Today we have the pleasure of highlighting Brianna Smith. As one of the presenters for next week's IBM Innovate2010 conference, Brianna will be speaking on "Using Requirements Composer to improve the requirements review process with IBM CIO projects"as well as "A survey of IBM Rationals Requirements Management Tools". Plus, meet Brianna at the Support Cafe' (agenda here) where she'll be talking on "Fifteen Things New Users of Requirements Composer Need to Know". You will not want to miss these sessions! In the meantime, read on and get to know her here before you meet her at Innovate!
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support?
I am a Delivery Engagement Manager in the Requirements Definition & Management Customer Advocacy Group. Focus areas include CAG activities where deep product and RDM process knowledge are required and special projects in the RDM space to aid in the advancement of sales for RM tools including: Requirements Composer, RequisitePro and DOORS.
How long have you been working for IBM and Rational?
Total time, roughly 11 years. Four years with Rational, and 7 with IBM.
Have you had any other roles in Rational?
Yes, TSE 2, World Wide Escalation Contact, Team Lead for RequisitePro, Delivery Engagement Manager for Internal Deployment of Rational tools within IBM
What are you currently working on?
Building assets to support the sales and field enablement for RDM including Proof of Technologies, Deployment Assets, and consulting projects for various customers, as well as my CAG duties.
Describe a normal day for you.
I am a bit of jack of all trades with various meeting for anything from performing pre-sales demonstrations, consulting sessions with the field and customers, CAG troubleshooting sessions, and building assets.
What project are you the most proud of?
An internal grass roots IBM project with CIO's office, GBS and Sales Transformation. The project started small with about 200 persons and has steadily grown to support 7,000 plus persons WW. We build a custom ClearQuest schema to drive their requirements process across organizations and integrate with RequisitePro. Additionally we build on demand training assets.
Do you have an "on the job" hero? If you could "follow" anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?
Yes, Robin Bater the RDM Coop Architect. I appreciate how he works with customers, the field and development and drive success with our customers and new functions into the tools.
Are you a gadget person? What type of gadgets do you use?
Somewhat, but prefer to spend my freetime playing sports, outdoors, and cooking but as far as gadgets I love my iTouch.
What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without?
What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support?
I love helping our customers successfully tie process and tools together.
What inspires you in your work?
New challenges everyday and solving problems.
What are you passionate about?
In work learning new things and taking that knowledge and helping others.
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class?
Tags are critical in the use of Requirements Composer and help teams organize assets for basic organization and aid in filtering, reviews, project baselines and help organize assets for inputs to other parts of the development lifecycle including Test and Development.
Tell me about the biggest problem you've solved?
Helping drive closure to a year long crit-sit with a customer and help them solve critical tool issues.
Tell me about the biggest problem ahead for you?
Helping find efficient ways for customers to move from legacy tools to our new Jazz platform. The Jazz platform will help teams more effectively to view data across the software development lifecycle, however in some cases the way tools are used require customers to potentially re-think how they have organized their projects in the past.
How do you define success?
Providing thought leadership in your space and continuing to evolve and impart that knowledge upon others.
In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you?
Anything active. I love the outdoors and hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter. I also love volleyball (both indoors and doubles). I love to try to express my creative side outside of work in crafts and cooking. I also love to lose myself in a book and get away from the stresses of work.
When did you first become interested in outdoor activities?
I have been skiing since I was 5 - 34 years and have played volleyball since junior high through college and still today.
What tools / skills have you acquired that you feel are vital to your success in this field?
Listening is critical in customer support and consulting and driving to understand a problem and attempt to think outside of the box to address the issue. Additionally empathy is very critical as well.
What message would you give to someone just starting out in the support industry?
Be a sponge and try to learn as much as possible and grow.
What specifically drew your interest to become involved in the support field?
Have you worked on any projects that you feel were exceptionally exciting for you?
Driving the architecture, process refinement and training for the URMS internal IBM project.
Do you have any big plans for the future?
I hope to continue to travel the world in my free time.
If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without?
What is on your nightstand with regard to reading?
Generally fictional books
What has been your biggest surprise you have witnessed in the technology industry?
What future technology would make your life easier?
Cloud computing to host solutions.
What are you doing to make the planet smarter?
Trying to provide assets for on demand use in my field of expertise.
How do you grow your technical skills?
Play with new versions of tools as they are to become available.
How do you prefer to find answers to your questions?
Search online resources.
How are you using social networking today?
Face book, linked in etc... for staying connected with friends and colleagues.
Are you an Author? ...Are you a blogger in the blogosphere? ... Are you a YouTuber? .... Do you Tweet? ...
I am an author and helped write a RedBook. I also have some patents and whitepaper publications.