After many long years of working with SAP Business Workflow – and many years of wishing for the SAP Workflow Certification, I have finally achieved a goal.
First, you should know that SAP had offered the Certification for SAP Business Workflow for many years, and then stopped offering it – probably due to a lack of interest. In a 2009 survey conducted by ASUG, in conjunction with VNSG, we (@SAP_WIT) were able to establish that almost 74% of survey respondents wished that SAP would bring back the certification.
SAP Education listened, and this certification has now been made available. And thanks to SAP’s partnership with PearsonVue, it is easier (and less expensive) to take the exam. I had taken all the recommended courses from SAP, and of course, those were expensive, but IMHO, they were well worth it.
The exam consists of 80 multiple choice questions, and you are required to complete it within 3 hours. Some of the questions have only one answer; some of them have multiple answers that are correct. The exam does give you either radio buttons (single correct answer) and tick boxes (multiple correct answers) so it is not tricky in that way.
I scheduled my exam several times, and had to re-schedule due to work demands. I was finally able to take the exam this morning, and I did pass it. I won’t say what my score is. Maybe you would like to leave a guess in the comments?
Anyway, here are my thoughts – without revealing any of the questions or answers!
1) Evaluate the WHY. Before you go leaping into a Certification frenzy, you should ask yourself WHY you want it. Is it required by your employer? Will it get your foot in the door at a new company? For me, at this time, it was a purely personal choice. I wanted the external validation because SAP Business Workflow is a product that I have worked with, fought with, and loved for these many years. I have no illusions that the Certification would out-weigh – or negate – my 15 years of experience in the field.
2) Evaluate the WHAT. What kind of hands-on experience do you have today? Have you worked at one implementation and done things the same way for a long time? In this case, I recommend that you go back to your earlier days, and consider the alternate means of achieving certain goals. For example, if you are accustomed to blindly clicking through screens because you have been doing it for so long that you no longer need to read them, stop! Take some time to actually look at the transactions, background jobs, and administrative tools. It may be worthwhile to pretend that your favorite reporting transactions do not exist, so that you will use some of the other transactions and re-familiarize yourself with them.
3) Investigate the HOW. We all know that with SAP, there are many ways to skin a cat. Think about what other methods you could have used to achieve the same outcome. For example, if you have just always used an SAP Workflow task that does X, consider what else you may have used to achieve X. Consider agent determination, deadline monitoring, and workflow administration. I am not giving anything away – anyone with a sound background in SAP Workflow will know the importance of these topics. Yes, you can probably pass the SAP Workflow Certification by reading Practical Workflow for SAP, but you would also be more comfortable if you take some time to spend hands-on – even if it’s doing ‘just’ tutorials.
4) Consider the WHEN. If at all possible, schedule your exam for a date/time when you will be rested, and when the chances of ‘real life’ interfering should be minimized. Is it ideal to schedule the exam one week after a major go-live? Is it better to schedule your exam for the morning, when you are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, or do you function better later in the day?
5) Consider your STRENGTHS. I had time after the exam, and was able to go back through my questions and choose different answers. I did change some. I do not know if this had a positive effect or not. (I wish I did know what my original answers would have gotten .vs. my submitted answers). This is where you need to evaluate whether you are the type of person who feels most confident with your original answers, or if you prefer to have time to mull things over. There is time in the exam for you to review all your answers and make changes. You should decide on your strategy – perhaps Uni is close enough in your rear-view mirror for you to recall what approach served you best.
6) Reflect – This is where I wish SAP Education would help… It would have been great if I had been able to know which questions I got right or wrong. It would have strengthened my learning experience. It’s very understandable, with all the bogus operations that promise you certification questions, and so forth, that SAP would hold this information closely. But when you take a certification, you sign an NDA. And in the spirit of completing your certification experience, you ought to be able to review what you did right, and what you did not.
7) PLAN. In my son’s karate class, the teachers are always telling the kids ‘Set a goal, achieve a goal, set another goal’. I will not reveal my next goal here and now (let me bask for a few moments anyhow) but you can be sure I will be setting one!
Hopefully this little blog has given you some ideas on how to prep for the SAP Business Workflow Certification. Perhaps it will even help you prepare for other challenges too.