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A Lot of Knowledge can be a Dangerous Thing

In the past nine months, I have gained an expert knowledge in a number of key functional areas of Dynamics NAV. An extremely important part of my job is communicating this knowledge to clients and their employees in a friendly and understandable manner. Fortunately, I was well prepared for this from my experience discussing the television show, “Game of Thrones”, and the book series it is based on, “A Song of Ice and Fire”. That’s an unlikely place to learn such a skill but it is one I have found invaluable.

My experience with the books dates back three years, finishing the fifth and most recently released book just as the first season of the show was aired. Since then, I have read the prequel short stories and assorted histories, as well as trawled internet forums and wikis for as much information as I could find. From this enthusiastic search, I have developed an expert knowledge in this as well, although arguably this is a less useful skill than understanding Dynamics NAV.

When talking to an end user of NAV, it is important to keep in mind the scope of understanding that is required for that person to perform their job. Although I may understand the intricacies and inner workings of NAV, often all the end users want to understand is “What button does what?” and “What does this error mean?” Superusers, who have some part in the business decisions of the client, need a greater understanding, so it is important to explain the logic behind certain functions but it is unreasonable to expect them to step through the code with you. For all levels of users there are limits to the amount of knowledge that needs to be imparted.

So how does this link to a television show and a book series? When discussing the show I have needed to be mindful that most people do not want, and definitely do not need, to know everything that I know. Most people are satisfied discussing “Who is Jon Snow’s mother?” or “When will Daenerys finally get to Westeros?” For some, their interest runs deeper into the greater mysteries of the series but even they cannot be expected to debate the worth of each of the twenty kings of the Seven Kingdoms. Anyway, I am sure that some people would find stepping through NAV code more interesting.

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