Avoiding CRASHES (of the human communication kind) – an SAP TechEd Las Vegas Summary
A Quick Summary of My SAP TechED Experience in Vegas
Last week I had the honor of delivering a small presentation about “Speaking Tech to Non-Tech Types” at SAP TechEd 2018 Las Vegas.
Luckily for me, there was opportunity to chat briefly and directly with my onsite audience and incorporate some of their insights before and after the slot (also a shout out to those who virtually enhanced my thinking before the event in the community space: Colleen Hebbert, Nigel James, Matthew Billingham, Jelena Perfiljeva Michelle Crapo, for example),
Using an acronym: CRASHES, the session looked at some of the important ways to enhance the bi-lateral communication between techies and non-techies, business and development, geeks and suits and analysts.
The basic premises also built on techniques such as “easing an audience’s understanding of technical content by avoiding buzzwords and jargon”
We walked through the following:
Common Ground – Touch them where they live- handshake between 2 systems
Resonance – two-way communication, no buzzwords, jargon
Adaptive Agility- example: Failfaire – repercussion-less analysis – not married to opinions
Story-telling– positions problems and tell relatable stories of how you overcame them
Example: Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone: “We’ve designed something wonderful for your hand, just wonderful. And this is what it looks like.”
Humility – Sharing vulnerability – All’s Well That Ends Well by Shakespeare says: “and it shall come to pass that every braggart shall be known an $ss” – level the playing field, but don’t talk down or dumb down –remember where you were so that you can teach not judge
Empathy – respecting what THEY do and who THEY are (stakeholders, users, business owners) Understanding their need to know, putting yourself in THEIR shoes
Simplicity– KISS – If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough
Design Thinking Workshops Embedded into Show Floor
Participated in a two-hour workshop in the user experience space that was an excellent introduction to Design Thinking methodology- the theme: “prototyping ways to enhance the SAP TechEd experience for the participants”. It was instructive, concise and engaging. A few developers at my table confided that it was one of their favorite activities during SAP TechEd. Kudos to Sally Lawler Kennedy, Sr. Director Innovation and Design Research, SAP and Kursat Ozenc Senior UX Design Specialist SAP Labs, LLC . Please Sally, share more here!
Understanding the Value of Your Brand and Your Influence
Grabbed a bit of the Lightening Talk with Ian Thain who I hope can share tips from his excellent content here. It wasn’t so much about branding as an extension of good communication practices, really good, clear stuff.
On the topics of Influence…..
Community, Diversity, and You, delivered by Jason Cao – again, I’m hoping the content will be shared here. There were good insights about the difference between diversity and inclusion.
A favorite community member of mine from many moons ago, Mrinal Wadhwa gave an engaging talk about leveraging blockchain technologies.
I did struggle a bit with the title: “Female Influencer Fireside Chat” and wonder if it didn’t discourage “Males” from participating. Still, ’twas good to see and hear women in technology speaking about their impressions of the event.
And lastly, but surely not leastly, Craig Cmehil provided a look at “How to Engage in Community” which was and still is (especially to newbies) an important introduction to knowledge exchange and peer learning. That should be something that never gets old: “welcoming newcomers”.
I was given the privilege of an intro to geo-mapping by Ina Felsheim and Tripp Morson.
I can see many applications for this kind of bleeding edge technology ranging from agriculture to medical aid. Here’s looking at you Chris Rae !
My Favorite Part
The opportunity to network with and learn from peers, (and luminaries) remains one of the overarching values in attending a live event such as SAP Teched. The magic and serendipity that happens in corridor conversations and sometimes random dialogues continues to be a priceless part of the experience. I wish those attending Barcelona and Bangalore much of those moments!