The Consulting Mindshift

Transitioning from an SAP-user to an SAP-Consultant has one glaring, raging, epic, behemoth, gargantuan change to master: shifting from a process mindset to an outcomes one.

We’re changing from following a process, to challenging it.

What the?

If you’re coming from a typical SAP-user background, chances are you may be an accountant managing money in SAP, or a HR person onboarding or paying staff. Maybe you’re an asset manager tracking your gear here, a procurement person sourcing supplies, or a product manager reporting tangible goods coming off the production line and onto the distribution truck.

Either way, your job so far has been to learn the process of what to do, then stick to the process. Pay the bills, onboard the people, service the trucks, maintain the inventory, run the reports…

Repeat.

Constantly.

(Which is probably why you’re looking to step up into consulting….)

For a process worker (pay the bills, onboard the workers, service the equipment, etc), the measure of success is keeping the process going, without any drops in service or supplies. Maintaining the status quo of ‘Business-As-Usual.’

But moving into consulting, the mindset shift is to shimmy away from this repetition of activity, and towards an outcomes-based objective: Replace the legacy software, upgrade the current solution, merge a new acquisition with the parent system. Defined, measurable, finite.

Consulting is not about diligently following a process anymore:

Real consulting value lies in challenging the process: ‘leaning in’, asking the questions, changing things for the better, providing guidance on the transformation journey, scrutinising if this really is the best way to do things…

The mindshift can be confronting when you first start in consulting. 

Suddenly you’re not just reporting on what’s been going on anymore, suddenly there is a room full of people asking you how best to improve what’s been going on.

But if you’re here reflecting on this, chances are it’s because you’ve been a process worker for long enough. You’ve paid enough invoices, onboarded enough people, procured enough equipment to have seen the potholes and follies in common ways of working and are pretty sure you have some ideas on how to do it better. Right?

The Consulting Mindshift is like suddenly being allowed to action all those “Wouldn’t it be great IF…” dreams you’ve had around improving your day job.

Now, you just need the confidence to act on them.

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Insights from this article:

  • Moving into SAP consulting is a mindshift from following processes, to challenging them
  • Working Business-As-Usual jobs is a key place to think up better ways of working
  • The change is from ‘getting things done’ to getting them done ‘better’
  • Focus shift from eternal operations, to project and outcomes-based deliverables
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