Coaching as part of your learning
As a Junior Professional, I follow an experienced consultant who sets the direction for the Junior Professional on the way to becoming an independent consultant. My coach plays an extremely important role in terms of my learning and education. He introduces me to various customers and provides me with interesting tasks and high involvement in customer projects. For instance, I have recently worked on a customer project with my coach where we have created a solution that enables SAP to calculate a shipping date from the supplier automatically, based on different variables such as the delivery date and the carrier. My role was to gather and keep track of all the relevant data for setting up the system. I liked how my coach gave me this responsibility in the project in order to progress my learning, and I have really learned a lot from this.
Having a coach.
For me, it is not only interesting to work with an experienced consultant, but it is also extremely educational due to his high level of experience and knowledge. My coach provides me with the necessary tools and methods to solve real-life customer cases. Furthermore, my coach and supervisor has given me a training and study plan to guarantee that I am continuously challenged and to make sure that I am on the right track on my learning path. Some evenings my coach even takes time to meet up – out of office hours – to teach me and another trainee from the team about different things in the system. I am thankful for his willingness to sacrifice his time for the sake of our learning process even if he is busy and on a tight schedule.
The challenges a consultant can meet every day are many and varied. At this point in time, SAP is going through a digital transformation from the earlier transactional systems that merely records data, towards embedded systems based on real-time data in the cloud, also known as SAP S/4HANA. This enables businesses to take advantage of technologies such as Internet of things (IoT), Big Data and real-time Analytics. Obviously, the transformation within SAP changes the demand for us consultants, who must be able to adapt in order to support and advise our customers on this new generation of technology.
I really like the opportunity to work with the latest technology. Lately, I have experienced the new user interface SAP Fiori in one of our customer projects. SAP Fiori simplify the user experience for SAP applications and deliver role-based customer experience by the use of apps. I worked with user-experience and for instance created my own tiles of apps in SAP Fiori, which was both exiting and useful!
As Junior Professionals, we belong to a generation that has grown up in a time where the fast evolution of technology has always been a fact of life, and I think we might have a small advantage because of this. Perhaps we are even more adaptive to new technologies and the digital transformation in general, compared to experienced consultants.
Learning by doing
Initially, I faced some challenges because of my lack of experience. As I mentioned in my first blog post, I was given a lot of responsibility and practical work from day one. At times I found myself facing some challenging tasks. I have also made some mistakes throughout the process and worked on things that could have been executed smarter. I believe you learn by doing, and every project will help me mature as a consultant as I get more experienced.
I have learned that working methodically and structured is crucial for a smooth, trouble-free process. You need to have a clear goal and make sure there is alignment between you expectations as consultant and the expectations of your customer, both in terms of format, deliveries and deadlines. Your own expectations are not always the same as those of your customer, and the fact that I was not aware of this in the beginning made my work more difficult.
“itelligence Nordic is one of the leading international full-service providers of SAP solutions, which both support and implement SAP to more than 500 customers world-wide. itelligence Academy is a two year program where the participants develop Junior Professionals to experienced consultants. Coaching from experienced consultant to support the Junior Professional is a key factor in the career development from junior to consultants”.