Ubuntu, the user friendly Linux distribution, launched Ubuntu Brainstorm this week. Inspired by IdeaStorm from Dell, the Ubuntu community can now suggest ideas and vote online. Its goal is to have a better idea of what Ubuntu users would like to see in upcoming Ubuntu releases.
As a user you can add your ideas or vote for your preferred ones, add comments and see their implementation status. The best and most popular ideas quickly rise to the top and can be creamed off for inclusion in future releases.
Why is this such a big deal? Well technically it’s not, but this really shows how the use of web 2.0 technology and culture can change traditional processes. Any organisation could adopt the same approach for requirements gathering, general ideas, news items, voting on company issues etc. Just imagine how different it would be to gather project requirements in this fashion. You can still hold the workshops and user summits but you would enter every requirement online and leave the community to vote on the functionality important to them. Going forward this becomes a place for feature requests, ideas on new uses for the system, voting on new processes etc.
Designing a system like this doesn’t have to take months and be a bespoke development either. There are ways to leverage existing functionality in some blogs and wikis as well as SharePoint to achieve a rough and ready version.
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