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Jazz CLM – Are We There Yet?

In October, I had the opportunity to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The conference brings together women from all areas of computing for a time of networking, mentoring, professional development, and technical learning and discussions.  With over 3600 attendees, women from all backgrounds, from students to professors and engineers to executives, were represented.  One of the great things about the conference was the camaraderie among the attendees; these women openly shared their concerns, questions, fears, and joys with each other.  There was a sense that we all wanted to see the others succeed, so we were happy to transparently share our experiences and ask questions we might not have otherwise asked.

While at the conference, in addition to attending fantastic sessions (and collecting a ton of swag!), I had the privilege of sitting down for lunch beside two of our users.  One said, “I really like using Rational Team Concert, but why doesn’t it do X?” to which I replied, “That’s a great idea! Have you submitted an enhancement request?”  She then explained to me that no, she hadn’t submitted an enhancement request and went on to describe an uncomfortable workaround she uses.  I was surprised to hear she hadn’t submitted an enhancement request since her idea was so good.  I wrote down her idea so I could submit the enhancement request the next time I visited jazz.net.

We continued chatting, and the lady on the other side of me asked, “How do you mark the acceptance criteria for a user story?”  I replied, “Story work items have tabs called Done Criteria where you can specifically list the criteria.”  She said, “That’s great!  But how do we know what the criteria should be?”  We went on to discuss Agile and how our teams implement various aspects of the Agile methodologies.  I described how our team recently customized our work item workflows and checklists to reflect our process.

These discussions were beneficial to all of us.  I shared my knowledge of the Jazz applications and Agile to make their jobs easier, and they shared their pain points so I can work to make the Jazz applications better.  As a Jazz developer who works full-time from home, I don’t get much face to face time with our users to have these valuable discussions.  But I don’t have to wait for my next conference in order to interact with Jazz users.  I regularly utilize the Forum as well as defects and enhancement requests to learn what our customers’ major concerns are.  We (the Jazz team) strive for jazz.net to not only be a place where we transparently develop software but to also be an interactive place where we can discuss and share ideas as a community to make the applications better for everyone.  We desire for our forum community to have the same type of camaraderie I felt at the conference; it is a place where we can discuss not only the basic “how tos” but also the best practices and processes of how to better develop software.

The theme of the Grace Hopper conference was “Are We There Yet?”  I pose this same question to you in regard to Jazz CLM:  are our Jazz CLM applications there yet?  Do they meet your needs and support your processes?  Are there ways we can enhance the community so we can all better collaborate?  We won’t know unless you tell us!  You can give us feedback in the Forum.  You can submit a defect or an enhancement request from My Stuff.  You can post a comment on our Facebook page or you can tweet us @jazzdotnet.  You can participate in our next idea jam.  Or, if you’re really lucky, you might just sit down for lunch next to one of our developers.