With registration and housing announcements soon to be made about SAP TechEd09, many of you may be thinking “This year? Not gonna happen.”. Let’s face it, everybody is cutting back on expenses. But I challenge you to do some background investigation, identify those strategic areas where you can bring real benefit to your company, and present your case to management. Remember “Asking is the beginning of receiving” (Jim Rohn). And, with a thoughtfully prepared plan, you may be surprised by what you receive.
First off, obviously, go to the SAP Tech Ed web site, located here. Check out the previous years’ offering of educational sessions. Perhaps you are interested in Business Objects, or Composition Environment, or Business Process Management. Drill down and get the session details. Will more education on your area of expertise help your company? How can it not? Won’t your C-levels be able to make smarter decisions more quickly if they have the right information on hand via Crystal Reports? Is an upgrade in your near future, and won’t your company save money by exploiting new functionality? Compile a list of the sessions (starting with last year, I know) that can benefit you and your company. Match these to the initiatives currently in place. Talk to colleagues to see where they need help as well. Is someone struggling with how to model procedures in CE? Is there a developer who really needs to learn more about user interfaces? Identifying co-workers who can also benefit from your attendance at TechEd can be helpful in pleading your case.
Of course, the real memorandum to management will need to have the actual sessions that will be conducted at TechEd09, but I found that just looking through last year’s sessions gave me more ideas. And when the schedule is published, you can easily Google ‘Conference Justification’ to get a load of different formats for your request to management. So prepare your memo, state your case, and justify your love.
SAP TechEd is all about the education – with 2-4 hour hands on sessions, plus lectures, plus customer stories (well, in Phoenix anyway) partnered with ASUG (The BITI Group rules!). Not to belittle classroom training – because it definitely does have its merits. But one co-worker put it this way: “I get more out of meeting people face-to-face who are facing the same issues. Then we can really throw around ideas and brainstorm.”
And don’t forget, plan on arriving on the afternoon before the conference for the community-driven Community Day, which is being put together by the movers and shakers of the SAP world. Okay, well, just those people who are so passionate about SAP and the Community that we are willing, no eager, to restore the incredible networking opportunties that might otherwise be lost.
I can definitely state this. The entire process of putting together a list of intended educational sessions, investigating past sessions, and working with your colleagues can be an educational process, and that is what it’s all about.
While you are at it, why not tell us who you are, and what floats your boat over on the ‘30 Seconds’ wiki. At SAP TechEd in Phoenix, we will be having a new awards initiative, in the time-honored tradition of the Razzies. For us, this will be the inauguration of the #SCNotties. Guaranteed fun!
So, are you up for it? Remember, this is a challenge!