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Housekeeping in the SAP Community

In most IT projects I have been involved in, which sometimes involve complex business processes, there is always a need to perform housekeeping. This included checking for open sales orders, deliveries not processed, shipments still in Planned status and Proof of Deliveries that have not been completed. Business processes benefit from regular housekeeping and the SAP Community is no different. While business process housekeeping may be a topic of another blog post 😊 I was looking through my profile and found that questions that I previously asked the SAP Community were still open. While the questions I asked were some time ago, in the most part I had worked through the problem and found an answer however this was not updated back into the Question to assist others that may look for guidance in these areas. So, I thought I would get my broom out and start cleaning house! Let’s go.

When looking at my profile page I have asked a total of 10 questions, 3 of which I have already closed as part of my housekeeping tasks. During this process I thought there must be a large number of unanswered questions and open questions that really have been solved in one way or another and that should be closed. I then thought what a great topic for a blog post! 😊

In this blog post I will focus on questions that I have posted in the SAP Community in the past and how to clean them up as a regular activity.

Figure:1 My SAP Community questions

The first step of my housekeeping duties is to navigate to the Questions area to find my questions that are still open. This is displayed in the above diagram.

Accepting Answers

One of the main housekeeping tasks for questions that are raised is Acceptance of community responses. Each case is different but I would offer these guidelines:

  • Acceptance based on the actual question being answered and the information offered ends up fixing the issue. This would be the main reason answers would be accepted by those that raised the question.
  • Helpful information that may not fix the issue directly but provided enough information to the question that allows a fix to be applied at some point in the future. Often answers are provided with links or additional information that may lead to further understanding allowing the person who raised the question to ultimately fix the issue. The person providing this information should be rewarded and their Answer accepted.
  • Time invested in trying to provide the answer but ultimately does not lead to a fix. It could be that the question being raised is an SAP bug or a complex issue that is not supported by the product. However, if answers have been provided that shows an investment of time then this should also be rewarded IMO.
  • Self-Acceptance. Sometimes it may come to pass that the person that raised the question works out how to solve the issue and in this case the person should provide the answer and accept it.

I’ve had a couple of instances that meet the above criteria. The first one was a response about an annoying screenshot issue on Android devices related to the SAP Fiori Client application.

https://answers.sap.com/questions/750751/fiori-client-on-android-devices-error-cannot-take.html

I had a colleague provide some helpful information in the question which led to resolution of the issue. So, I marked this as Accepted.

Figure:2 SAP Community question – Best Answer

To do this I simply select the Accept option as displayed below. The Answer will then be marked as the Best Answer. Yes – it is that simple!

Figure:3 Accepting the Answer to a Question

So now instead of my question remaining open and a bunch of answers provided with no real feedback I can mark it as the Best Answer and provide a comment to state that this in fact fixed the issue. This is important also as it provides the person with direct positive feedback that their answer has been accepted so they can know for the future that this has been rectified should they come across it again. It also provides detailed clues for others looking for a fix to the same issue, this is probably the most important reason for getting the dust pan and broom out.

On the self-acceptance option, last year I opened a question around Group assertion attribute mapping in SAP Cloud Platform’s trust settings. This related to the exact notations required for mapping AD groups between ADFS and SAP Cloud Platform user groups to automatically provision applications.

https://answers.sap.com/questions/438192/group-assertion-attribute-mapping-for-adfs-for-sap.html

I found this in my list of questions and I can now provide an answer on this.

Figure:4 Self-Acceptance example question

Now while I had another person provide a response they did not really answer the question I posed – not with the specifics I required. So, time to provide an answer to my own question and mark it as Accepted so that others know that this fixed the issue.

Figure:5 Self-Acceptance – Accepting my own answer

I entered the above answer to provide more detail and clicked on the Accept option to mark this as the Best Answer.

 

Figure:6 Answer marked as Best Answer

At a glance SAP Community members when looking through these questions can know straight away that this has been answered as each is highlighted with an icon to show that an answer was marked as the Best one and accepted. Overall, the more this activity is performed as part of regular housekeeping the better the community will be. It will be more productive as users can specific search for questions that have been answered. Additionally, closed questions also highlight that the question was answered. I will now cover question closure.

Figure:7 Answer accepted highlight

Closing Questions

One of the other housekeeping operations that can be performed on older questions is to mark them as Closed. Now there may be a number of reasons to close the question you raised but I will close mine on the basis that a fix was found and that it is no longer “open”. I will use the same example as above to show how to close a question. I have gone through and closed the ones I believe can be closed.

The Close option appears in the Action menu in the original question section.

Figure:8 SAP Community question Close action

When the Close option is chosen another pop-up window is displayed allowing you to select a reason for why the question is being closed.

Figure:9 Reason codes selection when closing a question

In my case I am Closing this because the question has been answered so I select the [The question is answered, right answer was accepted] however you may need to close it with another reason. The key activity here is to close off a previous question you asked in order to clean up the SAP Community content.

Figure:10 Reason code confirmation

Click on [Ok] to confirm the reason and the question will be closed successfully. A confirmation message will be displayed at the top of the question which also confirms the reason selected.

Figure:11 Question closure confirmation

When I now look back at my questions list I can see that this question has now been closed.

Figure:12 Questions summary page

Overall, the more SAP Community members go back over and housekeep their items the better and more efficient the community will be and this will provide us all with a much better experience. So by doing this you are actually helping yourself as well as others in the long run.

So, go ahead and look through questions you may have raised previously to see if you can perform the housekeeping options I have covered here. Feel free to provide your housekeeping experiences in the form of a comment below – looking forward to hearing from you!

Here’s to a better, cleaner SAP Community house for us all!!

Thanks for reading!

8 Comments
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  • Thanks for your write-up, Phil!

    I already (mostly) do what you suggest every once in a while – perhaps because the concept of “Kehrwoche” is somewhat ingrained in my Swabian “heritage”!

    As I tend to write open-ended questions, I may just pick a best answer when the discussion seems to have run its course but to leave it open in case others would like to chime in later. So, for me picking the “best answer” is more important than closing a discussion. I do the latter if there’s an actual issue which could be resolved by applying some code-changes or an OSS-note.

    • Thanks Bärbel Winkler – love your response, especially the “Kehrwoche”, would have been great to title the blog something like – SAP Community “Kehrwoche” – It is Your Turn!!! I read the wikipedia reference and like the idea behind each person doing their bit. Unfortunately these days not enough people are doing their bit, while the minority tend to do most things.

      Agree with you re: Best Answer – this is definitely more important.

      Thanks for providing your feedback in this area and continue to housekeep! 🙂

  • Great advice for members. Makes me wish I had written it…but I’ll certainly reference it (because you’ve outlined solutions to ongoing issues with Q&A). Thanks for sharing!