What do Cooperstown, N.Y., Canton, Ohio and Austin, Tex., have in common? Each boasts a venue that recognizes several of the best performers in a particular field. However, while the first two deal with athletics—the locations of Baseball Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, respectively—the last is the site of the IBM Tivoli certification wall of fame, established to recognize the support professionals in the company who have contributed to the program’s success.
“We in the certification program were looking for ways to promote certification within IBM and especially within Tivoli,” said Susan Farago, program manager of Tivoli professional certifications. “We’ve been trying to come with ideas for about the past six months. This Wall of Fame was one of the things we really wanted to do, but it kind of stayed on paper and never really got off the ground.”
“We see it as internal marketing, both for the certification process and support,” added Sara Brumfield, a software engineer at the Tivoli support center in Austin. “The goal of this was to actually limit it to the people working in this building. Right now, it’s just support engineers.”
Farago and Brumfield, who is one of the individuals recognized on the wall of fame, devised and worked together on the project. “Sara was a subject-matter expert in one of the exam development workshops,” Farago said. “She and I got to talking about this idea and we both just looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s do it.’ Sara’s team is extremely active in the exam development area, and because of that relationship, it really made sense for us to work together to kick off the wall.”
The program has met with such success that Farago plans to expand it to other IBM support sites in places like Raleigh, N.C. and Rome, Italy. “We certainly want to expand this to make it available to all our support organizations,” she said. “Additionally, we’re also looking at expanding this to education departments where we’ve got courseware developers who are very technical and develop all of our training. Not only are we looking at growing it within the support organization, but we’re also branching it out to other organizations throughout IBM.”
The recognition and status that the wall of fame provides is part of its appeal, Brumfield said. “We’ve situated this wall where a lot of people come in and out of this building—customers and other coworkers. It’s great because it kind of gives you a higher profile, and people know you and recognize your name. It’s been great for my team of support engineers, because we’re seen as a team that’s committed to keeping our education and knowledge fresh, and that helps us help our customers.”
However, the wall’s roster of high-performing professionals aren’t the only ones at IBM who appreciate the program. “Something that’s come out of this project is the response that we’ve had from upper management,” Farago said. “They’ve been behind it 110 percent the whole way. It’s one thing to receive management approval. It’s something else to actually get comments from management like, ‘This is great. This is exactly what our organization needs, and it really supports what we’re trying to do with skills growth and development.’
For more information, see http://www.ibm.com/software/tivoli/services/certification.