Our plans for the remainder of the year 2014

As the CEO and main support person for Fleep I get a lot of questions from our users about the features which we haven’t yet released but which are already in the development process or in the backlog. If that has been the case it’s easy to give a response „yep, already working on it“ – but this made me think – why not expose what we’re working on in our blog if we already have this information? So here it comes, for the first time in Fleep history, we shall share an insight into our current backlog and if all goes well we’d also like to keep posting these updates to you going forward.

Fleep team in 2014, monthly meetingsFleep team best practices and workflow

Before we move ahead with the list of items planned for this quarter, let me give you some background to how we prioritize and plan our daily work. Generally speaking, we use some sort of a version of Scrum – that is planning cycles, execution and a team split.

Planning cycles – we’ve got quarterly full-day planning offsites and weekly sync meetings.

  • Quarterly planning – we’ve done it since day 1 and currently holding a 3-month cycle seems to be working well for us.  In the beginning of each quarter we do a full-day offsite which consists of:
    • Last quarter review – we will look into what got done, what didn’t and what we did that wasn’t in the plans.
    • Discussion on hot topics from technology to product – this part of the meeting takes most of our time and allows us to form new actionable items for the next quarter.
    • Next quarter planning – first candidates to get moved into the next quarter backlog are Work In Progress (WIP) and Not Done items from the previous quarter. After that we add new ideas from our unscheduled features list and once we think there’s enough items we sort them into a new prioritized Meta Backlog and we’re done with planning.
  • Weekly sync meeting – this has evolved over time as we have grown but in the essence it’s a 1 hour all-hands meeting where we as a team sync ourselves based on where we stand against the Meta Backlog. We look into which items can be closed as done and which ones are next in line to be opened for work. While doing that we try to be as short as possible and identify topics that need to be discussed or sorted in smaller groups.

Fleep CEO Henn Ruukel explaining his plans for the futureExecution and team split – when the team was smaller it was quite easy, in the beginning of the quarter we agreed to what we want to do and everyone started to build their own piece of those items. As we grew we understood that the number of items in the Work In Progress pile kept growing and we stumbled on each other’s toes and dependencies. Stuff got done, but it also involved a lot of context switching, which resulted in valuable development time being wasted. So from this quarter on we agreed to try it a bit differently – we split people who actually code into smaller Scrum teams (the A and the B team) and assigned them onto Meta Backlog items. This change should give us two improvements – better focus in smaller teams and a team will work on fewer items at a time together as a team (and not spread over several ones at a time). Time will tell how much faster we can go this way :)

In general we stick to the agreed Meta Backlog and the initial order of it but we have in the past added and reordered things that are not in WIP pile and probably will do so in the future as well. However, we would like to do that as rarely as possible.

So, what have we planned for the last quarter?

Now when you understand the background this is our current plan of action, but not the commitment, for things to go live by Christmas this year:

Fleep Meta Backlog for Q4 2014
1. Enforce subscription limits, reminders to upgrade
2. Show special subscriptions in Subscriptions view
3. Manage files & messages as one entity (pin, edit, delete)
4. Premium conversations
5. Create Google Hangout from Fleep conversation
6. Disclose message history (as message action and as member action)
7. Mobile in app Premium subscription purchase
8. Browser app picture previewer
9. Integrations – 10 new ones that can be integrated via webhooks
10. Ability to modify Fleep email address and email footer
11. Tasks (limited experiment)
12. New visual design including the new design book
13. New design and logic for left pane & account pane
14. New visual design implementation
15. HTML5 notifications to browser app (solves issues for Linux users)
16. URL inline preview
17. Forward message (with files) to another conversation
18. @mentions
19. Private conversation labels
20. 1:1 conversations merge (including historical data)
21. Spawn new group conversation from 1:1
22. Public labels #hashtags
23. Snooze conversation alerts
24. Windows Phone app
25. Export message history to file
26. Skype history exporter to file
27. Import message history from file
28. Select files from Google Drive
29. Select files from Dropbox
30. Email notification changes
31. Mobile phone number into profile
32. Team management (Admin panel / contact groups)
33. Ability to delete and report as spam for guest emails
34. Backend – Email footer with auth URL for Gmail users
35. Zen mode

If something is still unclear feel free to contact me via Fleep Support and let’s have a chat. I’ll be glad to explain our plans in more detail with you! Until next time :)

Subscriptions: what’s all the fuss about?

Fleep, chat for teams, free and premium subscriptionsAre you already part of the world of Fleep Premium subscribers? Awesome! Whether you decide to stay on Fleep Free or upgrade to Premium – choice is yours and we are thankful for you in either way! You can be sure that we will be with you every step of the way!

Now that it’s been a month since our subscriptions launched and we thought it best to share some more knowledge around the subscription now to make sure we’re all on the same page. Following are some of the most frequent questions we’ve been asked lately in no particular order.

First, what is the difference between Premium and Free subscriptions?

It’s time to get back to the basics! By default every registered Fleep user will initially get a 30-day trial for Premium subscription and after that will be put back to the Free subscription. Unless they decide to upgrade to keep their Premium subscription which will give some extra benefits.

The main difference between Premium and Free subscription is that you can add more files (50GB worth) and in the future we’ll be adding team management features on top of the current offering.

You can manage your subscriptions on the web browser and Fleep app for Windows (not supported in the Mac app or mobile apps), under your Account settings.

Can I pay for others and how can I do that?

Yes, it’s possible to pay for other Fleep users. For that the teamlead or the person who has a hefty wallet can add everyone’s email addresses during the purchase process by clicking on the +Add subscription members button.

add subs members

Once you’ve added the first colleague you will see another Add button show up under it. Click on that until you’ve added all members of your team.

mary and scotty

Once you’ve added all the email addresses of the people you wish to pay for yourself, click Confirm and you’re done!

Will I get a payment receipt for my company?

Yes, not a problem! You can get a payment receipt for your company. Just make sure that you tick the box I’m buying as a company in the payment flow and fill in all the relevant information about your company to make sure the final payment receipt also includes that data. After the purchase is done and payment has been confirmed you will get an invoice receipt to your email (the one you registered your Fleep account with) and it will also be accessible from the Subscriptions window in Fleep at any time after the purchase has been made.

Fleep receipt

Can I add and remove members from the subscription?

Yep! If you ever wish to change and/or remove people from your subscription then you can always do that from the Subscriptions window. Just open it up and click on the Modify link (visible on the previous screenshot) and add or remove members using their email addresses.

fleep modify subscription

Once you’re done with adding the team members, click Confirm and voilà you have successfully added new members!

What happens to removed subscription users?

Billing-wise: when you remove someone from your subscribers list, the leftover amount paid in advance for this member will be used as a pre-payment for the upcoming subscription period and the amount will be reduced. No payments will be refunded.
User-wise: the user will return to using the Fleep Free subscription and will get to enjoy all the benefits that the freemium-model allows.

Can I pay for 12 months / annually as well?

Not yet. We’re currently trying out the monthly subscription model and working on adding the annual plan some time in the future. Until then, we hope that the recurring monthly payments will do.

Anything else we can help you with?

Hope this cleared out some of the confusion around our subscriptions. Just in case you were wondering about something that was not in this list of questions, shout out to us via our social channels (Twitter, Facebook) or in the Fleep Support conversation. We’re always happy to help with whatever concern you might have! :)