Five key factors and basic tips for SAP consultant.
I have been working as an SAP consultant since 2009. I have worked with many consultants of various modules. Some of them were very sharp, intellectual and intelligent. They always performed their duties beyond expectations and delivered more efficiently than they were supposed to deliver. On the other hand there were also some consultants who rely on other’s knowledge and expertise. They never explored new things and they never thought out of the box. They always took their assignments as duties and never performed with curiosity.
I couldn’t get chance to travel in other countries and see closely how do they do their work but since I am regular contributor of SCN and I see many replies, questions and comments coming from across the world on daily basis. It gives me some idea that cultural differences are not impacting that much the working approach towards SAP.
I am sharing some key features that differentiate you from ordinary consultants and make you noticeable in your team or organization.
Personal interest in information technology
For me most important factor that an SAP consultant must have is his/her personal interest in information technology. I believe that education comes after this. A guy with any ordinary degree can perform well if he has willingness to learn and explore new things in IT. I have seen and known many guys who even can’t make a power point presentation but they are working as SAP consultant and it becomes difficult for them to learn and explore SAP. This is not a usual job like any other in which you always perform similar things on daily basis. When you are in SAP, you can have every day a new task or assignment that you even don’t know about. In such condition your enthusiasm towards learning and R&D works.
Don’t follow the trend. Follow your beliefs and what you are good at.
I receive many messages from professionals or fresh graduates that they want to get into SAP market. Most of them want this because they can see that SAP consultants are getting handsome salaries and other benefits. They think that anyone can be a successful SAP consultant just like that.
Here I want to share a true short story about someone who is a doctor by profession. He told me that one day an old man came in his clinic with his son and asked him to train the son and make him a doctor. Doctor surprisingly asked that old man what brought him there with this idea? Old man said “I tried to make my son a carpenter but he didn’t learn. Then I tried to make him a mason and he ran away from there because it was a hard job. Now I thought I should make him a doctor because doctors are earning well these days” 😀
The bottom line is that for getting into SAP one should have relevant knowledge, interest and educational back ground in some cases (one should have read programming if he wants to be an ABAPER). If you have been working somewhere from last couple of years and you want to get into SAP then you have to start from scratch and sacrifice your previous career. It’ll work for you if you are good at IT.
These two advises or suggestions are for those who are thinking to get into SAP market. Now I will share some for those who are already working as SAP consultants.
Proper use of Google search engine
If you know how to use google search properly, trust me you are quick learner and you can perform more competently. Use proper and short text when you are searching for a scenario. Few days back I saw a post on facebook that how IT people search in Google is “overheated Pc solutions” and how non IT guys search is “My PC get overheat very soon and how to cool down this PC because this PC is my life” 😀
Don’t give unnecessary text and use advance search option if you need to be more precise for your search. There is no other website in Google but SCN which gives more results and discussions about your search. Use site:scn.sap.com after your text if you want to stick to SCN. Sometimes we don’t get any result and this is for those issues/scenarios which are not very common.
If you are facing some error and you want to search that in Google then don’t write your own words in search bar. Just copy paste the error text without any number or value which is specifically for your system. I always recommend and suggest searching with error message number because it gives us accurate threads and results. I believe that if we all start using Google search effectively, we’ll have more than fifty percent less questions in SCN on daily basis.
Never accept or reject the proposal/requirement straightaway
A smart consultant after listening user’s requirement never accepts or rejects it straightaway. He always takes time to analyze and check all the consequences which system can have after implementing the solution. No matter you are so sure about possibility of solution, you shouldn’t ever say that this is not possible in system. You should always ask him for some appropriate and justifiable time. If the requirement is of very basic level and you are so sure about its possibility, still you should ask for some time provided that business requirement is not very critical and they are losing business for that. I have learnt from my experience that if you deliver in very short time users make that a bench mark and they always expect the same results from you afterwards. In this case when you really need time to overcome some issue user can say that you are bluffing and you can do that quickly.
Develop professional network and be active on different forums
Last but not least suggestion that I have is that an SAP consultant must have good networking with other SAP consultants. It doesn’t mean that you should get on their nerves by pinging them all the time or sending them emails for no reason. What I am saying is that you should know who are the best consultants in your area of expertise and you should have them in your hangout, linkedin or other social accounts. You can contact them when you get stuck somewhere because in SAP no one is perfect no matter how many years of experience we have. You must not be working in dark zone. Always try to be socialize with other SAPians and especially with those who share your area of expertise.
I suggest and strongly recommend you to be active in SAP forums and SCN is one of the most visited and famous among all. You meet new consultants here and you learn many new ideas which enhance your expertise. SCN is key to learn and to develop your networking. If you are good at something let others know this and take benefit of your knowledge and expertise. It won’t decrease your worth or knowledge in fact it builds your good reputation. You can at least spare 30 minutes from your busy schedule to participate in some threads or commenting on some good blogs and documents. When you read some good blog or document that you liked, you should always give your feedback. It is a way of showing your appreciation and it gives publisher a confidence. If you don’t agree to what publisher has published or said in his blog or document you should give your critic feedback with respectful manner.
Negative or positive feedback would be highly appreciated. You can contact me directly. I am easy to find on linkedin or twitter and I have also given my email in my SCN profile.