Category: General
Author: Michel Kox

Consultancy, flexibility in the broadest sense of the word

For many people, working as a consultant is a conscious choice. And why not? You are good at something and what could be more fun to use that knowledge to improve processes and make work easier for users. The flat definition of a consultant is therefore:

“A consultant is someone who puts his or her knowledge at the service of others and generally works for many different clients. “


Working as a consultant is by definition flexible working, but the above definition has more facets than you might initially think. The first step is to work for different clients.

When I look at my personal situation, there was the situation around September 1 that I was winding down at a customer who works with SAP Project System. In addition, I was busy supporting a colleague at a customer who wants to create purchase and sales orders in an ECC environment by means of custom IDOCs. And there was the start of a new project at a customer with Material Management as core business in a new S4 system.

And then on Monday afternoon, while your head is full in the VF02 (Adjusting Sales Document, ed.), You will receive an invitation for a call in Teams about Output Processing via transaction VF31, with emails about the process flow arriving in the background. for replicating MM materials via Matmas IDOCs.

Or you can switch in your head… !? So my apologies to that one colleague who thought I was ready for the weekend again.


Time Management

Another important aspect of being a consultant is time management, especially the management of your own time. Of course it is important to get your tasks done within the sprint or to make sure you get the go-live of your project. But if there is one thing that I have learned over time as a consultant, it is that the work is never really finished, and rather yesterday than today.

So it is always important to keep the balance in your time. With a company phone you can always be reached, so you may be called in the evening for an emergency. Or that you receive emails during the weekend about a release that does not go quite as planned. It is then the consultant's fine art to consider whether it is appropriate at that moment.

And then there is the overtime… We have all done it and it will continue to occur as long as we work in this industry. And is it bad? No, I do not think so. When I started a new process at the beginning of this year, I liked it so much that every working day of my week lasted longer than 8 hours. And last summer vacation I grabbed my laptop outside in the sun, because I wanted to learn a little more about React JS.

Redefining simplicity

What makes working as a consultant within Oliver IT fun is that the company as a whole goes along with that flexibility.

As far as I am concerned, Oliver's philosophy does not only apply to the content of our profession, but also to dealing with customers and colleagues.

As a starting consultant, it can sometimes be difficult to balance that flexibility. But with some help from colleagues and some experience over the years, you will automatically find out how you shape that one consultancy skill.

And even then we still see big differences, where some like to work long hours and others have a more 9-to-5 mentality. Flexibility is customer-dependent and project-dependent and it is the art of the consultant to express that flexibility in the right way.

Everyone knows that I have 3 wonderful daughters and that I would love to get them out of school. That is why there is a time in the afternoon when I may not answer my phone, because I have 2 bags, 3 coats and a bicycle key in my hand, while I walk with other parents to 'meet up'.

When I'm at home at my laptop again, I'll talk to you soon!

Michel Kox Senior Consultant Integration.

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Peter Schults SAP Net weaver expert
Peter Schults