I had a lot of challenging activities within last year – let me mention a few highlights:
- As SAP Mentor I visited the SAP internal developers’ conference DKOM.
- As SAP Mentor I spent lots of time giving SAP feedback on SAP documentation.
- I took part at a Customer Engagement Initiative for improving SAP’s SOA toolsuite.
- When I learned something new I put down my knowledge in SCN wikis and blog entries.
- I won a SCNotties award in Madrid for “Flamenco y Olé”.
- I took part at SAP TechEd Madrid as speaker, gave interviews, took part at expert networking sessions and organized one session by myself.
- I took part at SAP Inside Track Eindhoven and gave a lecture. SAP Inside Track Eindhoven was really a blast and I’m already looking forward to the next one.
- I wrote a chapter in the revised SAP Press book about SAP Smart Forms about correspondence frameworks in SAP Standard.
But the most satisfying activity was My first SAP CharITy Project I started last month: I coached a highly skilled SAP consultant in online sessions. In fact I did a great job and we will star follow up series of sessions in January. So what is a SAP CharITy project? The answer is simple: Just hire an SAP expert for a training or spot consulting for a donation to a non-profit organization. So this is a win-win situation for everyone.
What happened in my first SAP CharITy project? My client was a consultant wanted to get an advanced training about a one of the topics I’m specialized in. He was interested in theoretical background as well as working solutions. My client had a specific business case in mind and we both discussed different solutions and their properties, advantages and disadvantages:
- Analysis of the scenario: What technologies could be used solving the problem?
- I sketched different solutions and presented prototypes. The consultant created working solutions from those prototypes.
- We discussed arising questions in the next online session. I also did reviews and gave remarks on different aspects: Is the solution easy to understand and to maintain? What about high volume scenarios for example? We also discussed different approaches and how to test the solution.
- An important question was “enterprise readiness” so we discussed many aspects in depth: high volume data, robustness and error handling and much more.
- After solving a practical problem this way I decided to become more theoretical and covered advanced technical aspects and even explained related business standards and best practices.
So what was the difference between that approach and a standardized training?
- I talked about solutions that have proven to be working. I could benefit from experience with that topic since many years and implemented solutions in different roles as developer, architect in support and quality management.
- I tried to plan and tailor the training to the knowledge and knowledge of my client.
- I prepared each session with a small script that I sent to my client a preparation. This script contained subject matter, exercises and solutions.
- Of course I won’t use the specific business case of my client as well as its details in further trainings and blogs.
What did I learn from the first training? What is my advice to people who want to do the same?
- Working for charity is very satisfying.
- I was highly motivated to make the training a success.
- Don’t underestimate the time for preparation an online session. The client has chosen to get a special training and will even ask questions about advanced topics.
- Don’t forget the “logistics” for online webinars because you need a technical infrastructure. Recording the session makes a wrap-up easier.
- If you want to tailor a training to your client’s needs should carefully choose an appropriate business scenario. So again accurate preparation is important.
- If the client wants to develop his own solutions he needs a training system like NSP with adequate software release and perhaps complementary tools.
- For the follow-up training I’ll prepared a precise plan of possible topics of the training and we’ll discuss this in detail.
I hope the idea of SAP CharITy will become accepted. I think the concept is ideal in the following cases:
- For a freelancer the contact to subject matter expert having experience from many implementation projects can be far more useful than a conventional training. Another advantage is that online webinars can be scheduled in a very flexible way.
- A SAP CharITy project can be a spot consulting for senior developers and enterprise architects working for company. In my opinion this gives the chance to get inspiration, to broaden the horizon as well as to do a detail analysis of a business problem.
I hope that within next year many people will visit the SAP CharITy wiki page and decide to hire an expert for training or spot consulting. It gives you the chance to meet some of SCN’s best experts and topic leaders and benefit from their experience. And as a side effect you will help a non-profit charity organization.