pretty easy to do with Github Issue Management, which I use for my own personal projects, to drive both my road maps, and resulting change logs.
This post also pushed me to begin tagging these types of stories, organizing them into a simple API playbook, full of API platform how-tos, like this product vision letter from co-founder of Practice Fusion.