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Ever since I read (with disappointment) that the 1DX platform would be launched on Oct 10, I kept on telling myself that I’ll stay away for a while until things are more settled – and work has been really busy, so I definitely have a valid reason to and nobody can fault me for that.

So why am I writing this at 3am in the morning (so apologies for lack of formatting and any inconsistent train of thoughts)

Because somehow or rather, I find myself being drawn back to SCN/1DX (or whatever they want to call it these days) time and again whenever I have a little time to spare.

I find myself wanting to know what’s happening in the community, wanting to know what others are talking about, wanting to click a like or two, and wanting to chip in a comment here or there….

And chipping in a #justsaying comment somehow doesn’t always turn out well for me – look at me, I end up writing a blog instead of getting my much needed sleep.

So I made a boo-boo and left a comment in the following Q&A
https://answers.sap.com/questions/29038/how-to-use-new-sap-community.html

And Joachim Rees asked that this be put in a blog, so I humbly comply.

Here’s the comment reproduced in full:-

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough critical mass “actual” participation during the Open Beta. Many were just looking for the easy 5 points and a nice shiny Beta Tester badge, therefore there were a lot of “nice look”, “looks great on mobile” etc. And before long, when the poll was conducted to ascertain the community’s feedback, it managed to to achieve the meager 3.46 (the bar was 3) out of 5 to go ahead with the launch. A few of us tried to push back but our little voices were never going to be enough to hold it back…

So the way I see it, the community collectively is as responsible as the SCN/1DX team for where we are today. As they say “be the change that you want to see”.

There is no going back, so everyone has a choice to

a) complain about where we are and do nothing

b) go somewhere else if there is any

c) do something positive about it, i.e. report bugs, provide feedback, help a fellow community member find their way

#justsaying

#mytwocents

Disclaimer:- For those of you who don’t know me that well, I want to add that my opinions are never set in stone. I take a risk when I write to humbly express my point of view – they are never complete, but by expressing them I invite others into the conversation however diverse our opinions may be.

Anyway, like many of you, I am still finding my way in this new world. Many of the community members fought hard to resist the launch of the incomplete platform, like Michael Appleby with his passionate discourses with the 1DX team, Jeremy Good (“Beta -> Alpha -> Go live!”), Veselina Peykova with her continuous detailed bug reporting, and Jelena Perfiljeva with her unforgettable “one Mississippi, two Mississippi” video, among others.

Unfortunately, that didn’t change the go live date at all.

Which brings us to where we are today, and there’s no going back.

Unless someone finds a viable alternative for option (b) above, for me, SCN is still the place to go despite the state we are in now.

…..

Ok I really don’t know what else to say now and at this point I probably need the sleep… so, Joachim, here’s the blog you asked for. Jelena, option D “do something while complaining” is great, IMHO definitely better than option A or C! 🙂 Craig, thanks for your thoughts – I actually do agree with all that you said. Steffi – to the coffee corner then!

To everyone else, feel free to chip in (or not) to keep the conversation going… have fun, go wild.

In the meantime, I’m going back to lurker mode (let’s see how long I can stay there this time) so don’t fault me if I don’t reply to any of your comments….. did I mention that work has been really busy?

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16 Comments

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  1. Lars Breddemann

    I agree with the notion that the current state of the SAP community platform is half-baked.
    Starting off with a more rounded product would have been better in many ways.

    But as things are, would’ve-could’ve-should’ve, it is what it is right now and I am sure that the community team is working hard to address all the major and minor nuisances of the new platform.

    Having said that, two more comments:

    • Of course, there are alternatives for this community platform. For “my” topic area (HANA) there exist SAP internal JAM communities, that have been quite successful in recent years. For non-SAP users, the stackoverflow group around HANA had also some influx over the past months.
      In short, this community is definitely not without competition. Maybe an aspect that had been overlooked by some !?
    • I don’t agree with the notion that the “community” bears the same responsibility for the current situation. The “community” has and had no decision-making power. Yes, there had been involvement but at the end of the day it’s the SAP marketing organisation who runs this platform and takes all the decisions about it.
      This is not at all a democratic or fair-power platform but a SAP-owned, -run and -managed information distribution system.

      Asking the members of the community now to go back and help to fix what’s not quite right (yet) reminds me a lot of banks that first introduce ATMs and then have customers to pay for the usage of the ATMs in certain scenarios.

    (15) 
  2. Marssel Vilaça

    Disappointment is the key word. A totally new intuition was implemented plus many bugs.
    I wonder if this could be done better and why they didn’t.Thanks for sharing

    (2) 
  3. Paul Hardy

    It says a lot about the futility of the points based system that a lot of people had a look at the beta system, did not look at it properly, because if they just said it was great, they got five points anyway, as if that meant anything.

    I do not have any ground to stand on because I was asked by more than one SAP employee to have a look at the beta version and tell them if anything was wrong. And I did not because I thought I was too busy.

    I regret that a great deal now, as might be imagined.

    I will say that in terms of software development usually it is impossible to test something as thoroughly as the way the system gets tested by real users the day it goes live,

    With TDD you can circumvent the technical matters, but here we are talking about human user experience, which is very subjective. I think SAP have got this 100% wrong this time, but that is just my view, some people might think this is a gigantic improvement, having a big stupid picture on the landing page hiding the links to useful features.

    Now of course the way forward is the vast “SCN” community needs to tell the core SAP team all the myriad things wrong with the new platform so they can do a triage exercise.

    Nothing wrong/unusual about that, this is the way things are. However the problem is that the bug/improvement process is all over the place. Even the standard issue log in a SharePoint system seems better than what has been built here, and that is saying something.

    To try and avoid just being negative, how about:-

    – not forgetting who you are when you click on a link to report a problem/suggest an improvement
    – not having the list of problems in a tiny box taking 5% of the screen
    – when you try to enter a new problem how about not throwing up a list of 100 utterly unrelated topics posted by other people, and moving your cursor from where you were typing to the bottom of the list

    Oh dear, that was still negative was it not?

    Hillary Clinton managed to say something positive about Donald Trump the other day, and vice versa, so I must be able to do this.

    I like the voting on the problems. I like the status saying if a problem is being worked on or not. i like the fact it is clear people ARE working on the problems.

    I do believe, that just like before in 2011, when the SCN changed, eventually we will think this is a better platform than before.

    I am going to try and close my eyes/ears/mind to thinking about the idea of merging something meant for developers who have no influence over product selection with the main site dedicedted to selling you new products.

    Cheersy Cheers

    Paul

    (7) 
  4. Phanikumar Valiveti

    Morning 3AM mail on SCN- shows how much of love & interest you are having on SCN.
    (i like your honesty here)

    We should agree that -this new SCN was Half-cooked & thrown on members.

    Really Don’t know when it will get settled-Even Moderators are unaware of this disturbances & closure.

    Hope we may have smooth road ahead may be in next 7-10 days.

    Phanikumar
     

    (0) 
  5. Nitin Deshpande

    Hello Eng,

    I am kicking myself that i was not aware of Beta testing of this new forum, if i was aware then i would have surely left some feedback and that may have helped retaining old SCN or making this forum equivalent to old SCN.

    May be very strict project timelines, held me in not being a active participant in the beta testing of the new forum.

    Last weekend, i got a notification mentioning about SCN being down. I thought it is normal downtime which we used to have in old SCN, but unfortunately it was not, we were being moved to a complete different environment.

    Frankly speaking i have not explored much on this forum, but i personally feel “We are hating the new forum because we were in so much love with old forum”. I guess this will surely take some time to get adjusted to and disappointment will surely prevail.

    Regards,
    Nitin

    (0) 
  6. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Oh boy, here I am agreeing with Lars BreddemannWhat have you done, Eng? 🙂

    We have survived one migration already and will likely survive this one too. Although if you don’t count the performance issues the last migration was IMHO not as painful because it was still very similar structure. Also it added some features, like @-mention, direct messages and status updates. This time I’m scrambling to find any value added from the user perspective. There is supposed to be some fantastic new blog editor (I guess I’ll find out), but how many times people blog on SCN? So far it looks like we lost more than we gained IMHO. But the show must go on, so whatever…

    (4) 
  7. Colleen Hebbert

    Hi All

    This migration has been hard but I’m not giving up. In truth, I’m not as active as I used to be and part of this is platform. However, I also recognise we have been seeing a decline in quality for some time

    Perhaps the difficulty to participate barrier might not be bad in the beginning as those will to persevere will help build quality.

    My hope is that this platform is owned by SAP. They have the  “control” to make the changes and improve functionality and user experience. I’ve been participating in Agile training at the work and I was under the impression an agile approach is being taken to developing this platform

    So here’s in my limited bit of understanding:

    BACKLOG

    everything that needs to be done, every bug identified every missing feature, every new improvement idea that is called out is considered a back log items

    COMPLEXITY/SCOPE

    Items/requests/bugs all have to be t-shirt sized and ranked in terms of complexity. There’s only so much that can fit into a sprint to be design, developed and deployed. So they’re ultimately going to be limited to scope.

    Which then comes down to priority

    PRIORITISATION

    The Product Owner need to make a call of the ranking of importance for backlog items and choose which ones go first. And this is where we have the opportunity

    To see improvements we have to call our the critical items. The question was asked of the Advisory Group and the community – what’s the minimum we need to go live. And whether we agree or not, that minimum was met.

    Now it’s time for improvement

    So as a community we need to use our voice, to obtain concensus of what’s truly important and needs to come first. We need to accept there is capacity and time but for each iteration we can see that improvement

    The way to see prioritisation is to use Ideas Place and vote on the ideas ans suggestions. Promote the idea. Show the product team how important this is. With time and continued support. we will see the community develop into something we want to be part of.

    MoSCoW

    For some, this acronym is probably old school but I only came across it this week
    M – Must Have –> we absolutely need this and must get this delivered with priority
    S – Should Have -> this is something we should include but we can live with out it
    C – Could Have –> here’s bit of an opportunity to improve or add new or change but it’s probalby not as important (nice to have or bit of a delightful thing)
    W – Won’t have –> it’s not going to happen – doesn’t fit the overall product roadmap

    For each idea, bug bear, frustration, wish list ask yourself which category this falls into. If you see this as a must have

    MY WISH LIST for MUST HAVE

    So for me, I see these are the next key items for better usability

    • Email Notifications – I needs them to work. I don’t have a browser open for SAP Community to check my activity feed. A lot of my participation is based on receiving a response to a thread and accessing it via the URL in my inbox
    • @Notify – ditto with Emails. There may be a thread that I don’t follow as it’s not related to a core tag. However, my network (all of you) think “Colleen should join in” and so you notify me. I get my email and I’m back in
    • Tag Hierarchy and Suggestions – Tags needs to be more intuitive. On a positive, I’m not see my tags get much attention as I don’t think people know to find them. some improvements
      • Add the tag links to any of the product page overview
      • Build associations and hierarchy. Add tag descriptions for more information/context so users can confirm the chose the right tag. This could also include, if you are asking about xyz use another tag instead

    My next set on the list in ranking is then

    • Activity Stream – better filter options
      • Tag Follow for activity – it’d be great if it was as venn style follow (this primary and this secondary tag or exclude this secondary tag, type thing)
      • Exclude own posts
      • Summary show – shorten the post to heading only
    • Search
      • I haven’t really played around with search to see if I have any issues at the moment but I’ve seen feedback on this

    I’m keeping to 3 Must haves as these keys items help with usability. As I wrote this post, I noticed a bug for numbers. If I tried to number my points, the whole post was numbered. Bullets work. Do I consider this a bug? Is it a must have – not really but I’d put it as a Should have

    So to everyone here, I have probably hijacked, my question to you is what is your top 3 items that MUST be done now?

    (6) 
    1. Michael Appleby

      Hi Colleen,
      Three top items for me (and they have not changed since June).

      #1 (by a wide margin) is a Search functionality which will find the solutions which have become institutional memory in our Archived Discussions.  What is the point of having a million plus solutions documented with Correct Answer if no one can find them?  It is also not returning anything from the Wiki which is pretty important considering the landing pages exist there for some major product/topics like Fiori, Mobile Secure, HCPms, and others.  Jason Lax’s custom Google search appears to be working to compensate for the deficiencies of the Search tool currently present, but he also said indexing will take a few weeks to complete.  So we’re halfway through?  Much like his previous custom Google search bailed us out during the last big change (SDN to SCN), it looks like it might be the new bailing out tool

      #2 Primary tags and associated functionality (mostly missing).  Aliases not present.  Tag levels need fixing.  Can’t search by tag, Tag: Pages not directly navigable.  Probably twice as many tags as necessary (which probably can be fixed in Semaphore – looking into that for a couple sample tag sets.).  Need to remove the redundant SAP from all the tags so a list is more easily understood.

      #3 Activity Stream/Notifications – so many things wrong here that it is hard to say what’s the worst aspect.  Major items, can’t remove/hide already Read items (from either list), list is not sortable in any reasonable fashion, Moderator Queue items clog up the notifications.   Others want email notifications which I understand, but I would get too many so my preference is fixing this area first and then deal with email notifications (shouldn’t these come from the AS/Notifs anyway?).

      Top three Must Haves.  

      There are more I think especially the bug which is slowly clogging up my Moderator Queue (My Moderator Tasks?) with unclearable items.  Not so much that I need them out of my queue, but let’s start figuring out how they are generated and prevent it in the future.  

      (4) 
      1. Colleen Hebbert

        Hi Mike

        You 2 and 3 is similar to my 3 and should have items. I didn’t put search is first as I was looking from point of view of actively interacting with the community. I also saw Google as a bit of a backup/workaround

        My tag hierarchy/suggestion basically what you mentioned.

        In truth, I haven’t really  had many moderation items. I didn’t realise I wasn’t getting an email so took me a week to login and see the alerts already cleared. I see potential in my tags becoming stale as people don’t know how to ask for career questions anymore. I’ll have to write some blogs soon to build momentum up.

        There will always be more items but if we have the chance to convince the team then we have to push for the absolute critical items. Get them done and then pick the next 3. 3 was an arbitrary number but I figured we’ve got to somehow rank them.

        Regards
        Colleen

        (0) 
    2. Steffi Warnecke

      Hmmm…. Top 3 Must have’s…

      Better usability with the tags would be my first one. How to find them, follow them and the tag content pages need an overhaul (layout). Content itself should show up, when the indexing is finally done, so no need to put that on the list.
      But that’s one of the main issues I see people having at the moment and most of the support questions are about that.
      .

      Less need for scrolling because of white space and huge chucks of content of questions etc.
      My activity stream would be so much more useful, if I didn’t see half of the content already in it. Or my content. And had less unused space all around it.
      If I check it now, I see exactly 2 item clearly. Both of them are of me liking something. *scroll scroll scroll*

      The headers (not the one with the navigation) take to much space, too. Not to mention the wasted space on the community and information pages about the community and its areas. I know it looks prettier with all those pictures, but this is not a gallery. Please put the nice man and his horizon at the bottom of the page and start it with the links to the infos people are desperatly looking for.
      .

      @mention feature
      I really miss this at the moment to call out to somebody. Right now I tend to use the direct message, but that is extra work and a workaround. It would be so much easier to just ping somebody directly to the content I want them to see, instead of writing it to them in a messenger.
      .

      I want to add a forth one, but it’s not really a feature for us users, but for the team:
      News flash under the header on every main page informing everyone of important news/downtimes/big bugs etc (you know, like a banner with the info running slowly like at a news channel).
      Right now even if the team writes a blog to explain stuff, nobody really can see it, because nobody find’s it. That could help with some of the questions, too.
      .

      So those are my Must have’s at the moment.

      @Colleen: Nice to have you here. 😉

      (2) 
    3. Jelena Perfiljeva

      My must-haves would be:
      1. Email notifications
      2. Fix activity stream
      3. Functional “community hub” / home page / some place where you can go and easily find something useful if all else fails

      Closely followed by:
      4. @-mention
      5. Major UI bug fixes (if you click on a button it should actually do something; editing comments, etc)
      6. Status updates

      (1) 
  8. Hailong Ji

    Hi Eng,

    I just want to know where to find all my bookmarks in this new world…

    I tried some time but it is slow and no luck, it would be terrible if those bookmarks are lost.

    Regards,
    Hailong

    (0) 
      1. Hailong Ji

        OMG… SAP is really powerful to release a new platform without bookmark (though can check bookmark by raising ticket to SAP, amazing…)

        (0) 

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