After spending 1039 days as a SAP SD (sometimes MM) consultant I feel I could pass some insight to fresher or newbie consultants 😛 😀 . I have tried to keep content in this blog very generic (as many fresher and newbie consultants might not get SAP_ALL authorization) but I believe these are very basic mistakes any consultant would like to avoid. I am sure there are more than mere 7 crimes consultants commit but these 7 are at top of my mind.
I read blog http://scn.sap.com/community/abap/blog/2015/02/24/top-10-abap-crimes few days ago and it gave me inspiration to write this blog.
I have committed or seen other consultants committing most of these crimes. Trust me guys, these crimes made me pay, either by staying in office on weekends and missing African Safari or got “if I see you again I will kill you” stern looks from key users.
1) Taking end user for granted
If your client is king then your “end user” is king of the kings. Project’s success or failure will be determined on the basis how happy “End users” are after go live. If you want to make your life happy, make your “end users” happy. Listen to them, pay attention to their day to day work activities and understand their requirements.
For you it could be “Go to VL02N > Header> Texts > Enter Text” as simple as that right!! But for end user who creates 30 deliveries per shift (along with other duties like paperwork, availability of materials, tracking shipments etc.) could be a bigger deal. If you don’t agree please try creating 30 deliveries while watching movie “Inception”.
Using SAP is not the only job description your end user has. Their transition from Legacy to SAP should be seamless or near to seamless.
Imagine, you have a new phone which has less features than your older phone. You would want, your new phone to be smarter, faster and quicker. Similarly your end user would hope the same.
However aligning your project goals and end user requirements in line is an art and it’s the biggest crime if you are not master of this art.
2) Talent is useless without training
These lines are by the great Mark Twain. Imagine that day when you completed first “Order to Cash” cycle on unknown SAP system. Remember those material availability errors, user exits, unknown copy controls, every customer you chose blocked for credit etc. which made your life hard for first few days. At certain point I am sure you wished you had your own “J.A.R.V.I.S” to guide.
User Manuals created by you will act as a “J.A.R.V.I.S” to your users and trainers. Quality of documentation and time you have spent on training will give you even more clear perspective on requirements.
Creating training materials and chalking out a training program is a must have skill for good consultant. Failing to understand importance of training could be the fatal error and a good consultant should avoid this crime.
3) Not going through help.sap pages
“Skills become reflex by muscle memory” said by Jack Reacher and external factors such as long working hours, extensive meeting schedules could impair your muscle memory. If you have a slightest of the doubt, use help.sap but avoid trusting your impaired muscle memory.
“Why should we use CHSP in item category determination”; if you don’t know or you are not sure what you know check help.sap. Worst case scenario google it, it won’t take more than 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes could decide whether you are going to spend weekend at office or at African Safari.Not knowing everything is not a crime but not going though help.sap when you are unsure is a big crime.
4) Giving wrong functional requirements to an ABAPER
Have you come across with a civil engineer who could built a pyramid without a blueprint? Or Have you ever seen a bomb squad without a defuse kit? Wrong/ incomplete functional requirement could drive your ABAPer crazy. Any report, output or enhancement created with such requirements could lead to a time bomb.
As you are the owner of such requirement you will be tied with this ticking bomb, which could explode any time.Not analyzing requirements, giving wrong functional requirements to an ABAPer is one of the biggest crime.
5) Material Master doesn’t belong to Material Management module!!
I often find SD consultants saying material master “belongs” to Material Management module and only sales related views are important to SD consultant. Knowing material master might save your time and give you an edge while giving solutions. Basic data, UOM conversions, Descriptions in other languages, material groups, valuation class, valuation type, do not cost etc. are just few examples which could be very useful.
For e.g. If finished goods which are not relevant for costing should not be sold (such materials could be obsolete) we could use user exit and check “Do not cost” field from material master. Using google and SCN you could satisfy such requirement but knowing material master might save your valuable time in crunch situation.
6) Outputs are gods! Don’t mess (with) them
One fine day I received an email from my office. It was my salary slip. When I saw my salary figures my heart skipped a beat and I thought finally my hard work, slogging hours paid off. In another 5 min I received an email from Human Resources with a retraction note. My month long “Output” was incorrect.
Giving functional specs for output is sometimes easy, but testing output for various scenarios (with negative testing) is crucial.
There are many things which could go wrong such as –
a) If variables are not cleared in smarform, then it leads to printing values multiple times whenever user prints the output.
b) “PER” is not considered. 1000 USD “per” 10 PCS gives condition value as 100USD.
c) Net value, net weight, gross weight, dimensions (any value from SAP) from SAP does not match with print output.
If you want to avoid any of this happening to you, do rigorous testing. Consider all possible scenarios and do negative testing as well. (Don’t forget to check your output for multiple line items and for multiple pages.)
At the end, outputs represent your client so users are in love with their outputs. Messing with outputs means messing with your users. Trust me guys this is the crime you should avoid.
7) Posting question on SCN before searching on SCN
Ignoring http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-18590?url_id=text-search-best-best-scn-doc-18590 (SCN Rules of engagement) is biggest mistake any SD consultant could commit. Search forum and follow guidelines (they are there to make your life comfortable) before posting any questions.