Don’t Have SAP Time Management Issues

Time

Do you have the time?

Do you have SAP Time Management Issues?

In the world of publishing and writing, there is an event held each year known as National Novel Writing Month. The goal is as it sounds: to write an entire novel in one month. For anyone who has undertaken this task before, you already understand what a feat this kind of task is.

Even professional authors struggle to produce such output on a regular basis. However, each year, thousands of people try, and each year, a percentage of them succeed. They are rewarded with bragging rights and a completed manuscript that they one day might be able to turn into something publishable.

What would you be able to accomplish if you were given a herculean task in your field and told you only had a certain amount of time to finish it? Would you be paralyzed and overwhelmed? Or would you take inventory of the specifications and the elements that were critical to quality, start dividing up tasks, and push through until it was finished?

The imposition of a difficult deadline is a powerful thing. It makes you cut your processes down to the bare essentials. It forces you to focus on only the important things and to make split second decisions, often based more on a gut feeling and intuition rather than logical reasoning and careful planning.

Have you ever desperately wanted to skip the procedural nonsense at work and just implement a solution that you know will work, without any fuss or drawn out meetings on the topic? Unfortunately, skipping those steps can spell significant problems for you when it comes to justifying your actions to the higher-ups if things should go wrong later. However, that doesn’t mean there are not things you can’t do right now to boost your productivity and increase your work output.

Consider the all-important deadline. What if you imposed one on yourself every time you had a task assigned to you that you do not like? Most procrastination can be attributed to people simply putting off today what they do not want to do, convincing themselves that they will be in a better mood tomorrow to tackle the parts they do not like.

When you have a deadline, there is no putting it off: you do it, along with all of the other components you have to do, and you put it behind you. Think of it a bit like ripping off a band aid; you can do it one millimeter at a time, or get it over with quickly so you no longer have to think about it.

By setting these deadlines for yourself, even if they are imaginary or self-imposed, your productivity at work will skyrocket.

What project has been sitting on your desk at work, untouched, for the longest period of time? Have you been stalling on developing a new ABAP report for the accounting department? Have you avoided upgrading some of your BW reports because you know it will take too long? Are you uncomfortable with HTML and putting off updating the company website?

Whatever you are avoiding, it is time to tear the mask off of your procrastination and get started right now.

SAP ABAP Select-Option Fields LOW-HIGH

Today I am going to answer a question from one of the students in the SAP ABAP Beginners course:

Hi ,
I am little bit not sure about how low and high field work here . when we can set the max or min value that we want to include or exclude in our report using LT,EQ,GT and so on.

Could you explain a little bit about the application of low or high field here ?

 

Hone You SAP Skills By Studying What Others Have Done

SAP History

The advantage of being an SAP professional today is that there are plentiful resources out there to help you learn your trade. Books and classes abound, claiming to be able to give you all of the skills you need to become a great ABAP programmer, consultant, systems administrator, and more.

Professors who were around back before computers were a standard household item now teach university classes for people gearing up for careers that revolve around technology and computers – items that were previously a luxury and now that society cannot do without, particularly in business.

Reading books and taking classes are a great way to get a good foundation in whatever area you hope to build your career. However, it is also extremely important for you to obtain hands-on experience and to study the work of those who have gone before you.

Compare this practice to how an author might approach her career. Most people who write books do so because they read something that inspired them to write. The idea to write would not simply occur to someone who never read anything. And, typically, many authors are not only inspired to write because they read something they liked, but also because they read something they disliked.

How many people have you heard declare that they are writing the next great novel because, honestly, they could produce something ten times better than the horrible stuff out on the market today?

Then, consider what an author might do in order to assist her in writing that novel – she probably reads other novels in that genre to see what other authors are doing and how they approached a given topic. Whether fiction or non-fiction, authors are not just writers; they are voracious consumers of the written word.

Is this how you approach your career in your given IT field? Certainly, you should take classes and other means of professional development to stay up-to-date on emerging trends and new technologies. IT is a field that is constantly being updated and improved. But what about history? If you administer an SAP system, is your company’s version the only one you know? Did you work with the prior release of SAP, or have you at least been able to take a look at it to see how different it is from the current release?

Authors read other authors’ works in order to keep a fresh perspective on their own work. They want to see another writer’s take on crime fiction or psychology and to see things that may not have thought of before. Seeing these ideas gives them ideas of their own to work with that they can then carry into future stories.

This is why, if you get a chance to look at something you do in IT from another perspective, you should always take it. Can you see if another ABAP programmer might approach a problem from a different angle than you do? How is another company’s SAP system implemented compared to how you helped implement the processes in yours? What networking solutions are out there that you had not explored for your own company?

You may think getting access to this information is tough; in many ways, you would be right. Most companies are not too keen on sharing their secrets with outsiders – after all, if you work for the competition and another company has a better way of doing something, they certainly would not want that information to fall into the wrong hands.

However, you might consider even looking at companies in different industries – clothing manufacturing is very different from agricultural processing, but if they both utilize some form of SAP or computer networking system, why not see if you can pick the other administrator’s brain or get a tour?

You obviously are not in competition. If you work on the programming side of things, consider looking to open source programs that are available for perusal – simply to see how other programmers have attacked different problems. By studying the work of those who have gone before you, you will continue to hone your skills and gain valuable insights that will help you diversify your skill set and remain a valuable asset to your company.

SAP Methodologies and Processes

A key reason many companies decide to implement SAP is to improve efficiency. Computerizing a company’s systems and processes is often convenient and enhances productivity by cutting out long delays in the transmission of information.

SAP replaces the company’s current methodology, so to speak. However, as an SAP administrator or consultant, you yourself need a methodology for implementing and maintaining SAP.

Updating Methodologies and Processes

Methodologies are exceptionally important. Far from just being a business buzzword, good methodologies are a road-map for performing a task well, and with exceptional results.

How does your IT department handle system problems? What happens when a request comes down from above, or when an end user reports an error? Do you launch a solution instantaneously, or do you have to go through several layers of authorization and verification before you can get to the root of the problem? Can you see a way to streamline the process?

IT errors that disable systems for extended periods of time can have a crippling effect on a business.

Do you get a say-so in developing your business’ IT methodologies?

If so, that is excellent news – you should strongly consider what processes can be updated and upgraded to make your department more effective and efficient. If not, you may want to consider talking to someone if you spot an area where you think the methodology could be improved.

Remember to do this in a respectful, non-complaining manner. Rather than suggesting there is a problem, couch your suggestion in terms of a way of improving an existing system that already works.

Keep in mind that many companies, particularly larger ones, fear change, especially if what they have been doing for so many years still works. Even if it does not work well, it is familiar, and they know it will not go catastrophically wrong – at least not yet. These companies need to be eased into something new bit by bit.

If you need help figuring out how to lead your company through a cycle of change, consider reading a book or taking a course on Six Sigma. It will give you a better understanding of change management and process improvement strategies to try in your company.

As an SAP professional, though, there is one methodology you should be familiar with: ASAP. ASAP stands for Accelerated SAP, and it helps consultants develop a plan for an SAP implementation to make it as quick and efficient as possible. An in-depth discussion of this program is a topic for another day, but familiarize yourself with its phases so that you can be prepared to discuss it if needed:

  1. Project Preparation: What are your goals and objectives? What is the scope of your project? How long do you have? Who will be in charge of what?
  2. Business Blueprint: Review the questions provided by SAP and answer them to determine how each process in the business will be mapped to the processes in SAP.
  3. Realization: Configuration of SAP to the processes laid out in the business blueprint.
  4. Final Preparation: Testing, training, tweaking, and fixing.
  5. Go Live & Support: On-going troubleshooting, maintenance, and optimization.

The best methodologies are often the simplest. You should have your own methodologies for your work throughout the day as well. What are some regular habits you can implement to make your workflow smooth and efficient?

Make Big, Honking Mistakes in SAP

Never Stop Learning SAP at UdemyThink about a hobby you have. Any hobby. Do you play a musical instrument? Have you ever played sports? Are you a closet writer? A knitter?

Now, think about how you first started out on that hobby. The first notes you ever played on your instrument: how did they sound? What happened the first time you went out on the cricket pitch or held a baseball bat? How was the first story you ever wrote? What did the first hat you ever knitted look like?

Never Stop Learning SAP

If you’re a normal human being, chances are, you were not born good at everything. Granted, some people have what is dubbed “natural talent” for certain things – and some people are even lucky enough to determine what their natural talent actually is – but most of the time, the way to really excel at something is to first go out and mess up at it as much as possible.

This approach may seem counter-intuitive. After all, if you are looking to improve your skills at something, shouldn’t you strive to not mess up as much as possible?

Shouldn’t you be finding the right way to do something, and then doing only that? Mistakes cost time and money, and now we want you to go around making them deliberately?

In a word, yes. The way to learn something inside and out is to see how badly and how often you can make it go wrong, and how you can fix it when it does go wrong. If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t growing.

Put another way, deep understanding doesn’t come if everything is always going right. SAP professionals don’t get hired by companies whose systems are operating flawlessly already. Furthermore, if every system did operate flawlessly, we would have nothing left for our whole industry except to dust off our hands, polish our resumes, and opt for a quick career change.

Companies don’t want IT people who can only tell them what to do when their system is working perfectly; they want professionals who can troubleshoot and fix it when everything goes haywire.

That’s all well and good, you might say, but if I make a mistake on the job, I’m toast! So where am I supposed to go to make these big, honking mistakes that are supposed to help me learn?

Well, if you’re working with SAP, chances are you do not have your own SAP system sitting around somewhere that you can practice on. However, in your never-ending quest to update and grow your skills, are you able to enroll in any programs that would give you hands-on experience?

Classes are often one of the best ways to get permission to learn and make mistakes – after all, you’re a student, and mistakes are expected.

Does your company have a testing or development platform you can use for your experiments? That is another way to have permission to make mistakes – after all, what else is a testing platform for?

In any area, whenever you have an opportunity where it won’t cost your company time or money, it’s a good idea to try to make things go wrong first; learn the symptoms, just like a medical student learns what goes wrong in the human body to make it behave a certain way.

Figure out how to form a diagnosis, then figure out how to treat your patient – in this case, a computer system or other piece of technology. Set up regular practice sessions, just like you would if you were working on any other skill.

What, exactly, should you be practicing?

Well, what are the components of your job? You probably have a number of programs you use on a regular basis, but each of those programs probably has functions and parts to it that you rarely, if ever, get utilized. What if you started by picking one new function a day to use and familiarize yourself with it, even if it’s not a regular part of your workday? Even if you aren’t using it, chances are, someone in your company is, and if that’s the case, it’s going to go wrong some day. Shouldn’t you be familiar with it in case that happens?

You may spend a great deal of your time on the back end of SAP, tweaking things and customizing them, but do you understand what some of the functions actually do in the logistics module? Why not open up the help documentation, read through it, and then check out what others in the SAP community have to say about what can go wrong with some of these processes?

If you use ABAP on a regular basis, check out what kinds of programs are available online for you to peruse. Familiarize yourself with the code it takes to implement certain features. For example, check out ALV reporting using ABAP Objects, chances are that once you have taken the time to learn the specific coding techniques involved, you will be able to recognize the detailed method calls and parameters if you ever have implement or amend existing ABAP code.

For an additional challenge, you may even want to try timing yourself.

Pick a feature you want to implement, a customization option in SAP you want to utilize, or a process your company may want to use in the future that tracks to a particular SAP function – how long does it take you to learn that feature, use it, and tweak it to certain specifications?

Can you find any shortcuts? Try to beat your best time after doing it a few times. You would be surprised what your mind can discover when you put other variables in place, like time constraints. Whatever you do, make sure that you are practicing on your chosen platform on a daily basis and growing your skills each day.