Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Role of a SAP Functional Consultant

Role of a SAP Functional Consultant

What are the differences between a functional and business consultant?

The difference between Functional consultant and Business consultant are as follows: 
1) A functional consultant is able to configure the system unlike business consultant. 
2) Functional consultant know more about business process unlike Business consultant. 
3) A business consultant will bring business process knowledge and provide it to functional consultant who in turn used this knowledge to configure the system.  
4) Functional consultant has more configuration knowledge then Business consultant. 

The responsibilities of a support consultant are:

- Primarily responsible for Handling tickets and application support to the end users 
- When an issue comes diagnose, analyse and solve the issue 
- Responsible for any enhancements 
- Writing functional specs and interacting with Abapers to develop any user exits  
- Training the end users and preparing end user training material  

For those who wished to know the role of a functional consultant.  Below is one view:

A functional consultant evaluates the demands in talking with the customer's representatives, transforms the essence into an abstract and algorithmic business model. Hence, he identifies the use cases and transforms them into logical and technical views. 

Then the main task starts: customizing the respective business area and making sure the system reacts in the manner according to the constraints of the requested use case. 

The consultant documents the settings and prepares proper guidelines that allow other consultants to do further changes or repairs with due efforts. 

The consultant takes care that proper training is given to the users and that the system is usable, performing appropriately and the business flow is complete and correct. 

During go live he assists the technical staff by testing the behaviour of the system. 

After go live he guarantees that the procedures remain usable and consistent in real live situation and proposes enhancements. 

The main duty of a consultant is to transfer external know-how to the client. It is not manpower that counts but intelligence, understanding of processes, a feeling for defects and general a common sense.  

Role of a Functional Consultant in an End To End Implementation

When you talk about the role of a Functional consultant in an end to end implementation, I think it won't be possible for me or anybody to define everything but I will try to summarize it:

1. Functional consultant is expected to generate knowledge about the current business process, design current business flows, study current business processes and its complication, in all we can say getting through with current business setup. Flow diagrams and DFD are prepared, most of the time in Vision format, all this forms the part of AS IS document.

2. Everything configured has to be documented as per their categories in the form of predefined templates, these have to be then approved by the team leads or who ever the consultant is reporting to.

3. Mapping and GAP analysis is done for each module, I have seen people defining integration after mapping, gap analysis and configuration is done, but as per my experience in implementation, it is a simultaneous process.

4. Before starting configuring  future business processes in SAP, the DFD/ERD are prepared, this documentation is called TO BE, which can be also said as the result of mapping and gap analysis.

5. Sometimes Functional consultants are also expected to prepare test scripts for testing the configured scenarios.

6. End user manual and user training is also expected from F.Consultants.

The project normally starts off  with a Kick off meeting in which the team size, team members, reporting system, responsibilities, duties, methodology, dates and schedules, working hours which have been predicted are formally defined.

ASAP, it won't be possible for me to explain it here, but all I can tell you about it is that it is SAP standard implementation methodology, which SAP prescribes but is not mandatory for any company to follow, such as IBM follow some blue Methodology, some companies follow typical SDLC steps, ASAP stands for Accelerated SAP, you can find all the steps on SAP site, through google, reading it from there won't give you a great knowledge about ASAP but will obviously get you to know the definitions of various term. 


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