Lucky me, I saw a tweet yesterday that Jon Reed was getting up at 4:30 am for SAP Inside Track Bangalore (#sapitblr). So I went to bed early (I was tired anyway) and decided if I got up early, I would join in the fun.
I am glad I did! What a great view from my comfy chair at home. My thanks to the C5 (Leo, Dennis, Michael, Jon and @MGillet who was at the beach) and the great Abesh for hosting/moderating. For those who missed, I encourage you to check out the recordings when available. For pictures see here from Somnath Manna, who also did a great job moderating.
Here’s a plug for the SAP Certification Survey – take a few minutes to take it if you haven’t already.
Here’s a view from the start of the session:
Dennis Howlett (@dahowlett) discussed how they marketed the certification 5 survey. He said they “had no process”.
Dennis said that no one cared, no plan, no structure, no timeline, and no budget. Here’s a direct quote: “No wants to pay for people to make a nuisance” or as Jon Reed said in the chat “nobody wants to pay for 4 or 5 people to make a nuisance of themselves”.
They had the idea of bringing the idea of change to SAP. I also learned a new acronym this morning: USP = Unique selling points. The tools they used were Google Docs, Skype, and Gmail. They did not use a wiki or social text.
Here are their team-forming tips:
1) Everyone has an equal voice
2) Everyone contributes equally
3) A problem faced was that they needed to organize voices into something coherent
4) Build a logical argument – beginning, middle, and end
5) Held a quasi SCRUM – scheduling skype calls, working through issues, keep to time
6) Can run out of control – scope creep; keep tight
7) No egos: from the chat: “Dennis is right about keeping the egos out of it.”
SAP Education did a webinar. C5 felt that the statistics they presented were “self-serving” as the survey was given to those who just took the certification test. They realized that SAP Education is in the “driving seat”.
The C5 presented their findings to the SAP Mentors, where there was no interruptions as the Mentors were interested in the topic. Then, they “published and ducked”.
Some contentious topics – professional level certification should include something that sits outside multiple choice question format – sticking point between C5 and SAP.
They marketed and made noise. Martin had the hats made. There were many places to consume content: Enterprise Geeks and the Friday Morning Report.
They did the SAP Certification: The Certification 5 Report. They “pimped” via Twitter, Linked in, Facebook.
Their cartoon featured quality, which was an important part. If you are an SAP professional, then quality is important and being amazing in projects you undertake. For SAPPHIRE 2010 they received permission to use the cartoon. Dennis said they employed “Gorilla (guerilla) 21st century marketing”, using anything that is free.
They were tracking changes in GoogleDocs. This is not recommended, unless you understand what content looks like. They said teep time on calls – make it a hard stop and keep focused.
For team members, be honest about availability – Canada, Spain, Belgium, UK, East Coast – 6-7 hours difference. They are a globalized team and needed to accommodate this. Ensure everyone who could be there, was there, informed and make it fun!
What didn’t work: They felt the collaboration with SAP was one-sided; they (C5) were doing all the giving. They (C5) had help inside SAP to help understand what was not obvious. The ability to find people in SAP is important
The print is in Bill’s office as a reminder, a social object, that will act as a conversation piece.
Q: Did the C5 consider inviting SAP Ed to be part of the team?
A: Jon Reed: “The C5 were basically a concerned group of SAP Mentors who shared the goal of having a small work team on a project. We wnated to dialogue with SAP once we had organized our thoughts. That talking continues. Part our our proposal for certification change includes a permanent influence council with SAP Education and other stakeholders including the C5, so hopefully that will happen, because it must be a collaboration for it to succeed.”
Q: What is next?
TechED, and C5 created a Survey to gather attitudes toward certification.
Q: Have they seen action with SAP?
A: Jon: engaged with Mike Prosceno, SAP Media Relations, connected with Bill McD, greenlighting next steps. SAP doing work behind scenes with internal stakeholders. However, summer is full of vacations and the Sybase distraction. The ongoing structure hopes to be an influence council of stakeholders of C5. SAP Education is reevaluating Cisco model of certification, but it is still early on in dialog.
Thanks again to C5 and Dennis for a totally freakin’ awesome session, not just on C5, but also marketing and team formation and collaboration.