Product Handbook

Our milestones and scheduled work is available to the public, and we encourage anyone to submit new issues.

Getting in Touch

Use the public #product channel to have open discussions about product priorities. Use the private #internal-product channel for non-public product discussions.

Who to contact

For each Meltano property, we have a primary point of contact:

  • Meltano - Taylor & AJ
  • Meltano SDK - AJ
  • MeltanoHub - Taylor
  • MeltanoLabs - Pat
  • Handbook / Website - Amanda

You should feel comfortable reaching out to each of us either in issues or on Slack if you have questions or concerns about any of these.

Responsibilities

The Product team will review any new issues in the Meltano group on a daily cadence and organize appropriately with labels and milestones.

Product is responsible for reaching out to users and talking with them about their experiences with all Meltano properties. This is an important sensing mechanism for understanding how users interact with Meltano and it informs product priorities. We aim for an average of 4 user interviews per month at a minimum.

Choosing What to Work On

When evaluating a new major piece of work, we create an exploratory issue and use an opportunity assessment (some people call this “Market Requirement Doc” or MRD) to ask the following questions:

  1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
  2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
  3. How big is the opportunity? (market size)
  4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape)
  5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
  6. Why now? (market window)
  7. How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
  8. How will we measure success/make money from this product? (metrics/revenue strategy)
  9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
  10. Given the above, what’s the recommendation? (go or no-go)

The opportunity assessment was created by Marty Cagan at Silicon Valley Product Group

Roadmap Planning

Each item on the roadmap will be linked to an OKR.

On the first and third monday of the month, the Head of Product and Head of Engineering will meet to validate the current state of the roadmap. This will be a high-level discussion around progress on current items and negotiation on inclusion of items for current and upcoming months. They will also discuss spike-worthy itmes and add the appropriate labels as needed.

Key questions to ask are:

  • Are we shipping what we thought we would?
  • Of the upcoming items on the roadmap, are they spec’ed out enough?

Issues that are related to Roadmap items should have the Roadmap label.

Crossfunctional Feature Prioritization

When any work needs to be prioritized that is not specifically a roadmap featue, use the following process.

Marketing

  • Marketing work that needs to be prioritized by Product or Engineering must have an issue associated with it. Add the relevant labels below so triage can be streamlined. The issue should get added to the Product Roadmap board by the requestor.
  • Once added to the board, it will be considered a priority for marketing and enter The Process to get worked on by an engineer.
  • Once it’s ready to be worked on by an Engineer, it will then get added to the Engineering Assignments board and assigned to an iteration and an engineer for working on.

Marketing Triage Labels

  • content review
  • needs-engineering
  • Marketing Priority

PR First

If you want to make an improvement to Meltano you don’t have to wait for Product approval, kick-off some long convoluted dicsussion, or worry about stepping on anyone’s toes. Submit a Pull Request (PR) with your proposed changes and we can iterate from there.

“AND not OR” Mentality

Sometimes, it can feel like we are chosing between two important things and this can be painful. However, we take the approach that anything is technically possible to build on the Meltano team so it’s a just a question of the order of operations. On a long enough timeline, we will do everything we put on the roadmap – so keep writing issues and hold onto that “it’s an AND, not OR” mindset.

Milestones

Meltano uses weekly milestones to track work. They are named for the Friday on which the milestone ends, i.e. Fri: July 9, 2021.

Weekly Tasks

Every Monday we will highlight for the team what the priorities are for the week by posting in #internal-announcements with links to projects and issues where more context can be found and questions can be asked.

In addition, the following should also be done:

  • Review and roll community issues to the next milestone
  • Roll merge requests
  • Everyone on the team should roll their own issues to the next milestone. Take the time to review the current status of issues and align priorities within the team.
  • Close the previous milestone

Open Source Projects We’re Keeping an Eye On

This section is dedicated to tracking interesting open source projects that we want to keep an eye on that we don’t already have plans to integrate with. This article from BVP is useful as well.

  • Evidence
  • Lightdash - BI, integrates with dbt
  • metriql - Headless BI
  • Rudderstack - Customer Data Platform
  • Soda SQL - Data Testing and Monitoring
  • Feast - ML Feature Store
  • fal - run python scripts from dbt
  • MetricFlow - Metrics layer
  • MindsDB - In-Database Machine Learning
  • Orchest - Visual data pipeline editor and orchestrator
  • data-diff - A command-line tool and Python library to efficiently diff rows across two different databases
  • PostgresML - Enables you to train models and make online predictions using only SQL, without your data ever leaving your favorite database

Additionally, there are many “git for data” tools tracked in this spreadsheet. Project Nessie is another option not listed in the sheet.