Blue Diamond Enhanced Secure Support- This video announces IBM Blue Diamond Enhanced Secure Support, a no-cost enhancement to standard remote software and hardware support for our U.S. healthcare clients.
1995, November 14: SQA, Inc. files a US federal trademark for SQA Robot as part of the SQA Suite in Woburn Massachusetts (MA) 01801.
1997, February 26: Rational Software Corp. acquires SQA, Inc.
SQA Robot is part of SQA TeamTest . This bundle consists of SQA Robot and SQA Tester.
As the years go passing by
1999, February: the first release under the name of Rational Robot v.7.1 comes out.
2002: Robot wins the Yphise award for the best functional testing tool.
Yphise is a leading independent analyst company from Paris, France. Yphise assessed Robot through Yphise's ISO-9001-certified methodology.
2003, February: IBM acquisition of Rational Software.
The name changes from Rational Robot to IBM Rational Robot.
2004 Robot development moves from Lexington MA to Bangalore, India. From that time until today, Hari Ananth has been the core developer.
IBM Rational Robot Version 188.8.131.52 introduced the OpenComparator function in stand-alone mode. This version also introduced support for 64-bit operating system and made the step into the 64-bit world possible after the end of life of Windows XP. See The rebirth of Rational Robot after XP's death
Thanks to Hari, this was all possible.
Robot and her husbands
In the days before Rational Software renamed SQA Robot to Rational Robot, SQA Manager was the tool to organize Robot scripts. After that, Rational Software renamed to Rational Robot and Rational TestManager.
Release 184.108.40.206 was the first release where you could work in stand-alone mode, freed from Rational TestManager. Only for performance testing, you need to integrate with TestManager.
From 6 June 2006 until 30 April 2013, the integration with Rational ClearQuest Test Manager (CQTM) was supported. The newest tool IBM Rational Quality Manager has integrated with Rational Robot since 19 December 2008.
I hope you've got an impression how Robot developed in the 22 years of its life. If you'd like to discuss this further or add information, leave a comment here or connect with me on Twitter @GunangWaney.
Consciously or unconsciously, we see history lightly in the form of a conflict between the old and the new.- Johan Huizinga.
Rational Developer for System i (v9.0): Activation kit for ESS orders - This article details the steps needed in order to successfully download the activation kit for ESS or AAS orders.
To obtain licenses for orders placed either via econfig (AAS - Advanced Administrator System) or ESS (Entitled Software Support) customers should access our ESS support site to download the activation kit. Also, the activation kit is included within the media received from IBM.
1. Logon to the ESS Support site.
2. On the left side of the screen under 'My entitled software' click on Register IBM customer number if this is a new order or new user.
3. After completing the registration click on 'Software downloads', verify the customer number and continue.
4. Select the OS version, Product number and continue. Check V6R1M0 version first since most of our keys are placed under this version regardless of your iSeries version.
5. Under 'Software downloads' verify the product and continue.
6. Accept the license agreement.
7. Select 'Click here to use HTTP'.
8. Right click on the activation kit and save it to the local harddrive.
9. Burn the .iso image to a disk to obtain the *.jar file or use a 3rd party software to open the .iso file.
We are very excited to announce the launch of the Rational Common Licensing Support Community, we at IBM Rational are constantly striving to reduce the time it takes for you to gain value from our products and solutions for the technical problems you may have.
We'll do our level best to help you. This is the place to engage and report your technical problems, make suggestions, get involved in testing, learn more about the site, keep up on changes, learn about new features and functions being released and what's new, and ask questions about getting around the online community.
This community is a central hub for →
Finding information and references to help plan, set up, and maintain your Rational licenses
Discussing ideas with, and ask questions to the Rational Licensing team
Each ICON displayed below will help you understand, what this community is all about and how we have assembled the information keeping in mind the ease of access. As we understand that juggling your business commitments can be hectic, so we have assembled information we think will ease the stress a little. Check out different blocks like, Troubleshooting, Questions, News & events, Contact information, Plans, etc., and find important release information and access to resources ( testing ) offered by our experts. Need to change your business load or direction, or talk to someone about your migrations and upgrades? We've got that covered too. It is all part of our commitment to supporting you in enhancing performance.
How to Participate:
Register and log in to IBM developer Works
Join the Rational Common Licensing Support Community
Find answers by searching the forums
Plan or optimize your license deployment by reading materials and references
Check out updates and news about Rational licensing
Share your comments and experiences with others!
We hope that sharing this sort of information with in the community will be helpful to your teams as you work on your projects. Also, we hope that you’ll comment and participate in sharing your own tips and tricks from your experiences, both for the benefit of other community members and to help us build tools that better suits your needs.
I’ll keep this information short to allow you to explore the new community and share your views on the same.
We've got some amazing speakers from Rational Client Support presenting some wonderfully informative sessions at Innovate the new IBM Technical Summit this year!
Take a look at the table below and be sure to add the sessions to your agenda! Where possible, the session ID links to the InnovateSmartSite.comagenda search for that particular session to make it easy to add in to your daily view!
As we did last year, we will also remind you of the sessions for the day during Innovate on the days they will be presented... so keep an eye on the blog and make sure you don't miss out on these great talks!
A virtual scenario for practice performing a CLM server rename
There are various reasons to desire to change the server name: corporate policies change, changing subnets, or to have a fully qualified domain name. There are several use cases which are supported by the server rename capabilities in Rational CLM from creating a new staging environment to going from pilot to production. This hands-on workshop will enable the user to understand the planning and activities involved with renaming a CLM server.
Gerald Mitchell, Rational Global Response Team (GRT)
Heather Sterling, Rational Jazz Development
Scrum is one of the most popular approaches used by agile teams and Rational Team Concert one of the best tools available to support it. We briefly review the Scrum framework and then work through an example of setting up a product backlog and planning and executing the first sprint.
Millard Ellingsworth, Community Leader - Collaborative Lifecycle Management
Come discuss the manner in which you manage IBM Rational deployments and troubleshoot problems. What works for you and what is lacking? The session leader will review recent serviceability work in the CLM Solution, RDz, and other tools. Use this opportunity to provide the Rational team requirements for the information and tools you need to manage solution deployments. Will touch on the recently introduced Deployment Wiki, Smarter Server (a prototype), recent product upgrades for RDz, RQM, RTC, RRC.
Sharon Tavilla, Program Director Client Solutions Support Gerald Mitchell, Rational Global Response Team (GRT) Susan LaFera, Program Director, Rational User Technologies
RCS Session: Achieving success with the right technical information
Come join the Rational content development leads to discuss how the world of technical information is changing. Here is your chance to tell us what you need! The information to help you succeed lives in many places and many forms. Learn about recent changes that make it quicker and easier to find Rational technical content.
Susan LaFera, Program Director, Rational User Technologies
Knowledge Sharing is a key initiative of the Accelerated Value Program. In this roundtable discussion, we'll exchange ideas for how Rational solution architects and administrators obtain the advanced knowledge necessary to effectively plan, deploy, and maintain their Rational infrastructure. We'll discuss the best sources of online information, explore opportunities for more formal learning, and exchange ideas for other enablement strategies aimed at ensuring that knowledge gained translates into improved stability and performance for your Rational tool environment.
Craig Branham, Curriculum Architect for Enterprise Modernization - Rational User Education Jim Tykal, IBM Accelerated Value Leader
Jazzing up Rational Customer Service with Rational Team Concert and Rational ClearQuest using Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)
With a number of disparate systems used to handle the various aspects of customer issues, we had a process of organized chaos that lacked efficiency and was full of communication issues. We needed to implement a new system that closed these gaps, improved efficiency, and customer satisfaction all while utilizing our products and current technology to the best of its abilities. We utilized a combination of Rational ClearQuest (CQ) and Rational Team Concert (RTC) to handle customer escalations, situations, enhancements, and defects. The use of OSLC allowed us to create an integrated solution with RTC work items and CQ records to reduce information duplication and operational costs, foster collaboration between support and development, improve metrics gathering, and simplify the user experience. Rational is sharing our best practices with our customers so they have a better understanding of how we use our own tools and how they can help you get issues resolved.
Christopher Quinones, Software Programmer Manager - IBM Package Developer, CCB, ROCR
Strategies for planning and completing a successful CLM upgrade
Rational CLM products are powerful tools and as time goes on, it may be come time to upgrade to the latest version to make use of more features, add in a product offering, or migrate to a different application server. Upgrading and migrating as time goes on can require additional planning for downtime, additional product and version dependencies. Designing and implementing a strategy for success is crucial for a smooth transition. As an example, moving from an older version of Rational CLM products such as 220.127.116.11 to the latest versions require moving through intermediate steps and a thorough understanding of system setup and requirements through the process is critical to success.
Gerald Mitchell, Rational Global Response Team (GRT)
Paul Ellis, Rational Global Response Team (GRT)
Rosa Naranjo, Jazz Jumpstart - CLM Upgrades, OSLC, RRC/RM
This session will explore issues and strategies for CLM administrators, and how to avoid some of these problems when planning and enacting deployments, including presentation of some resources to enable administrator success. The presenters will introduce themselves and their roles and duties and speak on common escalations issues for Administrators as seen by Rational client success organizations. There will be a brief overview of resources for administrators. An example of resources for administrators will be demonstrated.
The presenters will then answer questions and take comments.
Gerald Mitchell, Rational Global Response Team (GRT)
Ginny Ghezzo, Rational Client Relations
Craig Chaney, Jazz Server Development
Fast-Tracking the Deployment and Management of Multi-Instance Rational Team Concert Implementations and Integrations in a Multi-Network Environment
In this presentation, the audience will see innovative concepts in the areas of architecture, virtualization, and automation to support robust and complex Rational Team Concert environments – developed to reduce deployment overhead and increase ROI..
By leveraging virtual technologies and common best practices have helped in the development of a more modular, standardized implementation approach and architecture for RTC along with supporting services and integrations. This solution looks at an approach to solve the challenges of deploying across disconnected networks, allowing for a lean team of administrators to manage over 60 disparate environments both consistently and predictably. You will see innovative concepts in the areas of architecture, virtualization, and automation to support robust and complex RTC environments – developed in the name of survival.
Stephen Seifert, IBM Accelerated Value Leader
Gray Ross, Raytheon Missile Systems
Tips & Tricks for Efficient IBM Online Support – Learn What’s Changed & How to Get Your Answers Quickly
IBM has made many updates to its online support tools over the past year. Learn the best practices for utilizing these exciting tooling changes and policy updates. We’ll discuss and demo the best ways to work with IBM’s online tools, obtain fixes, manage licenses, and engage IBM’s support engineers. This session is a “must-see” for all IBM clients – large and small.
Additional bonus: We’ll be demoing dramatic design changes planned for later in 2013! See what's coming and provide feedback directly to IBM's web team leadership!
Patrick O’Connor, Communications Strategist, IBM Electronic Support Adoption
Are you ready to take your reports on the road? Within the CLM solution, IBM now offers an enterprise level reporting solution called Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence (RRDI). RRDI delivers dashboard style reports in a variety of formats. With the RDDI-compatible mobile extension in IBM Cognos, you can deliver highly interactive and self-contained reports to your mobile users. Managers and executives who require high-level and drill-down reports can make business decisions within their organizations on the go. Our goal is to demonstrate the mobile solution using the Cognos 10 Go! Mobile components. We will discuss the deployment, design, implementation, and user experience of IBM Cognos Active Reports. This report delivers powerful capabilities based on data from the CLM applications that your organization can use to make informed business decisions. Take your CLM reports to the next level and join us for a live demonstration on an Apple iPad.
Ben Silverman, SWAT/Escalation Engineer - RequisitePro/Requirements Composer/Rational Insight
Chris Fleischer, Technical Support Engineer - Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM)
Case Study: Lessons Learned Deploying Rational Products at Telllabs
As IBM moves to a common install technology, a number of challenges and opportunities arise in large enterprise environments. In particular, using the IBM Installation Manager technology to manage large scale deployments in environments with limited user control requires careful planning to complete successfully. This session looks at real world examples that use the Installation Manager to deploy a number of IBM Rational products including Rational Software Architect, Rational Functional Tester, and Rational Team Concert. Learn how one customer used the opportunities to overcome some of the challenges they faced. We will also look at broader lessons learned from these examples, and discuss best practices around the use of Installation Manager in large enterprise environments
Mark Guertin, Software Engineer - Rational Team Concert L3 Development
Christopher Quinones, Software Programmer Manager - IBM Package Developer, Common Component Build Eric Dirks, Tellabs
During August and September, we will be conducting a Customer
Orientation Webcast series, geared specifically for our new Green Hat
clients, but open for anyone to attend.
We are inviting you to
attend our August/Sept Customer Orientation Webcast series, and to help
ensure that you get the maximum utilization out of your IBM products.
During this informative 45 minute presentation and Q&A, we'll explain how to:
Obtain the most out of your IBM Support experience. We will walk you through FAQs, tech bulletins, forums and much more.
We will discuss/demo how you can create cases, update existing
cases, escalate cases, generate case reports and submit enhancement
requests using the IBM Support Website.
we'll also discuss the high level of service you can expect from our existing customer care program.
If you know any people in your organization that are involved in
administration or utilization of any Green Hat products, please let them
know about this webcast that can be helpful in introducing them to IBM
We look forward to meeting you at our next webcast!
This webcast will take place weekly Aug 15-Sept 30, on a rotating schedule to accommodate all time zones. You need only attend one session at a time convenient for you.
2.Sign in using your IBM ID - Don’t have an IBM ID? Visit My IBM registration to make one - its easy and free!
3.Take a screen capture of the "Support home" page. - Make sure we can see your name. - See below for hints on capturing your screen.
4.Email that image to "email@example.com" with "IBM Support Portal Game" as the subject.
5.You’re almost done! Now visit the Rational Client Support Café to pick out your prize! (See the map to the left)
Have an IBM Support question or need help with our game? Visit the Rational Client Support Café all week - we can help with signing in to the IBM Support Portal, provide demos of IBM’s online support tools and answer any support-related question you may have!
What is the IBM Support Portal?
The IBM Support Portal is a unified, customizable view of all technical support tools and information for all IBM systems, software, and services.
Why is signing in so important?
Signing in to the IBM Support Portal allows you to better save your product and page settings.
Signing in will allow you to use the IBM Service Request tool. Note: Beginning in June 2012, IBM Software is requesting clients to open and update requests for software technical support using our electronic IBM Service Request (SR) tool. Complete details may be found here: http://ibm.com/support/ece/
Lastly, signing in allows you to easily obtain your product fixes from IBM Fix Central
How do I capture an image of my computer’s screen?
Apple iPhone: Briefly hold down the "Power button" and the "Home button" at the same time. Your screen should flash momentarily, and your screenshot should be saved in a new folder under Photos. Find this latest image and paste into email.
Apple Mac OS X: Use "Command-Shift-3" , then paste into email .
Microsoft Windows: Select your "PrintScreen" key, then paste into email.
Detailed game rules:
You must be an IBM Innovate attendee to receive a prize.
Every IBM Innovate attendee who enters is eligible for a prize.
Prizes must be claimed in the Rational Support Café during Innovate 2012.
Only one prize per attendee.
Game participants are responsible for declaring their winnings to their organization.
Game participants are responsible for any associated taxes.
Government employees may enter the contest but are ineligible to receive a prize.
Did you know there's a way for you to get priority service request handling, as well as weekly reports and notifications and deeper connections to the skilled support engineers you need to help solve those tricky PMRs? Well now you know, and knowing is half the battle! (Ok, I MAY have just given away that I grew up on the GI Joe morning cartoons, I'm sure you won't hold it against me.) Now that you know about this program, what's the other half of the battle? Easy: knowing what it provides and how to get this for yourself!
The IBM Software Accelerated Value Program has introduced the Express Level Support option as a comprehensive level of support focused on rapid, high-quality issue resolution for critical IBM Rational (as well as Lotus, IBM Security System, Tivoli) software implementations. This program was specifically developed for small to mid-sized businesses who need a higher level of support but do not need all the features of the larger scale Accelerated Value Program. You can purchase the Express Level option in addition to Standard Software Subscription & Support to provide you with access to an advanced level of assisted support services for specific deployments or business areas throughout North America and Europe.
This program provides you with broad access to standard support, while allowing you to choose the business areas that require more enhanced support services. Of course, it includes product continuation and online support, but also adds a comprehensive set of additional support features that help you toward rapid and complete issue resolution.
Convinced yet? How about some bullet points to really drive home the value you'll see from this program?
You get a skilled team of product experts (that's us!) - As an Express Level customer, you will collaborate with specialized support analysts (some of whom have been highlighted on this very blog) who have in-depth knowledge of IBM Rational (plus Lotus, IBM Security System, or Tivoli) software in key functional areas. IBM software support analysts provide thorough and targeted knowledge during the resolution of all issues, which improves your understanding of possible challenges and can help prevent future issues.
You're treated to Priority Service Request Handling - Under the Express Level Support option opening PMRs via Service Request (SR) will ensure the same support analyst maintains ownership of the service request until resolution. This continuity means issues can be resolved more efficiently or escalated when needed.
You'll see exceptional resolution time - With the Express Level program we've established smaller Support Engineer-to-client ratios which means faster resolution times for your technical issues.
You will gain access to regular problem management reports (PMRs) - Detailed PMRs include metrics so you can gain a better understanding of the status of your support requests and how they impact your business. By reviewing these reports internally with your team, you will deepen your understanding of your support activity and priorities.
You'll also receive weekly authorized program analysis reports (APARs) - APARs, client reported defects regarding your software, are delivered to you in a timely way, along with hyperlinks to information on when and how they were resolved. These are available by product and on a subscription basis, so you can track defect resolutions of interest to your organization.
And best of all, you get all this at a fraction of the cost of the full Accelerated Value Program offerings, so as a small to mid-sized business you can reap the advantages of higher level support at an affordable price.
Need downloads, documentation, training, or other support resources? Having trouble finding what you need on IBM.com? Looking for help and you just don't know where to go? Fear no more, my loyal readers, this document lists resources for IBM Rational products to assist you with learning the products, getting help, or just getting started:
Truly a smörgåsbord of information right at your fingertips.... or, mouse tip... or pointer tip to be even more pedantic. A bevy of information and assistance awaits you!
Of course, this list reflects a small portion of our knowledge base. If your problem or question is not featured here, head on over to the Support Portal to customize your portal experience and navigate to relevant content or perform keyword searches based on your needs. You can also click thedeveloperWorks tab to seek answers, advice, or opinions from other users in the Rational Community.
IBM Electronic Support has been busy producing and posting a series of videos designed to help you gain even more benefits from IBM as it relates to using the Support Portal to find support solutions and information:
IBM Support Portal Overview: This video provides an overview of the IBM Support Portal, a unified, centralized view of all technical support tools and information for IBM systems, software, and services worldwide. The IBM Support Portal is your gateway to all of your technical support resources.
Getting started with IBM Support Portal using Quick Start: The IBM Support Portal is your one stop spot for technical support resources. It gives you a unified, centralized view of all technical support tools and information for all IBM systems, software, and services worldwide. This video demonstrates how to get started with this website.
Finding warranty information for your IBM systems: This video demonstrates how to find warranty information related to your IBM system. Using the IBM Support Portal, you can look up one or many systems to see which ones are under the base warranty or covered by an extended service agreement.
Rational Support was very busy at Innovate 2011 this week! Lots of great
conversations and sessions - Take a look back at this week's blog posts from Notes from
Rational Support and our friends at IBM Electronic Support for all the
Of course Innovate wasn't JUST for the attendees! If you weren't able to make it out to Orlando this year, you can still reap some fabulous benefits from the conference through our blog posts, but especially through the IBM Rational Livestream feedsfor the conference! Take some time and check out all the great keynote presentations we recorded and hosted just for you! I think you'll find some fabulously useful information there! Notes from Rational Support blog articles:
Plus you can find more photos from the conference over at our Innovate 2011 album on the IBM Rational Support Facebook page!
Of course, our friends over at the IBM Electronic Support Community have also been busy at Innovate and posting their blog articles too:
When you contact our support team for help resolving Rational product issues, we often we request additional troubleshooting information from your problem system. For some products, obtaining this information is easy to do, but often the info or particular files are not that easily located. On occasion, additional logs are requested based on new information found or it may have simply been missed. What can we do to make it easier? For select products, we've enabled an automated data gathering tool called IBM Support Assistant Lite (ISALite for short). This tool will gather appropriate troubleshooting information for a particular product. This will help reduce the amount of back and forth communications between you and support, and help our support team get to the core of the problem more effectively and efficiently.
Jason continues to hit it out of the ballpark with his thoughtful and thought-provoking articles on what we are trying to accomplish in these spaces, and provides a unique and refreshing perspective from the usual lead- and revenue-generating slant you get from most articles on social business.
Here is the most referenced Rational Application Developer support content our engineers have used in March. I bet there's something here YOU can use as well!
7007823: This document contains a list of the updates that have been made generally available (GA) for the IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software version 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0 releases, with links to the download documents currently published for these updates. The most recent available update appears at the top of the list.
7019500: This document serves to supplement the installation and upgrade instructions by summarizing the system requirements for IBM System Requirements for Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software, Version 8.0.x
1207779: The template explained in this technotes extracts all changes made to a Requirement in Requisite Pro®, after a specific attribute has been set to value="xxxxx". This can be useful to see what attributes and requirement text has changed since a requirement was e.g. validated or approved.
1255195: Attempts to launch one of the desktop products of the Rational Software Delivery Platform, such as Rational Software Architect, Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software, Rational Performance Tester, results in the error "JVM terminated Exit Code = 1" or the javaw.exe process takes 100% of the CPU and hangs.
1260953: This technical explains how to tune Microsoft® Windows® to allow more simultaneous socket connections to be allocated to an application such as IBM® Rational® Performance Tester (RPT).
1269946: This technote addresses import issues that might occur during the installation of the following IBM® Rational® Software Delivery Platform (SDP) products: IBM Rational Software Architect (RSA), Rational Systems Developer (RSD), Rational Software Modeler (RSM), Rational Application Developer (RAD), Rational Functional Tester (RFT), Rational Manual Tester (RMT) and Rational Performance Tester (RPT).
1286215: EJBDeploy fails with "java.lang.IllegalStateException: Unable to acquire application service."
1288832: To successfully start WebSphere® Application Server (WAS) version 6.x in profiling mode, the WAS process needs to launch the piAgent module object. In some cases, operating systems such as Linux® or Microsoft® Windows® cannot locate the module. This technote tells how to resolve messages that display in the Rational Application Developer (RAD) or Rational Software Architect (RSA) console view and the WAS native_stderr.log.
1303233: Why does specifying a Shared Library on an EAR in a WebSphere® Application Server (WAS) v6.x administration (admin) console not work in Rational Application Developer (RAD) v7.x. or v6.x?
Problem: Ineffectual meetings. Meetings that take longer than they should. Too many meetings. Meetings that consistently sound like this five minute video... "The Conference Call" by David Grady.
Don't go. No, really... hear me out on this. If meetings are ineffectual, then no one will look at you poorly for bowing out. I can assure you, if you think the meeting is ineffectual, your colleagues likely do too. Now, I don't mean "just don't go" (this isn't "Office Space" after all), I mean respectfully decline the invitation noting your inability to attend and make yourself available to the host to discuss why. Don't make excuses, be clear about why you've declined, but choose the right setting for that discussion; a meeting invite decline with comments is not the right venue.
Speak up and help drive the meeting focus. Don't let the meeting get bogged down in the minutiae of "solutioning" when discussing a high level problem. Only solution issues when that is the specific purpose of gathering together. If you sense that the meeting is taking a turn for the worse, speak up and refocus the group. If you're becoming annoyed with the spiraling, more than likely the other people on the call are as well.
Having too many meetings on your calendar will likely take care of itself if you effectively implement the first two suggestions... divesting yourself from the ineffectual meetings, and more effectively participating in the ones you do attend will magically see your time slots open up to a point where you can easily and effectively manage your meeting AND work time. Imagine that!
Only call meetings when it is critical to have all individuals present, or when a quick solution is critical to success. Don't call meetings to 'keep people informed'. Share results, but demand participation from the attendees in the form of calls to action or direct unfettered discussion.
But what about those meetings you HAVE to attend just in case something comes up, or to stay informed about developments and progress on projects or programs? Easy. That is what wikis, discussion forums, blogs, and RSS feeds are for; staying informed when it matters!
Collaboration does not mean scheduling a one hour meeting. Collaboration can be done at any time of the day, regardless of your colleagues' availability. Using internal wikis, blogs, and discussion forums, you can not only collaborate more effectively and have written record of your progress, but you can do so across time zones and geographic boundaries. Using RSS feeds, you can keep an eye on any updates from a single location across communities and functional groups.
(Ooooooh, here comes the work plug! In the interest of transparency, yes, I work for IBM, and yes IBM owns Lotus. That said, I honestly -do- think the tooling I am about to discuss is effective and worthwhile, and I don't say that about much!) Using Lotus Connections, you can build communities to support collaboration and reduce the number of "essential" meetings you attend. Because Lotus Connections has wiki, blogging, discussion, bookmarks, file storage, and many other capabilities, the online collaboration can take place at your discretion. Priority management can now be more effectively accomplished as you no longer need to balance those silly meetings with getting actual work done. And because Connections is built with RSS features, you can set up your feeds in the tool of your choice to stay up to date with all the items YOU care about and participate on your own terms.
While I use Lotus Connections for a wealth of reasons in IBM, I find the most beneficial part of it all is the RSS capabilities. The RSS feeds I watch for the various communities I participate in allow me to quickly glance at updates and determine if the information is something I need to focus on now, if it can wait, or if I need to pay attention to it at all. Information triage, as it were, in milliseconds. This has truly been the single most effective tool to combat information overload I have used to date.
So, now that you've divested your self from those ineffectual meetings... are driving the meetings you do attend with a new vigor and granular focus based on specific agenda items posted to your wiki (and updated later with details of the discussions)... and are globally collaborating with colleagues across time zones, what more can you do to reduce meetings and influence people? The answer: Work on your meeting etiquette.
Here are a few tips I've picked up along the way... and I'll say right up front, I have broken every single one of these at one time or another, so don't think I am throwing stones in a glass house here:
Mute. Use it. As a participant, use it immediately after you dial in. Stay on mute unless you are speaking. When you're done speaking, go back on mute. As a host, use "mute all" and use it often. There really is nothing worse than a great meeting being derailed or sidetracked by an accidental un-muted interruption.
For larger meetings/conference calls, turn off the dial-in beep notifications when callers join or hangup. These beeps are the downfall of most every conference call. A late party will invariably interrupt the speaker (who likely has already started late waiting for people to join) resulting in a five to ten minute loss of productivity over the start of the meeting.
Get to the meeting on time. Seriously. Showing up late is disrespectful to everyone else on the call who arrived on time. When you show up late, you've wasted their time. Once or twice are forgivable, but when it happens consistently, those three or four minutes start adding up quickly. Imagine if everyone showed up on time, a meeting could start when scheduled, and END when scheduled, or gasp, maybe even early! Show respect for everyone else, show up on time.
Know your audience. When speaking, whether hosting a call or just talking during someone else's meeting, know when it is ok to joke around and when you need to stay focused on the task/topic at hand. There is a fine line between joking around but staying professional (call it casual professionalism) and wasting time joking when there are better things to discuss. Don't make a long meeting longer by joking around. Laugh, and move on; we all have better places to be and better things we could be doing.
Don't multi-task. Actually this could have gone above as well as an indicator of an inefficient meeting: are you multitasking during it? Then you can probably divest yourself from it. If a meeting doesn't require your full attention, it is a meeting you shouldn't be attending. Conversely, any meeting you attend should be given your full attention, and by virtue, your participation as well.
I truly hope this has given you some good tips, tricks, or tools to use to make your day to day job more effective and efficient. If for nothing else, I hope it gave you pause to think about what you can do as an individual to help make sure your meetings are run as crisp and concisely as possible, with few distractions, clear goals, and shorter run times. After all, if you can make a small difference, imagine what we can accomplish if we ALL make those small differences....
Get on the KCS train! We've run the numbers, reviewed the data, and found the top support documents from last month. These are the docs which were most commonly reused over the course of our TSEs assisting with calls.
With our KCS (Knowledge centered support) ideals in mind, our reuse data
tells us these docs should be of great benefit to you all.... We hope
highlighting this content here will help you as well, and maybe even save you some time in resolving issues or finding the right answers...
This week, we asked Rational Support IBMers what tip or trick they'd like to share... below you'll find some great advice about global collaboration, using Lotus Notes and associate applications more effectively, and information on making Support Portal more effective for YOU!
First up is Wendy Page, an RCS Software Advisory Team manager, with some recommendations for collaborating with global teams. Wendy notes: "When working with remote colleagues, especially in foreign labs, I take a couple of minutes to ask them about something in their locale before beginning a work conversation. For instance, when I next talk to my CDL development team, I will ask them about their New Year's Holiday, whether they traveled to see family, what traditions they celebrated. Sometimes I ask about the weather, especially if I know that a team may be battling extremely cold weather (Europe), or ask if my colleague has family near flooding in Brazil. This helps me understand the context under which the team is working, extra strains in their work day that I may not be aware of. It also builds a sense of connection with our remote teammates and labs."
Paula Cox, a Rational Client Programs manager, has some great tips for using tables in Lotus Notes: In Lotus Notes (perhaps we can have a thread on JUST Notes tips)...two things have made everything easier.
When you have a table in a Notes document (email, teamroom document) you can move a row up or down in the table. To do this, highlight just that row, and press CTRL + Up arrow (or CTRL down arrow) to move that row up (or down)
To get a table into a Notes document that you edit (not a image), you can: a) copy the cells from a spreadsheet b) in Notes choose Edit -> Paste Special ->Rich Text If you -just- paste, you'll get a screen image, not an editable table.
Hope it has helped as much as it has helped me!
Debra Johnson, another Rational Client Programs manager, has even more advice surrounding Lotus Notes: One of the things in Lotus Notes Teamrooms, email, databases etc., that Paula Cox (thanks Paula- she is our Lotus Notes guru) taught our team was to use the 'shift' plus the 'minus' key to minimize the open documents. This helps if you need to find a category or event from the list. To use this function, click in the results, then press the 'shift' and 'minus' keys; it will collapse everything in that window to the highest level.
Lastly, our eSupport guru Pat O'Connor gives us some simple but highly effective tips on using the Support Portal: For the IBM Support Portal:
Customize your experience - this is YOUR IBM Support Portal, so first select the products that you are interested in - you can always change them later. This will help you find your answers quicker and easier - your navigation and searches will be scoped to only the products you have active on your page!
SIGN IN - Very, very important! Once you are in the IBM Support Portal, there is light blue box in the upper right corner: "Sign in to access your authorized content and to customize your pages." Signing in will save your customization on the IBM site, so that deleting your browser's cookies or changing computers doesn't result in you having to re-customize your IBM Support Portal pages every time you arrive at YOUR IBM.com site!
So, there you have some great tips and tricks from the people who work with these tools, sites, and distributed teams every day... do YOU have any tips to share? Anything that you find makes your life a little easier or efficient? Work related or otherwise, we're all ears and eager to learn new ways to improve!
image credit: (cc) the incomparable flickr user AndyP UK .