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Author's profile photo DICKSON JIN

How does SAP freelancer find a project that is not tough?

As a senior SAP freelancer, I look for new SAP projects every year. I am over 35 years old, and my physical strength and energy are far inferior to those of the post-1995 youth. So every time when looking for a new SAP project, I try to find those projects that are not so tough, and tries to avoid those private enterprise projects that work overtime without bottom line and integrity.

 

I believe that there are several criteria that can be used to judge whether an SAP project is tough or not.

 

1, SAP Projects with short project cycle will definitely be tough.

 

When looking for projects, I will try to avoid those projects for three or four months’ cycle. In my opinion, such short cycle projects belong to very barbarous projects, the customers of those SAP projects intent to reduce the project cost through short cycle. In fact, the SAP project cycle is too short but the project workload is not necessarily small. Therefore, in order to complete the delivery of the project on schedule, working overtime is indispensable for SAP project team.

 

When I look for new SAP projects, I try to find projects with a cycle of more than half a year, such as projects with a cycle of more than 8 months. Of course, if it is a project of one year or even longer, it will naturally make me very excited. If the project cycle is less than half a year, I basically pay no attention to it.

 

 

2, SAP projects that do not require foreign language interview will definitely be tough.

 

Many projects, foreign language interview is not required during the interview phrase. Most of them are projects of domestic private enterprises or state-owned enterprises.

 

Private enterprises have no capital injection and investment from government and are solely responsible for their own profits and losses. Therefore, many private enterprises are very cautious about IT (information technology) investment and want to break a penny into two petals. Even those private enterprises that have become bigger and stronger, they want to improve their management level and work efficiency through the implementation of SAP system, they also want to spend a small money to do big things. When private enterprises invite consulting company in bidding, they often choose the consulting company with the lowest quotation. Therefore, the common characteristics of SAP implementation projects of private enterprises are short cycle, tight budget and no any restriction in working overtime. In my opinion, such SAP projects are more suitable for newly graduated youth to practice and accumulate project experience.

 

I haven’t done much for projects of state-owned enterprises. However, I have heard from my peers or colleagues that the projects of many state-owned enterprises are also very difficult and tough to do. These customers are very disgusted that SAP consultants speak English at work, so the interview naturally does not need a foreign language interview. For SAP projects of some state-owned enterprises, working overtime is very serious. It is common to work from 09:AM to 21:PM for those SAP projects. Although state-owned enterprises have plenty of money, it is difficult for consulting company to earn their money without taking off a layer of skin.

 

 

3, SAP projects that are not roll out will definitely be tough.

 

I especially like to do global roll out SAP projects, especially for the customer of multinational companies headquartered in Europe and America. These projects have perfect global templates, working in the rollout SAP projects for the China factories of these customers, SAP consultants need make a gap analysis between the global templates and local requirement, more than 90% of the local business processes directly adopt the global templates, and only a few local development is necessary. For such projects, there is no need to do too much enhancement and development, so the technical challenges are relatively small, and some projects even have no any technical challenges. SAP consultants only need to do a good job in communication, local training, testing, master data collection, etc. such projects are more suitable for middle-aged consultants over 35 years old, which is naturally my favorite.

 

As long as it is not a rollout SAP project, it means that there is no global template available, and everything needs to be designed and developed from scratch. Such a project will have big technical challenges. SAP consultants need to work closely with local business teams to fully communicate and tap local requirements. For those requirements that cannot be supported by SAP standard functions, they can only be realized through a large number of secondary development and enhancement. Such a project need lot of enhancement and development, it will not be very easy.

 

 

For one project, if there is a strict foreign language interview in the interview, and if it is also a global roll out project with a cycle longer than half a year, then is it an easy (not tough) SAP project? The answer is yes, high probability. However, it’s not absolute.

 

I did a seemingly easy but super hard/tough SAP project a few years ago. The project had a strict foreign language interview, it was a global roll out project and had a long cycle. One month after I joined this project, I found that the customer’s global template was extremely imperfect and basically unusable. The key users of the local business team were senior SAP users who had used the SAP system for many years and were familiar with the SAP system, so they were very resistant to adopting the global template of the headquarters. They required us to develop many enhancement and function according to local requirement. This situation resulted in me working overtime on the project for more than 3 months, which was unbearable.

 

 

Therefore, if SAP freelancer wants to find an easy SAP project, he/she should also have good luck. Do you think so?

 

 

 

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