How are IBM Champions Selected?
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IBM Champion nominations this year opened in September and ran through very early November. During the nomination period we received nearly 1400 nominations. And in the next few days, I will be publishing the names of those selected as 2019 IBM Champion. But how do we go from receiving the nominations to selecting and announcing the IBM Champions?! The process is detailed, painstaking, and thorough, to ensure that we reflect the knowledge, work, and high achievements, standards, and qualifications of those selected.
Ideation Blog for IBM Champion Nominees
First, we take the nominations and put them into ideation blogs in our selection community. Ideation blogs are part of the IBM Connections tools, and allow all those IBMers who have worked with potential Champions to review, to vote, and to comment. We invited IBMers who have nominated Champions or who are listed as their references to review the ideation blogs, which list the nominees' contributions. In addition, other IBMers who work in the business areas we support review the nominees' contributions, including offering managers, developers, developer advocates, partner and sales reps, and many others. They, too, vote and comment.
IBM Champion Selection Committees
Each business area then convenes a selection committee to review not only the nominations, but also all the votes and comments. The selection committee members may also search online and in IBM channels for additional information about the nominees.
Then the selection committee asks several questions about each nominee:
Finally, after reviewing all the data and through a series of meetings, the selection committees in each area determine which nominees will become Champions.
And then we reconcile the lists. We start with a long list of all the nominations that came in and all the previous year's Champions, plus some nominees select multiple areas of interest and many nominees are nominated multiple times. Once we ensure each nomination has a status and all duplicates are removed, we send the lot off to be approved by the various executive stakeholders.
Naming our IBM Champions
Finally, it's time to craft the letters, set up the infrastructure for the Champions, and share the news. All nominees should get a letter from me, sharing their status. There's an acceptance letter for new and returning IBM Champions. There's a letter thanking those who aren't Champions this year both for their work and their nomination -- and inviting them to join a "discovery group" or an "alumni group" in our advocate hub if they want to stay connected to us.
Thank You, and Stay Tuned...
After reading all the nominations -- yes, I really do read them all, even though I don't make all the decisions -- I can say that decisions are NOT easy. You all do SO much work supporting IBM, the community, the technology, the products. You're amazing.
So, thank you. Thank you for the time you took to nominate yourselves and others. Thank you for the support you give to the communities and user groups. Thank you for the work you do with user councils and advisory boards. Thank you for the client reference calls and case studies. Thank you for the blog posts, articles, and social media. Thank you for the conference events you support. Thank you for the technical sessions you give, the forum questions you answer, the open source projects you contribute to, and the apps you build. Thank you for the myriad, creative, supportive ideas and projects you've worked on all year. You make a difference. Thank you.
While the announcements letters are going out almost as we speak, the formal announcement blog will come in a week or so, after folks have the chance to review their status and confirm their acceptance of being a 2019 IBM Champion. Stay tuned here. In the meantime, we wish you all the best for the season and a happy 2019.