I recently had the good fortune to give a talk at SAPTechEd LV, on the topic above. It really made me think, while preparing for the talk, why I stay with SAP Community.
We’ve been together for 15 years, and that is definitely an LTR. There are times when I am ALL IN on the Community, blogging and posting and commenting. There are times when I’m just searching for an answer to an issue. And there are times when I just need a little ‘light’ reading, so I pull into a Paul Hardy blog, or maybe a Phil Cooley blog. I know, Aussies amiright 🙂
Well, what I want to get at is this. When your company (or your customer) makes a commitment to implement SAP, that is also a long term relationship. That is not just the 6 months – 2 years to implementation, that is a 20 – 25 year long thing. (I know, you see, because I’ve been working with SAP software for 24 years). So while you may access the community initially because you just have questions that need to be answered, what will sustain you over a long period of time will be the relationships you build here.
Sure, there are barriers to becoming an active community member. There is our usual shyness (yeah, see FB, Instagram, Twitter, yada yada yada) about sharing stuff online, and particularly when it comes to our professional lives. There is a reluctance to put ourselves out there and possibly be subject to criticism. But in general, the benefits you’ll gain from active engagement will outweigh these barriers.
And being an active member means that you’ll be sharing, and communicating, and connecting with the hundreds (thousands, millions!) of others who are working with SAP software too.
I have some recommendations:
- Create your SAP Community ID with something resembling a name. I’m less inclined to answer a question from ‘SAP_WF_is_us’ that from a person.
- Put a picture on your profile!!! And let us know some more about you!
- Go to your favorite space, and follow it. Check out the Q&A. Like something. A like costs you nothing, but it helps people identify the relative quality of a question or answer.
- Follow the people who interest you. They may (probably will) follow you back.
- Search before you post a question! It is VERY likely that someone else had a similar issue.
- Follow up! If you’ve asked a question and gotten answers, try to respond in a reasonable period of time. It can be disheartening to have provided and answer and then just get <crickets>
But let’s not:
- Post a question like: ‘I am implementing S/4 HANA. Please provide all the steps necessary.’
- Necromancing. This is commenting on an ‘old’ question, saying “I have the same issue too.’ I’d recommend looking carefully at the date of the question, and if it’s over a year or two old, maybe try to re-work your question before posting it.
This long term relationship with the SAP Community is on its way. Sure, it will ebb and flow. But as we all contribute to it, it increases the amount of information out there. That gives us all a better chance at solving our problems and giving someone else a ‘leg up’. And remember, a rising tide lifts all boats.
I look forward to hearing from you!