Moving ahead – Consultant to PM

Other day I was talking to a SAP MM Consultant and he was discussing with me how he can move forward in his career. Let us call him Ajit.

Ajit’s background: He has been in SAP for about 2.5 years and prior to that he has an experience of about 3 years. He was working in Purchase department of a large organisation when the company decided to implement SAP and Ajit was selected as one of the key user during implementation period. After the implementation, he has moved to the SAP Support team in the same organisation. He has been working as SAP MM Support Consultant for last two & half years and now very anxious about his career progress..

There are many people with similar background.  They may be working in different SAP modules or in different Technical areas. These people, like Ajit are not clear about their Career progress and where they will be from 5 or 10 years from today!

 Ajit started talking about his ambition and said “I want to become Project Manager in 3 years and a Program Manager within another 3 to 5 years.. I should be managing a large program/ implementation of SAP and that is what I want to achieve in next 10 years”.  I was happy that he has set a goal for himself. Many people at his level do not think about their career progress itself other than monetary things! We had discussions about his current role and what he thinks about his progress. One thing was very clear to me immediately, that he is totally confused about how he can achieve his set goal. I asked him “ Ajit, are you clear about your Career path in SAP? You can either follow a path to become a highly skilled SAP Consultant (many call it as Principal Consultant) in your module or you can pursue a career path to become SAP Project Manager..The skills, knowledge required to be acquired will vary for these two paths”

We had a long discussion to do a current skill, knowledge assessment, work out a plan how he can progress from a K2 level SAP MM Consultant to a SAP Project Manager..The main things required are:

  • Assessment of current SAP skills and its level or competency
  • What Career path you want to choose and why,
  • A plan to acquire skills, competency for the above Career path and Career movement

And the last important thing is a review & correction mechanism for your career progress..

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About Suhas Agashe
IT, SAP Consulting : Strategy,Implementation,Change Management, ERP/SAP Career mentoring/Advisory Services, SAP Career Counselling

2 Responses to Moving ahead – Consultant to PM

  1. Venkat says:

    Hi Suhas,

    I have a question regarding the career path you wrote about in this article
    What is the career path required for a SAP PM consultant to go on to become IT director or a CTO of an organization?
    I understand that it is a big career leap from one side to the other. All I wanted to know was what are the extra degrees (MS or MBA) and Knowledge one needs to acquire in achieving that

    Cheers,
    Venkat

    • Suhas Agashe says:

      Hi Venkat,
      Thanks for visiting my blog & writing to me.
      Its really a big career leap which you are talking about. But its achievable also..
      I assume the target company will be a SAP user..
      Mostly it will be IT Director or CIO as a target and NOT CTO. CTO will require a high level of Technology orientation.
      Steps according to me in brief as follows:
      PM Consultant
      Acquire knowledge about related SAP modules like MM,PP and definitely an exposure to FI.
      Role of Project Manager of SAP
      Acquire SAP technology knowledge and other IT technology in use
      Good understanding of Businesses in which SAP is used as backbone.
      Integration of SAP with other Business systems in company.
      MIS as required and fulfilled in organisation
      Additionally one must have Projcet/Prog. Management qualification..

      Hope this brief answer gives you an idea.
      Regards,
      Suhas Agashe

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