A brave and necessary experiment.

To all my SAP internal readers, I’d like you to switch off your Blackberry, move away from the powerpoint  and read this post from Yariv now. And then head over the wiki.

I’ll quote part of the post here, but I strongly suggest you read it all. And subscribe.

Enter the Wiki. In what may be a purely suicidal move, we created a wiki space containing the entire strategy doc. Each chapter converted to a wiki page, with all the nice images, navigation and worse – open for comments. There are two doomsday scenarios here and one peachy one. The doomsday scenarios – either people will hate the document and flame us through the wiki comments, causing them (and the organization) to flip the ‘bozo’ bit on us. Or, and that’s even worse – is that they will totally ignore it and we’ll get no comments, no discussion, no reaction. Total silence. Anyone who’s been/is married knows that there’s nothing worse than silence.

However – there is the peach scenario, following on an all time favorite movie of ours, “field of dreams” – “If you build it, they will come”. We’re putting it all out there, knowing there are tons of people who care about UI in general and UI in SAP in particular. This is our way of saying – Put your money where your mouth is. Get involved. Change the direction.

For all you SAP’ers behind the almighty firewall – just open the wiki and look for the ‘uistrategy’ space. We’re waiting. For all of you outside – Wish us luck. Our nice little experiment in collaborative product definition is embarking.

On this blog and internally I have been a strong critic of complexity and of SAP look and feel. I believe that SAP has the people, the technology, the customers and the partners to build the world’s best user experience, but it requires shared vision and precise execution. Let’s turn this from a strategy paper into an actionable, living and breathing plan, one that all developers,solution managers, and field types  commit to. All 40,000.

SDN/BPX is creating a powerful dialogue with the SAP external community, and it is great to see the same happening internally.  The cluetrain only works externally if it works internally too.




I’ll quote from the wiki.

Instead of restricting this document to be reviewed and advanced by a few select groups like NetWeaver, Office of CTO, or Application groups, we open it up to the entire community of SAP employees that genuinely care and would like to contribute to the most visible part of our products, the UI. It is our intention, based on this document and the internal feedback received, to provide guidelines in a separate, market-facing document for SAP customers, partners and prospects that are or will be extending their UI capabilities with our future offerings.

Excellent. This is goodness. I will be adding my 2 cents over on the wiki later this week.

(cross posted on SDN and the WIKI)

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