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When I had the idea of CharITy SAP Projects I thought that this would be easy to get them started. In the next months I learned that (at least in Germany) this is a difficult task:

  • Many people didn’t understand this concept. I think this has something to do that they can’t imagine that someone offers a training or spot consulting “for free”.
  • Some people in HCM context you thought I would be looking for a new job and sent to me standardized letters that there are no free positions in their company.
  • Other HCM people liked the concept but they had difficulties with their budgets: There processes require that they offer standardized trainings scheduled at least one year ago.

I discussed this with a senior coach whose clients are executives of companies and he suggested that there should be a charitable trust that drives these projects. I agree with this idea but I don’t have so much time to arrange a new organization. Maybe SAP could help us here? But this is a topic for another blog post.

But then I was lucky: a freelancer contacted to coach him in a technical topic I am specialized in. I suggested to do it as SAP CharITy project so he should donate the money to a nonprofit organization of my choice who does really good work. He agreed and so we started.

I think this freelancer made a really good decision:

  • He decided that standardized trainings have been some disadvantages: it’s difficult to participate because as freelancer he hasn’t so much free time so it has to be an online training in the evening.
  • He needs a training especially tailored for him according to his knowledge and the things he wants to learn.
  • He wants learn about solutions for real-world problems and wants to discuss them with experts who already implemented many of those solutions.

The preparation for this advanced training took me some time but it was a challenge:

  • At first I chose to preparate a script we would use in every online webinar as guideline. Of course in an online session we are free to digress or get into details but I wanted to suggest some learning goals, exercises and solution that I wrote down and sent him before the webinar. This training material was tailored for him and I hope it will help him in the next projects.
  • I decided to start with the basics and thought about the most common things that are unknown to most developers and to present a solution as well as many beginner’s mistakes.
  • He already asked me to find solutions for real-world problems so I was glad he sent me code snippets as well as solutions he created before. This was extremely helpful because I studied them, found some exemplary solutions and wrote down how I found them in the script. Then I added additional information about the concepts and techniques I used. Of course I won’t use these examples neither in future trainings nor in blogs – they are strictly confident.

In fact it took my some hours for preparation but I was extremely motivated because I want this project to be a success.

In this blog entry I blogged about my first SAP CharITy project and that customized trainings are a good candidate for this approach. I already sketched the concept of my training. In the next blog I’ll blog about the experience with this training and what I learned.

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6 Comments

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  1. Michal Krawczyk
    Hi,

    Excellent news 🙂 I just advertised this way to mu customer yesterday and promissed to send him some details. I’m also in this project but didn’t get any customer to do it this way yet. I was hoping we’d have a little bit more feedback from customers but I guess it’s not as easy as it gets. Also in your case you did not get any big customer but a single person. Pretty strange that huge IT orgs don’t want to do it this way…
    anyway we need to try everytime as it’s for a good cause

    Regards,
    Michal Krawczyk

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  2. Kumud Singh
    Hello Tobias,
    As a consultant, if I think of the options that I have,to share with the society,the first one will be sharing Knowledge.This is an igniting idea. It will be great if I can be a part of this wonderful nobel cause. I will try finding out if something similar is in India of which I can be a part of.

    Deep Regards,
    Kumud

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  3. Michelle Crapo
    Great idea – keep bringing it up. 

    I have to say as a customer that it would probably be hard to figure out just how to “donate” the money to charity for work done by a consultant. 

    To me – real work couldn’t be done in a day or couple of days, and so it would be specific questions or training that I would need. 

    Then I go back to who would I get in touch with to donate the money within my company…  My company already donates money to charity.  Many do.  So how would I add that extra dollar amount to the donation?

    I think it is a great idea!  But I’m wondering from a companies internal standpoint if it is something that could be done.  Perhaps the person doing the work would bill the company.  Then the person would donate the money to charity.  That would probably work. 

    I think, it would be great to have one for an hour, a couple, or a couple of days to have them answer some of the advanced issues we have.  The issues that can’t be answered easily on SCN.  The ones that would take some time.

    Just thinking while I type,

    Michelle

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    1. Tobias Trapp Post author
      Hi Michelle,

      you are absolutely right – the kind of SAP CharITy project this blog mentions is ideal for spotconsulting: a company needs a training to solve a difficult problem and this training can only be done by a highly skilled expert. Please have a look at the wiki – a lot of champions already offered their help.

      Cheers,
      Tobias

      BTW: I think it was Twan who told me that in the Netherlands there is a special day where people can work one day for free and the money goes to a charity project (perhaps cancer research/prevention or something else).

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