Change the way you, as a customer, can weigh on SPR's 
Use this IdeaSpace on how to improve the Lotus section of the developerWorks site.

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: Lotus Technical Information / Other
: spr
: Mathieu Pape8090 19 Jun 2013
: / Email
I've opened quite a lot of PMR's over time. A lot of them do not get any further than "an SPR exists but has no or not enough weight; if enough weight then it will be fixed". Weight is given by opening a PMR. This is of course an understandable way of doing.
The thing I experience with my customers though (I've had some 150 over the years) is that they are not very willing to open PMR's for obvious or old (non critical) bugs as this costs them time (and thus money, whereas they already pay their annual software maintenance). The PMR system to get simple bugs corrected is rather tedious (have to describe the problem, the environment, when it happens, ...).
Why not have a kind of ideation system (such as this one as an example) where customers who have paid their maintenance could, in a very simple and quick way, weigh (officialy) on SPR's they are concerned with?
I'm sure I'm not alone in this :

1) Christopher Boote10606 (20 Jun 2013)
Sort of an SPR-Jam?
Sounds like a simple idea, very little work for IBM, up to us to persuade our customers to weigh in
2) Mathieu Pape8090 (20 Jun 2013)
Exactly, Christopher. I think this would encourage the customers in getting even more involved in the product.
We are entering the Social era of software, well I think this would be a nice application of it.
3) Simon O'Doherty223 (20 Jun 2013)
AVP support contracts have something along the lines mentioned above:

{ Link }

Just to correct as well. The "weight" in relation to SPR's/PMRs is not correctly detailed.

More customer reports added to an SPR does not guarantee it will be given more priority over those with less/no weight. The "weight" that support may talk about has no relationship to other SPRs. It gives more visibility to the SPR in development, but it wouldn't automatically push an SPR with no customer reports off the list to be fixed.

4) Mathieu Pape8090 (20 Jun 2013)
So if I understand this correctly, it is even more blurry for customers to know if and when fixing will be done...
That would be one more good reason to get better insight for customers (and involvement in prioritizing), no?
5) Tinus Riyanto2825 (21 Jun 2013)
Agreed that there should be some sort of easy way for customers to push certain "bugs" to be visible, thus enhancing the chance that it would be fixed.
6) Simon O'Doherty223 (21 Jun 2013)
@Mathieu, It is only blurry if you still think the "weight" has anything at all to do with an SPR being fixed or not.

There are a huge number of factors in relation to an SPR being fixed. Time/cost to make the fix (in relation to fixes for areas of that development team). Risk/impact to the whole product. Architectural changes required to implement that fix. Amount of testing involved to verify the fix vs a shipping release date.

There are more factors then that, but that is just an example.

Same reasons why hot fixes that paid support can get you will sometimes never make it into a next release (or any release in some cases).

@Tinus. The closest to what is requested above I can find is this:

{ Link }

This will show you all public SPRs. Using that as far as I know the online support site allows you to subscribe to APARs (which is basically giving a customer report to an SPR).

The AVP program allows you a bit more depth in getting details on those SPRs, as well as non-public ones that developers may report.

7) Mathieu Pape8090 (21 Jun 2013)
@Simon, I am well aware of the issues/factors you raise, believe me. Having opened numerous PMR's over the last 10 years, I perfectly understand the implications. Not all problems are easy to solve, or economically viable, ... or maybe even more important and which you didn't mention, a bug which is important in my eyes maybe isn't in the eyes of my neighbour. All make sense. But that is not my point. Not all problems raised by customers are of that kind.

I'll give you a simple example, take this idea from this site (there are dozens of other similar examples available here) : { Link }
This is typically a bug which must take let's say (please allow me a caricature here ;-) 3 lines of code to get a warning pop-up, will never break backwards compatibility we some much appreciate in Notes/Domino; and so on ... .

Please go and explain a customer that a software that is on the market for 20 years (and which is brilliant according to me, don't get me wrong) has
a) no plans to fix this (although it exists for ages)
b) if the customer really wants to get it fixed he/she will have to open a PMR because the SPR may exist, may exist but non publicly or simply not exist at all. So opening a PMR is as far as I know the only way to make sure. You cannot subscribe to an APAR for a problem that is maybe existing but not published. Moreover, for such type of bugs, a customer will never agree that they should spend time (opening a PMR does take time) asking for it to be solved. On the long run, their only conclusion will be "it's a crappy piece of software, let's move to something else". This is what I have already heard several time on the floor. By the way, I have actually opened a PMR for above issue. The SPR did not exist or was not publicly available. Result of the PMR : I have no clue at all if it ever will be fixed... . You can imagine the customer's reaction.

Again, I am not trying to demolish the SPR/APAR way of doing here. My point is not to throw out the baby with the bath water. But my experience with my Notes/Domino customers (150 over time) is that there should be a (complementary ?) much more easy, quick and visible way (IBM Connections for instance ?) for them (given they've paid their maintenance of course) to let IBM know that these bugs really bother them, that they need it to be corrected (that doesn't necessarily mean today). Furthermore, let's say you subscribed to the APAR, you still have no clue if or when your issue will be considered for fixing. Customers do get frustrated by this.
8) Mathieu Pape8090 (21 Jun 2013)
By the way, "@Mathieu, It is only blurry if you still think the "weight" has anything
at all to do with an SPR being fixed or not." ==> this is what you get told by IBM support itself.
9) Thibaud Maes51 (22 Jun 2013)
For SPR's available on the support portal, a "I have this problem too" button to increase the weight would be nice and easy too.
But that doesn't give a solution for 'hidden' SPR's...
10) Christopher Boote10606 (24 Jun 2013)
@Mathieu is absolutely right - whether or not more customers reporting or 'promoting' the SPR adds weight to it, it should certainly add to the visibility
And @Thibaud's suggestion is brilliant - it's simple to use, simple to understand, simple to code. It adds a metric to the support dev teams when it comes to prioritising APARs that wasn't there before
11) Mike Woolsey4870 (19 Apr 2014)
Y'know, we are on ideajam. It's possible we might convince ideajam to open an area specific to SPRs.


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