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It is no secret that the migration from SCN to the SAP Community has brought certain changes, unfortunately these have also brought a changed behavior in the answers and perhaps also questions.

Our SAP Business One product community is one of the largest, unfortunately too many questions remain unanswered and not marked as closed.

We are all hopeful about the changes and improvements planned for the SAP community, especially in the UI/technical platform. Together with other changes such as simplified guidelines, this will certainly lead to a revival of the community and a better, more collaborative, and more efficient interaction with each other.

I would also like to mention another piece of the puzzle, namely the quality and detailing of the questions that are asked here. A user expectation to drop a short-as-possible question and have a solution in minutes is understandable, it would be great if the world and our business were so simple. But everyone should also take the reader’s perspective and act differently, provide basic information which is usually necessary to answer such technical questions. So why not mention and provide what could help and motivate the reader in his good intentions in assisting:

  1. That you really searched seriously for SAP notes, help documents, and existing discussions/threads? Unfortunately, this basic and simplest self-help does not always seem to be used, although the notes search potentially brings you result in 20 seconds. If you have problems with this (search, help portal, PartnerEdge, etc.), do not hesitate to contact SAP or your partner to improve this! If you have really exhausted these simple possibilities you can rather expect the attention of others.
  2. Mention the version you’re using. Old story, but this is extremely helpful! (this is not without reason the first question every supporter asks…) Most system errors and its corrections somehow depend on specific versions.
  3. Same for localization and scenario, what are you intending, which steps and configurations have you done in the system?
  4. Provide screenshots?

You may even have experienced or seen questions deleted due to such basic quality issues. Typically I personally do not delete questions, even if they have already been answered/discussed or sound very simple. But it can come to deletion, we moderators are currently still encouraged to do so if certain criteria aren’t met.

One more note: Some questions are unfortunately not formulated very politely. It may not come as a surprise that they may not be answered always, since all community members do this voluntarily – for fun in the subject, the product and helpfulness. That’s also the way I feel, I don’t have any KPI to be active here, I do it out of conviction of the benefit and the fun in dealing with you, our community.

So please check your expectations if you ask questions, put yourself in the perspective of another user/consultant, would you like to answer your own questions?
And furthermore, only those who help others can also expect help, nothing new.

Of course, things mentioned do not apply to all questions, I also see many very detailed and extremely friendly formulations. I hope we can optimize the culture between us users in the amazing area of SAP Business One further.

And, all these elements are certainly some building blocks to get a higher chance of an answer.

We have by far the largest community and the best knowledge united, I am convinced that we can again significantly boost the commitment of the participants to our benefit.

In this respect I would like to say a general thank you on behalf of everyone for the many good answers, thank you for your continued commitment!

The above expresses my opinion, based on many years of cooperation and observation here from the point of view of SAP Business One space.

Have fun and success,
Best regards, Peter

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8 Comments

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  1. Jelena Perfiljeva

    This seems to be a community-wide problem, several similar blogs from other tags have been mentioned in the comments to this blog.

    One of the best blogs on this subject is this 2010 classic from Rob Burbanks (one of the original ABAP forum moderators and now, sadly, a “former member” – he retired).

    It’s amazing that 8 years later we still need to remind people that if they want an answer then the question needs to be written in such a way that others can understand it. 🙂

    Good post, thanks for sharing!

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  2. Jürgen L

    why limiting to B1, all you said is valid and worth for any tag which belongs to an ERP and S4 system and probably even beyond. Thanks, I am certain it will be shared soon

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  3. Richard Duffy

    Peter

    All good suggestions for sure.

    One suggestion from me is that more SAP people participate in answering questions as well. There’s a few core team members that do but to really reinvigorate the Community, SAP teams need to lead by example and get engaged.

    Otherwise the continuing drain away to other locations will continue unfortunately

     

    Richard Duffy

     

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  4. Ansel Van Heerden

    Hi Peter,

    I think a major issue that is often not addressed is the failure of users to use terminology that is relevant to the system. Eg. they will give an object a name other than that specified in SAP. Receipt instead of Incoming Payment.

    This often misdirects the reader and limits the abilities to assist in a resolution or answer to the question. Also, I feel that more effort needs to be put in from SAP side to ensure the content remains relevant thus ensuring that all the noise created from the poorly constructed questions are removed or redirected back to the user for re-submission which has better use of the commonly user “SAP Business One Language” or terminology.

    You will find that the community involvement will be massively improved if the content is better reviewed and managed. If I were to take the time to review some of the communities questions I would probably have a very poor hit rate when it came to responses only because questions of the community are poorly constructed or not relevant. If this was better moderated then you might find that the skilled resources in the community might be more motivated to get involved.

    Regards,

    Ansel

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    1. Peter Hartwich Post author

      Thanks Ansel! Fair, even if it wasn’t necessary in the old SCN and it still worked much better. But basically you are right, an increased effort on the part of moderation of the content would be a helpful element. We have already improved things here, it is indeed a question of available resources.

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  5. Abdul Mannan

    Regarding marking close whenever somebody post a comments “Thanks you help resolve my problem” we need to develop a habit to ask the relevant user to mark that thread as closed or if he did not close then next time when we see a question from same user we should remind him he should develop a habit to close threads.

    I noticed some users do not have habit of closing threads instead of closing threads they will say Thanks and disappear after some days when they have another issue than then they appear again and ask questions for help.

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