Where have I been these days? Buried in my office :) Well, buried in the CRM's team building pushing really hard towards the completion of one of our planning/design cycles for the next release of CRM.
Uncountable meetings and brainstorming sessions, analysis of customer feedback, analysis of what other teams are doing at MS, analysis of what the competition is doing, analysis of current and future technologies, analysis of development complexity, analysis of estimated timeframe and resources, analysis of international impact and localization, privacy, security, performance, multiple deployment topologies, etc, etc etc...Gee, it is unbelievable the amount of factors that the product team needs to take into account. Writing a spec @ MS is like writing a “log” that documents all the decisions and inputs that multiple stakeholders have about a particular feature… deciding what to leave “in” and what to “cut” is really tough.
In particular I’ve been focusing in two big features whose details I cannot share at this time but I can certainly share a bit of what they are about: Improving end user experience and improving the notion of solutions that are built on top of our platform. You may have noticed that those two areas are, in a sense, in the opposite sides of the spectrum…one is focused on the day-to-day usage of the product while the other is focused on the “core” platform. It has certainly been fun and challenging to dig into problems that span across all the product areas.
BTW, next week (june 3rd) I'll be presenting at TechEd along with Reuben Kripner a very interesting session regarding composite applications built on top of our CRM platform; I'll post more about it in the upcoming days.