SCN: A company´s knowledge base system, part 1 I described the challenge of building a company´s knowledge base within SCN. As I mentioned the last time, this would not be easy to do at the moment. There is no special support for such thing on SCN (yet). Since SCN does not offer any real APIs to work with the content, users etc. if one would like to build a private solution on top of SCN, it would have to be a real hack.
But it would not be difficult to tweak SCN to support this way of thinking in my opinion. That´s what the following text is about.
What´s already there
This idea does not come out of the blue. There already is a piece, a first brick, we could use to build this “company view”. Check this site: The contributing companies, where the companies, which employ the SCN contributors, are listed. You can check the number of points received by the employees of the company (what is not really useful for most people, because we don´t do SCN things for points, right, but thank you for the page). You can click on the company and will see the list of the employers and their points´ statistics. And that is where the fun begins! We can access the contributions of the employees from here:
Contributing companies >> Select company >> List employees >> Select employee >> Open employee´s business card >> Navigate to Community tab >> My contributions on the left >> Click on the Total points number >> Now you can see the all the contributions by the selected employee of the company.
Huh, was not easy right? Neither friendly nor quick way how to access knowledge of your colleague, right?
The main pain point is that you have to access the required knowledge through parameters you don´t want –
Points. Why would I care about points when trying to access the knowledge? Ok, I have heard about companies/ managers that require some kind of SCN activity (measured by points) and use it as a part of the performance review of the employee, but this is not a mainstream behavior I think.
By the way: the above described scenario is one of the two that are close to my suggestion. But that does not mean this “scenario” has any use. What do you find this way?
You find a colleague from your company – precisely his/her business card. If you knew who you were looking for at the beginning, you would not have to follow this whole complicated path. So it is not a real way how to access knowledge that comes from your company.
Let me describe one more example of use. I would like to see all ABAP contributions of “my” company. Let´s say I will check xiting.ch (Switzerland) contributions for ABAP (Hello, Julius!):
Contributing companies >> Select company >> List employees >> Select area: ABAP >> List of employees gets filtered so I see only those who contributed on ABAP >> follow the rest of the path described above…
When you get to the single piece of content (well you land at the Contributions page with all that tabs for content/ contribution types, so you don´t get to a single piece actually), your filter (ABAP topic/ category) is lost. So a second “scenario” fails as well and the use case: “Access all pieces of content which come from my company within a selected category” is not accomplished.
So currently there is no easy (and quick and friendly etc.) way how to list the content that comes from your company (be it within a single category or not).
Maybe you don´t share the need to be able to do what I suggest – to list the content that comes from the company. But that´s only a part of the story, there are various reasons why would one want to follow a content published by a company or produce such content stream:
- a) The first one, the one I write this blog series about is to help the employees of the company to follow valuable content which is produced by their colleagues. This could make the companies/ the managers to move their SAP-relevant knowledge bases to SCN so everybody can benefit! One can see benefit for the company: (1) will not have to run their own “knowledge base system”, (2) the employees will become more “social” when working, (3) the employees will receive the feedback and opponency about their content, knowledge, skills, processes etc. I am sure you can think about even more benefits.
- b) (If you plan to object you would not move your “brain treasury” to a publicly accessed space, Ianticipate it. Ok, don´t do it. But even if SCN would work as an alternative knowledge base for your company, it is still invaluable in my opinion).
- c) You may know companies, where more people who are worth following work. In that case you may like to follow such company.
- d) You may like to know what kind of knowledge which company publishes. This could help you for example when looking for a job.
- e) … and by the way: company does not have to be a real company after all. Example: I am one of the SAP mentors and if a feature like my suggestion would exist, I would create (if it would have to be created and would not work out-of-the-box) the Mentors content stream and would definitely recommend all my friends to follow such stream. Now when I think about it, I follow (like on Twitter) much less valuable content that would be a “Mentor content stream”.
In the third (…and probably last part of this series) I will describe what changes would we have to do to make this happen on “our” SCN. If you like the topic, stay tuned. Regards Otto