I always had this on the back of my mind for a long time that we should always try to ask question with as much information as possible in a crispy way to get quick response/answers.

There is a saying that ‘Well defined problem is half solved’.

Sometimes we keep trying to solve an issue posted and person facing the problem keeps on trying different suggestions with no success. Later on when we ask for the product version/release we find out that suggestions given are for a different version/release. In this process, we loose a lot of our valuable time.

I have faced this problem many times and I guess I am not the only one..

So when we provide product version/release information with questions, our lead time to get answer reduces and also quality of discussion improves. The other biggest benefit is that, we open up an big search opportunity.. We will be able to search all the problems/question & answers related to product version/release for e.g. EHP4/6, PPM 5.0, Solution Manager 7.1 etc.

For example, let’s say that a person has a problem in Project systems ECC6.0 EHP6. He will be able to search all the problems related to PS-EHP6 in SCN and filter his own problem if available.

My question to space editors is that why can’t we enhance our searching capability in SCN similar to SAP Classification.

So,

How many of you agree that asking a question with product version/release will improve the quality of discussion & lead time to answer in SCN?

1)Strongly Agree

2)Agree

3)Disagree

4)Strongly Disagree

5)Neither agree nor disagree or No Response.

Looking forward for all your views on this from all community members..

To post this, I was eagerly searching to create a ‘Poll’ but later came to know that only Space editors can create a Poll.. πŸ™‚

Expecting a Poll creation for this from Jason Lax xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct) with their views.

As per Jason Lax suggestion, i have posted this idea in the SAP Idea forum, if you feel this idea is good, please vote in the below link.

https://ideas.sap.com/ct/ct_a_view_idea.bix?c=8A060447-ED55-41EB-905E-C077161D66AC&idea_id=3250745C-6755-4CC9-B7EC-F3FF161A85FF

With Warm Regards,

Ravi E

Communities (Not all I have mentioned here.. whichever I was following.. may be others can mention their own communities)

http://scn.sap.com/community/plm/rpm-collaborative-project-management-and-cfolders

http://scn.sap.com/community/plm

http://scn.sap.com/community/plm/document-management

http://scn.sap.com/community/erp/plm-classification-and-variant-configuration

http://scn.sap.com/community/it-management/alm/solution-manager

http://scn.sap.com/community/enhancement-packages

http://scn.sap.com/community/security

http://scn.sap.com/community/events/teched

http://scn.sap.com/community/ecm

http://scn.sap.com/community/netweaver-business-client

http://scn.sap.com/community/sap-mentors

http://scn.sap.com/community/rapid-deployment

http://scn.sap.com/community/asap-methodology

http://scn.sap.com/community/ui-technology

http://scn.sap.com/community/abap

http://scn.sap.com/community/hana-in-memory

http://scn.sap.com/community/businessobjects-web-intelligence

http://scn.sap.com/community/erp/logistics-mm

http://scn.sap.com/community/business-intelligence

http://scn.sap.com/community/businessobjects-dashboards

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44 Comments

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  1. Hardik Sharma

    Great Blog Ravi..!!

    My views, at creation of a discussion there should be an option to categorize the discussion, such as:

    > General Discussion

    > Configuration Issue

    > Bug/ Error

    > Technical etc.

    And on the basis of this there should be mandatory parameters to provide the system/ package/ version used before one can post the discussion. This will drastically reduce the solution lead time. πŸ™‚

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Ekambaram Post author

      Thanks for your feedback Hardik.

      I also have the same view on your feedback.

      Let’s us wait for some more views from other SCN community members.

      (0) 
  2. Hassan Khaja

    Strongly agree!!!

    I would suggest you to post this or atleast link of this blog in most of the spaces, so that we get maximum views.

    Hope to see the change πŸ™‚

    Regards,

    Hassan

    (0) 
  3. JΓΌrgen L

    I certainly agree that mentioning the release could be helpful in some cases, but I am afraid that even more contradictory and poor information would flood SCN then. Looking at the quality of some questions makes me think that those questioners will not be able to enter the correct release/product version to their question. The OP should anyway be more interested on a (timely) solution and hence give good information by himself.

    Sometimes I have the impression that we “Helpers” are more interested than the OP.

    (like the scout who guides a grandma across the street  for his daily good deed – but she didn’t want to cross the street)

    For me it is more important to make the people search for existing content before posting the  6800. discussion on OBYC  or the 19700. on number ranges.

    What about doing the first step yourself? Just checked your questions and the history of some who liked this blog, but have not seen anyone giving this info (only saw many questions which have not been closed πŸ˜› )


    (0) 
    1. Ravi Ekambaram Post author

      Hi Jürgen,

      Thanks for your feedback and the detailed views on this.

      I understand that some questions does not have adequate information and we “helpers” extract those information from OP. But this is not done intentionally, either in urge to get quick answers or the problem severity makes OP to post a question quickly without reviewing it.

      My view in this, system should prompt for such details πŸ˜‰ and I do agree to Jason Lax view,that Product version/release should not be mandatory but should available as optional. And these kind of product version/release details can be specific to the SCN spaces(Project System, PPM, CRM, SRM etc) where mostly 70-80% of posts are related to product technical / configuration issues, bugs/errors etc.

      For me it is more important to make the people search for existing content before posting the  6800. discussion on OBYC  or the 19700. on number ranges.

                         

         Coming to your above point, I do completely agree that we should search before posting a question to avoid duplication of discussions.

      For this, I would suggest, whenever we create a post first only the subject, tags, product version/release should be keyed-in and this information should be used to find the similar posts and then if the OP does not find the right post, then create a new one(Similar to SAP Marketplace-Product error reporting).

      (0) 
    2. Ritesh Dube

      I agree to Jürgen L, and eco same, if person posting issue first read SAP help , search forum for relevant issues, search SAP note , majority of the post not needed. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Ravi E,

      I found Tag field more relevant to tag what ever i understand as relevant to my thread.

      Making any field mandatory or putting more validations just cant help greatly searchig relevant information or contribute towards cleaning forum.

      (0) 
      1. Ravi Ekambaram Post author

        Hi Ritesh,

        Thanks for your feedback. πŸ™‚

        I agree with the point, that tags can be used to indicate the product version/release.

        My point through this blog was that product version/release should be there somewhere in the post.. so that the people who are answering can give answers relevant to product version/release.

        In this case, we need to bring more awareness among the users to use tags for indicating product version/release. By this I request again Jason Lax to create a poll to bring this awareness among all SCN community members.

        (0) 
    3. Jelena Perfiljeva

      I’m with Jürgen on this one, but I guess it depends on the particular space. In the last year I can remember maybe 2-3 discussions where such information would be relevant. Otherwise in SD forum, for example, vast majority of questions would apply at least from 4.6. But, say, in Basis forum I can see how the release information would be quite important.

      Overall it seems that “did not search” and “question not clear” posts are much more of an issue.

      (0) 
  4. Martin Grob

    I think this is a great idea. Ideally you could just tick off e.g. Release 7.31 SP8 or so.. I also think Jürgen has a valid point but those kind of questions just should be rejected in my opinion with a “frequently ask question use the serarch function”..

    (0) 
  5. Jason Lax

    Thanks for your feedback. I agree that including any relevant information such as the product name and version–among other things–is very helpful and should be included where possible in the title, opening text of the content and tags.

    In fact, I want to highlight that SCN members can tag their content, which can include product version tags. These are user generated tags (put what you want) but it’s best to follow what other members have used before. Just look to the popular tags widget often found on the lower right of space overview pages, such as SAP Business Warehouse:

    Popular Tags on SAP NW BW.PNG

    And again on the lower part of the page when creating or editing content:

    Popular Tags on SAP NW BW on content.PNG

    These tags are clickable and doing so searches for other content tagged with the same (It’s a pretty cool functionality, actually, and will be further enhanced very soon).

    Sometimes you may also find categories in a space, but these generally aren’t product version based.

    One important question is what happens when a product version isn’t important, relevant or that all versions apply? I guess including this information can never be mandatory.

    I’m not sure what you mean by expecting Moshe and I to create a poll so we’ll take it as a suggestion πŸ˜‰ . Such a poll would be a good way to encourage more positive authoring behavior on SCN.

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Ekambaram Post author

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      It will be an good option to tag the production version/release but there are chances that some users may tag a content with bw_7.3 / business warehouse and miss out the other similar tags.

      Adding to your thoughts,

      1)If we can bring tags next to the content title with a note mentioning to ‘Add product version/release in tags’ & benefits of tagging would encourage people to tag well.

      2) And usage of these tags & content title for searching similar discussions and then allowing to create will also greatly help in avoiding duplication of discussions(Similar to SAP Marketplace product error reporting).

      Coming to your point,

      Sometimes you may also find categories in a space, but these generally aren’t product version based.

      One important question is what happens when a product version isn’t important, relevant or that all versions apply? I guess including this information can never be mandatory.                  

      I do agree product version/release may not be applicable to all spaces & all categories and this should be optional only.  If tags are used for this then it is already an optional entry and only thing is.. people needs an awareness on this aspect and as you said for this, poll can be very useful.

      (0) 
      1. Jason Lax

        In this case, the most effective way to encourage this positive behavior is to lead by example.

         

        It wouldn’t be practical to surface the tags into the title because there is no limit on the number of tags, which could make for some very long and complex titles.

         

        I also encourage your to read the section on managed tags on the blog post I shared yesterday: SCN Platform Update 

         

        Beyond that, community member suggestions are always welcome and encouraged on SCN Innovation and Enhancements on Idea Place.

        (0) 
        1. Ravi Ekambaram Post author

          Hi Jason,

          Thanks for your kind reply.

          Definitely i would try myself by leading.

          My view was not to include the tags in title.. instead bring it below the title, so that it will provide the benefits.. as mentioned in the above of my comment.

          Anyhow i will post this idea in the link suggested by you.

          As per your suggestion, to encourage people & to bring more awareness of this tagging.. can we create a poll?

          (0) 
      1. Suseelan Hari

        Hi Ravi,

        Good Day! It my great pleasure to provide you feedback.

        I liked it very much.

        Keep sharing and rocking!

        Have a wonderful day!

        Regards,

        Hari Suseelan

        (0) 
    1. Hardik Sharma

      As per my view, that information is not important while answering a question to the “helper”. This information is already there in the user profile of the questioner and anyone can see it if the user has enabled the viewing rights.

      The “helpers” may judge and prioritize the issue based on the questioners status. Eg. If the questioner is a student, I may prioritize the issue as “it can wait”.

      Anonymity is equally important.

      (0) 
  6. Steffi Warnecke

    Well, of course it is a good idea to provide version or release information. One that was mentioned before and is kind of an ongoing theme in the discussions all over SCN, where versions of the specific software is importend to answer the questions properly.

    BUT the problem here is not with the missing opportunity for users to mention the version or release number, but they just simply don’t provide it in their question. What is stopping users from writing this information now? And how would that behaviour change, if you include something like a field for this, especially if it is optional? I’d say: nothing. ^^

    If the thread opener thinks he’s getting help faster with writing down a short statement with as little information as possible, that he is downright wrong. If the OP doesn’t have time to explain the problem properly, because it’s so urgent and the solution is needed ASAP and fool-proofed, too, then those people won’t think about filling out the field for release number or adding tags. Some at them don’t even bother to find the right space to create their query.

    I don’t think that more possibilities to add information are needed. There are enough given already, it’s just that they aren’t used by those users you want to reach with this. πŸ˜‰

    But that’s just my two cents… ^^

    (0) 
    1. Ravi Ekambaram Post author

      Hi Steffi,

      Thanks for your detailed feedback.

      I would agree in some way that some users are not interested about this.. but if these kind of information’s are prompted, then definitely they would fill it.

      (0) 
  7. ARPIT SHETH

    Hello

    1)Strongly Agree

    It is also useful to expand knowledge. You can get knowledge about various issues and also get solution for resolve the issue.

    Regards,

    Arpit

    (0) 
  8. Rohit Sinha

    Its rightly said: question better explained is half solved. and in today world when things changing fast and new innovations improvising the software, it may be that the feature u asked for is present in the upgraded version. At least speaking about the version eliminates one iteration and allows us to think with respective to the user.

    I hope you agree.

    (0) 
    1. Michael Appleby

      It is a frequent post requesting that information.  In some instances for more general communities, it is necessary to ask the poster what product or application they are talking about.  Quite frustrating to see the wasted time.  Then many of the experts just ignore the Discussion (since you have no real clue what the poster is having problems with) which ends up frustrating the OP.  I have a little sympathy with the OP, but not much even though I often suggest to them how to provide more information. 

      http://scn.sap.com/community/getting-started/blog/2010/05/12/asking-good-questions-in-the-forums-to-get-good-answers

      http://scn.sap.com/blogs/juergenl/2013/09/08/dear-newbie–welcome-in-scn-mm-space

      are the two links I often post, sometimes individually, sometimes together to address grossly inadequate Discussions. 

      Sometimes it helps, but sometimes nothing changes as a result. 

      Cheers, Mike (Moderator, Space Editor, and curmudgeon)

      SAP Technology RIG

      (0) 

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