Customer Advisory Boards

If you have participated or are participating in a Rocket CAB – thank you! If you’re asking “what’s a CAB?” this blog post will explain the details. CAB stands for Customer Advisory Board. Given the breadth and depth of functionality within the Rocket MultiValue Application Platform, we’ve organized our CABs by product.

Just as important as our CABs, are the Rocket Values, where we always put our Customers and Partners first.  With the Rocket Values as a theme, I’ve detailed the top 5 reasons we think CABs are a way to put our Customers and Partners first!

  1. A CAB allows our Partners and Customers to network with peers.
  2. While participating in a CAB, our Partners and Customers share ‘lessons learned.’
  3. A CAB gives our Partners and Customers a direct connection to the Rocket MV lab, which is the research and development division, allowing Partners and Customers to influence the direction of the product. They can influence roadmaps and focal points of interest; anything from ‘pain-points’ and enhancements, to new / future technologies that help define and shape the future of the products. We like to use themes during a CAB meeting to start a discussion. By categorizing themes, we provide focus and help aggregate our Partners’ and Customers’ issues into discreet buckets. From there, we can write requirements or specifications documents to organize the scope of the specification (i.e., what is ‘in-scope’ vs ‘out-of-scope’), workflows, and examples. This document serves as a checklist of deliverables. This leads to another exercise of functional and technical product requirements, which is another topic unto itself (and maybe a future blog post).
  4. Since a CAB is a mix of Partners and Customers from different industries, different perspectives come out during the meeting calls.
  5. Participation in CABs should be varied but limited. Why? This ensures different and fresh ideas come with new members. A diverse CAB is optimal because it fosters new and different perspectives. Debates are healthy and expose items we may not have considered or may have over-looked.

Finally, I need to make a maintenance pitch (and if you’re a Partner, keep or get your end users back on maintenance). All the Customers and Partners we ask to participate in our CABs must be on maintenance. If you’d like to read more about the benefits of being on maintenance and getting on the latest product release, please read these two blog posts;  Rocket MultiValue Upgrade Resources and Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade your MultiValue Application Platform

Clay Allison 2 Posts

Sr. Product Manager at Rocket Software. Clay has been involved in software development for over 20 years. Clay enjoys living in Colorado and taking advantage of the wide range of activities that the Rocky Mountains offer. When not in the mountains, he enjoys woodworking, specifically projects on his wood lathe.

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