Mainframe Blog

Customer User Feedback: The Keystone of the Agile Approach

Susan Rice
3 minute read
Susan Rice
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As software companies compete in the race to quickly develop innovative solutions with better performance and availability, Agile processes are an imperative. Pioneered in 2001 by a team of forward-thinking software developers, the Agile methodology sought to overcome significant drawbacks of the aging Waterfall approach to development. Among those obstacles were delayed testing, the difficulty of introducing code changes to latest version, and the extended duration between new product ideation and eventual return on investment.

Today, Agile is the norm, and for good reason. With focused teams conducting sprints and adding functionalities to applications on an iterative basis, these new software development practices have reduced the time-to-market from years to months and sometimes days. In addition, the cyclical nature of continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) facilitates more change management in the process, resulting in improved product iterations to better achieve requirements. There’s no denying that Agile is an objective improvement over preceding development methods, but it also requires a key ingredient to accomplish its goals—customer feedback.

Calling All Customers

At BMC, customers are a critical part of our continued innovation. In our effort to help run and reinvent your businesses with better technology, we rely on thoughtful feedback to drive forward-thinking development. This feedback makes our solutions stronger, more reliable, and ultimately, a more valuable investment in your app infrastructure.

Whether a new software version or a simple feature enhancement, involving our customers in the development process achieves the following:

  • Ensures we continue to provide precise value in what we develop
  • Helps us avoid convoluting our products with features you won’t use
  • Demonstrates that we actively listen to our customers and design solutions based on marketplace needs and business objectives which in turn, preserves the relevance of BMC
  • Forces us to continually answer the critical question of how our products are helping to solve marketplace need and make your business more efficient and successful in this time of doing even more IT work with even less IT resources

These aren’t just tenets of our own mission at BMC—they’re a vital part of any Agile development initiative. In the Waterfall approach, customers couldn’t actively provide input or conduct testing until the delivery of a complete solution, sometimes years after its request. As a result, development teams risked missing the software’s intended purpose and exceeding the budget, many times by a wide margin. The issues that plagued the Waterfall methodology are a lesser threat today at BMC. Our new customer engagement programs and wider rollout of our customer portal are invaluable to our Run & Reinvent initiative.

BMC’s MainView Validation Programs

With the power of customer feedback in mind, and in light of our mission to modernize the mainframe and make it a source of technological innovation in the decades to come, I’m happy to share that we have just opened two, new customer validation programs for BMC MainView:

  • MainView Continuous Beta Program
  • MainView User Experience Improvement Program

The MainView Continuous Beta program is one-stop shopping for all MainView products, while the MainView User Experience Improvement program concentrates on the changes to the way customers use and experience the MainView family of products.

Click here to learn more about these new customer validation programs from our BMC MainView Communities page.
If you are interested in joining either or both of these communities please email me at Susan_Rice@bmc.com and we will send you the steps needed to join.

Having valuable customer input into the development of new features, functionality and products is vital for not only fostering continued innovation, but also to ensure we’re best meeting the needs of our customers. We look forward to having you a part of these programs very soon!

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Susan Rice

Susan Rice

Susan is the Lead Product Manager for the BMC MainView Monitoring Product Line. She is responsible for the strategy and vision for MainView products and is driving the direction for integrated system management. Susan joined BMC from IBM Tivoli where she worked with the Tivoli z portfolio and the core team for hardware/software integration. She joined IBM via the Candle Acquisition where she provided customer services for customer architectures and implementing the OMEGAMON family of products.