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What's the point of ideation?

  • 1.  What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 27 days ago
    Edited by Carsten Schmitz 26 days ago
    Hello.

    Out of curiosity, I have done some quick statistics.

    I have posted 30 ideas in "Ideation" (nee feature requests) over the last years, not counting those trashed by CA when they went from the old PMPR-style system to the "Ideation".

    My "idea" has on average nine votes, which is not all that bad, considering there are a few new ones and only a fraction of people ever find the "ideation", which Broadcom seemingly does not do much to encourage. Several ideas have 40+ votes on them.

    16 of my "ideas" are still in state "New" or "Submitted", which means nobody from Broadcom has actively processed them; the oldest of those going back to 2018-05.

    That would be okay, but at the same time, 13 of my ideas are in "review" for years. Many in fact since 04-13-2018; which is a fake date that was set during a migration when the actual date of entry was ruefully discarded (which, as a possibly unintended side effect, makes this look better on Broadcom than it actually is).

    Only ONE idea has ever been processed. That one has been brushed off with a response that doesn't reflect realities. Not now, and arguably not at the time it was issued.

    I frankly feel like, also with some recent events, our relation to Broadcom is deteriorating more and more, so I am going to say this without mincing words:

    You can not smack your customers any more in the face, metaphorically speaking, than this. Even though the thread title is a question, I do not expect an answer. This literally says to me: we don't care.

    It has been clearly evident for some time that unlike the early Automic, both Broadcom, and CA before only care about developing marketable features, not the features that those customers ask for who have already invested in the product. But I guess I was at least hoping we'd hold up the pretense of caring for feature requests. Alas, that has failed also :(

    Best regards.

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  • 2.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 26 days ago
    Hi,

    not related to 'ideation', but rather to the Broadcom attitude towards the customer cases.

    I'm helping our org users with all things Rally for last 6 years, I believe. This included building full blown system using API, webhooks and what not.

    Since CA has been acquired by Broadcom quality of the product support wend down dramatically.

    I now get fewer feedback requests after the cases are closed and I could see why.

    At first I guessed they had a junior member that someone decide to put on our cases for learning, so we were patient. Things never improved and then the person;s signature changed to indicate they were promoted to the 'senior' status.

    No single case has been handled properly. Responses are late, incorrect and not to the point.

    This recent switch of the SSO provider that left random users unable to access Rally and others unable to use Excel add-on is the most recent example.

    To me this is screaming 'we do not care'. You see, UI redesign is cool and all, but only for those that can log in.

    Having previous experience with earlier reincarnation of Rally org I know you can do better. The question is where does it all heading.

    Regards,
    Inna


  • 3.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 26 days ago
    Hi Inna,

    Myself and many other customers I talk to share this experience whole-heartedly. Thanks for sharing!

    Best regards,

    Carsten

    ------------------------------
    # signature.sh --verbose=[true|false]
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    Calendar Quote of the Month:
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    Did you know?
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    'Efficient Solutions Monthly Magazine' says:
    "Asking questions the right way never hurts!"

    Here, have some tips:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/bugs.html
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 26 days ago
    Frankly I made a similar observation on a blog I wrote  in July 2017!

    Some statistics I noted about "Ideation" for the software product I mostly work with:

    The total number of ideas in all categories was 286. Of those 286, 102 were authored by CA, not by customers (about 36%).


    New = 42; CA authored = 6 (about 14%)

    Wishlisted = 8; CA authored = 1 (about 13%)

    Currently Planned = 12; CA authored = 10 (about 83%)

    Delivered = 21; CA authored = 14 (about 67%)

    Under Review = 138; CA authored = 48 (about 35%)

    Not Planned = 65; CA authored = 23 (about 35%)

    I ended the blog with the following thought: Is it just me, or does CA seem to be a little too concentrated on itself for planning and delivery of ideas? I accept that CA sometimes writes ideas on behalf of its customers, but… I don't know…. the "stats" look a little skewed….



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    Consultant
    John D Consulting Inc.
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  • 5.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 26 days ago
      |   view attached
    Customer Ideation is a topic I care a lot about. I don't have great answers for you, but maybe sharing my experience will help.

    I am the Product Owner for CA Gen and have been at Broadcom for about a year. I can confidently say that customer needs are the foundation of everything we do. Seriously. Every time I talk about a new feature, initiative, etc, I am asked to rephrase with the customer benefit first, rather than just the technical solution, and I'm asked which customers I've talked to about this need. I have a lot of respect for that approach.

    So why aren't you seeing that reflected in Ideations? I can't speak for all products, but I can share my experience. My biggest challenges are managing the data and finding capacity. To help manage the data, I have created an excel sheet where I track all new Ideations, number of votes, notes on changes, and a link to the Ideation post. There are hundreds of ideations for CA Gen, so I had to focus on those with most the votes and newer requests. When I tried to get them all in Excel it was so overwhelming I was making no progress; there is no export option. Then I reviewed them with the product team to gauge level of effort, additional questions, alternate options, etc. Those conversations take time. Then I make updates to the Ideation, or might leave it as-is if nothing really changed. Bottom line, it's all a very manual process.

    Hand-in-hand with managing the data is adjusting to our new tools. As new Broadcom product owner, I learned from scratch, but I recently discovered that veteran product owners were unaware of some functionality change, like they no longer get an email notification when an Ideation is created, and some statuses now disable voting. We also have struggled with the fact that Ideations are separate from our product communities. To compensate for all of this, I have a reoccuring reminder to check for new Ideations weekly, when I see a new Ideation for CA Gen I post it in my product community so members see it, I updated the statuses, and I shared an FAQ with the CA Gen community so they have a better understanding of what to expect ( see attached). I still haven't figured out a good way to see when votes are added to an Ideation. I just have to spot check, and if I want to see who voted I have to request a report from our forum admin. Bottom line, we're adjusting to new processes.

    I recognize that Ideations have had some neglect, but in the Broadcom culture they are receiving increased priority. Our work is worthless if it doesn't service customers. We are eager to hear from customers, and we set priorities based on that feedback. Ideations is a wealth of customer feedback, so much so that it can be overwhelming and unmanageable. I hate to say it, but there's a chance your Ideations got lost in the mountains of data. My one recommendation is to post in your product community links to the Ideations you're most passionate about, and ask for an update. This will raise visibility to your product team.

    Thank you for being passionate about our products and helping us continuously improve.

    Sincerely,
    Kim Peelman

    ------------------------------
    Kim Peelman
    Product Owner, CA Gen
    Broadcom
    Plano,TX
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    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    Ideation_CA Gen FAQ.pdf   573K 1 version


  • 6.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 26 days ago

    Hi Kim Peelman.

    As I disclaimer, in the following I may make reference to others, but I speak foremost for myself and our company.

    Thank you for your open words and I appreciate the time it must have taken to explain this and get back to us, and I also appreciate that for the most part, free speech is still possible on these forums. You were refreshingly open, so I will once more be just that as well:

    Since Broadcom took over CA, and also during the reign of CA, in the realm of Automic products which is all I can speak for, a select few customers have been very vocal about certain shortcomings. Evidence can be found all over these forums, and all manner of topics have been taken from lower level support personell up to and including people in high positions.

    If the picture that has formed were just about ideation (admittedly this particular thread is, but then every thread has to concentrate on something), then your description of a "Customer First" approach with a few hurdles would still be very much apt. However, between support, and documentation, and web offerings, and this forum software, and product development, and sales, and license auditing, and contractual disputes, and communication - all of these are topics with which we, and many other customers I speak to have had repeat and severe issues with - a much different picture forms. I could tell you our horror stories about any single one of those topics but I won't. But maybe that's just applicable to the small part of Broadcom that is the former Automic product line, this is of course a possibility I can not rule out. Oh, and as for Automic, that's not just gut feeling. That has also been confirmed by a survey a user group held among over 100 clients, which provided pretty shockingly results.

    As I said, all of this has been pointed out here and elsewhere by me and others repeatedly. It feels a bit like a deja vu of a deja vu right now, as others in similar positions have also already come forward to kindly respond to some complaints over the years.

    But many clients have come to the conclusion that with all due respect, no, this is not "Customer First".

    Broadcom would have a herculean effort if they truly would wanted to regain the trust of the Automic clients that CA, and then for a large part Broadcom has burned. I personally have nearly no hope that this can ever happen; I heard way too many phrases and promises over the last years. But silly me can't shut up about it either, it's a character flaw.

    As for things in Excel being herculean as well, trust me, I know this is all not an easy task and to some extend I feel for that. And it's far from me to wish to tell anyone how to go about things; but there are ways to deal with such hurdles. A shell script or Python does not balk where Excel does, and since all that data is in a database, there are ways.

    Again, thank you for your insights, but in the grand scheme of things, I fear they still do little to improve the perception of the whole.

    As for the ideas, I apologize, but I have no motivation left to summarize them in a thread or otherwise. There is a search available for finding my ideas (the idea search is partly broken as well, I have another thread about it, but I'm sure it can be unearthed somehow). But even suggesting that I summarize those I am passionate about entirely defeats the purpose of the voting process that has been set as part of the selection process, and does not seem fair to others. Also, as said, these 30 ideas since 2018 or so are all still available in some system and visible at least to me, these are not lost. They just don't get picked up because they are not in line with the products current development focus, which is "cloud" and "fanciness" to sell to new markets. I have no faith that pointing them out will change that - I have gone though the same promise with many other things at CA and Broadcom just too many times.

    Kind regards,



    ------------------------------
    # signature.sh --verbose=[true|false]
    # no configurables beyond this point, only signature

    Calendar Quote of the Month:
    "The point of a DR test with a remote site is usually to be operational when your main site gets flooded / set on fire / invaded by Ninjas at an inconvenient moment."

    Did you know?
    Using the slide show widget for posting individual images is wrong! Please use the "insert image" button in the editor.

    Pro Tip: I will NOT respond to PM asking for help unless there's an actual reason to keep the discussion off of the public forums!

    'Efficient Solutions Monthly Magazine' says:
    "Asking questions the right way never hurts!"

    Here, have some tips:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/bugs.html
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 26 days ago
    Greetings @Carsten Schmitz  ,
    I understand.  It's enough that you've raise awareness with this conversation about Ideations, and I appreciate it. It motivates me to work towards simplifying the Ideation process and collaborate with other POs to make more progress addressing these ideas. ​​

    Sincerely,
    Kim Peelman

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    Kim Peelman
    Product Owner, CA Gen
    Broadcom
    Plano,TX
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  • 8.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 26 days ago
    Thanks, @Kim Peelman for engaging on the topic.

    Ideation is valuable and a tool on Community. The true engagement is with the product managers with the ideation tool. Some divisions are more engaged with customers that others in the idea feedback loop. I would @mention the specific Community Manager with your target division on ideation and how their process works.

    Community Manager Leads
    @Christopher Hackett Enterprise Software
    @A L Johnson Symantec Software
    @Lenn Thompson Mainframe Software​​​​

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    Thank you
    Jason
    Broadcom Community Platform Admin, IT
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  • 9.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 26 days ago
    @Jason McClellan Thank you for those names. I'll reach out.  ​

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    Kim Peelman
    Product Owner, CA Gen
    Broadcom
    Plano,TX
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  • 10.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 25 days ago
    As a community champion and formerly part of the idea review team for CA Datacom products (mainframe), I can tell you that we look at each idea very closely. It would seem that our volume of ideas is not as great as with other products, but I can say that we looked at each idea to determine if it was able to be done at all (we received some ideas that were highly impractical or that would require a significant rework of some of our processing), and then if it might have a broad application or was relevant to a small subset or even only a single customer. 

    Our community is fairly active in commenting and refining ideas that have broad appeal, and we have worked hard to ensure that our product meets both the needs of our customers now, and the vision of our development teams for the future.

    I am sorry that your experience with promoting ideas for your products have not been as positive as you had hoped, but the key to success is to work with the community to refine the ideas to be best suited for many, and to solicit the community to vote for and support an idea.

    If you are also a mainframe customer with us, I would look forward to hearing from you with ideas when you purchase the CA Datacom database management product!
     

    Don Johnson
    Principal Support Engineer  | SD - CA Datacom product family

    CADRE/CA Datacom Community Champion
    Broadcom
    office: 609.493.5891  | mobile: 304.237.8439

    donald.johnsonjr@broadcom.com   | broadcom.com


      






  • 11.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 25 days ago
    Hi Don,


    Some of my unprocessed ideas do have some of the highest vote counts for the product range. We're not a mainframe customer, we exclusively dabble in Automic.

    But thanks for sharing your side.

    Br,

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  • 12.  RE: What's the point of ideation?

    Posted 25 days ago
    Adding on from a Service Management customer perspective; I called out some stats from the old CA "Request For Enhancements" / Ideas back in 2016 along with the impact of the neglect and suggested improvements:

    CA Service Management - Ideas Backlog/Status Updates

    Carol Piccus picked up on the feedback from the community and there was some effort on standardizing the process over the next year:

    Revitalized Idea Management Process

    Sadly, the link to the letter she references as an attachment in that blog is no longer visible to me.

    As I remarked there, the was a significant improvement on the Ideas process for over a year and which coincided with the DocOps initiative which is also under discussion here in the Water Cooler.

    Unfortunately, this pretty much all came to a crashing halt when the Broadcom M&A was announced. Even before the acquisition was completed, resources were reassigned or left.

    By my count, there are currently 80 Ideas in Ideation under CA Service Management in 'New' or 'Submitted' status; with the oldest going back to February 2018.

    J.W.


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    "No matter where you go, there you are." - TAoBB:AtED
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