Many of you may think that this year’s SAPTecheds begins on Tuesday. However, there is an exciting pre-TechEd event called Innovation Weekend (IW) which I am going to attend. The IW is a 30-hour long event where partipants will apply their knowledge, skills, and process expertise to a real business case, helping enable specific use cases.
Here are some of my personal reasons for attending this event:
- You get to play with cool SAP technology. Many of you might be thinking “That is what the Hands-On sessions are for”. Well, the difference between the Hands-On sessions and IW is that in the Hands-On sessions there are usually tasks that you have to complete that have been selected by the class instructor – the goal being that you can learn how to use the new technology. In the IW, on the other hand, you can use the technology in a manner of your choosing. You can use the technology to solve real-world problems (as seen in the selected business cases) rather than examples that are there to demonstrate the technology’s functionality.
- You can work with other community members in a collaborative setting. Of course, you get assistance from others in the community when they answer your forum questions but this really isn’t collaboration. In the IW, you will work together in teams to build a prototype. I’ve experienced this sort of intense collaboration in the early days of What I learned from the Demo Jam in Berlin: The importance of team communication, and let me tell you it is exhilarating. Being under pressure to create a working prototype in only 30 hours should be even more exciting. For those of us who work in large corporations, the ability to taste the rarified air of life in a start-up is worth the price of admission on its own.
- The focus on non-profit organizations. All the business cases are focused on the real world problems of such organizations. Taking account the resource restrictions -financial, staffing, etc – of these groups forms a major part of the solution design. Ideally, such groups will be able to re-use the prototypes developed by the IW teams.
- The teams are a mixture of different types of community members. Each team will hopefully include developers, process experts and Business Objects experts. By themselves, each community “personality” wouldn’t stand a chance – only working together can they hope to create a functional prototype that also meets the business needs of non-profit organizations
- The use of hyper agile methodology. Each team has only 30 hrs to create a prototype. The challenge of deciding which development methodology to use is going to be on the most interesting choices that each team must make.
There is still time to sign-up for the IW in Berlin or Las Vegas. I hope to see you there.