Training (alas) is not Consulting…

Training (alas) is not Consulting…

Really? This was the Class you took?

Last week I taught a class and the entire (almost) last row, had been using SAP for almost a decade. Their system had been set up and was live. They had purchased a “Pre-configured”, Industry solution and immediately began to throw in modifications, z-programs, user exits, etc. etc.

Was a Pre-configured SAP system what they needed?

I have no idea.

But the fact that they spent bazillions on consultants to change and change and CHANGE the system says NO. Somebody did a good job selling a product.

That will be a topic for another blog.

Besides, the sales person that probably inked that deal and sold the SAP product, could sell any product and might not have had any real interest in SAP as a solution and may be off selling shipments of industrial spot removers or failing mortgage futures by the time this is written or by the time the “Solution” was being installed.

And what about the Consultants? Did they play a part in this opera of Corporate Dissatisfaction? Was it their role to get SAP in and running while make it look like the Clients’ legacy system? Transfer knowledge to the User staff? Train anyone?

That will be a topic for another blog.

Besides, the person or group consulting on that the SAP product, could probably consult on any product, be it CRM, SEM, IBM or any other TLA that you threw at them!

(Get the feeling I am miffed?)

As far as the attendees went, they were attentive, asked good questions, discussed solutions, accepted the presentation and went away knowing little more than some new tips and tricks, instead of a large portion of a set of CORE SAP applications. But they had responsibility as well. They SHOULD have found out if this over-view course of basic basic quick basic SAP functionality was going to give them any clues they needed to find the answer or the directions that would lead them on their quest.

They could have called and asked SAP Curriculum what this course was about, or the Course Instructor or ASUG Members or someone: Will this course present the type of information that we will need at the level and depth that we will require with our advanced knowledge of SAP, to help use SAP to our advantage and make better decisions?

I suspect, they would have been better served by finding an empty hotel room, having pizza and Chinese delivered in and had dozens of whiteboards and coffee set up and then tried to create a plan!

This course and especially what SAP has said is LEVEL 2 course material, will rarely have sufficient data to really take you underground to see how SAP works. There just is not enough time during the span of a week.

Everyone was happy with the class and evaluated it so. But the Instructor knew that this group had some basic issues and sometimes the best solution is to throw everything out the window and start again. When I heard the phrase “Well we are trying to please these (Industry-Type here) old-timers and they just don’t understand how costing works or allocations or secondary elements and they want to see it the “old way”, I knew I had a problem. When I heard, “Oh, we modified this and created this Z transaction and wrote this Z program, I knew I had a problem.

Well I don’t have a problem. They are gone. I have the guilt that there is little I can do to make it better. No, they and their company have the problem and I can only imagine what they will do to fix it!.

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2 thoughts on “Training (alas) is not Consulting…

  1. “They could have called and asked SAP Curriculum what this course was about, or the Course Instructor or ASUG Members or someone: Will this course present the type of information that we will need at the level and depth that we will require with our advanced knowledge of SAP, to help use SAP to our advantage and make better decisions?”

    I do not know anything about SAP, but I do know that this sentiment is universal. I’m sorry that there was frustration in your class, but you’re right, at least it is over!

    At my school, I teach four adult English as a Second language courses, and all of them have seven students or more. Not that many, except none of the classes are level-split and it took me over a year to adjust my teacher style into a format that would satisfy them all (they all have very different ideas of how the class should be run, and who am I to say anything? Age seniority always rules over here.)

    Glad to hear your other students had a good time. Remember them! 🙂

    • I do remember them and I received high marks. I suspect after 20 years of this, I know to recognize the situation, but it still bothers me that so of these People remain so lost. Thanks for the read!

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