January 2009 Midwest Chapter Meeting

Update 2/8/09

Thanks to some assistance from our dedicated webmaster, the documentation on the modeling challenge is now located in the document share (under Regional Chapters\USA-Midwest\Jan 2009). Also in there you will find our somewhat feeble attempt at maintaining a listing of acronyms utilized by CWG types... 


The latest gathering of CWG professionals in the Midwest region of the United States occurred on Monday, January 26, 2009 at the Steelcase facility. We had right at 40 people in attendance, including one SAP representative and 1 vendor (Paymetric).

We started out with a quick discussion surrounding why we meet, including the things we'd like to achieve in the coming days. Eventually, I'll get that document uploaded into the document share, along with everything else from this meeting. Suffice it to say, we have 3 primary goals;

  1. To influence the software vendor
  2. To increase knowledge of the members
  3. Grow the chapter

Pretty standard stuff, and we still have to figure out how to integrate our thinking into the general CWG thinking, but we're on pretty much the same wavelength already..Of course, the devil is in the details, so we'll just have to see how it all works out.

Our SAP rep was one of the Mill Products Principals and he gave us a very good overview of the nature of SAP's organization around industries, how Furniture fit into Mills, and some procative thoughts on how and why we may want to consider becoming a SIG (Special Interest Group) of ASUG. As one of our members pointed out, ASUG is a "geographical organization" while the CWG is a "global organization" so this may not be a real good fit.

From there, we went directly into the Modeling challenge, with 2 member companies presenting their solutions. Different concepts, but as usual, it simply points out that there are many different methods to skinning the SAP cat..

People seemed to enjoy the break (must have been the free cookies or something) and when we came back it was time for the "panel discussions" around testing and ECM.... This is when it got "interesting"...

It took a while to get going, and for a minute I thought I was going to have to break out into song and dance (that would be very bad) as no one else seemd willing to talk...But that changed and people began warming up which eventually led to some very spirited discussion...Our poor SAP guy may have felt a little like a punching bag for a while, but we eventually got people to agree that a general listing of "things we'd like to see differently" would be a good place to start..The challenge comes when we bring this list into the general CWG population and try for alignment....Should be fun..

The Networking event afterwards was not as well attended as the Outlook meeting notice seemd to indicate it would be, but the beer and conversation were all good...It appeared that a good time was had by all..

Next meeting will be in the less frigid weather, somewhere over by the shores of Lake Michigan...More to come when we get some dates and details finalized..

Watch the document share for the meeting presentations. I hope to have them up in the next week or so...

Till next time,