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Ok.. vent day!  I got frustrated today with the lack of response from original posters (OP) regarding their questions.

So I decided that I’d do a bit of research.  😏

The folks who use the QM space here are very fortunate to have several people that respond to questions here.  There are a good half-dozen or more consultants here that regularly  take the time to respond to questions.  Very few questions go without a  reply or answer and most are replied to within a 24 hr period.

NONE of us are SAP employees.  We do this primarily because we get value from researching questions, learning about new user requirements,  gaining tricks of the trade, and learning about business processes that we might not run across, etc.. etc..   Trust me, the points mean nothing.  You don’t spend the time here because of points.  You spend the time here because you enjoy it, you like your vocation, and want to learn more as well as help others.

But what I’m seeing is that many of the OP’s never respond back and don’t close out their questions.  So it got me to wondering.  Are our QM folks the rudest folks around in SCN?  Or is it the same way in all the various spaces.  So I figured I’d do a bit of analytics.  I’m not going to get too extensive as I would think SAP already has these numbers.  It would be great if they would publish some stats in each space on the main page of the space..  like a monthly summary of the percentage of questions closed.  Kind of like a closure rate that most help desks use.  Anyway, that’s an item for the idea space.

Even those people that close their discussions often never provide feedback on what worked.  They mark everyone’s reply as helpful and never tell us what they actually decided to do.  Did they get the client to abandon the request?  Did they change a business practice?  Did they find another technical solution not proposed by the respondents?  That’s part of the reason I answer questions.  I want to know the final answer!

So I reviewed a few spaces and of the ones I looked at, I’d have to say that QM does has the lowest closure rate.  So maybe we are the rudest of the bunch if closure rate could be considered a measure of rudeness in a technical forum.  Or maybe we just don’t have the expertise here yet to give satisfactory answers?

Maybe at some point SAP will publish a more comprehensive list than mine below.  I’m sure they have it.  (Laure Cetin πŸ˜‰ ? )

So here is what I found:

QM space Open Closed % Closed
JUN 104 23 18.11%
JUL 94 22 18.97%
AUG (to 8/22) 42 4 8.70%
Avg. = 15.26%
Manufacturing – Production Planning
JUL 342 111 24.50%
AUG (to 8/22) 175 47 21.17%
Avg. = 22.84%
ABAP
JUL 937 432 31.56%
AUG (to 8/22) 558 168 23.14%
Avg. = 27.35%
Product Lifecycle Management
MAR 35 6 14.63%
APR 20 5 20.00%
MAY 27 10 27.03%
JUN 17 4 19.05%
JUL 12 2 14.29%
AUG (to 8/22) 15 1 6.25%
Avg. = 16.87%

Yes. of the 4 spaces I looked at, mostly for July and August, QM has the lowest closure rate at just an average of 15.25%.  It would be even lower if I just used July and August like I did for two of the other spaces.

The PLM space wasn’t far ahead of QM.  But QM was still the lowest.

The ABAP’ers had the highest of the four spaces I looked at with a 27.35% closure rate.

I hope that OP’s will look more at being courteous and doing what is the right thing.  YOU asked the question.  We gave you replies and usually valuable advice that might not normally be available anywhere else without paying significant money for a consultant to visit your site.  The very least you can do is reply to our questions, make a closing reply that explains the final outcome and at least say thanks.

Maybe some OP’s can comment on why they don’t take the time to respond or to close out their questions.  Hopefully I’m not the only one here that gets frustrated with this behavior.  I’d like to hear from others that feel the same way.  Or maybe I’m the only one?

Additional note:  The numbers above are constantly changing.  They must be considered as only a snapshot on the day I reviewed the areas and posted the blog. 

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61 Comments

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  1. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Woop woop for ABAP forum! πŸ™‚

    It’s rather upsetting when you spend long time searching for something on SCN, then finally find one 3 year old post with exactly your question and the last response is ‘solved it myself’. Oh, good for you… 😑 People who do that shall forever be written in the annals of SCN as total jerks.

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    1. Craig S Post author

      Yep.. I’ve had the happen a few times myself.  I wouldn’t whoop whoop to loudly.  A 30% closure rate on a helpdesk would get everyone fired!

      FF

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      1. Jelena Perfiljeva

        There is an important difference – Help Desk is interested in getting the tickets closed while on SCN one may have as many open questions as one likes and has never to get back to them to review/close. Actually maybe we should adopt the “auto closing” (after N days) feature from the help desk applications…

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        1. Steffi Warnecke

          Urgs. I really hate those. :X

          I think the Help Desk-comparison is pretty good, but you got the wrong participant of the ticket. The OP is the user, that opens the ticket and we and the moderators here are Help Desk and second level support, trying to solve the problems and close the ticket/thread. The difference is: we don’t get paid. ^^

          Our users (talking about my company now) seldom get back themselves to close open tickets and they, too, can have as many as problems and “problems” they can find. πŸ˜€ Most of the time tickets get closed by us asking them, if the problem is gone now or the issue resolved.

          I even had a discussion with a colleague about that, because he thinks, it’s the users job to inform the HD to close the ticket and not his (as the second level supporter). I see that differently, because it’s our tool to organize their requests.

          It’s a whole other thing here, though. Because this is a support forum, where users help users. There ends the comparision for me then. But sadly a lot of people with questions see it obviously from a different angle. πŸ™

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          1. Craig S Post author

            I don’t really expect to get to the same level of closure as a help desk.  But I could also argue that since this is a volunteer service, that OP’s should realize that and have a higher degree of responsibility for closing their own postings. 

            I think a lot of OP’s view this as an SAP company service.  While it’s definitely supported and hosted by SAP, for many areas, it’s not SAP employees responding to questions.  I’m not sure OP’s always understand that.

            FF

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            1. Steffi Warnecke
              I guess, that’s some part of the problem. Some users see it as a Help Desk platform and some just don’t care what happens, after they have the answer to their question. A lot of people don’t seem to come back at all (at least that’s what it feels like to me). So they care even less, because those one hit wonders wouldn’t even be impacted by a maybe coming “no more than 5 open questions”-policy.
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            2. Jelena Perfiljeva

              Good point. I’ve just received a reply from SAP to our support message and noticed the person had in the signature something like ‘Did you know you can get lots of answers on SCN?’ and a link to an SD forum. This could be where some people get this kind of attitude, as if SCN is their personal Help Desk extension.

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              1. JΓΌrgen L

                Just checked the reply to my support message, you’re right there is a link to the SD forum.

                Now I am bit confused, why should I go to SD? I had raised my ticket for LO-MD-BP-VM

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    2. Martin Hinderer

      I take this chance to also make some promotion for your idea to introduce a “dislike” button, as this really would help to indicate such content as “not useful”. This is currently not possible, and we cannot mark such stuff as “abuse” instead.

      https://ideas.sap.com/ct/ct_a_view_idea.bix?c=8A060447-ED55-41EB-905E-C077161D66AC&idea_id=D28E9AC7-8071-4DD2-95A3-82E388E5A3C3

      Even if it is currently in status “not planned by SAP” there is still hope (see the blog comments on http://scn.sap.com/community/about/blog/2013/07/23/the-scn-innovation-and-enhancements-idea-session-guidelines)

      Regards

      MH

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    3. Roberto Vidotti

      When I found stupid answer like ‘solved it myself’ I ask always to share the solution and often I received the answer.

      For the ‘not answered’ and for past maybe we should click on report abuse asking the moderator to delete this useless thread.

      What do you think?

      P.S.: FF you think QM are the rudest but I’m curious to see analysis about open\close threads in all the forums, because I think that ‘BPC for MS’, where I help, or other forum are worst than this.

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      1. Craig S Post author

        Yes.. I don’t know if QM is the worse. A page or a “dashboard” of stats from SCN would really be needed to see this.  It would be interesting. I don’t know if it would increase teh closing or not of messages.

        FF

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        1. Roberto Vidotti

          and another statstic could be made with “assumed answered”, some users quite always, probably also in yours forum, instead of checking “correct answer”, close the thread with “assumed answered” πŸ˜• , sometimes they say thanks but for the future these threads are also ‘less usable’.

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  2. Maheswaran KD .

    Really appreciable analysis. But the response results are very unimpressive.

    Asking basic what is what questions, keeping the thread open for long long time without any reason are really bad sign.

    Previously, SDN had a limitation of 10 open threads, but now no control. People are getting encouraged to do the wishful things.

    Created open discussion http://scn.sap.com/thread/3285911

    Better you could have made the title as

    Are our SDN folks some of the rudest around?


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    1. Craig S Post author

      I put the request in the idea place to limit people to 5 open questions. When that wasn’t received well I requested that people be given a pop-up screen every time they log in that would tell them that they have “n messages that are open and please review them and close them if possible”.

      I believe that is idea is being reviewed.

      Yes… We could say that about SCN in general maybe when compared to other forums.  I don’t know about all forums.  I have participated in others where I thought that people were more appreciative and more conscientious about their postings.

      But for here, I thought even just an internal comparison would be interesting.  Lately I’ve felt the QM forum was getting really bad. And with the limited research I did, my feeling appears to be correct.

      Thanks for your participation in the QM forum Maheswaran!

      FF

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      1. SAP WARRIOR

        Hi

        This is good suggestion that each single user has limit of 5 open threads. If it is implemented then number of opens thread would be less and it will restrict folk to post unwanted threads.

        Good suggestion !!!!!!!!!!

        Manish

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  3. Martin Hinderer

    I support the idea of limited open threads, as it helps to “educate” the new posters. Possibly SAP just removed this limit in order to push up the usage of SCN…seems like content quality isnt’t that important any longer. Also the idea of “negative voting” (on ideaplace, to my opinion another good possibility to identify and eliminate bad quality content) has been already rejected once.

    By the way: you should enter the Data Geek challenge with your data πŸ˜‰

    Regards

    MH

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  4. Tom Van Doorslaer

    Hi FF,

    You should turn this into a datageek challenge!

    An analysis of open vs closed questions per area, also including quality metrics with the ‘helpful’ and ‘solved’ ratings, but also with a final response from the OP on the solution.

    πŸ™‚

    edit: oh rats, I hadn’t read the reply from marting above yet. I came in second with the datageek idea πŸ˜›

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    1. Craig S Post author

      For both Tom and Martin,

      That would be a great idea and I actually tried to download the software for the datageek challenge but I’m working on a Mac notebook and it appears that both product require a PC. πŸ™

      FF

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        1. Craig S Post author

          None yet.  And I while I could probably use a PC emulation type of product on the MAC and then load it and run, I’m really not THAT interested in it!!

          FF

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  5. Steffi Warnecke

    Wow, FF! A rant with an analysis to fuel it! I think I’ve never seen that before. Very cool! 😎

    I like the idea of having a “new questions/closed questions”-statistic on the homepages of the areas. That could also be a great thing for the moderators. Maybe add even the “Questions without answers” to that statistic.

    If you have put it on Idea Place, you get my vote. ^^ I’m always for transparancy in those things. It’s also kind of motivating IMO to push those closed-% up, up and up!

    I also think, this would have been a great entry in the Data Geek Challenge and one, I would have read with great interest. πŸ™‚

    Regards,

    Steffi.

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  6. JΓΌrgen L

    All the arguments are valid for other forums too, so the questions why Quality folks does not care about Quality is still unresolved.

    What about the content of the questions, is that okay, or as well more weak than elsewhere?

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    1. Steffi Warnecke

      Sadly I have no comparison for that, since this is the only forum I am on job-wise. But I can’t believe, it’s a lot better elsewhere. Not if the other forums are as open to the public as this one.

      And even normaly really knowledgable people can ask “stupid” questions, when they have a bad day. At least I know I have. πŸ˜€

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      1. Craig S Post author

        I think Jurgen was referring to the areas or spaces within SAP SCN.  Not other external forums.  That’s why it would be interesting to have a “dashboard” of sorts for each space that would sow some statistics for the space.  Like # open, #closed (for 30 days or newer),  % closed (30 days or newer), % closed (all posts), 

        Kind of like the section that provides the top contributors in the space.

        Then maybe an analytic’s page that shows comparisons between the different spaces.

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        1. Steffi Warnecke

          Fire Fighter wrote:

                                 

          I think Jurgen was referring to the areas or spaces within SAP SCN.  Not other external forums. 

                             

          Ah, now that I read that again… πŸ˜€

          I’d love a analysis over the whole SCN. Maybe even some kind of leaderboard for spaces to see, which one is the best in closed questions/opened questions-ratio.

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    2. Craig S Post author

      I don’t think the postings are any worse/better than other areas on average. I’m not sure how I could really gauge that objectively.  Maybe some analytics software could provide a way to measure that.  Like for instance the % of posts by newer members, (say less than 60 days).  Or % of posts by members with less than 50 points.

      FF

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      1. JΓΌrgen L

        ahh, a bad example occurs to me, you just  shook my mind. back in 1999 I had to attend a QM inhouse training. In the lunch break I packed my things together and left without saying goodbye, and applied myself to Logistics Execution

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        1. Craig S Post author

          Yeah.. some of us kind of get into the analytic stuff a bit to much.  πŸ™‚   Never get into a discussion with a true QM geek on significant digits!   Or when a zero doesn’t really mean zero and it’s really non-detectable or <.01 but it’s not zero.  And null is not zero and zero is not null. 

          It’s really amazing how many times I have had to explain that to programmers. You’d think programmers would be like all logical and such and wouldn’t have a problem with that concept!  I’ve meet some who didn’t know what the one-character “Not-intitial” field that is used in so many places in SAP was used for.

          FF

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  7. Nick C.

    IMO I bet forum moderation hurts.  Sometimes the posts don’t get approved for more than 24 hours.  If the OP is working diligently to solve the issue, they might find a solution before the post ever gets approved.

    In those cases, the OP absolutely should update the thread with their own solution and close it out, but maybe that is asking too much of the general posting population.

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  8. Verrazano Bell

    FF

    …… as a regular user , I know I’m guilty of at least some of what you point out.  You as well as those you mention have helped me out of some real binds with no time permitting. I take this opportunity to say thank you, as well as thank you to those  frequent 1st responders.

    You “Vent of the day” feels kinda like your father talking to you…. 

    I’ll try to be better

    I’ve grown here…….

    V

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    1. Craig S Post author

      Thank you for the reply Verrazano!  It is appreciated.  I had no one in particular in mind when I wrote the blog.  So don’t worry!!

      Ok.. I am however having a hard time with this father thingy though… I have two grown sons but I still feel like I’m twenty.. actually 21 cause that’s the drinking age here! And for the most part I can still keep up with many of the 20 something’s.  (which unfortunately seems to be getting easier and easier these days πŸ™   ).   At least I think I can in my own mind… please don’t blow that image up just yet.. it’ll happen on its own soon enough.

      I think I’d rather be known as that pain in the neck colleague that keeps making people update time sheets, fill out monthly status reports and do yearly goals and objectives then their father!.  πŸ˜›   But I’m sure most people respect their fathers so I guess I’ll have to try and take it as a compliment!

      Thanks!

      FF

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      1. Jelena Perfiljeva

        Fire Fighter wrote:

        I think I’d rather be known as that pain in the neck colleague that keeps making people update time sheets, fill out monthly status reports and do yearly goals and objectives then their father!.  πŸ˜›

        Ordnung muss sein! Ja, ja! πŸ™‚

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        1. Craig S Post author

          LOL!  Thanks for the link!  Something new I learn every day!

          I think of all the various forms of the proverb provided there, I prefer this one:

          “Wer Ordnung hält, ist nur zu faul zum Suchen” meaning “he who keeps order is just too lazy to spend his time searching”   πŸ˜€

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  9. JΓΌrgen L

    Have you paged through August again? it is getting better, each page has at least 5 green discussions, 20 in total, so you are actually up to 25 %

    I am not a statistic geek, because the prettiest statistic that proofs even bad numbers does not solve any issue alone. you still need people who take the statistic as a basis for future actions.

    This could be moderation actions like sending instructions how-to-close-a-discussion-and-why or making technical changes like proposed in Idea place.

    Yes I referred to other SCN spaces, because I know many external  forums but none of them has a feature to close a discussion.

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    1. Craig S Post author

      Yes.. maybe some of the closures came about as a result of my rant blog?  πŸ˜‰   Maybe not.

      Naturally the stats are a moving target in this instance.  Everyday new postings come, old postings get closed out.  That’s why it would be nice to see a page of stats from SCN.  I’m really not going to go space to space, or even in just the QM space, and calculate daily the open/closed postings.  Plus I’ve seen folks come back and close posts that were over a year old!  So the stats can and will change everyday.

      Maybe next week QM could be one of the best spaces here!

      FF

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      1. Roberto Vidotti

        “Yes.. maybe some of the closures came about as a result of my rant blog?

        Maybe next week QM could be one of the best spaces here!”

        Hey Moderators?! Could you please copy it on all the forums? πŸ˜€

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    1. Jelena Perfiljeva

      If memory serves, on “old SDN” one would get a point for assigning the points (or something like that), so why not. Already voted up on Idea Place – thanks, Steffi!

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  10. Laure Cetin

    Thanks FF for the @mention, otherwise I would have probably missed this interesting post. It’s impressive that you did these stats, I have to say that it would take me a little while to come up with more extensive analytics myself, sorry to disappoint you πŸ˜‰

    Steffi Warnecke and Jelena Perfiljeva beyond just giving points for closing threads, I’d like to add a “good citizen” mission to encourage people to close their threads. It’s something we started talking about with the moderators, we’re thinking about it.

    Laure

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    1. Craig S Post author

      Bummer.  Can’t some of that analytics software for the geek challenge be somehow applied to SCN postings?  Have it create a page of stats for the site on a once a month basis or something?

      FF

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    2. Martin Hinderer

      Laure,

      is there really no possibility to analyze such stuff within SCN? After getting this thing started it now really would be a good time to start something like a “quality initiative”.

      To my opinion thinking about ways how to really improve quality (and not just quantity) of content posted would be a benefit for all. Ideas for this have been mentioned often enough, but so far I cannot see anything moving forward here. It’s the opposite: We even moved backwards with the switch from SDN to SCN in some content quality relevant areas (examples mentioned already earlier in this post).

      MH

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  11. Nitin Jinagal

    Hello,

    I have read this blog before and today I read all the comments made. I actually support every suggestion to get rid of such rush. It is really disheartening to see that OP had marked a query as ‘Assumed answer’ with a final comment like ‘ Solved by myself’ after marking every answer as Helpful. It leaves all the participants in confusion that what actually worked. OP leaves without any explanation. Worst happens when OP makes a final comment ‘It got resolved’ or ‘Solved by myself’ and mark own answer as correct 😯 without explaining what actually resolved it. 

    I strongly believe (along with you all) that there should be a limit given to keep open threads and there should be a provision to close it automatically after a certain time. I don’t know if this is feasible or not but moderators can play a vital role here. 

    Besides, I need to ask something as I can see few moderators here.

    Sometimes one doesn’t get a solution even after trying several responses and testing. Sometimes later, responses don’t come to query anymore (I understand that experts might get frustrated with the suggestions not working, though might not be true πŸ™‚ ).

    In such a state, OP can either mark it as assumed (again without a solution) or by choosing the most helpful as correct (but that would give wrong picture) or simply OP would keep it open in hope to get a solution one day. What should an active OP do then ??

    In my case, I have roughly initiated 12-13 queries till day and except one of them, all are closed. It was asked on 30 Oct. 23 days on and it is still open. What should I do? πŸ™

    I guess in such cases, it should be declared as ‘Not feasible in SAP’ or something like that. I mean there has to be something. 

    ntn

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    1. JΓΌrgen L

      An auto-closure or moderator driven closure of questions gives a wrong impression .

      Today it is relatively easy to see if a person cares or not, you click the user id and look at the content overview. You can immediately see if this user closes the questions or never cares. Then it is up to you to decide if you continue your service to this user. But if the moderator or some job auto-closes the discussions, then all look equal and you would need to open  the discussion to know if the user cares.

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      1. Nitin Jinagal

        Hi Mr. Jurgen,

        I agree with you. I just shared my thought and you being a moderator, knows the implications much better.

        But I would like you to say something about second part of my content. I mean what should we do when we don’t get a solution πŸ™

        Your guidance may work for us.

        ntn

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          1. Nitin Jinagal

            Read the relevant part. It simply says that I should accept the fact that there is no answer to my query and I must close it without adding a comment so that it doesn’t pop up on the top.

            This is what I earlier asked, what if I mark it as assumed answered and then some other user faces similar problem and see this thread without an answer? Opening of another thread.. πŸ™

            I don’t know may be this is complicated but I’m confident that SCN and you guys will definitely make something for this.

            ntn

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    2. Craig S Post author

      Rob’s blog mentioned above is excellent.  I would however disagree about the not commenting on and closing an old thread.  What is really needed is a new option to close the threads.  Assumed Answered doesn’t cut it.  To me that is really for mods to use if you ask me, the OP wouldn’t have to assume, they would know. 

      Its been asked to have a “Closed, not answered” but no word on this so far.

      I don’t really see a problem with someone putting in a closing remark even if it results in a bump up of the thread.  Ideally, once closed, no new replies could be added.  If someone came up with an answer later on they could direct message the OP.  Ideally the OP should be allowed to reply on their own closed threads if someday they get an answer and they then would also be allowed to change from “Closed, not answered” to “Closed”

      Craig

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        1. Craig S Post author

          Yeah.. I saw that one too.

          Maybe “Closed for being a stupid question” ?  πŸ˜†

          OK.. not politically correct.

          How about “Closed: Improperly framed question”

          Craig

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          1. Craig S Post author

            Agreed.  In many cases they are or will be. in this particular case I’m not sure it was clear if it was just a poorly worded question which in many cases can be salvaged with the right questions and some additional information by the OP. 

            And we need some to be left behind to serve as bad examples?  πŸ™‚

            Craig

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            1. Roberto Vidotti

              And we need some to be left behind to serve as bad examples?  πŸ™‚

              Craig

              then is ok a new button like “Closed: Improperly framed question” with a red icon so you immediately avoid it if you search an answer.

                   Roberto

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            2. Nitin Jinagal

              Hello Mr Craig,

              You are our moderator and I would like to consult you for a suggestion. Can SCN make a badge for closing the question also? I mean SCN has given it for marking correct, further correct and all, why can’t we have one for closing ‘n’ number of queries, then further. I think this would encourage users to close once it is resolved. Similarly, a super negative badge for keeping ‘n’ number of queries open.

              Just a thought πŸ™‚

              ntn

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        2. Jelena Perfiljeva

          We need a ‘rolling eyes’ smiley. πŸ™‚ But an SAP badge holder asking a question like this on SCN – wow…

          It’s an interesting side-story though – old unanswered questions that are still valid. Some of those could be not feasible in SAP (maybe SAP would want to consider those for future release, ha-ha), some might just need help from an expert that never got a chance to see them. Just thinking – could those questions be somehow pooled in an area with a better visibility? The questions would probably have to be marked by moderators or experts in the area (naturally, everyone thinks their own questions are most important ones). Then maybe for solving those people would get some special super-hero badge or something like that. Just thinking out loud…

          I remember Craig AKA FF brought up a couple of his old unresolved threads and at least collectively we were able to get some closure. But not everyone has such devoted followers to be able to do that on SCN. πŸ™‚

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      1. Thomas Zloch

        Step 8c from Rob’s blog was written when there was still a ten open questions limit, and closing a question would bring up a comment box that many people thought was mandatory to fill, resulting in drivel like “asdf” and “solved on own” being bumped up regularly. A big pain, especially when somebody who started 200 questions before the limit was imposed now wanted to ask another one.

        Thomas

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  12. Rajen Madan

    Hi FF,

    Agree to the views mentioned in this blog post and all I can say is the QM space is not only facing this. I am connected with SCN for one year now ( a very newer member compared to others)  and try to help with the limited expertise that I have. Since I am more connected and active in the PP forum, I have already found few members who never close their threads/ timely reply and are never happy with the amount of details our experts try to provide. This is leading to a spoon feeding environment in the discussion section. It is always good to have discussion threads that deal with the details and pointers that can be helpful for all of us, but sometimes it hurts when I feel the person/ poster is not putting the minimum efforts expected. For example some people are not even ready to test the simplest of test cases that the experts are suggesting and they are expecting ready-made prepared solutions.

    As  Jürgen L has already said:

    You can immediately see if this user closes the questions or never cares. Then it is up to you to decide if you continue your service to this user.

    It is very easy to take that decision, but the people are in general very helpful (we really are πŸ™‚ ). I am not aware of the situation in old platform (I was in college then and did not know anything about SAP) but a limitation in number of open discussion threads is surely a good idea (upvoted the same in the idea place 2 weeks back).

    Thanks a lot FF and to all the people replying to this blog post with their views, as a new member I stalk some of you everyday and try to learn the value pointers of this community.

    Best Regards,

    Rajen

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