Since we started with the SAP InnoJam event in 2010 where it was still called “Innovation Weekend”, we have run many, many InnoJams. And many times people who’d be interested in joining the event ask me “I’d love to come to the event, but I doubt I can convince my boss”.
And on the first look it might be understandable why your boss doesn’t want to invest your time and some money for the event. You are away for 2 days and you have costs for hotel, travel and the event fee itself. Also there might be this very special project with a customer where you can’t afford to send out your developers to an event.
BUT, there are many reasons why your boss should consider to send you there anyways. These are the top 10 reasons:
1. Mostly running on a weekend
Most of the times an SAP InnoJam runs either on a weekend,on Friday/Saturday or on Sunday/Monday. So if your employee is so motivated to go to this event why not make a deal with her/him? The company pays for the costs and let you go there and you’ll spend your weekend or part of your weekend for that event.
2. Introduction to the Design Thinking methodology
SAP is investing a lot in introducing the Design Thinking methodology into its development processes. And Design Thinking is something you learn by doing, not by reading books or watching online videos. At the SAP InnoJam your employee will get an introduction to Design Thinking with a real challenge for real people. At the end of the SAP InnoJam your employee will have gone through a complete Design Thinking exercise including an up-and-running coded prototype that uses the newest and coolest SAP technologies. Just think about with what kind of new impulses your employee could bring back to your company after such an event? Why not defining with your employee a follow-up presentation after an SAP InnoJam where she/he shows the other colleagues what Design Thinking is and what she/he feels you could do differently in your company based on the experiences made?
3. Not just for “techies”
No. This event is not just for people who can code. We try to create teams at an SAP InnoJam who are as diverse as possible. And participants from SAP InnoJams with no coding experience took a lot out of the event and contributed significantly to the teams they were working in. One of the participants of the
SAP InnoJam 2012 in Melbourne, Jelvie Grech, even wrote a blot about her experience called “SAP InnoJam: An InnoJamer who can’t code“. Another participant, Linda Willshire, talked about her experience as a non-techie at the SAP InnoJam 2011 in Sydney.
4. Onsite SAP technology expertise
During the whole event the participants will be able to reach out to SAP technology experts for specific SAP technologies and get their technical questions answered very quickly. So you have a developer to developer talk with hands-on help on the code the teams are working on. Where else would you get straight tech talk about HANA, SUP, NW Cloud, Gateway, SAPUI5 and more all in one place and all with 30 hours?
5. Access to SAP’s newest technologies
During the SAP InnoJam events we provide the participants with access to SAP’s newest technologies. Sometimes we even provide technologies that aren’t on the market, yet, but the participants can try them out during the event and be better prepared for the global availability of the SAP product. Innojam participants will be able to try out these new SAP technologies during the event, and leave the event with hands-on expertise and a good idea of how to best apply these SAP technologies in your company.
At an SAP InnoJam you get people from different companies and with different backgrounds. Teams are formed randomly and during these InnoJam events many participants created new connections to other people from other companies/countries/cultures. This enriches the way of thinking and your employee might bring some new aspects out of the event into your company that you might be able to leverage.
7. Up-and-running prototype
At the end of the event the teams need to present what they developed. We record these sessions and make them available within blogs we write about the event. We even give the participants a couple of days after the event to use the InnoJam infrastructure and allow them to show their prototype in your company.
8. Chance for a spot at SAP Demo Jam
At some of the SAP InnoJams we provide the best protoype with a spot at one of the SAP Demo Jam sessions at SAP TechEd. Just imagine the possible boost to your business if your employee presents her/his work in front of thousands of members of the SAP community and the name of your company just shows-up underneath his/her name? We’ve already had small companies presenting at Demo Jam who where able to increase sales dramatically in their company by showing their expertise at Demo Jam.
The SAP Demo Jam 2011 Las Vegas presentation of the SAP InnoJam winning team (starts at 5:18min)
The SAP Demo Jam 2011 Madrid presentation of the SAP InnoJam winning team
The SAP Demo Jam 2011 Bangalore presentation of the SAP InnoJam winning team (starts at 18:06min)
9. Motivation boost for your employee
So your employee took the initiative and approached you to be able to join this event. Of course you’ve said “Yes, please go!” 🙂 and your employee got access to all these new technologies, met a lot of people she/he never met before, had a fun event with open-minded people, learned a lot about Design Thinking and using new SAP technologies and maybe even won the contest and got a spot at SAP Demo Jam at SAP TechEd to demonstrate to 1000s of other SAP enthusiasts what is possible to achieve in 30 hours only.
I can tell you your employee will come back to work very motivated and with the brain full of ideas and new concepts. What more could such an event bring?
10. Low event fee
The fee for attending an SAP InnoJam events is not very large. Normally the fee covers some of the event costs such as catering and venue. Not much more. Depending on the location the fee can be going from something around USD 200 to USD 500 for a 2 day event with free food and drinks. Where else would you get hands-on access to SAP technology and expertise at such a low cost?
I hope this helps your boss to make a better decision on whether or not to send you to one of the next SAP InnoJams.
In case you see more reasons why managers should send their employees to an InnoJam please just add it as a comment to this blog.