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Author's profile photo Witalij Rudnicki

How many skills does BW consultant need?

I really liked this blog “Road ahead for SAP consultants” by Vijay Vijayasankar and all the smart comments to it.

One thing I would like to comment though is about “Two skills are better than one”. Although statement itself makes lots of sense, I think all wanna-be-hot-consultants should think about depth of their skills. While you can impress with a quantity of skills in your CV, you cannot escape exposing quality of these skills during interview.

This statement might hit me back in the future (if someone will read this blog before interviewing me ;-), but even with my 5 years of experience with SAP/BW I am still aware of how many aspects of this product and implementation of this product I haven’t discovered yet!

I am getting really impressive 10 pages CVs of people, who were already “lead developers” and “experienced architects” in BW. But then during interview it happens that they have no clue what is Web Design API for Tables in BW 3.x or what is an InfoPackage with overlapping requests deletion.

The other aspect is a difference knowing how to do thing (e.g. how to create DSO or InfoCube) and how to do it right (how to model split between Key and Data fields in DSO or how to model well balanced dimensions in InfoCube).

My final advise to BW persons: when you think about yourself as multidimensional InfoProvider 😉 think not only about how many dimensions you must have, but as well how many DIMIDs you can present on these dimensions! And don’t be MultiProvider, be InfoCube with actual content 🙂

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I absolutely agree - if you have shallow skills, you will get exposed and probably embarassed too.

      However, I just recently found a guy who uses his depth of skills to create an illussion for the client. He is probably an excellent BPS consultant - but he makes it sound as if BPS is such a complex skill that only he, and a few others ( that only he knows ) can solve the client's problems using BPS.

      I am at a loss to understand which is worser - a guy who doesnt know much, or a guy who misleads a client because he knows more of a technology than his client.

      Author's profile photo Witalij Rudnicki
      Witalij Rudnicki
      Blog Post Author
      Both are actually 2 sides of the same coin known as "Be prepared to sell yourself" 🙂
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Vitaly,

      I am a sucker for 'potential to figure it out'. Like even if I am a so called expert in say Visual composer, there will be so many things out there that I dont know. But if one has the figure it out potential, then anythings possible.

      Hence, if someone sells himself to me in the interview as a guy/gal who can 'figure the right solution out' for a certain problem, then we have a winner.

      Hope you are doing well...

      Author's profile photo Witalij Rudnicki
      Witalij Rudnicki
      Blog Post Author
      Hi Prakash,

      Your comment made me smile. How would you quantify or measure "ability to figure it out"? Is it a sum of "ability to search thru SAPGenie and SDN" plus "Understanding SAP help" plus "Number of connections in LinkedIn"? 😉

      Hope you are doing fine in Orange County!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      No, it isn't. I like to think of myself of being able to "figure it out". And I can assure you that it is a sum of "knowing a large number of user exits", "thinking like a developer" and "being creative to make things with the exits that no developer would have thought about" 😉

      I've solved a lot of problems where developers stated that it can't be done in BI. Often I tell customers that BI can report anything where they can describe the algorithm, the only questions are costs and performance. So you're absolutely right about depth of skill. But it's not about knowing many people, it's all about creativity. You need to understand the effect that modelling has on your exits and that your exits have on modelling. Then you begin to grasp the idea that it's basically all about the ability to deliver the correct figures to the end users in a nice looking style.

      Best regards

      Author's profile photo Witalij Rudnicki
      Witalij Rudnicki
      Blog Post Author
      Hi Dirk,

      No doubt, you can "figure it out". In your case (assuming you would need to apply for BW job 😉 it is enough to mention that you're author of BW Exits book and even if your CV is half page long it is enough to say!

      Btw, personal thanks for this book. Very useful.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I like the ideas here, but sorry I do not agree on the statement "... it's basically all about the ability to deliver the correct figures to the end users in a nice looking style". Sometimes it's also a question of saying "no" because the alternative is far too complex to maintain and understand as the logic is hidden somewhere in exits that no developer will think of. So the truth can sometimes be that "it’s technically possible, but we will not do it".

      With Kind Regards
      Kristian Appel

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Well its a really interesting conversation.
      Shallow skills will embarrass you in front of the interviewer and sometime even infront of clients.

      But how many times you will find that even an expert need sometime to "Figure it out".
      So i believe a Skill sell only with Attitude.

      Another thing is you can learn any damn thing... but the real question is .. "How fast" ?
      One will pickup fast if he/she has skills on the periphery of the required Skill.

      And this can be easily traced in a 30 minute interview.

      So in my understanding :
      1. All consultants "Figure it out" in every new project. But the attitude towards learning is most important.

      2. How fast you can pickup ? Do you have some skillset on the periphery of the required skill ?

      These things are important and should be considered.

      Ravi Sharma

      Author's profile photo Jon Reed
      Jon Reed
      Good stuff Vitaly.

      As you probably know I write about skills issues a lot. I think breadth and depth are useful but there are other ways to slice and dice this also.

      For example:

      1. Skills currency - there's a lot of very experienced consultants out there (3 to 5 years or even more) who have found themselves denied certain project opportunities due to lack of experience in the latest versions or tools in their skills. It's not always fair, I think it sometimes results in hiring inferior consultants, but currency of skills is very important. Without currency, depth of skills may not be enough.

      2. Generalist versus specialist - another way to look at this is generalization versus specialization. I strongly believe that SAP skills are ideally focused around specializations. When I run into true "generalists," they are often too broad in their SAP skills to be truly valuable as expert contributor. I wrote a blog entry on this topic on that got some interesting comments.

      3. More than one tool or skill - I think it can be useful to have more than one SAP tool or skill, but it helps a lot if they are related. For example, a BW expert who can also work in SAP Business Consolidations, or a Portals consultant who also has BW skills. To me, it's not so much having a few different skills, as knowing how they relate to each other, that adds the most value to clients.

      4. Business process expert and general consulting skills. I write a lot about BPX type skills, and I believe all SAP professional want to be cultivating some of these broader BPX and "soft" skills that relate to adding business value to projects and adding more "glue" between the IT and business side of the project. I have seen many hiring situations where the  best technical person did not get the hire because they weren't able to communicate successfully or get across their understanding of the client's business.

      So to me, all these factors are relevant to the breadth and depth discussion.

      - Jon

      Author's profile photo HS Kok
      HS Kok
      Hi Vitaliy,

      Just happened to come across your blog post, and I found it to be a very interesting discussion.

      It seems that as of the last few year, I have seen people referring to themselves as "BW Consultants", but when they are expected to deliver, they fail miserably.

      Do they lack the knowledge? Yes.
      Do they lack the expertise? Yes.
      How did they get where they are today, with "5-8+ years of experience"? God knows.

      On another note, I came across this link today, and thought I would share it with you guys here...