I think we can cover the vote process in two ways. There are certainly going to be some enhancements that need $$ to help with covering development, but there is already an active development community in play. I think they just need a bit more focus. I think right now the current pool of developers are working on things that matter to them only, or are fixing issues that pop up. I could certainly be wrong in this assessment, but that is what it feels like to me looking in from the outside.
So the first way - following what I was thinking in my post - is to combine existing and create new git issues for a theme - everything being worked on is in a git issue. Accounting, Human Resources, Selling, Project Management, CRM, Asset Management are all existing modules/features that need improvements to bring them to parity with other existing platforms. @JoEz suggested looking at Apache OfBiz, great idea! Use other platforms for ideas. The first round of issues to vote on should have wide appeal - e.g. the enhancement will help everyone and every jurisdiction, not just one or two areas. There are a number of global industry standards that ERPNext can adopt and follow. That way pretty much any company in any jurisdiction can use the platform.
The second way would be to go and use bounties for harder to reach industries or features that don’t have a super wide appeal. For those businesses that its important for them to have that feature, they should be able to bring some $$ to the table to help. This might not even be a bounty, per se. Maybe they go an hire a programmer! That is the ultimate in paid development.
Moving away from the mechanics of the vote process. While reading more of the posts after my initial one, there does seem to be some consensus on this process. A lot of folks really want to improve and stabilize the existing modules. Not everyone really needs schools or healthcare/medical modules. Why not leave those as apps that can be installed by those who don’t need it? Or at least make it super easy to turn off a module in setup so this it is totally gone/not-visible/not-usable. Right now that is hard to do. Feature bloat slows down development as well.
I second @jai_kejriwal commentary. I am in my first year of implementing ERPNext for my new business. There are things that annoy me, but are not mission critical right now (e.g. payroll process is a current pain point). If it has taken him 3 years, that is a REALLY LONG TIME to fight a tool! I commend him for sticking with the platform for this long.
@jof2jc introduces stability. Love it! It should not take until 8.0.10+ for a new release to be stable and usable. It took until about 7.1.x for the 7.x branch to be stable enough for a prod environment. The release cycle needs to improve. Stability and Reliability are key for ERP platforms. Feature and usability stability are cornerstones. Reduce the clicks and documents it takes to complete a transaction if possible.
@JayRam says pretty much the same thing in his post, especially around upgrades.
So to wrap up, I am going to go out on a limb here and make a specific suggestion:
v8.1 = Stability and documentation release. Fix all the bug issues that are currently open related to either the upgrade to 8.0 or existed in 7.x and have not been addressed. Cross browser compatibility for Frappe would be included here. This release would also include lots of updates to the documentation to get it current with the code. I would recommend this is where we move on my idea of an administrator’s guide. Move technical setup/provisioning documents out of the general user guide.
v8.2 = Accounting Module. ERP is accounting at its core. Let’s put focus and resources into getting the accounting module to beat all rivals (or at least do everything we can think of). Financial reports, chart of accounts, consolidated company financials (for those of us with many companies), etc. There have been lots of discussions in the forum and lots of git issues related to this module.
v8.3 = Human Resources. Again, ERP and HRIS are very important to any company. Employee onboarding, pay, leave/holiday, security of records, employee tax documents delivery, employee acquisition, etc. Similar to v8.2 - make ERP’s HRIS module feature rich to attract lots of customers!
v8.4 = Selling. (any maybe include Buying too here). This is probably where lots of changes to the frappe framework will be needed. The current website module is horrible. Need to move to a content management framework of some kind. A non-technical person should be able to manage the website via ERPNext. There are also lots of needs around how selling integrates with manufacturing, so might need a bit of bleed over here. But either way 8.4 is all about improving the way we use the platform to sell our products and services.
v8.5 = CRM. Lots of suggestions already to bring CRM up to par with other platforms. I really like having it integrated right into my sales cycle, so I am not a fan of going third party.
v8.6 = ? Other modules like schools, project management, etc could be targeted in an 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, etc versions.
v9 = This is probably more of a Frappe release than an ERPNext release. In this release all (or many) of the third party components that are used (e.g. python as an obvious one) are upgraded to current stable. I would assume this would mean changes to existing modules in ERPNext in order to handle the new underlying framework. However no new features here, just changes to existing stable features.
Sorry for long post, that was not my initial intent. Thanks for sticking with me as I got my thoughts out on “paper”.