Our last article defined SAP Consulting as the activities, processes, and tasks SAP consultants undertake to help SAP customers manage and optimize their business operations. While SAP consulting comes in various forms and flavors, a successful SAP consultant typically excels in certain aspects and qualities, irrespective of domain. This article will cover ten basic skills every SAP consultant needs to succeed and why.
- TIME MANAGEMENT
Time management is an essential yet crucial skill required to work as an SAP professional. As a consultant, you will likely have multiple projects on your desk. You must ensure you're allotting appropriate amounts of time to each project. This will make you effective and more productive as an SAP Consultant. You can leverage tools like work back schedules for long-term time management and apps like focus-on for your time management needs.
2. TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION: COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT IN EVERY FACET OF LIFE, MORE IN CONSULTING.
Your ability to understand the finer points and break down technical concepts to different audiences is a skill that cannot be overlooked; this is a skill that sets you apart as a consultant.
No consultant can understand all the business processes and modules within the SAP Ecosystem, hence the need for collaboration. SAP consultants do not work in silos. The day-to-day life of an SAP consultant involves constant collaboration with business users, fellow consultants, SMEs, etc.
4. DESIGN THINKING SKILLS
Design thinking is a customer-centric approach to solving problems. By our definition of SAP consulting, it is evident that most SAP consulting revolves around the clients (customers) process. Therefore, a good consultant should have knowledge of iterative problem-solving approaches to make organizations and processes run faster and more efficiently.
When I started my SAP journey, I read an article on Quora where a user said, "if you intend to become an SAP consultant, get prepared to read and keep on reading forever." These words could not be more true. SAP is a technology solutions provider, i.e., sap products and solutions will keep evolving in the coming years. Former systems and products will become obsolete, and new ones will emerge. To stay on top of all this, you have to be willing to learn and continually ramp up your knowledge. This is the trademark of an SAP Professional.
6. DOMAIN KNOWLEDGE
SAP provides enterprise-wide solutions to businesses. The key word is "the business ."The business is supported by the sap technology. To function as a professional in SAP consulting, having domain knowledge in at least one line of business is essential. That's why the best sap consultants are said to have a sound mix of business knowledge, expertise in industry best practices, and in-depth functional SAP skills.
7. PROBLEM-SOLVING & TECHNICAL SKILLS
Projects always come with drawbacks, change requests, and low-hanging fruits. Studies show that sometimes these tend to create friction and conflicts during the final phases of the project. Being able to discuss, disagree, and dispute when required is a major key to succeeding as an SAP consultant.
As an SAP consultant, good oral and written communication are the basic requirements. Knowing how to give an ideal pitch that contains all the information that stakeholders need to buy in is a really important skill. On your journey of SAP Consulting, you may be required to market sap products to prospective clients or, at the very least, defend the usefulness of your module to stakeholders.
9. PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS
As one progresses in sap consulting, there are higher chances of taking on supervisory or managerial roles on projects. These roles may include responsibilities such as supervising multiple sap projects, checking the profitability of projects, holding review meetings, etc. Honing your project management skills will make you stand out as a professional.
Note: SAP currently has a project management framework called Activate, and having knowledge of this will be very helpful when working on any SAP project.
10. METICULOUS DOCUMENTATION:
An SAP consultant's day-to-day usually involves activities like creating user guides, test scripts, and change management documentation. Personal documentation activities like technical blogging or documentation are inarguably one of the most important skills for an SAP consultant and a trademark of SAP professionals.
SAP Consulting is a profitable yet challenging role. Clients vary in size, work culture, and approach. To stay ahead, gain the trust of prospective clients and stand out as a professional, you must constantly invest in honing your skills.
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