Put in the effort
“In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.” – Mark Cuban
When I started writing this blog, my intent was to rant on how little effort some “consultants” put into finding solutions to their problems. I had gotten fed up with the posts on SCN asking for detailed documentation, steps to implement, best practice and other information that is readily available. Any consultant worth his salt knows that with a bit of effort, all this information can be found on the SAP Market Place or elsewhere. I was going to write about this, but it has all been said before. This is the latest example I’ve come across.
Everyone has been a “fresher”, newbie, rookie or beginner. This doesn’t excuse a person from putting in effort to trying to learn. Maybe it is pride or a mindset or some other character trait that some people have that won’t let him or her ask for help until all other avenues have been exhausted. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, but asking for help without trying to help oneself is lazy and unprofessional. I decided to focus on the positive effects that putting in some effort can have.
I’ll give an example of a relative newcomer to the SAP industry making a contribution to the overall community by exerting some effort to come to a resolution to a nagging issue. He tried various solutions on his own, researched and eventually turned to SDN and found a user with the same issue. He tried more solutions proposed by SDN users, but was unsuccessful in finding a solution. The issue, although not critical, was an annoyance to users and the SAP newbie was determined to find a solution.
The next logical step was to open an OSS note. He provided a detailed description of the issue, steps on how to replicate and a detailed record of what unsuccessful steps to resolution had been tried. At first, the SAP basis noob was told by SAP support that it was a Microsoft issue and to contact MS. Considering the amount being paid for SAP maintenance and the fact that his company would have had to pay to open a Microsoft ticket, he pressed SAP. SAP support obliged and opened dialogue with Microsoft. Bottom line, with the SAP greenhorn’s effort and follow through, a Microsoft fast publish article was released and an SAP note was published to address the issue. The final important step that this person took was to revisit the SDN thread and post the SAP note number to help the original creator of the thread and anyone else who may need it.
There are obviously a countless number of people who contribute positively to SAP’s community every day, but the point is that one doesn’t have to be in Walldorf, Newtown Square or Palo Alto to make a contribution. Nor does one have to have years of experience working in the field. The only requirement is the willingness to put in the effort to research, learn, document, follow through and share.
A nice post. I was taught the phrase LiLo when in the cadet force. Put a lot in and you will get a lot out. The same can be applied to the SAP Community.
Have a read of Mark Chalfen's blog http://scn.sap.com/community/about/blog/2012/06/03/does-scn-contribute-to-poor-sap-consulting
as it quite relevant here.
Thanks Tim. I know this horse has been beaten quite severely, if not to death, but I tried to put a different spin on it.
Thanks for pointing out Mark Chalfen's blog. It is a good read and I like that he offers a solution, even if it is not perfect. At least it opens up the discussion.
Good article Jack and you would surprised with the amount of questions I get that could have been solved with a simple google search or in the case of SAP using SAP Help/SCN/OSS Notes etc. The first two items of my Valuable Lessons to Make the Most of your SAP Career were similar to the point you make above.
The varying amount of effort and willingness to learn is one of the reasons there are SAP professionals with a 2-3 years of experience that can know more than those with 10+ as it is a lot more common that you would think.
As a side I have read all the Mark Cuban blogs and they are excellent especially the ones where he is starting is career that I would highly recommend if people havent read them. No I am not going to provide the link as it will be a 10 second search 🙂
Thanks Jarret. Yes, I am familiar with your work in the SAP career space. 🙂
I bought the kindle edition of Cuban's book, which is essentially a compilation of his blogs. Good stuff.