How IBM Connections helped us select our 2017 Champions
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I'd like to take a few minutes to thank all of the IBMers who helped to choose our 2017 ICS Champions! And I'd also like to give you a behind the scenes account of our process. We used a Connections community to facilitate our task, which took us from our previous 6 - 8 week selection period, down to three weeks (including a major US holiday)!
That's a significant time savings, but also using this method, we were able to expand the scope of the selection committee to include a broader range of IBMers from all over the company.
Those who filled out the IBM Champion nomination form know that it's very detailed. (Side note: we do appreciate your patience and dedication to filling that out, and I hope this blog post will illuminate why it's necessary). So we have a large amount of data. Over 630 nominations with over 170 unique nominees. In the past, we've passed around a spreadsheet and asked those on the selection committee to research. This limited us to a small number of IBMers on the selection committee so that it was manageable.
This time, I pulled all of the unique nominees into an Ideation Blog in a dedicated IBM Champion selection community on Connections Cloud.
Each nominee had their own entry in the Ideation blog, complete with all of the nomination data received for that nominee. Including twitter handles, blog links, YouTube, and a listing from various people about their contributions. Over 70 IBMers were invited to review, validate contributions, and post their comments to the Ideation Blog. Where an IBMer was listed as a reference, that IBMer was invited to vote, comment, and support your nomination.
Over 1,300 votes were cast!
Naturally, those most visible in the community rose to the top of the ranks, and that showed us the natural choices, or what I fondly refer to as the "low hanging fruit". We graduated the blogs that we all agreed were a yes so that we could stop talking about them and focus on those remaining. We also identified some rising stars in the community who might be not as well known, but are solid contributors and deserve recognition. I'm happy to report that we have over 40 new IBM Champions for 2017!
We used a combination of forum posts, blog comments, and meetings to go over the list. Having difficult discussions about some, and coming to a consensus as a group. We held 3 calls. (Down from 6 or more from previous years). In each call we focused on the task at hand, discussing all of the comments, identifying those who should be given a chance to shine. The were between 15 and 20 IBMers on each of the calls, from all areas of ICS, at all levels, and from all regions. Those who couldn't make the call were represented via blog comments.
What we ended up with, we feel, is a solid list from around the world, and a new Lifetime Champion! (I'm not revealing who it is yet, but rest assured, you'll agree that it's well deserved!).
I hope to send status emails to each nominee and make the announcements next week. Currently pending approval from ICS leadership.
Here are some stats about the nominations that you might find interesting: