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  Jon Reed is an SAP Mentor and the President of JonERP.com – he blogs, Tweets and podcasts on SAP skills and market trends.

Martin Gillet SAP Consultant, SAP trainer and SAP MentorBelgium

Michael Koch, SAP Mentor and Independent SAP Consultant. 
Working in IT since 1990, I’ve been involved in the SAP arena since 1997. Doing the needful.

 Leonardo De Araujo has been a SAP Logistics Functional and Technical consultant for more than 12 years. Based in Montreal-Quebec, Canada.

 

It is almost four months since the Certification Five paper: SAP Certification: The Certification 5 Report was published on SDN. Since that time, there has been a tremendous amount of feedback on SDN, via email, at LinkedIn and other places. All good stuff representing valuable additions to an important debate. 

It is clear that passions run deep on this topic but if we are honest, much of what we are seeing amounts to a collection of anecdotal evidence which is difficult to disseminate on a meaningful basis. We felt the time has come to get a bit more scientific about this and discover more about the implications of Certification both now and going forward. 

One of our prime objectives in developing the survey has been an attempt to be as objective as possible. That is difficult given our position as advocates for change. After much agonizing, tweaking, discussion, rip, replace, rinse and repeat we think we’ve come up with something that will help everyone get a better sense of what people are thinking, whether Certified or not.

In an ideal world we’d get millions of responses. In reality we expect somewhat less although we will be using our best efforts to distribute the survey as far and wide as we possibly can. Apologies in advance if you are a member of subsidiary groupings in other communities and see us promoting this survey. However, we would like as many people as possible to participate so that we end up with something that not only provides a rich source of information but which can serve as the basis for any next steps. That means the survey is ‘long run’ – over the next couple of months.

Is the survey perfect? Of course not. Could we have gone further? Absolutely. On this occasion we are trying to keep the focus tight, making it of sufficient length that it has value but not so long that people get fed up of completing it. Juggling those parameters is tough but we think we’ve just about got there. It will take around 2 minutes to complete. Sadly we cannot offer any prizes or incentives to complete other than than your having the satisfaction of knowing that completing the survey is making a valuable contribution to a debate SAP Mentors, Certification Five geek out with Bill McDermott

Some might be thinking – why now? Having seen the growing success of SIT over the last few months and participated in lively debates around the topic at several SITs we saw a chance to kill three birds with one stone: Bangalore SIT is tomorrow – if you can’t attend in person then check out the agenda. The afternoon is dedicated to C5 topics. We’re presenting via Adobe Connect which will be pretty darned awesome given that Jon Reed will need to be up at 4.30am. Finally, with 53 registered attendees, we felt that this was a great audience with which to kick off the survey. 

It should go without saying that the results will be made public and available to anyone who is interested in the topic. Early results will be all over the map so keep checking back.

We are both excited and nervous about the outcomes so have at it. Here’s the survey link and thanks in advance.

Finally, we’d like to thank those among the community that have helped us iron out the survey bugs and made suggestions for improvement. You know who you are, give yourself a round of applause and beers are on us whenever we next meet.

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8 Comments

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  1. Susan Keohan
    Hi Dennis, Jon, Leonardo, Martin, Michael,
    Thanks so much for updating us on these efforts.  I have certainly filled out the survey, as you know that Certification is near and dear to my heart.

    Looking forward to seeing the results!  I hope people let their voices be heard.  When we find bugs in SAP products -not that it ever happens 🙂 – we certainly let SAP know.  Career development is just as (or, more?) important.

    Just my 2p,
    Sue

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  2. Tammy Powlas
    the responses of those who took the survey so far.

    Since I hold some SAP certifications, I greatly appreciate the C5 efforts to make SAP certification more relevant.  I’ve listened to the podcasts and appreciate the passion that everyone has on the topic; the attention is long overdue.

    While I am not not sure I can get up at 4:30 am like Jon Reed, I will join if I am awake, and if not, will catch the recordings.

    Good luck at SIT tomorrow! 

    For those who haven’t taken the survey yet, do it – it doesn’t take long and the more who respond, the better the results.

    Tammy

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  3. Martin English
    Thanks for your continued efforts in this area, guys. 

    It’s interesting seeing where the replies are coming from (both geographically and industry); I don’t know if this can be used to say anything about certification, SDN engagement, or the need to be heard by SAP ?

    The question I was most curious about won’t really stand out in a summary as given at the end of the survey – Access to individual answers will tell us whether Certification is considered more valuable for the newer SAP worker.
     
    One detail (this may have been discussed elsewhere – I don’t claim to be able to keep up with you all) the survey made me think about is allowing for equivalent certifications from other organisations, i.e. given that someone passes other SAP related parts of a ‘SAP Project Manager” certification, would certification from (for example) http://pmi.org be enough to gain certification ?

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas to chew over some of this (and, once again, thanks for your efforts).

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    1. Dennis Howlett Post author
      @martin – we anonymized the survey but provided people with the opportunity to make comment. I have a method to slice and dice the results so I can get to the geographic splits. This is something we know is important.

      I hear where you’re going re: PMI etc. One of the problems we faced: where to stop? As always with surveys, we could have gone on forever. In truth, there’s a whole chunk of stuff we could have added but had to be ruthless in order to remain focused.

      There’s always the possibility of follow up. The individual observations are really interesting so there’s plenty of opportunity to add in qualitative analysis.

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  4. Wolfgang Steinert
    Thanks for the effort – truly.

    I’ve also read the White Paper and it became clear that often the point and reason for certification is still missed by many.

    Any other professionals (i.e. Electricians, Plumbers, etc.) need to be certified for example by means of a trade certificate. Without it you wouldn’t be allowed to work in your profession. So – of course, why not also for SAP?

    I keep wondering why the customers aren’t simply demanding this? Of course – certification alone doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with a professional. But neither does plenty of project experience…  Unfortunately there are quite a number of “SAP Experts” in this world that despite plenty of project experience (and certification) still can’t deliver.

    Hopefully the staging ASSOCIATE -> PROFESSIONAL -> MASTER will enhance the certification and clients start to embrace it.

    So why not at least add a practical exam to the certification of the PROFESSIONAL or/and MASTER? I believe the CISCO certification has this component, not to mention any other Trade Certificate will require you to do a practical test.

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    1. Dennis Howlett Post author
      @wolfgang – as I imagine you know, your points are at the heart of what the C5 are recommending. Cisco certification was one model we discussed, there are others.

      I sense the real problem is that without a practical element and having years of MCQ style certification has conditioned the market to see SAP Certification in a particular way.

      My hope is that the survey will validate what we have been suggesting and give SAP the confidence to review its approach as a way of elevating the value of Certification.

      But we will have to see…

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