Software Roadmap

It would be great to have a roadmap of what the Cliniko team is currently working on in the form of updates and integrations.

I think it might help with how many new integration requests are being created each day, it would also be a great way to connect deeper with the Cliniko community. If we can all see that something is on the cards then we know that it’s either planned, in the works or due to be rolled out soon and I think that might help with a lot of the questions regarding when a feature or integration may be included into Cliniko?

Would love to hear what everyone else thinks of this idea?

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Hi Josh, it’s something we’ve considered a lot, but have decided against.

Not because we don’t value the transparency, on that count, we’d love to. We just don’t think it’s actually that. There’s a lot we plan on doing with Cliniko, but when it happens, or how it’s prioritised is constantly changing. I think a roadmap would be more misleading than useful.

I’d love to find a way to be more open about upcoming developments, and make sure it adds value and doesn’t mislead, but I haven’t found that solution yet.

@joel I can definitely understand not wanting to commit to a set schedule to avoid creating havoc in the community when a feature, bug fixes or integration development gets pushed back to make way for something super important like a security issue or perhaps a serious support ticket etc…

I mean, I get it. We never like committing to deadlines for our clients at our practice either as it can often be a case of we had the time to complete something and then something major popped up.

I reckon you guys should check out what the team at Missive is doing for their roadmap. - https://missive.canny.io - They use Canny.io to organise their feature requests and from their bump them to their roadmap. It doesn’t have to be Canny, but it’s probably the best example.

Instead of working on fixed dates and deadlines they work by organising ideas into status’s such as Requested, Planned, In-Progress and Complete; obviously leaving adequate time in between for the undoubted support tickets and bug fixes that will pop up out of nowhere. Instead of committing to solid dates and deadlines,just having something to show the community what you guys are working on and what’s on the cards would be swish.

I notice the feature request section of the community forum blows up daily :exploding_head: and it has the most activity of all the sections, which no doubt takes time out of you’re guys schedule to try and write back to some of us and our ideas.

Just having a road map that the community can at least see and vote upon for features and see what updates and bugfixes you guys are chipping away at would be a great. It would also be an awesome way for all the Cliniko peeps & devs to know what’s really needed by the majority of the Cliniko community in addition to giving all the awesome Cliniko subscribers something to look forward to as well as a way to see what’s being worked on so we’re not posting a million feature requests all the time :wink:

tl;dr - A roadmap with no set deadlines, just status’s we could vote on would be great.

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Even something like that, I’m not sure it helps. We have a lot of things “planned”, hundreds of them, but that just means we want to incorporate all the things people need. That list would be very long.

People could vote on these things to raise the priority, but the trouble we’ve always had, is only a very small portion of our customers visits this site or votes, so it’s not widely indicative. We have more than 30,000 people use Cliniko every day, and an item on this site might get 100ish votes.

We get a lot of feedback via other channels. This then can cause annoyance when we’re not working on the “top voted” item, even though we obviously have reasons to pick the ones we do (we’re only choosing for our customers, and what we think is in their best interests).

Another issue is that “in progress” can change. We’ve had tasks that we start, then get shelved for some reason, or just take a very long time to complete (years). These things can be misleading for people. Worst case, someone is considering Cliniko and signs up for it because they see a much needed feature is “in progress”, then it gets shelved for some reason.

In regards to that, it would have to be on you guys to be selective with things you add to a roadmap. Only adding things that are going to get done in a certain timeframe and being more strict with project deadlines. What missive does is typically only allocates 2-3 things as in progress at a time - there’s no deadline.

I think the big reason why I would love to have a roadmap is that I need to track what’s happening with the software we use daily - is it going to support this new Government scheme, is medicare a priority etc. I mean I get it, there’s always so much to be done under the hood when it comes to software, especially SAAS software like Cliniko, and what seems like it should only take a week often takes months with backend to front end development and everything in between but I feel like you guys are big enough now that you need to commit to some deadlines for updates and rollouts for the Cliniko userbase. I mean the answer we often get on the forums or when we chat to someone is “it’s not currently in progress and we’re not sure when we’re going to look into it” - This kills me cause honestly I love Cliniko, we’ve used it for ages and it’s the cleanest designed, most intuitive practice management system out there and it has so much potential.

I mean the NDIS has rolled out across Australia and nobody has planned or even discussed including anything into Cliniko to make our lives easier. Everyone I know and speak to has now moved back to Spreadsheets and just Xero/MYOB to manage invoices, claims, service bookings & everything else NDIS. I mean this has changed the way we work and being that the NDIS makes up to 80% of most allied health business’s it pretty much dictates how we work now, whether we like it or not. For the most part we now only use cliniko to track appointments and complete session notes cause of the NDIS and cause cliniko can’t support service bookings, plan tracking, ndia billing and 3rd party claims we sort of don’t use it to the potential we used to.

Whether we like it or not, many of our businesses have changed and we’re no longer just Phsyio’s, Speech Path’s OT’s etc, We’re NDIS guru’s - we have to be.You can’t blame us for wanting to know if the software we invest our time, money and hearts into is heading the same direction as us and is it evolving just like we’re now having to, whether that be a roadmap or even just pre-release updates that are emailed out to all subscribers once a month. It would just be nice to know what is in the pipeline, even just knowing if ground has been broken on a certain integration, feature or update or not. I don’t have the solution exactly and I’m just throwing around ideas. I mean I’m just an end user like all the others and we can suggest all day but only you guys can come up with a solution and a process that works for all parties. I think you guys need to look into something though, just to convey what’s happening a bit more and in what form that takes, I don’t know, but any transparency for us is great to have.

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the extra detail.

Perhaps I can help solve your problem, without a roadmap. With the suggestions you make, it does require us to work differently, now that would allow us to have a roadmap, but I think would make us less productive/effective, which isn’t a worthwhile trade-off. As an example, a large part of the reason we have a intuitive/well designed system, is because we spend the time on it. We get something right before we launch it, deadlines work against that.

So for my alternate proposal. I’ll create a AMA (ask me anything) post on our community site. You can ask me anything you like, you’ll get candid honest answers from me. So that can be “Are you going to do NDIS soon, where are you at with Medicare, what are the main things in progress now?”, if you care, can also ask “How many developers at Cliniko, will you take funding, when are you hiring more devs, etc.”. All my answers will come with a disclaimer of “things can change, this is the best info I have right now”, but I think that helps to solve the problem you have now. And maybe in a better way than a Roadmap. What do you think? If that’s sounds interesting, I’ll set it up.

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@joel I think that is a great compromise - I think an AMA where all of the Cliniko enthusiasts on the forums can congregate and get some direct answer to all of our questions would be fantastic. I honestly look forward to you setting it up and have already got some juicy questions ready and waiting :wink:

Also, I relish the opportunity to discuss the NDIS further, how it affects us service providers and how would these implement into Cliniko in future. Word on the street also is that the NDIS is developing an API but this is just talk at the moment.

Thanks for getting back to me @joel

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Sorry for the delay, here you go! I'm Joel, Cliniko Founder. Ask me anything!

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