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Well somebody has defined “Success as the milestone between 2 failures” and that sums up a SAP consultant work quite well. Moreover the essence of SAP work can also be found in my favorite song “Life just seems to fade away” from Metallica. But, hey I am not sounding too pessimistic, am I?; SAP is fun too, with each project enhancing your skills in leaps and bounds. The process of surfing the net for new and optimum solutions, exploring Blogs and other professional sites to look for that exclusive solution or some error which has been vexing us, all seems worthy at the end of day. Like all aspects of life, going gets tough sometimes, case in point: at the client site with people expecting ERP to be some type of magic wand performing all tasks as per the wishes. This thought gets personified when they actually see the product and many times, the list of  “this point missing and that one missing”… adds up, which in worst case situations makes you think:  “Was I developing the same project or some other one”.

Managing customers is like a fine art which gets honed and better with each project experience… just like the aging of a good wine. It requires consultants to not only have technical skills but good communication skills and above all, the ability to absorb pressures like a sponge. That’s because with deadlines driving you against the wall and your meals being reduced to Noodles and take away stuff,  maintaining your serenity and calmness can be as difficult as making Calvin (from C&H) talk and act straight. Well, it’s due to all these challenges that the life of an SAP consultant seems very dynamic and eventful. Each morning brings you a different set of challenges, but on the other hand there is an upside to these hardships: the gaining of knowledge and maturity from the previous day”s challenges equips you for the next and adds to your bountiful repositories of solutions.

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  1. Anonymous
    Hey man….cool; This shows how the positive energy transcendece to work. Peole like these will make a difference. Keep it up….until it gets in 😉
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  2. Anonymous
    well with each project our key learning should be our clients “business Process” and if instead of just complying by the requirements they give if we could brain storm and find a better process for our client then nothing like that. I am not saying if a person with hardly some industry exp would be able to do it but then if you try today then you may succeed if not tomorrow then day after tomorrow. And I guess its the process which generates the revenue so it is high time that instead of enhancing our skills only in technical aspects we start looking, rather focus, towards the
    “Business Processes” as well.

    My very own views and nothing more. Have a nice day.

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  3. Cliff Hay
    It’s good that you are asking these types of questions.  It is my observation that, every consulting engagement’s success is predicated upon balanced performance in what I have come to refer to as “The Three P’s”…Product, Process, and Politics. 

    Consultants, most particularly new ones but even the more experienced veterans tend to focus their PBOK growth on PRODUCT or technical skills.  As they become more experienced, they understand the value of PROCESS skills… by process I am not referring to customer process, but to processes associated with the business of customer consulting.  Examples include structured methodologies, rapid-implementation-methodologies, practice guidelines, data gathering and assimilation tools, etc.

    The most forgotten set of skills is that of individual consultative proficiencies.  These skills are behavioral in nature…this is where POLITICS comes into play.  The behavioral skills which consultants develop over time include such critical skills as customer conflict management (or avoidance and perception management (behavioral skills which work to the consultant’s advantage by establishing and preserving the “Consummate Professional Image”). 

    I have always found it interesting, albeit alarming that consulting practices on average spend little to no time or training budget on this essential third component, investing approximately 90% of the total training budget in Product/technology skills whereas, I have found the inverse true of engagement cause-of-failure.  Far more projects fail due to “consultative causes”…poor perception (image) management, poor customer expectation management, loss of credibility or respect, etc.

    You may visit http://www.PyramidPracticeServices.com if you are interested in more details regarding these concepts.  This is not an ad or an attempt to sell something.  I was merely impressed that you were questionning what types of learning one should come away with from each subsequent engagement. 

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