SmartThings Needs an Independent Change Management Process Review Team

A.k.a. “agile” programming. :grimacing:


This is exactly how i thought things should’ve played out with the color change in the new app update!

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While I agree with this in principle, it’s a fact that 80%-90% of people don’t read Release Notes.

Before the era of “continuous improvement” (aka, before frequent automatic firmware and app updates), the product you bought was the product you kept… It would stay largely unchanged (or even 100% unchanged until you were influenced to by a new version or model because of the new features and despite any undesired design changes).

I think, given this new era, it is inevitable that companies will make changes without significant customer communication.

In order to avoid “cry wolf :wolf: syndrome” (ie, “update bulletin fatigue”), release notes need to be rare and should only highly substantially impactful changes.

Power-users and Developers are different than consumers. Especially on the definition of what is" substantially impactful".

I may be over speculating, but I’m betting 80%+ of SmartThings Customers are not considering the new LAN device discovery to be a problem. Mostly because they don’t really care, or it averages out between favorable / unfavorable, or they feel it is futile to try to influence a corporation’s design decisions.


I would respectfully disagree. Whether it’s a game, a home automation device, or a cloud server, there are still many companies that publish “what’s new” bulletins, some of which pop up when you first open the software after a change.

Amazon sends a “what’s new with Alexa” bulletin once a week, and that’s as mass market as you get in this space.

I’m not saying every company documents every change, nor that every customer reads the documentation, but customer experience oriented companies do have a place that explains changes that impact the customer experience.

And I’ve unsubscribed from them due to:

  1. Update notification fatigue.
  2. Obvious use of that bulletin as a marketing channel. It’s opt-in spam, but spamminess is still why a tremendous proportionate of Alexa owners ignore it.
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Choice is good. :sunglasses: If they offer the information and offer an easy way to unsubscribe, I think that’s good.


Mate you missed #3

The ones who design and demo vaporware to customers and investors of things that look good but arent in place, dont work, never been tested to work or are just mockups … the ‘works with smartthings’-tag feels more like this to be honest …

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In my experience. Software / IT organizations knowingly release relatively small bugs such as this into the production environment with every release. If the bug is uncovered late in the process and the powers that be (Product, Marketing, Management, Dev Leads, QA etc) determine that that cost, benefit, and risk doesn’t justify an immediate fix, the release ships and the bug is catalogued away for prioritization later.

Simply testing and identifying a feature flaw, bug, etc is easy, prioritizing the fix is the hard part. A community driven test and advisory group does nothing to affect the latter.

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Frankly I had proposed to Alex almost two years ago have a simple set of metrics like First Time Right and Repeat rate of bugs to start tracking which will go a long way in ensuring customer focus. Not sure if they ever implemented it. Overall things are much better with the exception of the Android product team. They can’t seem to get on the band wagon. But there’s always room for improvement. I will reserve my comments for the new beta program for a new thread once I have some additional data points.

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This is the kind of thing that should not be decided by majority vote. The majority of people I share the road with every day don’t seem to care about speed limit. It doesn’t mean that it should be abandoned, does it?

To me, it’s just sloppy engineering which unfortunately has become a norm in the millennial culture. Like, for example, using upgredability of today’s devices as an excuse to release half-baked, untested software.


I agree, and have one other observation. In my years of developing software for a large financial corporation, it doesn’t matter if it is the employees or the customers…they all hate change! There may be 10% that recognize and appreciate the enhancements and/or fix, but 90% are angry that you changed their day to day routine.

Definitely just my “experienced” $.02


I agree, but this is business … The Board of Directors of the corporation making the product … is decided by a vote of the shareholders… who are interesting in the majority of customers, not the few edge cases. Maybe short-sighted; but quarterly profits are paramount. Even if it causes batteries to explode.

Apparently, smart guys on the Volkswagen Groups board of directors also thought it was a good idea to circumvent emission controls for the sake of quarterly profits. Bad business.


SmartThings does this now. The last 2 updates have a slideshow of what’s new… but it doesn’t include all the changes. The last one had no mention of color changes. The previous one had no mention of low battery alerts being added. And I’m personally fine with this approach.

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Hey I would not have known it was Chuck Norris birthday. :grinning:I like the update as it might include something I missed but ignore the rest because of no interest. I except at some point it will be overtaken.

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Personally, I think there are at least two areas of ITSM that SmartThings urgently need to improve:

  1. SmartThings needs to improve their Release Management to ensure they are focusing on developing the right features with the appropriate priority, and appropriate consultation with their customers. E.g. SmartThings ought not to have released the new LAN Discovery feature without the option to turn it off. Similarly, there should have been more consultation on the recent Color Theme changes.

  2. SmartThings needs to improve their Change Management to ensure that when changes are implemented they are fully tested beforehand (and after), are scheduled appropriately, and have adequate back-out plans and accompanying documentation. We really don’t want a repeat of the recent botched update to the z-wave library (where the wrong code was released) for example!!

It does seem to me that sometimes SmartThings chuck out new features and changes while completely forgetting they have a large community of developers at all. :persevere:

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There is absolutely no reason to believe that SmartThings is receptive to anything close to this.


They are not. I can almost guarantee this.


I long ago stopped contacting ST support on issues. It was, and IMO, remains, a waste of time. I now just hope & pray things are functional within a reasonable amount of time before I face my wife’s wrath. Seriously, if I were a betting man, I am sure that more ST system have been disabled / removed because of WAF & ST reliability (or not, as the case may be)


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Hold on…You did not hear how TWO of my Sirens DIED?
In both cases, ST F@$^T UP and My Wife almost took my head OFF! Scared the S#!T Out of my then 1 year old baby girl!
Almost gave an attack!

If you find any of my posts on this, My Sirens learned how to Fly and Crash land into a concrete wall in the back of my house.