Why organisational values are a waste of time – Organizations and their god complex …

 

When was the last time you heard someone say (and mean it) “My company released a new value system today and after I read the 100 page manual on how to be good I was a changed man, I used to lie now I only tell the truth, I was this, now I’m that …. “


I’m willing to bet it has never been heard by anyone, so what makes anyone of any intellectual depth think that a corporation is going to be effective at playing god and imposing some form of morality or values / ethics upon it’s employees?


We see it all the time, XYZ company releases it’s new company values of integrity, honesty, blah blah blah. In fact, here’s a list of values from one such company


Our Values

 

Communication
We have an obligation to communicate. Here, we take the time to talk with one another… and to listen. We believe that information is meant to move and that information moves people.

Respect
We treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. We do not tolerate abusive or disrespectful treatment.

Integrity
We work with customers and prospects openly, honestly and sincerely. When we say we will do something, we will do it; when we say we cannot or will not do something, then we won’t do it.

Excellence
We are satisfied with nothing less than the very best in everything we do. We will continue to raise the bar for everyone. The great fun here will be for all of us to discover just how good we can really be.

These were Enron’s corporate values and they were some of the biggest frauds of all time costing innocent people Billions of dollars.


Call these, what you will; Excellence / High Performance, Integrity / Honesty it makes no difference all companies pretty much set these out as their “company values”. They are the stock standard, HR la dee da and millions of dollars are wasted on them every year.


In actuality they don’t look that much different from historical values of civilizations in the past. The Egyptians had their book of the dead and they broke every rule without exception, the Babylonians had the Code of Hammurabi and they broke every rule without exception, the Jew’s had the 10 commandments and they couldn’t even keep the first. We in the western world have our thousands of laws and our jails are filled to overflowing.


We see “values” implemented in a company, only to see those values stretched and broken on a regular basis all depending on how someone feels. In fact I’ve even seen the day after a new set of values just like the above go live, an executive comes down and asks a team member to lie to someone about who is calling so they can buy a domain name cheaper than if the person knew who was really buying it.  (No it was not a test).


It was George Santayana who said “Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it” and it would seem every business has forgotten the lessons of history en-mass. You cannot simply impose a moral framework as law upon people and expect it to be taken up, it doesn’t work like that, it never has and it never will. A moral law imposed by one human upon another human is merely one human’s opinion forced upon another human being, hardly grounds for morality and ethics because one person’s opinion is only as valuable as another’s is, so if I disagree with your moral code there is nothing you can say from a personal point of view that could ever be used to judge me on it and vice versa.

 


Why? Because we live in a world where people only see values in a relativistic light.


When the United Nations asked the question “How can we deal with absolutes in a morally relativistic world” they weren’t taking the mickey, they were being utterly serious, these people are thinkers, they know what the world is about, and they know how people think. The western world especially in the times of today and for the foreseeable future lives a morally relativistic life. A life where what is morally right is decided by the individual upon their own feelings rather than upon an absolute moral Law.


Oh there will always be people who agree with another person’s moral view, even Hitler had his supporters, but that does not make something morally absolute. It’s like how recently we saw SAP promoting it’s support of homosexual workers in its company like it was a good thing. But ultimately: What is Good? - That is not what things are good, but What is Good?


The support shown is merely a reflection of a moral code that says “we are an inclusive society where all views on sexuality are accepted” that is, all views except those that oppose the views that are held. This is because all morality is exclusive, none is all inclusive, even the inclusivity moralists exclude the exclusivists, do you see where I am going with this? Even those who think all views should be accepted don’t accept all views so how does that make them any more moral than anyone else? As one person put it, “I have seen gross intolerance in support of tolerance”.


Let’s go back to that question – What is good? If by good you are thinking “I don’t harm others” but you own a mobile phone, ultimately you have harmed others because in the process of manufacturing your mobile device people have committed suicide from stress and people’s land used for farming and water used for drinking has been contaminated with toxic substances. If you ultimately looked at it, you cannot even live by your own moral code unless your moral code is “do whatever I like because I think it is right”


And herein lays the tragic circumstances to which corporations think they can apply their own moral code and force it down the throats of people who do not believe they are doing anything wrong. The corporate’s 10 commandments that cannot even be kept for a day, let alone an extended period of time, even Google’s “Do no evil” statement as a moral value opened the question of “What is evil?” the founders saw flashing banners as evil but text advertisements as not evil, they see dictatorships as evil but bent their rules to gain income from china, a country notorious for corruption and human rights abuses. (While we are at it, who says humans have any rights beyond that of a bug?)


If we has humans cannot even agree upon the fundamentals of “What is evil” and “What is good” what on earth makes intellectual individuals think that corporate values will be given anything but lip service?


Oh they will be largely adhered to in a rough kind of way, because people are largely in a rough kind of way already agreed to the rough outline of the company values, except when it is not convenient for them. But that does not come from the company enforcing these values, they were already there in the person themselves and did not require a company rule book to bring them out.

 

Likewise a company rule book will not change a lying snake from being a lying snake, though it may give leeway for the person to be fired if caught by someone who had enough power (and care) to do anything about it. (Unless that lying snake makes the company too much money, then their transgressions are often overlooked).


I hope you see the conundrum I have pulled together here, a problem I have never seen anyone tackle effectively, in fact, it’s a problem that is ignored en-masse as history continuously repeats itself. In my opinion company values are a waste of time and a waste of shareholder money spent on coming up with them and promoting them. Companies should worry about points of law and leave moralizing to the moralists. There is no amount of money, resources and training that will ever change the heart of man, history has proven this time and time again.


Lastly I will leave you with this quote from Elbert Einstein:
“The definition of insanity is: Those who do the same thing expecting a different result”

 

 

P.S The purpose of this was not to offend but make you think, but if you are offended and feel the urge to flame, go right ahead, who am I to judge?

Bridging the innovation gap

 

 

Do you find innovation in your business either just doesn’t happen, or if it does, the wrong things get worked on? I can tell by the nodding heads you all work for my company, or is this a pervasive issue right through all our businesses today?

Would you all like to see innovation become a successful part of your work and life? Would you like innovation to bridge the gap between failure and success?

 

The founder of Firestone Tyres, Harvey Firestone said, Capital isn't so important in business. Experience isn't so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn't any limit to what you can do with your business and your life.

 

Today we are going to explore how you can innovate for more success in your life and your business. And in doing so we are going to explore the four key success factors in innovation

 

Howard Aiken a pioneer in computing once said "Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."

 

 

Of course that is why you are here today, to have my ideas rammed down your throats. Lucky you

 

If you want to turn your business and your life successes around you need to follow these four success factors in innovation:

 

  1. Challenging Orthodoxy
  2. Harnessing Trends
  3. Leveraging Resources
  4. Understanding Needs

 

Today, I’m going to take you on a journey through these key success factors so that you can become more successful at whatever you do, tomorrow.

 

 

  1. It’s time, right now to Challenge some orthodoxy, challenge the way things have always been done, challenge what others say is not achievable. Lets take something simple such as the humble watermelon. Tastes great, fantastic on a summers day, but it has one problem, it’s a funny oval shape that does not stack well and as a result of this funny shape, it takes up lots of room. Well some Japanese farmers heard the plight of the grocers who didn’t have the room for unstackable watermelons, who had been told by countless suppliers that watermelons were oval and that was that, deal with it. Now these farmers, hearing the plight of their customers embarked on a mission to see what they could do. Genetics was out of the question, it was far too expensive and unpredictable to say the least, no there had to be a cheaper option. Then one bright fellow suggested growing them in boxes, sure enough the watermelons filled the boxes, grew into square shapes and grocers had an instant space saving product on their shelves. Not only did the grocers like it but the customers liked it also because they could store them easier in their fridges and let’s face it, square watermelons are easier to cut than round ones. As an added bonus, the growers could charge a premium for their watermelons, so they were happy too! Einstein said once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking we can start creating the future, and that is exactly what these farmers did. Mind you, Einstein also said the secret to innovation is hiding your sources.
  2. Harnessing Trends is all about getting a grip on all the changes taking place in the world today, it’s about recognising a trend and doing something about it. A classic example is Nokia, Nokia used to do boots called Nokians and then they switched to cell phones and became a world wide success. The founder of BYD ( a Chinese based company) said if mobile telephony is the trend then why don’t we become the premium supplier of mobile phone batteries, and they are today, supplying 90% of the world’s mobile phone batteries. Jumping on the curve, harnessing the trend caused this founder to become the richest man in china within 10 years. He then said what’s the next trend? Seeing the value in electric cars he set his company on a course of becoming the next premium supplier of rechargeable batteries to automobiles, The priius success story is in part thanks to the trend harnessing forethought of this one man and his company.
  3. Leveraging the resources you already have is an important factor in becoming truly successful in innovation, many companies and individuals already possess the talent and resource pool to become incredibly successful – what would happen if we took your core competencies, recombined with assets, and put it in a new context to add new value. This is exactly what Disney did in 3 dimensional entertainment such as Theme parks, recombining with current assets and experience in entertainment, then putting it in a new context to add a new product called broadway to their portfolio, turning animated productions into theatre productions which have since become box office hits and incredibly successful and profitable.
  4. Understanding needs especially unmet needs is key to driving a successful culture of innovation in your company. Every company has customers with needs, and every company has customers with unmet needs! It’s up to you to spend time investigating what these are. It’s about asking the right questions and addressing them in the right way. For example What’s wrong with tyres today? Not much, except they have air in them and are therefore prone to punctures, deflation, valve issues, excessive wear and tear, cause significant road noise, cause excessive fuel consumption and many other issues. What Britek have done is taken the tyre and removed the air, creating an entirely new tyre that is bound to a wheel cushioned by a specialised spring technology. Britek have created what they call their ERW or energy return wheel that not only reduces fuel consumption by returning energy to the rotation of the wheel, it removes the issues caused by having air in your tyre and is completely re-treadable. It’s innovation like this that is not only going to create the mega businesses of tomorrow it is also extremely personally satisfying to be involved in.

 

  

Have you taken your innovation to this level? Do you want to make a start but don’t know where or how? The most important thing is that you start, take what you have learned here and start, step out on that bridge of life and engage it. Learn to think in terms of the four success factors in innovation, challenging orthodoxy, Harnessing trends, Leveraging Resources and Understanding needs, success is built by those who don’t give up, in fact Thomas Edison said some of the biggest failures in the known world were because people gave up right before they got their break through. There’s a reason the Chinese have a saying, the best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago, the next best time is now. Start planting your trees now, how else do you expect to get the timber for your bridge from failure to success!

It's not often I have praise for books published in SAP Press

 

Of the dozen or so books I have read from SAP press, this is so far the first and only to impress me. By and large previously I have found SAP Press books to be wordy marketing hype and in my current job where there is no training budget, books being one of the few sources of information available she's been hard yakka.

 

A Practical Guide to SAP Administration written by Sebastian Schreckenbach is easy to understand, follows a logical and concise pattern and is an absolute must for any SAP Basis administrator who is new or has less than 5 years experience, but dare I say it, some old hats might learn a thing or two too.

 

After 2 years on the job as a Basis Admin (having come from infrastructure) this book has not only firmed up many of the ideas / thoughts I had about the operation of SAP, it has managed to expand on them significantly. Some of the book, for those who have been doing Basis for a while is easily skim read over but for some parts you will want to pay attention.

 

I especially liked the screenshots and easy to follow processes laid out in the book. The book did not merely talk about doing the job, it actually showed you how to do it. While there are certainly some improvements that can be made, I think the overall technical scale of the book was well delivered in it's glorious 900 pages.

 

Some processes such as a System Copy were talked about, but not discussed in detail (Client Copies are), while each businesses systems, are different, I think on points like this where the author could write a book on how to do system copies it would be good to have some practical lessons learned and a bit more expansion on the topic.

 

Overall, if you are like me, want some good information, some practical how-to's, a comprehensive basis styled book, this is your number. I wouldn't waste my money on anything else until you have bought and read this book.

 

Here's the link to the book.

http://www.sap-press.com/products/SAP-Administration-%E2%80%94-Practical-Guide.html

Hi there

 

Seems how it took me all day amoung other things to figure out what an earth was going on with the initial SLD configuration for Solution Manager I have the resolution to the error I was getting below.

 

Error:

Failed to connect to SLD server evalsapapp01.test.internal:50100. Please check details.

HTTP status: 403 Forbidden

 

I knew I was getting a good connection because if I altered the port or address it gave me errors such as invalid user or service not found, only on port 50100 did it not give me the other errors and simply said access denied - in other words it was saying you dont have the permissions to access this resource.

 

I made three changes to Java in order for this to work.

 

1.) I installed JSDK1.4.2_19 and set the Java_Home environment variable to c:\jsdk1.4.2_19

 

2.)  I entered into Java Visual Administrator, selected cluster, expanded out "Server" then "Services" then scrolled down to "Security Provider" then in the components window I selected "sap.com/com.sap.engine.services.webservices.tool*wsnavigator" , clicked on the "Security Roles" Tab then under the "Security Roles" selected "WSNavigatorRole". From there I selected the edit button (Top Left - looks like a pencil) , under the mappings section clicked "Modify" then under "Security" selected "all" then Saved the results.

 

3.) Restarted Java

 

4.) I entered into Java Visual Administrator, selected cluster, expanded out "Server" then "Services" then scrolled down to "SLD Data Supplier" and under the "Runtime" tab I used the SLDDSUSER username as the default user for the SLD setup in solman_setup and entered into the password field the default password I had set during installation for all SAP accounts.

 

All working good now so hopefully if you come across the same error I did this fixes it for you also.

 

Cheers

 

 

When you have a list of sometimes hundreds of .SAR and .CAR files to import into SPAM and SAINT wouldn't it be nice to automate the import process?

 

Well I sure got sick of it today, command lineing in CAR and SAR files one by one, there has to be an easier way methinks.

 

So I put on my SysAdmin hat and wrote out a small VB Script file to automate it for me, seems to work fine as new support packs turned up in the "New" Queue so here it is below:

 

 

 

Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
objStartFolder = "D:\USR\SAP\trans"

Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(objStartFolder)
Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")


Set colFiles = objFolder.Files
For Each objFile in colFiles
IF objFile.TYPE = "SAR File" THEN
      Wscript.Echo objFile.Name
  Set objExec = WshShell.Exec("sapcar -xvf " & objFile.Name)
  x = objExec.StdOut.ReadLine
  Wscript.Echo x
  objFSO.DeleteFile(objFile.Name)
END IF

IF objFile.TYPE = "CAR File" THEN
      Wscript.Echo objFile.Name
  Set objExec = WshShell.Exec("sapcar -xvf " & objFile.Name)
  Y = objExec.StdOut.ReadLine
  Wscript.Echo Y
  objFSO.DeleteFile(objFile.Name)
END IF
Next

 

 

 

Hope this helps,

 

Cheers

The Irrelevance of the Carrot and the Stick

 

When was the last time anyone took a good hard look at what really motivates us in our work?

 

If you ask the average manager, they would say we pay bonuses for high performance (The higher performance the more money they offer) and punish poor performance. It’s a methodology that has been around since the industrial age and that is where it should have stayed, left behind in an era where gut feel was put in place of scientific evidence when it comes to employee management.

 

If you ask my opinion we should apply the scientific method to our employee management and see what the real results are from repeatable testing and measuring. You see our motives and what motivates us as human beings to get up in the morning are unbelievably interesting, and they are not what most managers have been trained to think they are!


Thankfully some smart people in MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University have done just this and the results may surprise you!

 

The real interesting science has shown that humans are not able to be endlessly, predictably manipulated as managers have thought for the last century. It has been taught and is still being taught in universities today that if you reward someone you get more of the behaviour you want and if you punish someone you get less of the behaviour you don't want. These two guiding principles of management have held back and negatively impacted organizations in tremendous ways you cannot even imagine right now!

 

What MIT did was they took a large group of students and set them a range of challenges. Things like memorising strings of digits, solving problems and physical tasks, then to incentivise their performance they gave them 3 levels of reward, so if you did ok you got tier 1, if you did pretty good you got tier 2 and if you did an excellent job you got the highest third tier of reward.  With each reward tier the cash bonus got bigger!


Essentially this is the typical model 99% of organisations follow, they significantly reward the top performers and ignore the normal performers.

 

What happens now? They do the test, have the incentives and this is what they found out:

 

1. So long as the task involved only mechanical skill – Tasks that do not require much thought whatsoever the bonuses worked as expected, everyone performed to a high standard. Higher pay = better performance. Like if I said to you do 30 pressups and I'll give you $10, 40 pressups and its $20 and 50 pressups you get $50. You would strive for the most and many would acheive it.

 

2. However Once they task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill (Brain work) a larger reward led to poorer performance. This of course then does make you wonder about sales people and paying them on performance (commission). I guess that comes down to the question do sales people actually think? I’ll let you decide that :).


What does that mean? It means that the science has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that pay for performance on anything but mechanical skill tasks actually does not work. (Sorry CEO's there is no need to pay you a big bonus to get you to do the work you do, that ought to save a few mil) This of course defies the laws of behavioural physics! That is Newtons first law of inertia and human behaviour, a law that states that it takes a force to make you change direction, speed up or stop and that force being typically applied in the form of a carrot or a stick (or both).


Replicating this exact same experiment all over the world, especially in places where say even $50 is a large sum of money such as Mandurai, Rural India. There they were able to scale in such a way that small rewards were 2 weeks salary,  medium performance were 1 months salary and high performance was 2 months salary. Those are real good incentives! And this time they gave each group the same task but varied the reward amount, - same tasks, different rewards for completing it.


What happened? – Well those in the low – medium reward categories for cognitive tasks performed exactly the same, there was no difference between them. Then those who were offered the huge reward – 2 months salary, they completely bombed out, they did far worse than even those offered the lowest reward. Higher incentives led to worse performance every single time. What’s interesting is that this is not an anomaly, this has been replicated over and over again by economists, sociologists, and psychiatrists. The science is as sure as you can get within a framework that is not mathematics, because you only get absolute truth from mathematics. In all other science you only get evidence pointers!


It’s a fact, money is a motivator at work, but not in the way that people think it is. If you don’t pay people enough, they won’t be motivated, they won’t want to work for you! The best use of money as a motivator is quite simple, pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table. This way they are not thinking about the money, they are thinking about the work.


Once you do this, there are 3 factors that the science shows lead to better performance, not to mention personal satisfaction:

 

1. Autonomy
2. Mastery
3. Transcendent Purpose

 

Autonomy is our desire to be self directed, this is exactly where management interfere with this basic human desire, great if you want compliance, poor and misused if you want high performance and engagement, which is exactly what you want in the workplace today self directed is best. One fantastic example of autonomy is Atlassian, an Australian software company who once a quarter they have a 24 hour session and they say to their developers you can work on anything you want! You can work on it the way you want, with whoever you want, all we ask is that you show these results to the company at the end of it. It’s a fun meeting, situation, beer, cake, pizza and they get it on! It turns out, that one day of whole, undiluted autonomy has led to a whole array of software fixes, and new products that otherwise would have never emerged! Now this is not an if-then incentive, this is not what managers in general put forward today, this is just one day of freedom, no innovation bonus, no pay for performance, just autonomy. All they say is, you probably want to do something interesting, let me get out of your way.


Mastery is our desire to be good at something, that is why people attend toastmasters, that is why we play instruments in the weekend, that is why we engage in personal study that makes us absolutely no money whatsoever. (such as in my case I enjoy studying theology, history, biology, physics and other sciences when the time permits.) You find me someone who does not want to be good at what they do and you have found me a lazy person who will soon find themselves unable to afford to feed themselves. Mastery is fun and it is satisfying.


Let’s say for example I went to an economics professor 20 years ago and said, sir, or ma’am I have got this fantastic idea, I’m going to build a business, I’m going to start with virtually no startup capital and experts from all around the world are going to volunteer their time for free (and these experts already have full time jobs), then they are going to give the product away for free. I would have been laughed out of their office, but this is exactly how Linux was built and it runs in 90% of fortune 500 companies, this is how Apache was built and it runs 70% of web servers, You’ve got Wikipedia, all on free volunteered time! Why? Because mastery is important to us, it’s getting that challenge done and completed that shows we are the master of our arts that makes us stay up late, it’s perfecting our art that drives us to perform better at what we do. It’s challenge and mastery along with making a contribution, that’s it.


Thirdly a transcendent purpose, it makes coming to work better, and it makes it easier to recruit and hold onto talent. When profit becomes disconnected from Purpose that is when profit becomes paramount, that is when bad things happen, poor service sets in, inferior or shoddy products get created, and much else. Jesus Christ put it this way, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul. Put in business terms you could say what does it profit a company to gain the whole world only to end up bankrupt because of it. Companies who’s goal is money will never make it.
Transcendent purposes are set out by the business in a manner that give people a reason to get up and come to work in the morning. The founder of google said “I want a Googol sites in my search engine (That’s 10 to the power of 100)”, Steve Jobs said “I want to make a dent in the universe”  That’s the kind of thing that might make you want to get up out of bed and go to work in the mornings.


What can we conclude from all of this?

 

The science shows, beyond all reasonable doubt that it is self directed mastery within a transcendent purpose that brings out the best in people. NOT bonuses. Pay people enough that they are no longer thinking about the money, allow them self direction, give them the opportunity to become masters in their art and have an overarching transcendent purpose for them to work towards. This is how successful businesses of the future will be built, this is how they will be run and it won’t take long for the dinosaurs who won’t change the way they do business to be left in the dust.


Thanks to RSA thinktank for inspiration on this blog.

How to change SAP Profile parameters

 

This blog post is kind of a pre-req or sideline to my previous blog post on changing the ABAP buffersize because obviously at some point you will want to change or check system parameters for other things like the initial Solman (Solution Manager) installation.

 

First things first – Take a backup of the directory (And all containing files) that hold your system settings.

 

 


These can be found (in windows) in the following path:
\\<serverName>\sapmnt\<sid>\sys\profile
So in our case it was:
\\SAPAPPCL2\sapmnt\BIP\sys\profile

 


Goto Transaction RZ10

 

Import Profiles already setup from installation:

 

1.png

 

There should be 3 profiles for each server instance, a Default Profile, Instance Profile and Start Profile:

 

2.png

 

Now you can edit your current profiles at will, Normally I have in the past edited the instance profile.

The Administrative Data management section gives you the following information summary:

 

1. Profile Name
2. What Version it is up to
3. The Profile Description (Like “Auto Generated”)
4. Where in your network this profile is stored
5. Reference server for profile parameter check
6. An audit Trail so you can see who has done changes

 

The Basic Maintenance provides some basic system settings, so far I have not had to play with these yet but I’m sure someone will have a reason for altering them if necessary.

 

The Extended Maintenance is where I have done the majority of work in, Here you can change heaps of things, but some of the system changes I have made here include:

 

1. ABAP/Buffersize
2. Number of dialogue work processes
3. Number of Background work processes
4. J2EE settings
5. Server ports and many other available options for tuning.

 

My advice though is that unless you need to change something, don’t change it for the sake of it. SAP does a pretty good job of auto allocating the right system parameters.

If you are wanting to know what SAP enhancement pack you are running on your SAP system it's quite simple if you know where to look.

 

Goto Transaction SPAM

In the Directory Frame (bottom left)

Select Imported Support Packages

Click Display

 

Scroll down to and expand the component "SAP_AP"

 

SAP_AP 700 -> EHP0

SAP_AP 701 -> EHP1

SAP_AP 702 -> EHP2

SAP_AP 703 -> EHP3

SAP_AP 704 -> EHP4

SAP_AP_705 -> EHP5

 

Support Package number gives you the support pack you are on for that enhancement. ie EHP 0 Support Pack 22 is:

 

SAPKNA7022 SAP_AP 700: Support Package 0022 Imported on 01.04.2012 at 11:52:20

For the great majority of times you open up SAP for editing transaction SCC4 will do the trick.

 

However if you ever find that someone in your team needs SAP opened up for direct editing and they keep getting a message from the system saying "SAP System has status 'Not Modifiable' " This means you need to open up the system even further.

 

While this is dangerous because it opens up all sorts of potential issues you can do it in these kinds of circumstances using transaction SE03.

 

Go into SE03

 

Go down to the Administration part of the left hand menu system

 

Double Click on "Set System Change Option"

 

Change Global setting from "Not Modifiable" to "Modifiable"

 

Save settings.

 

Get the person to do their work then change it back immediately. - If auditors find this open in your system expect a chewing out so make sure you follow up on this and check it.

How to fix PXA_NO_SHARED_MEMORY error in SAP – An error constrained by abap/buffersize settings.

 

When you get the error showing up in your dump stack ST22 of PXA_NO_SHARED_MEMORY in SAP basically this generally means that the setting of your abap/buffersize is set too low for your systems usage. In initial systems it is often set to between 400MB (400,000 KB) and 650MB however sometimes this is not enough and you end up with short dumps like PXA_NO_SHARED_MEMORY.


What exactly the impact this error has on running programs I am not exactly sure – perhaps someone could comment below and I can add it in, however I would assume that any program that short dumps during processing ends up being cancelled.


The purpose of the abap/buffersize setting is to prevent high swapping out to disk, this allows abap applications to run in memory.


SAP recommends a Program buffer size setting of 400 MB for a startup SAP system and can be increased based on the swapping observed in Program Buffer in ST02 transaction till you reach an optimum value based on the observations. It does not make sense to set the program buffer to a higher value without utilizing that part of the memory. You can also lead to other problems such as Operating System paging with too larger of a program buffer in some systems and therefore remove any performance advantages. As far as I can tell a maximum of 1.2Gig should be sufficient for all systems but someone else might have a better idea on this. It is also good to note It is often not possible to set the size of a buffer so that it never becomes full.

 


Some administrators mention to take note of the "swaps" for this purpose in the program buffer in transaction ST02. A few thousand swaps can be tolerated each day, but if you find more than 10000 swaps per day, you should enlarge the buffer also.


The process for increasing the abap/buffersize setting is as follows:


There are a few things to do before changing your settings.
Check abap buffer size with transaction RZ11

 

1.png

 

Get your RAM value


ST06 and look for Physical memory available. This will show you the amount of RAM on the server. Ignore the free value as this is not very valid under windows due to the way it works.


Check out some of the details for SAP memory and paging usage


Go to ST02 - Detailed Analysis - Storage (button at the bottom)
In here it will show you 2 of the three key values that add up to the SAP Memory.

2.png

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You can view the abap buffer size Transaction ST02 (but not modify it)


Goto transaction ST02, Click on Current parameters then view Abap/buffersize

 

 

How-To: Steps to Alter ABAP/BufferSize setting

 


First things first – Take a backup of the directory (And all containing files) that hold your system settings.


These can be found (in windows) in the following path:
\\<serverName>\sapmnt\<sid>\sys\profile
So in our case it was:
\\SAPAPPCL2\sapmnt\BIP\sys\profile

Goto Transaction RZ10

Sometimes you will have to import roles from all active servers in order to see the config files to adjust abap/buffersize.

 

5.png

 

Click on the drop down button for Profile.
RZ10 --> Utilities --> Import Profiles --> Of active server
Now you can select the profile you want to edit:

 

6.png

Select one of the system instance profiles (like in red box below) The Start profiles are not changed in this setting change.

 

7.png

Select Extended maintenance then change or display (Depending on if you want to just view the settings or change them)

 

8.png

Scroll down to find the setting abap/buffersize

 

 


Edit this setting to increase it – Note this setting is in KB so you will need to write in your settings in the hundreds of thousands to give you MB settings – ie 600000 is the same as 600MB – if you make it one zero less you will cause so many short dumps in your system you will wonder what an earth happened.

 

9.png
 
If the abap/buffersize setting does not exist in your system you will need to create a new profile if it does not exist in your system profile in rz10

 

10.png

 

Give it the parameter value that you think it should be (ie more than 400000 is a good start)


Now click the back arrow, save the changes, accept the new instance and check to see if any changes you have made have done any errors (should not be the case).

 

 

In Case of Emergency!:


If SAP does not start, backup your changed profile (in the file system \\<sapServer>\sapmnt\<sid>\sys\profile\ )by renaming it to <name>.bak and then copy back the original and see if it starts up alright. (Because you did do a backup as per below didn’t you?  )

Hi all

 

Just a quick note to let you know that the Config files inside your sys/profile directories (on windows anyway) may not be being backed up properly as a folder by your OS System backup software.

 

I needed to get some old config files back for comparisons and found out that the backup software our vendor was using saw the SYS folder as a file rather than a folder and would not restore it, if you browse to it from Win7 it shows up as a shortcut. But on Server 2003 it is definitely a folder with no shortcut hints.

 

Now it may be that these files are buried somewhere else in SAP I have no idea about but if you are like me, not being able to restore things back where you want them to be gives you the jitts then it might just pay to make sure you can get those files back from your OS and your backup software!

 

(Backup software used by the vendor is HP Dataprotect so is full enterprise software).

Manually Importing Transports into SAP – A practical how-to for beginners
Sometimes you will receive transport files from external developers who have developed custom solutions for SAP and you will be required to import their transports into your SAP System manually. If you are new to SAP Basis like me then you will find this helpful, if your old-hat though its probably nothing you haven’t seen before.
It used to be done the old school way using the “tp”commands like the following:
 
D:\usr\sap\ECD> tp.exe addtobuffer K900237.X20 ECD client=100 pf=\\bansapdevap01\sapmnt\trans\bin\TP_DOMAIN_ECD.PFL
 
However I found that our PFL file just did not seem to be compatible for some reason this command does not work – why I didn’t really spend too much time trying to figure out, instead I figured there must be a better / easier way to do it by now than just command line.
So Instead of doing it through command line I did the following:

     1. Unzipped the transport file sent through by the developer
     2. This gave me two files:
          a. K900237.X20
          b.R900237.X20
     3. Naming convention used is R<6 digits>.<source system> and K<6 digits>.<source system>  (The Source system is the developers source system)
               a. K Type Transport = Cofile – Normally only 1 – 3 KB
               b. R Type Transport = Datafile – Normally more than the Colfile
     4. K900237.X20 was a Cofile –  it doesn’t contain much data, it has the attributes of the data file stored in it. Command or change request information files that include information on the transport type, object classes, required import steps, and post-processing exit codes

     5. R900237.X20 was a Datafile – This contains the actual data for the Transport – what changes will be made in your system.
     6. Go to the Development Server and navigated to the following directory: D:\usr\sap\trans
               a. Copy the K Type Transport to Cofile folder located in D:\usr\sap\trans\cofile
               b. Copy the R Type Transport into the data folder located in D:\usr\sap\trans\data
     7. Go into the SAP ECC Dev System and proceed to transaction STMS
     8. Proceed to import queue (F5 then Select Dev System)
     9. Go to the Extras Menu, Select Other Requests then select Add
stms-1.png
     10. This will show the following screen, enter your target client (in our case it is 100 as the  golden development system)
     11. Then select the Transport request search button
stms-2.png
     12. Search for your transports by entering the * at the start for a wildcard selection and then putting in the  digit code in the transport file – ie *900237      don’t include the .x20 extension, this will likely show up as the transport prefix) and lastly ensure you pump up your number restriction to a number that      will give you the result you are after.

 

stms-3.png

 

     13. Find your transport number and select it

 

stms-4.png

 

 

     14. Then you will end up with a screen like below with your transport request filled out, target client and import queue filled out. You can if you want select import again if you are re-importing this transport.

 

stms-5.png

 

     15. Click Yes when asked to attach to import queue

 

stms-6.png

 

     16. Then once it is attached to the import buffers, import the transport then use the forward transport options from the menu system to send the      transport to QA for testing.

Do you have a slow running query or under performing table in SAP with SQL Server 2005?

 

When you have a slow running query sometimes it can help to update the SQL statistics on a table.

 

What happens when you run an update statistics on a SQL table is that for the next queries that hit that table it creates a new query plan for that query.

 

This happens because SQL updates the statistics with the default sample and will recompile all statements in the statement cache which reference the update of statistics was referenced to.

 

Before updating statistics it is recommended you run the command "#sp_recompile tablename" command first to see if it is just a plan update that is required. If this command fixes your issue it fixed it because there has been a significant change to the query since when the table was created and that query statement first run against it.

 

If this does not fix it, you will need to run the full update statistics table. The command to run this is:

 

UPDATE STATISTICS ecc.tablename WITH FULLSCAN

 

Note, on a big table this is resource hungry and will take a while to run. Below is a screenshot of a test DB server performance load. Before the query started it was at zero. The query took 11 Minutes to run over 2.4 million records

 

 

updatestatisticsPerf.png

If you are like me and have hunted and hunted for the download for NWDS you will be happy to know it is actually possible to find it buried in SAP's website .....

 

You need to go to the following site:    https://websmp207.sap-ag.de/patches

 

Browse the download catalogue

 

  1. Click on "SAP Netweaver and Complimentary Products"
  2. Click on "SAP Netweaver"
  3. Click on "SAP NETWEAVER 7.0"
  4. Click on "Entry by Component"
  5. Click on "Developer Studio"
  6. Click on "NW DEVELOPER STUDIO 7.00"
  7. Click on "Win32"

 

Scroll down to the bottom and get the latest Netweaver development Studio    "SP25 for NW Developer Studio 7.00"

 

It is about 500MB so will take a while to download.

 

Also make sure you only install the Java SDK 1.42  (Old I know) - Version 19 I think was the last one done for Windows.

 

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javasebusiness/downloads/java-archive-downloads-javase14-419411.html#j2sdk-1.4.2_30-sol-JPR

 

Use SAPCAR to unpack the file and the installation files will be found to be contained within.

Mapp Tyrone

Feeding the Chickens

Posted by Mapp Tyrone Apr 26, 2012

Feeding the Chickens

 

Today we are going to talk about feeding the chickens, at least that’s what we used to call it when I was in the army. Today they give it fancy names and call it “keynote” presentations and Executive presentations, most of the time though the audience is going “Oh Great, another Bozo presentation”. It’s otherwise known as powerpoint. And it’s been used to deliver presentations in the most horrible ways possible since y2k. In fact, a lot of the time it would be better for the presenter to play some soothing music and put their slides on auto rotate as then we could read their presentation and not have to listen to them read their slides verbose! That way too it would be much easier to not feel guilty about falling asleep.

 

 

So my mission by the end of this you will have some helpful tips for using powerpoint effectively in your presentations.

 

Here are the 5 key things to avoid when using powerpoint during presentations.

 

 

  • Lots of Slides is a big NO NO They = Boring – Bozo Presentations
  • Don’t use ONLY PowerPoint, Powerpoint is not the only presentation tool in your arsenal, you have many others including whiteboards, drawing sheets, props and so much more
  • DON’T Make the slides your notes and prompts, The audience instantly catches onto this and read ahead of you, then they fall asleep while you recount exactly what is on the slides.
  • DON’T use lots of of Long Boring Lists (Like This)
  • DON’T use powerpoint to display pages of writing, your listeners are only going to be reading ahead of you and thereby removing the impact of you telling the story

 

 

The Golden Power Point Rule – Called the 10 – 20 – 30 Rule

 

 

  1. Have no more than 10 Powerpoint slides in your entire presentation! There is nothing worse than presentations filled with hundreds of slides, believe you me I’ve sat through a few!
  2. Have no more than 20 minutes worth of Powerpoint in any presentation – Powerpoint is a boring tool for audiences, believe it or not they don’t want to start at a powerpoint presentation for 1 hour straight!
  3. Use a font size no smaller than 30. In fact a good rule of thumb to follow is that if you take the oldest person in your audience and divide it by 2 that is the font size you should use, of course don’t apply that rule when talking to a room of 16 year olds!

 

     

CONCLUSION

 

In conclusion to re-iterate the points above, Stick to the 10-20-30 rule, no more than 10 slides, no more than 20 minutes of powerpoint and a font size minimum of 30. Make use of other props if at all possible to augment your presentation because the last thing you want is a sleeping audience and lastly never forget your voice, your presentation ability comes from you, not your powerpoint presentation.