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Purpose

This blog is a starting point to what will be a series of blogs with the goal of providing resources and guidance to those wanting to create knowledge. These being blogs, are by definition my experiences and my soap box – but I do hope that this will add some value to everyone. The blogs will be written for both external SAP customers and Internal SAP customers (employees if you will). This means some of the content may not directly apply to external members of SCN, but even then it will provide a peek at how SAP support works, or at least should work.

Overview

We all have large blocks of knowledge acquired through our work. But how best to disseminate this knowledge is a question brought about not because at SAP we have few avenues to do so, rather it is because we have so many. Perhaps too many…  The most compelling reason for creating and sharing knowledge is to help all of us and most importantly our customers help themselves.

Why Share Your Knowledge

The reasons for sharing are many. They include the following, but no doubt the list is not complete:

  • Sharing knowledge is part of the job
  • Easy to find help reduces stress for everyone
  • Making SAP products more easily usable
  • Highlighting better ways to use SAP products
  • Exposing known issues
  • Describing work-arounds or alternative solutions
  • Sharing is good – It feels good to share (Remember your mom told you so?)

Why not to Share Your Knowledge

The number of reasons we can decide to not share knowledge would probably create another long list. But, perhaps the most usual reasons are:

If I tell em my secrets, they will not need me.

Understandable argument, nevertheless it is a false argument. Since Business Objects became part of SAP I have created close to 700 pieces of Knowledge  – from KBAs / Notes, to Wikis to Blogs, Articles and more. I still don’t particularly feel threatened that I’ve spilled it all and there is nothing more to share, so good bye SAP.

I don’t have the time. My manager is such a stick in the mud he won’t give me the time

Some knowledge takes minutes to create. A typical KBA should not take more than 15minutes. A blog should also be a rather easy content to pen as this is you talking. Just go and do it. Do it your way. Or, create a Jive Document a paragraph at a time.

Finally, the following is from an internal SAP blog that encourages Knowledge sharing through a fictional character called Sid:

I just don’t get it! I mean surely we have our own way of managing the knowledge in our heads! Why should I care about it?

I know how to help my customers. I know what their problems are and I help them. Why do I need Knowledge Management?

Really, the above tells me more about the person than they’d want me, or anyone to know. In a nutshell, I’d call them selfish and insecure.

How is Sharing Knowledge Helping?

Ever hear; Solve Once. Share Often? This phrase speaks to efficiency and thus the ease of use of any product. Sharing eliminates repeating the same information over and over and over. Most of the assets in what I’ll call the SAP Knowledge Toolbox display how many times the particular asset has been viewed. Perhaps not a perfect number, but a number that can be used as a guide. As an example, the Jive Document entitled How to WYSIWYG SAP Crystal Reports Export to XLS had 60 views within one day, almost 200 views in less than three days(!). Presumably this knowledge helped a few of those that viewed the content, thus relieving stress, helping to understand how the product works and deflecting a phone call or two.

Unfortunately, the usage numbers for KBAs and Articles are either completely lacking, or highly insufficient. In a perfect world a Dashboard collecting and reporting the data in one place would be great, but well, maybe one day. Bottom line is; it is possible to get an idea about the usefulness of most created knowledge.

What’s Next

In the next blog (Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – Basic Tips) I will introduce the SAP Knowledge Toolbox  available to most everyone to share their Knowledge.

Related Content

Share Your Knowledge in SCN Topic Spaces

Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – Basic Tips

Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – Blogs

Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – Wikis

Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – Jive Documents

Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – SCN Discussions

Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – Knowledge Base Articles

Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – Articles

Sharing Knowledge Is Not That Hard – SAP Idea Place

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8 Comments

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  1. Jรผrgen L

    I agree with most what you said, I only have trouble with the 15 minutes. For most blogs I sit several hours as I am not a professional writer and always worry about the quality of content. However, some documents on certain functionalities could be done that fast, it must not always be a complete process like in manuals for starters.

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  2. Eduardo Hinojosa

    Nice post, and I agree. Additional comments if you agree, related with “Why not to share your knowledge”

    If I tell them my secrets, they will not need me. For instance, a cook shares how to cook something, never how he or she invent this plat. Other example, as with the doctors I believe our skills for diagnosis, identify problems, and perhaps not only with technical issues, also with attitudes or engagement of end users and other stakeholders are critical.

    The vision of your manager. If your manager doesn’t understand how the reciprocity works, looking for other job is the best option. After I became a top contributor, when I posted a question, I saw the best contributors get me back with valuable answers, and quickly. Usually, helping others is a source of learning. My best ideas where I’ve been working comes from sites as this. You learn more reading and helping others to solve real problems than reading whitepapers and marketing presentations.

    My last input. In economics there is a topic called network externalities or network effect. Where the network (as SAP community) becomes huger, the ‘economic value’ of your SAP skills increase. Helping others you help to enlarge the network, SAP becomes easier, or it seems easier to decision makers in companies.

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    1. Ludek Uher Post author

      And I really appreciate the link ๐Ÿ™‚ .

      I suppose sometimes, riches lead to problems. One day I’d like to see if that is the case with $$ also LOL

      – Ludek

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    1. Ludek Uher Post author

      Hi Eduardo

      Many thanks for your comment.

      Ahh, the dream. I doubt we’ll ever reach it. We could moderate all content, but for one, would we want to? And for two, I’m afraid that many non SAP / none vested authors would ignore any feedback and worse, possibly never create any content again. E.g.; well, you don’t like my stuff, shove your rules… Been there had that happen.

      An idea I’ve been playing with is getting SCN to implement some sort of a intro guide that would ask you what it is you want to write about, then suggest the type of content to write. E.g.; the starting point would not be; create a blog / create a document. Starting point would be;

      Create content.

      You click on the link and you are asked a few questions about the content. The answers are collected and a suggestion is presented as to what content should be written.

      I think when I return from my vacation I’ll ping Jason et. al. at SCN see what they think.

      Wishing you best from Argentina,

      – Ludek

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        1. Arshiyan -

          Hi Ludke, I randomly visited on your blog today. you got really bright thoughts about SCN. I really like your blogs. In other words, your blogs are powerful knowledge for me and new SCN users.

          Wishing you good luck for your next blog.

          Arshiyan

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