Whilst I sit reflecting on my career so far I find myself wondering; “Who else is in the same position as me?” … for whoever is starting, looking to start, or wondering how the next generation is embracing the new world with SAP.
I’ve been working with SAP for 2.5yrs, fresh out of University in 2006 I was exposed to the world of a global implementation project, sitting in the center of excellence not knowing what on earth what was going on. Now it has been 3 months since my first successful implementation of WM and I find myself advising others in their first implementations, which led me to think, where better than here!
I remember sitting in 2007 at SAP taking the certification exam, wondering if i had enough experience of actually “doing” the work I was being questioned on. It had been a rollercoaster of a ride since finishing those final exams! I had been thrown into the mix of warehousing and inventory management, with a little bit of SD just for fun! In just one year I was configuring and making changes to a SAP solution, in multiple module areas! How had that happened? I was hoping for a bit of an easy ride from uni, taking a bit of time to let reality dawn on me. Turns out the practical work and experience of smaller scale changes and enhancements was a real winner, and really helped with the certification I went through.
Fast forward to 2009, even more experience, and an implementation under my belt. Who would have though in 2.5 short years, so much done and achieved! The first implementation was a real tester for me, a lot of learning, pretty fast paced too keeping the implementation going and the only technical resource on site for WM, as well as the other integration modules (PP, QM, MO, SD), was a real test of time management. Understandably the WM piece was the major area but the peripheral modules all played in during the project lifecycle. So now I am here, writing (hopefully my first SDN blogpost) this blog and looking to share the advise I did recently with a number of people.
First off to those about to cutover to their implementations. Take a breath, have a coffee, eat a cake, just do something for 30 mins that will let you clear your mind. The hard work is (almost) done, you’ve configured your system, now its all about data and cutting over. Easier said than done I hear you say, but now is the time to really take 5 mins, just relax as the next few weeks of stabilisation could be intense. I would say, as issues come in, triage, prioritise and prepare for the hard talks. Everyone’s problem is the most pressing, but as the experts only you can make the call of what is critical, but don’t forget that this means, what is critical to the business functioning. Remember there is only one of you, work with your team, remember you’re a team and together you will make your implementation a success! Sometimes saying no is needed and it’s not easy to say, but you don’t want to end up trying to please everyone, and in the meantime please no-one. If you’re in a heavily regulated industry like me, you may have extra pressures, should changes and alterations be needed, just remember each one in turn, and don’t try to cut corners.
Second, to those that are looking at a new career or a change in career. Is SAP right for me? I really enjoy working with the SAP solution, its HUGE! So much to look at and work on. You really have a great breadth and scope of options out there for you. I’m in the Supply Chain space (ERP/SCM) and I love it! I would say, jump in get your feet wet and demonstrate by doing. See how it’s all working and fits together and really have a go! I really look back and see how much of a good thing it was actually having a go at doing some of the configuration so early on. This really helped me apply the skills to the business when I was out on an implementation site. Whatever you choose to do in your career, make sure you choose something you want to do, and then use it to its full potential, make your career your own!
New technologies, new media, new world! All these are playing a part in the way we implement and go about our daily work. How these fit in with my daily work I’ll share next time, but taking the first steps is the hard part, of the implementation I’ve done, of the communications I choose … it’s all about taking those steps!
I’ll blog more in my next post about how to handle and interpret the business to make it relevant and applicable to what your implementation is trying to achieve!