Here we go again.
Jon Reed, Dennis Howlett, Martin Gillet, Michael Koch, and Leonardo Di Araujo, collectively known as the Certification 5, have posted a 55-page, somewhat discoordinated white paper exploring the need to vastly upgrade the SAP consultant certification process. http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/18849
The article even got the attention of Larry Digby, Editor in Chief of ZDNet http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=33369&tag=col1;post-33369
Given the prominence of all of the above, it is certain that this work will be seriously scrutinized by SAP as there is still a perception that too many of the SAP consultants in the field are short on the requisite skills. As it happens, the whole subject was kicked back into high gear about a year ago when (then) CEO Leo Apotheker had this outburst in front of reporters and bloggers:
“I don’t give a s**t if it’s Accenture or IBM. I care about the customer. I find it shocking people are walking around talking to customers and have no experience on [SAP]. [Consultants] get hired by people and have no clue. It’s annoying but that’s a fact. Let’s start by certifying people,” said Apotheker. “If we believe [a project] takes 500 days and another partner says it’s 5,000 days I’ll do it for 500 and a fixed fee.”
While I would welcome tighter certification of individual consultants, even the Certification 5 tend to focus on technical skills (DiAraujo elaborately argues against the viability of testing “soft” consulting skills.) All the same, I remain convinced that it’s the systems integration firms that require certification. We all know that even with a team of highly qualified consultants, a single crappy project manager can drive a project into the ground. This was my argument a year ago http://snipurl.com/vpb26 and it remains my argument today.
If certification is focused on SAP technical acumen alone (without business knowledge), the certified term should not be “consultant”.
Engineers without business knowledge often build beautiful and efficient bridges to nowhere.
It’s long past time some of the lack of talent in the consulting world finally got real scrutiny. And it is way overdue for SAP to offer an actual transcript service for any consultant who claims to have had training or certification.
For the current crop of high quality training companies out there that offer SAP training, maybe SAP can provide a “certification” or logo program for them and include their classes and training in its transcript service. SOMETHING has got to be done to improve the quality of the consulting field because there are way too many snake oil salesmen out there with too much hype and not enough skill.
Republished from Michael Doane’s Web Site:
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