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Mastering Configuration in short time is not just a fantasy, its achievable! A good news for beginners, I’m sure. While some know the trick, for others the “how” is still a mystery.

Copy – Paste – Change!  

My approach in developing technical skills was/is Reverse Engineering and I think it’s one of the easiest ways to learn a product / solution design. There must, obviously, be other techniques being practiced by gurus; in this blog, however, I’m sharing my S O P of learning new topics of interest.


  • Front-End: If some solution is already there, I usually explore the front-end of the process first and try to make myself very comfortable with its usage.
  • Disassemble: Once I’m confident with the apparent part of the solution, I start looking at the individual elements of the design on which solution is based.
  • Reading: As soon as I’ve identified the basic components of overall design, I start to read about each component.
  • Assemble: With a good understanding of the solution’s components, I try to assemble the solution myself and try to execute it.
  • Compare: When I face issues with my configuration, I compare it with the original design on which my ‘copy’ was based.
  • Focus-Areas: This way I also identify the areas where improvement is required & which I need to focus more.
  • Self Start: As I’ve developed the solution myself, I look for hypothetical requirements to try designing a similar solution.
  • New Scenarios: After experiencing the solution design, I get a ‘can-do’ feeling and keep looking for scenarios at SCN and other forums.



New Design

The approach works fine where a solution is already in place. However, in situations where I’m assigned with a role to start from scratch I follow slightly different approach and it’s to refer to forums like SCN, seek help from other gurus in my network (after all I’ve spent quite a few years working with SAP solutions & Experts) and finally get my hands dirty by practicing it. What do you think? 

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  1. Michelle Crapo
    I’m usually not this negative.  But really?  Cut and paste is scary!!!!  It should rarely be used.  New solutions are needed.  Analysis skills are as important as knowing the config.

    Good communication skills are a must.

    I would say mastering would include all of the above.   A beginning person working in config should have a “Master” configurator working with them.  Or at the very least understand the business processes they are working with.

    I would completely – disagree with this blog.

    I think time and experience are needed to “master” anything.  Understanding takes time.

    Does this mean the new person will have bad ideas?  No.  It just means it takes time and effort to be a master of any technology.  And even then I would argue – very few people could be considered a “master” with the changes that are continually happening.

    Again a long response.  This one was a bit of a shock to me. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to some other replies.


    I may have totally missed the point of the blog.

    Here are my steps – PLUS years of experience before you consider yourself an “expert”.

    1.  Take a class.  Understand the newer ways of doing things. 
    2. Work with others that know configuration well.
    3. Understand the processes / what the company does and is trying to accomplish.  Understand your part of the business..
    4.  Look and understand the configuration already in place.  Search for similar solutions while keeping your requirements in mind.
    5. Rarely copy a solution.  Think of the best way of doing things for the company you are working at.
    6.  Look at configuration as the first option, then apply the 80/20 rule.  Does it make sense to solve the problem by configuration only?
    7.  Create process flows, put it in front of the client – sr. configurations who ever.
    8.  Finally start your configuration.  That is the “easy” part.  Network with SCN, and your own company when you run into problems.

    Always try to look at the problem from different ways. 

    Finally – keep blogging Faisal.  You’ll find some people agree with you.  And I love a good debate.


    1. Faisal Iqbal Post author
      Hi Michelle,

      I love the debate as well and like to get different opinions on what I think. SCN is good place to blog and get feedback from Experts.

      Well, now about the topic.

      1) Copy, Paste and Change is not that scary if you’re trying to understand an existing configuration. And its what supported by SAP documentation. Such as if I’ve write a Payroll Schema, instead of writing a new one, I’ll “copy” the original and will make “changes” in the copy (pasted from original).

      2) You’re absolutely right that there are various skills needed to be a good consultant including the communication & analytical skills. However, since I wrote ‘only’ about the ‘configuration’, you may not ‘completely disagree’, I think 🙂

      3) I may slightly disagree with much time & experience needed to learn certain thing. Yes, in total if you want to master too many things it’d surely take longer time but if we’re talking about a particular subject / element, it may not take that longer. You may learn it by looking at an already configured item, trying to imitate the design and ultimately practicing yourself.

      4) Well, since my blog wasn’t about ‘becoming an expert’, it was just about mastering ‘configuration only’, I totally agree with you about your points of becoming an expert.

      I think I’ve ‘a good enough’ debate as well, right? 🙂


      1. Michelle Crapo

        You do!   And I hate the fact that I missed this somewhere.   As you can tell from the other blog I read – I do agree that you have to be flexible and learn everything you can.   And you can “pretend” you are the expert until one day you are.   Self doubt is a horrible thing.   And it is one of the things I fight in myself.

        Awesome Debate!   I now agree with a lot of your points.   Copying Config – now that’s interesting.   I must admit – I was thinking code when you wrote that.   I’ve HAVE copied the configuration of one plant to another with very little changes.   So you’ve got me there.   It does make a lot of sense.   If you are a consultant (I’m not now) copying between old config you’ve learned and then changing it –  if in the same industry.  Even that may work!  But I would still encourage looking at each company as it’s own entity with different challenges.   Even acquired firms probably should be looked at.   It depends on if they fit the same model as your current company.

        As I said before great blog!   And I’m so glad you linked it to the managing your personal brand.  They both make sense tied together.


        1. Faisal Iqbal Post author

          It’s been 6+ years and now I also can see the points which you made at that time and I disagreed : )

          You are right, each business is different even if the industry is same and it’s always good to treat them separately. By addressing unique challenges of customers, using SAP Applications, Consultants can learn different ways to solve similar set of problems.


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