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Sharing Knowledge?  Should you do it?   It is a waste of time.  Our Jr. SAP people just want the easy way out.  They want us to GIVE them the information.  They wouldn’t pay attention to me if I tried to give them different ways to do things.  They are just newbies without any real experience.  So why share? So here’s my combination rant – and wonderful experience.   I can’t believe what I’ve been reading.  Hearing from fellow SAPiens.  SCNers too!   Wow – it’s a rough world out there.  (Also have heard wonderful things.)imageh3. First my experience:  I spent a short one hour class at Grand Valley University.  I was asked to spend some time there by a forward thinking professor, Helen Klein.  She had put out a call to SAP professionals to spend some time with her class presenting different concepts.  And I thought – why not?  One hour after work – I could handle that. I didn’t know what to expect.  I did expect a lot of people to beginning working on their computers that were right in front of them.  I expected attention to be middle of the road to low. WOW!  I was surprised.   I had the attention of a lot of the students.  I would guess more than 3/4 of the class.  That is a good amount.  I’ve presented at Teched and had more people looking at their laptops, PDAs, next sessions etc.  (Yes, I know we are all working while at Teched.  🙂  The point is the attention was a lot higher than expected.image
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  1. Gregory Misiorek
    Hi Michelle,

    it’s interesing how one starts thinking they are SAPient, but end up being SAPper. i get that feeling all the time. i’m amazed at how robust SAP system is, but also frustrated when the moment of deliverance gets pushed away when i’m ploughing through code, test case, rec, etc…to me, it’s the only way i can learn. i don’t expect ready answers, but rather tips that set me on the right path. it must be really great to work with fresh minds that are eager to make it to the “real” world. i’m envious.

    @greg_not_so (no tweet)

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      It was a great time!  I agree – tip and tricks help – but you really learn by “ploughing” through code. 

      I think that’s what was so great!  They liked the tips, but wanted to learn the “how” behind them.  Hence me changing up my presentation next time.

      Suggestion – find a college near you.  I bet they would love a guest speaker.  Although, personally I wouldn’t have known where to start. A friend, of a friend, of a friend recommended me.  And Helen – well – she is just amazing for bringing us in.

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  2. Paul Tomlinson
    Michelle,

    I think the thing that many of us get frustrated about is the questions which either:

    1)Can be answered by simply searching
    2)Ask for step by step instructions, rather than investigating, coming up with what they think, then asking the question as to if it is correct or not. 

    So it is a two way thing – I’m very happy to help and share knowledge, but I learnt by studying SAP Help, SCN, Yahoo Groups (pre-SCN)and trying things out.  So if people do some study first and ask for clarification, then I’m very happy to help.

    Paul

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Hi Paul!

      Some very good points!  I agree for the most part.  (And love the different opinion.)

      I hear you about the frustration.  It is frustrating to see the same question for the one millionth time.  But it could be asked in a different way.  The asker may not have found the answer because they didn’t know how to search.

      Sometimes – searching is not so easy.   Yes, I learn a lot by SCN – google, etc.  But it’s easy to forget that when you started, you really didn’t even know what keyword(s) to search on.

      Step by step.  I’ve been known to give step by step instructions.  BUT I agree – a general answer and the person finishing it up on their own is better! (and “they” (I) learn a lot more.)

      Michelle

      I can’t resist:

      Blogs, WIKIs – remember them when you get frustrated.  Did you do a project – pull together information?  That will help the next person when I do a search 🙂  It will also get the content back up on SCN.

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  3. Paul Hawking
    Thanks for contributing the SAP University Alliances Program.  The students love to have industry people to present as it reinforces what they are learning is relevant to industry and accordingly their future.
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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Thank you!

      I hope this encourages someone else to visit a university.  As I said before – it was much more than I had hoped for.

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  4. Tom Cenens
    Hello Michelle

    It’s great to see how much knowledge you share and how active you are on SCN.

    I found students to be a pretty good audience like you describe in this blog, I found them to have more attention than the average SAP audience.

    Sharing knowledge and keeping up with what is actual by reading blogs and connecting to other community members brings added value and is self-empowering.

    Kind regards

    Tom

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      I agree!  (As you can tell from reading this.)

      Thank you for the nice comment,

      Michelle

      Another +1 for supporting our universities as much as possible.

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  5. Kumud Singh
    I spend most of the time searching on SDN about any problem that I encounter because most of the times what issues we face has been faced by others previously. But at times I dont’t get the exact solution and hence have to post the query.

    I still belive that there are vast sources of information to be explored and these exist only becuase people like you are more than willing to share their experience.Also I would say, sharing SAP Knowledge is in many ways similar to sharing SAP experience.

    Thanks,

    Kumud

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Let me tell you – I’ve spent hours on a search.  Sometimes I never find what I’m looking for…  That’s OK.   Then I ask the question.  Sometimes I don’t get an answer.  That’s OK.  Then I figure it out as best as I can and post what I’ve done.   It may not be perfect.  And that’s when it gets fun!  Someone can improve upon what I wrote.

      I agree.   More than agree.  Sharing SAP knowledge is sharing SAP experience.   What did I do with all the fun toys that SAP provided?  I try to bring that to what I write.  (And I seem to only find a limited time to write.)

      This is where it would be amazing if we each found a small amount of time to add stories, “how-to”, update WIKI, create a blog, answer a question.   Wow -with all of our members the knowledge would be even more at our finger tips.

      THANK YOU – for the nice comment!

      Michelle

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      1. Stephen Johannes
        The problem is not necessarily asking/answering a basic question, its when the person asking is unwilling to do a little work on their own.  I personally like to answer basic questions with “approaches”, rather than “step-by-step solutions”.  If someone want’s me to clarify an idea, then I’m cool with that, but I don’t want to give them the step by step details to solve the entire problem.

        Even then there are exceptions to my rule above when talking about a specific technique to do something vs solving a more general problem.  A general request would be:  How do I configure opportunity management(which I’m not going to answer in detail) vs a detail request: how could I track the length of each sales stage on the opportunity(which I might answer)? 

        I think though whenever I approached a new area, I tend to read anything and everything on that topic, so that I can at least ask a better question on what I don’t understand.  Then when you do ask the questions, and reference what you read and don’t know it shows that you are not expecting someone to do your work, but rather clarify something that may be confusing.  However I agree we need to provide more information in wiki’s, articles, blogs for people to read first and ask better questions.

        Take care,

        Stephen

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        1. Michelle Crapo Post author
          Well…

          I can’t debate this one.

          I completely agree.  Research first and ask second.  While providing information for the search. 

          Great comment!

          Michelle

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  6. Michelle Crapo Post author
    I hoping for some nice comments about the blog and sharing information with GVSU.  I think most of us would agree that was an awesome experience!  🙂

    BUT…  What about my rant?  Why would you think it is a bad idea to respond to forums?  What would stop you from writing a blog?   It takes time.  I’ve read about a lot of different viewpoints.   I would love to debate them.  Here – or someplace else.

    So any people disagree?  Is this all a waste of time?  This blog does not really educate.  It’s not going to give you an answer to a question.  What do you think about that?

    Looking for the debate here as well as the VERY nice comments.  That trust me – I love to hear about.

    Maybe I need another blog that doesn’t highlight the positive, but does the negative.  That’s a bit harder for me to write.  I enjoy SCN a lot.  Anyone want to take the time to write that blog?  I’d love to comment.

    Michelle

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  7. Augusto Cristicini
    I remember when I joined a firm, they asked me to solve a problem that was lingering around.  I quickly went to SAP, back then called OSS, and low and behold found the answer.  The later categorized me as to dependent on SAP for solving problems.  Hello, some people!  If information is shared why not share it too!  BTW the CIO thanked me and said we are finally getting our maintenance money back!

    I spend lots of time sharing and reading, as my day can be thin, if it’s thick then I am ready to tackle it!

    Sharing is a gift that keeps giving both ways!  Without it we would be will like some people, fools!

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    1. Michelle Crapo Post author
      Agreed.   No one can know everything.  If you think they can then I’m sure I could sell you…  No just kidding.

      I love SCN!!!  Sharing.  OSS.  Sharing.  We move things along much faster because guess what?  If someone hasn’t already had the problem, they probably will!

      Good for you Augusto!  Using Networking (SAP), tools (OSS) – not just saying you didn’t know it but knowing where to find the answer!!!!   People like you are amazing, and you don’t even know it.  🙂  I’ve worked with so many different people.  Some good, some great.  All the great ones seem to share knowledge, and use shared knowledge.

      On NO!!!  I’m still ranting.

      Anyway – thank you for the reply!  And know at least from me and the CIO that you are amazing! 

      MMMMmmmmm….  I think the CIO is more important than me?!

      Michelle

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