There is always an anxiety about Career path in SAP Consulting and its more true for those who are switching Career to SAP.I always come across a question about Career Progress path in SAP Consulting.
Let us understand the different roles available in a typical SAP Consulting organization. The three broad streams normally available are Consulting, Technical and Project Management/Program Management…One can continue in the first two to become Expert in the area chosen or after a good experience move into third with additional skills..
The Career Paths normally are Junior/Trainee Consultant, Consultant, Sr. Consultant, Project Lead/Manager, Program Manager/Principal, Practice Head/Director…The titles may vary from organizations to organizations but roles will be similar..Many companies call these as K1, K2…..K6 level Consulting and the Billing rates are normally linked to this level.
Let us see briefly the different roles in SAP Consulting:
Project Trainee: Many companies recruit Project Trainee for student’s college Project term. The students are working on internships for a defined period with consulting team and are given a defined work assignment.
Junior/Trainee Consultant: This is an entry-level for aspiring Consultant/Technical team member who has no previous experience.. Most of the companies recruit Technical team members in this category and give them Technical training and provide opportunity to work under Senior team members. These are typically ABAP Developers, Basis persons..Normally it takes 2 to 3 years to move to a Technical Consultant position for these Junior Consultants.
Consultants: Consultants are the key team members on Project Team for deliverables. Functional Consultants are normally having a 3 to 5 years of Domain/Business Process knowledge experience in their area. This is followed by formal training in SAP in the relevant module and SAP Certification. The Consultant will be working as a team member under the guidance of Senior Consultants.
Senior Consultants: Senior Consultants normally have 3 to 7 years of SAP Consulting experience. A Senior Consultant is responsible for a functional area in the project and generally manages project sub teams for his/her area. There is a larger role of Client interaction for these people and some time they may be managing a small project.
On the Technical side, Senior Consultants normally will be managing a Development Team and will be responsible for defined Technical deliverables.
For detail of role of a SAP Functional Consultant pl. see my earlier post here http://wp.me/p2uGi4-1l
Project Lead/Manager : Manager normally will have at least 7/8 years of SAP Consulting experience. They are leading Project Teams which may consist of Functional and/or Technical team. Manager will be responsible for Project deliverable and is Consulting companies face to Client. Project Lead/Manager is responsible for overall project and oversees Budget, Cost, Deliverables. They are expected to be knowledgable about SAP project management methodology.
Program Manager/Principal: Program Manager leads a large Project or oversees multiple project engagements. Program Manager normally gets involved in full Project life cycle consisting of Pre Sales to closing of Project.
There are Functional/Technical Consultants who do not get into project/man management and pursue a Career Path in their area of expertise. They are the Experts in that area and are typically guiding multiple projects. Such very Senior Consultants are designated in many Consulting companies as Principal Consultants.
Practice Head/Director: Practice Head is overall In-charge of SAP Consulting practice and is responsible for overall Budgets and growth of the practice. In small consulting organizations he/she may be CEO of the organization.
There are many roles & responsibility definitions for the above roles, but with above, one should be able to understand the SAP Career Progress chart available. One need to plan and review the Career Plan & progress on continuous basis.