Open letter to Atlassian product managers

Dear Atlassian product managers,

Let me start by saying that this message is in no way meant to offend you personally.

As an Atlassian Marketplace Partner, we owe a lot of our success to your continued drive to improve the Atlassian products, create new products and make it possible for us to innovate on top of your work to the benefit of our mutual customers. The Atlassian Economy would not exist without you.

That is why I feel it is important to reach out to you now. Over the past year, you have been working relentlessly on new products, new features and you have a lot to show for. But while you’ve been busy, there is a growing unease among us partners. It feels like we are growing apart. With so much focus on delivering tangible end-user value, the Atlassian Economy has been getting less attention.

There have been numerous feature releases that have not had a proper heads-up to the Atlassian Marketplace Partners. We had to learn about them from Community or even LinkedIn posts, or have been caught off guard by customer requests.

Whenever this happens, the Atlassian Marketplace Partners often need to scramble to update our apps, our documentation, our video tutorials and adjust our support messaging to make sure that our customers can continue to work with our products within the context of these new features. This is impacting our mutual customer success as they will (temporarily) have a suboptimal experience.

You see, our apps are closely aligned to your products. Our customers expect a seamless experience. The best app is an app that feels like a native feature. We take pride in making sure that we align ourselves with Atlassian, both in terms of long term vision, but also directly in terms of user experience.

Whenever we are confronted with these unannounced changes, and ask for clarification on this forum, a standard reply from product managers is that they did not expect their changes to impact Atlassian Marketplace Partners. Unfortunately, this is almost never the case.

One of the best things about the Atlassian Marketplace Partners is that they have created products beyond Atlassian wildest dreams. We too are product minded, and have our own vision, our own innovative drive. There is an app for every team, remember?

Instead of spending time on trying to educate yourself on which features might or might not impact Atlassian Marketplace Partners in any way, it might be better to just pre-emptively announce every (UX/UI) change on this forum. Because it is highly likely that some partner will be impacted by your change, however obscure that change may be.

Please know that we do not wish to slow you down in any way or hamper your creativity and productivity, but that our goal is to create an even better holistic experience for our mutual customers. The best way to achieve that is by over-communicating and to refrain ourselves from making any assumptions.

From an Atlassian Marketplace Partner, with :heart:

cc: @amardesich @tpettersen

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