How to pick a winner

Michael Alexander

The process for choosing the annual Innovator Award winners starts at least 7 months before the results appear in the magazine. We begin with a call for nominees in the fall, and we set the deadline for applications for mid-December.

The applications are extensive and require quite a bit of time to complete. Applicants are asked to detail the project’s short and long-term objectives, the business risks involved, how the project meets the requirements of their end users or customers, the tools and methodologies used for the project and much more.

For the 2006 awards, we received 31 nominees in five categories: data warehousing, application engineering, middleware/application integration, e-business application development and open-source application deployment.

We sent the applications to Keane—the much-respected application and business process services firm in Boston—where a panel of eight judges reviewed the applications, evaluated the projects and selected the winners.

After Keane selects the winner in each category, the judges return the applications with their notes explaining their selections. If we have a tie in a category, as we did this year, we ask the judges to deliberate until they can agree on a single pick. The judging process takes about 3 months.

By the way, no one other than the judges at Keane is ever involved in selecting the winners. The editors of ADT do not have a say in the outcome.

Finally, we spend 2 to 3 months interviewing the winners for the magazine and, working with photographers, laying out the issue and all the other stuff that goes into producing a magazine.

You can read all about the winners starting on page 12. The profiles of the winners were written by Kathleen Richards, one of our senior editors, and Lana Gates, who has written several Innovator Award profiles in recent years.

If you haven’t visited lately, get on over there and read the profiles of all the nominees and the completed applications in which they describe their projects. Then, see if you agree with the judges’ picks.

About the Author

Michael Alexander is editor-in-chief of Application Development Trends.