02 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

The nature of work in SAP

I hesitate to state the obvious, but when you’re working in SAP, you are doing work with information. You’re adding value to businesses by creating and running business systems that are required so that a business may function.  In essence, you’re helping a business create information. Sometimes you’re setting up transaction processing systems that allow a company to capture and enforce rules about a process. You may also find yourself gathering and synthesizing information to help a business analyze and improve upon an already existing transaction processing system.  Rarely are you doing much of what I call “technology for technology’s sake” — Fiddling with (fine tuning) software and technology without any regard to business process. I want to challenge you to think a bit differently.

I’m writing this today because I want to remind you that work in SAP is fundamentally different than work that you may encounter in other technical areas because business process is such an integral part of SAP.    It’s a part of what SAP stands for – literally.  And so those of us who fully appreciate and use this understanding to position ourselves – we will be the people who succeed in the future of SAP, leaving everyone else to merely react to what we are doing.

This is important, so let me state it clearly — those of us who understand how to use information, solve problems that help business run, and appreciate the importance of business process in SAP will be the ones that have the greatest amount of success in the future of SAP.

Therefore, seek out knowledge and develop deep understanding of the various end to end business processes that are commonly encountered in the industry today.

A way to test yourself might be to sit down with a piece of paper. Draw boxes for each of the process steps, and explain out loud how each of the steps relates to the overall end-to-end process.

Your efforts will not go unrewarded.  Rather than focusing on chasing the shiny object (latest and greatest marketed technology) a solid emphasis on the fundamentals is what I believe smart hiring managers pursue in their candidates, rather than some newfangled marketing ploy.  Yes, from time to time we must update our skills to acknowledge the steady march of the market. But if you’re looking for jobs in SAP like me, and if you’re focused on adding value (which you should be) then business process understanding is your best investment.

And note: I refer to obtaining knowledge as an investment. As mentioned earlier, work in SAP is information work and those of us who acquire the right intellectual capital  (information) at the right time by making the right investments (buying small courses when warranted) will be those who are most successful today and into the future. This is the information age and those of us who can take information and create value will have bright futures indeed.





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