Thanks to Jo here’s my first blog post on SCN. Long-time reader, first time poster.
I’m Anthony Bennett and I’m an SAP consultant in the technology space. I was lucky enough to start my SAP career as a graduate at SAP Australia close to 10 years ago. Since then I have traveled while working as an ABAP and Java developer in the UK and the USA, worked in team leading and technical management roles and have worked on the customer side in architecture roles for the last few years. I have recently started working for myself consulting in the Australian market and am really enjoying being back in the world of project challenges and meeting new businesses and people.
With my parents being fresh out of teachers college in the 70s they were posted to a high school in a country town called Ararat in the Australian State of Victoria (of which Melbourne is the capital city). Here I was born into a world of cold mountain air, home made woolen jumpers, gumboots, 2 large German Shepard’s and the most important part of a Victorians upbringing footy. We moved back to Melbourne when I was 5, where my lineage of Bennett’s have been since the 1860s and I love this city, the IT crowd and the SAP community here (and all the other SAP characters around Oz of course).
The AFL footy team I follow, Richmond Tigers.
The biggest part of my life outside of work at the moment is being a Dad to a 1 and a 2 year old.
Thomas (turned 1 in August) and Grace (3 in November).
With the risk of sounding like an obsessive parent the whole experience has been a very busy (obviously) and massively rewarding one. I would almost say I’m addicted to seeing the kids learn new things and try to spend most of my free time with them.
(I’ve heard they grow up too fast and dad’s not cool anymore, so I’m getting the time when I can.)
To the questions…
If you had to change career tomorrow, what would you pick?
Wow, that is a really tough question for me. The person that hired me at SAP said I was weird because he had never met anyone that “wanted to bean SAP consultant” since they were 15 years old… Ever since the day my dad came home with an Apple IIe when I was 7 I was always going to work with computers (before that it was a pilot). I love the balance of technology, business and people that make up the SAP ecosystem and am very grateful to be part of it.
Apple IIe – my first computer – I spent a lot of time on this thing
To answer the question I think I would have to go for something like a vintner. It would be a good balance of science, social and marketing aspects in an area that is very hard to do well in while trying to produce a quality result. Similar challenges to IT with that description except the end product has to been seen as a greater benefit.
(If you like your Red). 🙂
What do you think are the key elements for a successful project?
I did read the rules to Blog it Forward and I know there is a word limit so Jo should know better than to ask this kind of question with me…. 😉
I’ll keep it to 3, try to be brief and assume we are talking about SAP based projects generically:
1. Know the benefits and communicate the benefits.
IT and IT projects can very quickly get ahead of themselves and forget what the goal or goals are – and why they are trying to achieve them. As soon as you can ask someone, anyone, on a project why the project is being run and you don’t get a half sensible answer that mentions the goals of the business, that project has issues. The more people that know and remind themselves what the project is trying to achieve the better the chance to be more efficient, effective and flexible in its delivery and the better the relationship with the business in the end.
2. Have Fun!
In 10 years of projects I believe there has been a strong correlation between the “fun” projects and the “successful” ones. I don’t know what this really means, and it could be a post result defined measure of “fun” but the mapping of high morale to better quality results is not a new concept. If nothing else, just try to have fun, it will at least make any failures more bearable and quicker to bounce back from. Anyone that takes it too seriously probably doesn’t know what they are doing…
The best for last and the number one most important thing that matters to any project
(and it’s been like that way before IT was around).
I believe that through quality people of attitude, ethics, knowledge, experience and skills you achieve quality results. Anything that tries to ignore this, that attempts to commoditise people, and not admit that there is true value in the strength of the diversity and depth of people at all the layers of IT delivery is not doing the end result or our industry any favours.
I’ll Blog It Forward to
Which 5 things do you absolutely want to achieve in life?
What 2 things do you like the least about working in IT?
What 2 things do you like the most about working in IT?
See you around!