Five points an ABAPer expects from Functional Consultants
In SAP implementations, Functional as well as Technical Consultants works together to get the deliverable done within the defined time frame. Over a period of time, experienced Functional Consultants tends to adopt following points in there work pattern leading to a smoother development phase.
Also, Technical Consultants expects its Functional counterparts to posses these to have maximum efficiency in the work environment, avoiding rework.
Five points an ABAPer expects from Functional Consultants:
1. Understanding of Business – By the time project moves from Project Preparation to Business Blueprint creation, Functional Consultant should have gained all the minute business/ client details where the effort is required from Development Team. There are cases where wrong/partial requirement gathering have resulted in a total scrap of the custom development or a total rework of existing efforts, leading to increase in cost to project with no good cause.
2. Understanding of SAP – Functional Consultants should have CLEAR understanding of what are the areas of enhancements in existing system, level of flexibility that can be provided to client and what are the things to be developed from scratch (complete custom development). A balance between SAP standard system and custom development should be maintained (in ideal situation, where there is not much deviation from existing process cycles).
3. Keeping SAP System Fit – Keeping the SAP system fit is a collaborative task involving Functional and Technical Constants. Functional Consultants should keep themselves upto-date with all the new and relevant SAP Notes released from SAP and make sure they are applied well in time with the help of Technical Consultants. Many a times, this can cause gaps resulting in improper system behavior.
4. Granularity of Functional Specification (F.S.) Documents – F.S. documents delivered by Functional Consultants ideally should have well defined steps to follow having stress on technical knowledge like SAP Tables, relevant Function Modules / BAPIs to be used in fetching / data posting. Similarly, in case of enhancements F.S. should give clear picture of requirements in terms of Enhancements / BADIs / User-exits / Field-exits, etc. Many times its Technical Consultant you can find, fixing the logic as per his/her understanding (which should be avoided, or at least with proper discussion, to avoid later blame game).
5. Tools in Functional Armory – There are many SAP tools which a Functional Consultant should use to avoid technical dependency or make it minimal to some extent. SAP tools like Legacy System Migration Workbench (LSMW) for less complex data migration, SAP Query for simple reporting, T-Code Variants for screen level visibility of fields and Smartforms / Adobe Forms knowledge in NACE assignments; helps Functional Consultant to have better understanding of how actually SAP works as a system.