There have been few queries from clients asking if it is possible to import work items by e-mail into IBM Rational Team Concert. This is a somewhat complex topic as it isn't currently supported, but there is a potential work around. Let's take a look at the information:
A. There are the following properties in Advanced Properties page of the CCM application in RTC:
Online Help for this says: "A periodic task runs on the server that checks for mail received for work item creation. This property specifies the time in seconds between runs of this task."
B. Here is a brief on this feature from Jazz.net wiki
C. However, there has been an RFE on this already and you might want to add a comment here with your additional business justification. The details, along with a business justification should add more weight to this RFE.
I hope this note adds to the links above on this topic.
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (2001)
With Kelly moving on to her new role, we (she and I) thought this would make a perfect time to set another milestone on our Working Outside the Inbox (WOTI) series with some lessons learned, some failures, and some successes as well. Make no mistake though, just because we are recapping our blog series does not mean we are abandoning the WOTI ideas and principles. Far from it, in fact. As you'll find below, from our experiences with the initiative we are more dedicated than ever to using the right tools for open and transparent collaboration.
First up, where did we see our failures?
But let us not despair, for these failures didn't diminish our successes! Surprisingly, even without dedicated focus or and organized official initiative in place, all of us participating here found some level of reduction in frivolous email.
And lastly, what WERE our lessons learned from all this?
Did you miss any of this blog series? Fret not, faithful readers, here is the complete topic list which you can also find via the woti tag:
Vacation. The word alone strikes both a visceral and dichotomous chord in any and all who hear it. On one hand it triggers a wistful longing or deep anxiousness to get to it, but on the other hand, well that's where things take a turn... for those of us in the corporate world, vacation means returning to an exploded inbox after a week of ignored email. It means that even as we are away from work, basking in the fact that we have no responsibilities for the week, deep down there is that knowledge and fear of what awaits us upon our return. I'm sure at least a few of us have already recoiled in horror at the thought of actually disconnecting and taking a week's vacation.
Thankfully, a few of us in Rational Support have a tool (or rather, concept) to help us deal with that anxiety which makes returning from vacation so much less stressful: our drive to work outside of the inbox. Now, admittedly, it didn't help me return from vacation wholly without fear, but instead, it assuaged that fear nearly immediately once I did return....
Take a moment and think about the last time you took vacation.... how many emails were waiting for your return? Two hundred? Three hundred? One thousand? Somewhere in between? Enough to make returning to work a daunting proposition I'm sure!
Well, imagine returning to the office to find only 138 total emails in your inbox! Moreso, imagine 50% of those messages being irrelevant spam/sales emails and auto-notifications. That's what I came back to. Now, do the quick math and you'll see that my inbox really only held 64 messages for me which required attention... even more luckily, about half of those were only informational and didn't require any direct action. By the time Monday was over, I was nearly 100% caught up from my prior week off. Prior to our WOTI (working outside the inbox) efforts, being caught up by Monday evening would have been inconceivable; a daydreamer's fantasy at best.
The great news? Just because my inbox was reduced substantially from prior vacations' totals, this doesn't mean I am privy to less information... rather, because of our heavy use of wikis, forums, and blogs, all the information I missed during my time away is still available, relevant, and searchable. Instead of digging in to my inbox to disposition emails and categorize accordingly, most of that content was now visible in my RSS reader and already categorized and dispositioned, or even handled for me via internal crowd sourcing as an effect of the networks of connections around me.
Because this information was now being shared in collaborative spaces instead of siloed inboxes, I was able to be more effective more quickly upon my return from vacation and focus on the work that really matters.
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (3298)
Last week Lifehacker shared out this blog post by Jesse Stormier: "Put Your Inbox in the Upstairs Bathroom". And it immediately clicked for me: living inside the inbox is just too easy. This, of course, makes the shift to living outside the inbox even more difficult, as people don't change until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change.
This really can come down to a chicken or egg issue: is our addiction to email fueled by the ease of use, or is the ease of use driven by our addiction? In either case the solution, in part, is just as easy. In Jesse's post he notes how he switched from a slick GUI client and push notifications to using a command line email client, akin to putting his inbox as far away from him as his upstairs bathroom. Now, for a Unix guru that's a rather elegantly simple solution, as he is more than comfortable with the command line I'm sure. I'm even guessing it would work for a number of you reading this post here on developerWorks as well, knowing your technical excellence often has you playing on the command line.
Me? I'm lazy. While putting my inbox in the upstairs bathroom is a grand idea (my home office is upstairs, so it really isn't much of a trip at all), going as far as using Mutt on the CLI to access it is more akin to putting my inbox in my backyard, or for other people it may even be closer to their postal box down the street. Making email hard to use isn't really the point of "working outside of the inbox". Rather, the intent is to improve our collaborative efforts using tools better suited to the tasks and not automatically default to using email unless it really is the right tool for the job. So, let's make it easy!
Ok, but where's the solution? What's the recommendation? Two simple parts come to mind here:
With these two easy bits covered, my last recommendation will be to schedule specific and focused time in your day to address your inbox messages, freeing you from the shackles of your inbox the rest of the day! I know a few people around here only deal with email first thing in the morning when they arrive to work, and last thing before they leave (in between, of course, is when real work is being done and collaboration occurring all across the organization in the right tools for the jobs at hand). Or perhaps scheduling three times to check: on arrival, right after lunch, and again before leaving for the day.
Regardless of how you go about it, finding what works for you is the key to enjoying a life outside of your inbox. I assure you, it is absolutely worth the mild pain of change!
jtouati 270000UJFK Visits (4173)
It has been four weeks since four of us (Kelly Smith, Jason O'Donnell, Matthew Quimby, Jamel Touati) from IBM Rational Customer Support organization embarked on the Amazing E-mail-Less Man adventure following on the footsteps of Luis Suarez to Work Outside The Inbox (WOTI).
So far we've covered the first three steps of the WOTI process:
Well, your intrepid adventurers have 3 days of Working Outside the Inbox under our belts and I thought this a would be a good time to discuss in a little more depth about how we are doing this.
Lets start with Step 1: Stop replying to email. This step would really be more accurately described as Mindful Processing of Email but that doesn't sound nearly as provocative and attention-grabbing, and wouldn't make nearly so many people's heads explode, which wouldn't be nearly as much fun.
So listen: this is what we are really doing.
Think of this as stopping the reflexive knee-jerk reaction of working in your inbox, simply reading and replying. We've all become very well trained by our inboxes: receive an email, send an email. Read your incoming email and then...
Stop. Think. Ask yourself a few questions along these lines:
Change begins with us (and you!)
Here are some wild and crazy ideas on how you can work effectively and openly and without being chained to your inbox:
Use the content repository or content management system of your choice as long as it's NOT YOUR MACHINE. Don't become the bottleneck, or the single point of failure. Put your stuff where people can find it and get it. When people email and ask you for that information, give them a link to the information where you've posted it.
Use wiki pages for knowledge capture and on-demand access. One example, instead of keeping your project status or metrics in a spreadsheet on your machine, think open and transparent and provide that data on a wiki page. if your manager expects a weekly status report, put it there.
discussion forums for collaboration, idea sharing and brai
Use the community blog for news, announcements, and community-wide communications. Why blog? To take advantage of all the technology that allows us to share knowledge more widely ... tags, RSS feeds, aggregators, search.... the list goes on. Rather than sending an 800mg email that immediately plunges 20% of your unsuspecting audience into "mail jail", try blogging your news. Oh, the 80% who aren't in mail jail? I posit that 40% will not read it anyway, either deliberately or by accident when it scrolls "below the fold" amidst a barrage of other people sending news, asking questions, and, worst of all, sharing files.
Besides, I bet a couple of weeks from now, someone's going to ask you for the information again anyway.
Speaking of sharing files.... There are better ways. Instead of mailing a slide deck to 10 people for review and comments, use Connections and if you MUST send an email, send a link to where you have posted the file (or the wiki page from which you are working) so that it can benefit the greatest number of people, who can then bookmark it / subscribe to it / grab the RSS feed, or otherwise self-serve when they need the information. Which means the doc owner doesn't need to send the updated file out to a cast of thousands either.
Oh, it all just makes so much SENSE.
So no, we're not giving up email entirely, and there will be times that we will (gasp!) send an email. We're just going to be mindful in our work and aim to get the maximum value from each interaction.
So, stop and think.
Just because a conversation starts in email doesn't mean it belongs there.
kellypuffs 06000168YK Visits (2724)
I've hinted about it before.
Inspired by our hero, Luis Suarez, your intrepid blog authors have decided to follow in his footsteps this year.
Jason, Matthew, and I are on a mission ... a mission to take our lives and our work back from the inbox.
Email is a great tool ... for a few things. It is NOT a great tool for many things that we currently use it for today: discussions, decision-making, file sharing, file repositories, questions & answers, newsletters, announcements.
We have the collaborative technology. We have the skilz. It's just a matter of "walking the talk", and persevering. A whole lot of persevering.
So we start today, with the Luis Suarez Magical 3 Step Pattern:
Honestly, I've been such a collaborative harpy for so long, we are doing a lot of this already. But now we're going to do it mindfully and consciously, and track our results like Luis did.
We'll also be providing updates on our progress here, along with the technical content you've come to rely on.
kellypuffs 06000168YK Visits (3231)
Many of us have been following Luis' adventures in collaborating "outside the inbox" for 4 years now, ever since he first announced his radical plan on the internal blogosphere. Those of us passionate about the power of open, transparent and collaborative communication over "mail jail" have been cheering him on, all the while wondering how we could do the same.
Luis wrote a great blog post on the experience here, and I encourage you to go read it. Now.
I've taken many of the principles to heart, and have moved as much of my work as possible to collaborative technologies like Rational Team Concert and Lotus Connections.
I don't WANT to be the sole owner and disseminator of the information and content I produce.
I don't WANT my manager to have to ping me every time he wants to know the status of something.
I don't WANT to hoard information on MY machine and pass that information around every time someone asks for it.
SHARED knowledge is power.
As Luis stated so eloquently, we're probably not going to get rid of email entirely. But we CAN work smarter, more openly and transparently, one tran
spreadsheets -> wikisTo dos -> Connections Activities.
status updates, news, announcements -> blog posts
Next time you are working on something, think before you file it away on your computer. I bet there's a better way.
I KNOW there is.
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (2267)
It was recently announced that IBM My Notifications was successfully updated at the end of November. The release includes new features and improvements for you, our clients, to make the application more efficient and effective! The major call out for this release is noted below:
This update enables the translation of the web user interface, and notification messages to 9 languages ( including Japanese, Chinese – traditional & simplified, Korean, French, German, Italian, Spanish & Portugal – Brazil).
The translation capability is now included within:
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Visits (1406)
In IBM Rational Support, we are constantly working to improve our business; how we can help you succeed with our products and find solutions to challenges you encounter. This means not only looking inward to defining our strategies and best practices, but also outwards to discover new processes and studies which may shed light on how we can improve.
You can imagine, then, when the following arti The date on this file indicates creation on Aug 19, 2011, which lends to the timeliness of the study, though no dates are provided within the presentation to indicate when the study was conducted. I can only hope that it was relatively recent to the actual publication dates to ensure closer relevancy. I say this, because one of the biggest stand out points I took away from this presentation was that when it comes to "key factors to influence sharing, E-mail is still #1". And that, my loyal audience, was a bit of a surprise in this age of social sharing. All the other factors noted made perfect sense to me... almost instinctually so. But the fact that e-mail still remains at number one, to be honest, boggles my mind. I'd have expected something like "ease of sharing", but not a specific medium... let alone one as tightly confined as e-mail. This surprise has given me pause to rethink some of our strategies, specifically how we may be missing a key component with E-mail being a preference. So, I'm taking some time today on this "Think Friday" topic which has landed in my lap, and contemplating the truths present in the "Psychology of Sharing". As I ponder this, I'm beginning to think the surveyed subjects span a larger and likely less technical group than you, our more focused audience here. Which, of course, leads me to reach out to you: As a tech-savvy / cutting-edge crowd, do you still prefer E-mail over other forms of sharing (RSS, perhaps, or other various social media channels)? After reviewing the presentation, do you find that you agree with the conclusions of the study or are your motivations and preferences contradictory to what was presented?
The date on this file indicates creation on Aug 19, 2011, which lends to the timeliness of the study, though no dates are provided within the presentation to indicate when the study was conducted. I can only hope that it was relatively recent to the actual publication dates to ensure closer relevancy.
I say this, because one of the biggest stand out points I took away from this presentation was that when it comes to "key factors to influence sharing, E-mail is still #1". And that, my loyal audience, was a bit of a surprise in this age of social sharing. All the other factors noted made perfect sense to me... almost instinctually so. But the fact that e-mail still remains at number one, to be honest, boggles my mind. I'd have expected something like "ease of sharing", but not a specific medium... let alone one as tightly confined as e-mail.
This surprise has given me pause to rethink some of our strategies, specifically how we may be missing a key component with E-mail being a preference. So, I'm taking some time today on this "Think Friday" topic which has landed in my lap, and contemplating the truths present in the "Psychology of Sharing". As I ponder this, I'm beginning to think the surveyed subjects span a larger and likely less technical group than you, our more focused audience here.
Which, of course, leads me to reach out to you:
As a tech-savvy / cutting-edge crowd, do you still prefer E-mail over other forms of sharing (RSS, perhaps, or other various social media channels)? After reviewing the presentation, do you find that you agree with the conclusions of the study or are your motivations and preferences contradictory to what was presented?