From one Consultant to another..
After spending few years in SAP Consulting, I thought of documenting my experience. Sometimes, I believe it’s the little things shared by seniors which were most helpful to me. I am thankful for all the things that I have learnt from the great minds that had influenced me.
Here are some tips which may help an associate or a consultant who is starting out or venturing into the field of consulting. These things are quiet simple and everyone might have heard about these before or this could be something different to what you had imagined!
Projects rarely run within time, scope and cost:This is one of the common things that I have observed. It is very rare to finda project which is within the agreed expectation. Be flexible to accommodate this and accept it as a part of your journey! Do not expect perfection.
There’s no one solution to the problem: Most of us are trained to think that there’s one way out. My experience has forced me to come out of my boundaries and thinking pattern. In fact, I realized that there are lot more solutions if you are open. Keep your mind open, there’s always more than one way out!
Perfection- is a journey: We can never provide a perfect solution, a perfect system or even a perfect document. There’s always something more to be done all the time. Your expectation on yourself gets higher and you will find ways to be more-perfect next time. Don’t stress and enjoy the ride. It’s the journey which makes you learn and become a better consultant.
Expectations on Core team (Client business teams): Consultants are normally trained to expect all the information from the core team from day 1 of the project. Trust me, it hardly happens. Remember that the Core- Team is also new the project and in most cases they are in the same position as you are! Expect less and you will have a smoother ride.
Do not expect all information to be available when you need it! : This is a common expectation which I have experienced among consultants. Everyone wants all the information which they require in one place. In reality, it never happens. Be prepared to wait for the information you need or be open to collect it from other channels. Remember, collecting information always takes time.. So be prepared!
Personality of the project team: The personality and morale of the project team is very important for the success of the project.In reality, everyone has their own constraints. Some of the project team members who you work with closely may not have the personality or attitude which you may prefer. Remember that you just have to work with them and they are not your personal friends. Accept the team as they are and you will find that the life is a lot easier!
Always be open for someone to walk into your workspace: This was one of my most difficult situations. I would prefer a quietenvironment to think and work. Personally, I cannot tolerate any disturbances while I work. I have realized that most valuable conversations that I have had at work is when someone walks into your workstation and have a discussion over coffee! The lesson is: Be open to have a discussion with anyone at any time!
Be prepared to be flexible: If you are asked to work on a project, you may find that you are working with individuals who are spread across the world. This means, everyone has a different time zone. Be flexible in terms of accommodating meetings or having a casual conversation.Remember that the person on the other end of the phone may be in the middle of the night or they are just out of bed!
Be practical: We are trained to think that we are perfect and expect perfectionism from others. It could be from your colleagues, managers, clients or even from someone you work with once a while. Remember that being practical is more important than being perfect. When you offer a solution, think about what is practical for the circumstances and keep things simple.
Finally.. Always take care of yourself: We tend to get carried away with our work, life and other things. We may be doing things that may not be very productive or efficient in the long run. Always remember that you are the most important resource that you can ever have. Whatever you do is eventually for you, your loved ones and family. Take time to stay mentally and physically healthy and enjoy your life to the fullest 🙂
Hope the information presented here is useful. I am open for feedback and I would like to hear your experience too. You can email me at Judith.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.