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A few days ago, I completed my second openSAP Course i.e. Experience SAP Hybris Solutions; the first one was Implementation Made Simple for SAP SuccessFactors Solutions. My previous experience (which I described at How I benefited from openSAP course, some tips to help you in your learning) was already pretty good and now when I’ve successfully completed the second, I’m thrilled to benefit further from the learning opportunities available at openSAP in future as well.

While I’m planning to build my learning profile with such generous course offerings by wonderful openSAP team – developing, organizing and delivering the courses, I’m writing this blog to share some thoughts on how one could develop his/her learning profile over time with the routine work in hand. Since it’s based on my personal experience (at 2 intensive courses), I think it would be worthwhile if others (having similar or better experience) add their comments to enrich the topic and help others.

1) Self-Motivation

To encourage self to learn new technical skills (which often is a challenge with busy schedule), one has to consider a fact that technology is changing, hence, keeping oneself up-to-date with ever-changing tools & technologies is a necessity and not a choice anymore. And it becomes even more important when one is supporting certain processes through corresponding technology solutions. For instance, if you are assisting HR / Sales domains and have SAP HCM / CRM Skillset, learning “how SuccessFactors / Hybris Solutions could help businesses in running their Talent & Customer Management Processes better” could help you in your career growth by offering your new skills to your organization where such solutions are in (or planned to be) use(d).

2) Time Management

Ok, you are already self-motivated. Now the next thing is how to manage your time. Well, since the courses are designed in a way that you have to spare 5 or 6 hours a week, spending time to listen to videos / referring to transcripts could actually be easy if it’s done in parts. Each week has different units to cover; some small while some other bit larger (however, typically half an hour long at most). Allocating specific time to attend sessions is, of course, most beneficial but as each of the unit videos & transcripts is downloadable, you can listen & read such on the go. For me, I noticed there are windows even in busy schedules, for instance when your tasks have some dependency on other and you are waiting for the input, you could utilize such time.

3) Domain Knowledge

Even though the domain knowledge helps but it’s not necessary to register for a course at openSAP and to learn the tool’s functionalities supporting specific processes. So if it (no prior experience) has been a reason for you not to consider a new course, I refer you to my case. If I could stand among top 20% of 15,000+ participants by merely attending & understanding the course content and without experience, I believe you could also not only take the course but also set a baseline to develop your skills further in the area.

4) Personal Experience

Sometimes it’s easy to understand course contents when you compare the content with the scenarios you face in your daily life. For example, while attending the demos on each components of the Hybris Course, I was relating the concepts with my own experience of buying & selling different products & services online & from physical stores. It was interesting to compare my (good & bad) experiences with the explanation in the course that how smart businesses could actually avoid bad customer experience and instead ensure their loyalty by using otherwise independent functionalities under one solution i.e. SAP Hybris. So if you are taking a course, relate the concepts with your personal experience which could help you in understanding the concepts better.

5) Collaboration with Peers

If you could find a partner, such as among colleagues, who has some domain experience and is willing to answer subject related questions whenever you have any, it’s quite helpful. I was lucky to have a friend – knowledgeable in CRM, with whom I could discuss the key points, understand the individual business processes (i.e. Commerce, Billing, Marketing, Sales and Services) better and to relate concepts with explanations in the course. If you don’t have any such opportunity, you could alternately benefit from the Discussions space within weekly units. 

By applying the above techniques, you could gain good-enough knowledge in different areas of SAP Solutions Portfolio and accordingly build your learning profile. While you benefit from openSAP courses, I’d also recommend to take professional courses to build your professional profile better as soon as an opportunity arises. I completely understand, it’s not always easy to manage multiple things at a time but considering the pace of changes in workplace, it’s always advised by career experts to dedicate portion of our professional lives in learning new skills.

My recent experience of attending “Experience SAP Hybris Solution” course (in particular last week) was tough as I was also booked in a professional Change Management Training – explained at following link: Prosci Change Management Certification. However, as both courses have ended and I’m looking back I’m happy for having achieved additional qualifications. And I think if you do the same, at the end you’ll feel good for utilizing your time better.