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UK Agency Advise : Progressive

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UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Milleruk » Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:46 am

How is the agency.

Sent me a mailer with specific role, spent good 20 minutes talking about role etc but then said it just wanted to update database !!!

Has anyone worked with these guys?

SM
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Al. » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:06 am

From an employers POV they have been in touch a couple of times to try & flog us candidates. I've not heard anything specifically bad about them from an employees/contractors perspective & bad news tends to travel quite fast. Doing a bit of database update sounds a bit like sharp practice but could just be a (very) poor excuse for qualifying you out of the role and not wanting to argue the toss about your suitability.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Milleruk » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:12 am

Al. wrote:From an employers POV they have been in touch a couple of times to try & flog us candidates. I've not heard anything specifically bad about them from an employees/contractors perspective & bad news tends to travel quite fast. Doing a bit of database update sounds a bit like sharp practice but could just be a (very) poor excuse for qualifying you out of the role and not wanting to argue the toss about your suitability.


Maybe you are right. Of the laundry list of 30 odd expertise that the clients demand, there are couple, where it is difficult to say yes or at best doubtful yes and off they go !!
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Martin_US » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:37 am

Oh you mean like asking SAP SD certified people if they know order-to-cash process?

But when you ask what the project scope is they don't know ...
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Milleruk » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:48 am

Martin_US wrote:Oh you mean like asking SAP SD certified people if they know order-to-cash process?

But when you ask what the project scope is they don't know ...


:)

Unfortunately it was like FI, CO, FICA, integration of FICA with COPA, AP, Invoice Verification. Good to have ABAP development and ECC on HANA.

On call everything was fine except ABAP and HANA and the position all of a sudden disappeared !
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Martin_US » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:14 pm

Which of course begs the question why you would need to know ABAP?
For debugging or writing? What do they want? Are the expectations reasonable?

And HANA? Why the heck do you need to know HANA?

I asked the Basis guys here - why me worry about HANA?
I couldn't care less. From a functional perspective I give rats about the underlying database.
Simply wouldn't have the time to learn all applicable flavors of any given data source that SAP works with.
Or has anyone ever asked you about the OS SAP runs on? That to me would be equally, if not more important.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Milleruk » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:35 pm

I asked the question, the agent had no clue. Like, do you know or not and first I said no then I know debugging....then "what does it mean do you know ABAP, yes or no"...I wanted to say FO, but said a reluctant yes. HANA, again reluctant yes....waffle really.

Then the agent went into loop of database update !!!

:evil: :D
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Martin_US » Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:04 pm

That's because they have no clue.
They don't know what is and is not relevant.

They forget what consulting is. Consulting is giving advise, analyze a system and problems, provide solutions.
Consulting is not hammering in configuration nor is it coding or production support.

Whilst that can be part of the job, if that is where the emphasis is, then something is wrong.
If you need a consultant for production support, then your production system has been shot to hell during the implementation (or any time thereafter) because you didn't listen to qualified consultants.

I don't want someone for production support, I want someone who makes the problem go away.
Who works on the root cause.

I don't want a testing consultant, cause most testing should be done by the business as part of UAT. They need to get to know the system and the hick-ups. Then they can help themselves in the future. Do they need help? Sure, but help and not someone doing their job.

Actually just came across a requirement were testing was part of it. Never mind they want to use ASAP.
At some point I want to have a few killings for stupidity free in my life. Yes, IT can do some testing, but the business is ultimately in charge of that. Not IT. The business tests the crap and approves transport to production, not IT.
So, they want ASAP and before you even get to the end of the ad, they already toss one vital part out.

The business articulates the business requirements and therefore is in charge of testing and ensuring that the requirements have been met. This is their god damn job.

I am pretty sure the next thing they toss out the window is SOX compliance.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Milleruk » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:49 am

I think part of the blame must be with those in SAP who joined Permanent side of the thing and then started debasing SAP consulting as is. I find it annoying that companies spend millions, sometimes hundreds of millions on systems and yet the most powerful people on projects or project resource supply chains have no SAP knowledge.

You have a situation where Project Managers, Program Managers, HR managers call the shots and rarely do any of these have much SAP experience. In itself that would not be such a bad thing, but there also seem to be hierarchy where the hiring people are left with no clue on what is required.

Leaving those of us, still in contracting world, wondering how to deal with the hiring lines.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Martin_US » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:30 am

I thought about it last night ...

Lets spin a little story.

A manager comes up to you with a problem: x+2=4 and he can't figure out what x is.
So you explain to him that in this equation measures need to be taken to have x isolated on one side.
However, whatever action is taken needs to be applied to both sides of the "=" much like with a scale to keep the balance. So you suggest to deduct "2" on both sides.
x+2-2=4-2
Ok, now you show him the next step
x=4-2 cause you don't want to rush
x=2 would be the final step.
Now you suggest to set x=2 in the original equation
2+2=4
By all acceptable standards you have solved the problem.

The managers answer to your solution is: I really need a second opinion on this.

That's when it is time to close your Laptop and leave the project.

I actually have a classic example, that is way beyond me.
A company has SAP on HP with Unicode. On the Windows frontend they can enter and see everything in Cyrillic.
When they print through Windows, everything is fine, however, as soon as they pint via the HP print servers, they only get garbage.

The manager doesn't understand why, cause he has Unicode installed.

Little problem he didn't take into account is that he needs to have the font installed to actually print the stuff.
Ops. Guess what, fonts do cost money too (on certain platforms). Instead of just getting the font and be done with it, you now have to bend over backwards to have the stuff printed via the Windows frontend.

That scenario happened to me more than once. I have no idea where companies find those competent people. I am basically down to buddy business.
Last edited by Martin_US on Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Squarebear » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:36 am

My beef with Progressive is they periodically request feedback asking if the job roles they email me are applicable to me. They're invariably not. I take the time to tell them this, explaining my reasons why, but they continue sending the irrelevant job ads.

If they don't plan on acting on the feedback they are given then what, honestly, is the point in them requesting it?
Possibly the most modest person in the world.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Martin_US » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:49 am

Squarebear,

there are any number like this out.

I can understand, if they have a 2 year old CV and want a current one.
But why bother if in the 2 years since they have yours, they never have gotten you anything?
Or what they mailed you was not applicable?

That's when you have to cut the ties and let it go. Otherwise you are just a dead CV in a stack with others.
So why bother?

I know, I am having a tad bit of an attitude, but I have been around the block for too many years to deal with that crap.
Same with any mail that praises the company in ten plus lines and the job description isn't even a complete sentence and the rate below junk status. Likewise anyone asking for my rate goes into he junk bin.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Al. » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:44 am

Milleruk wrote:I think part of the blame must be with those in SAP who joined Permanent side of the thing and then started debasing SAP consulting as is. I find it annoying that companies spend millions, sometimes hundreds of millions on systems and yet the most powerful people on projects or project resource supply chains have no SAP knowledge.


I've worked with some great project/programme managers who have had no SAP specific knowledge. What they have had is knowledge on how to manage IT projects, hire good people and sniff out BS. I lose count of the number of experienced SAP PM's who have hired their mates on daft contract rates and have surrounded themselves with mediocre "yes" men & women.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Martin_US » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:31 am

As you said, it depends on the qualification and expectation.

I at least get a little nervous when someone fills out the weekly PowerPoint status report and can't really judge what's going on. Let alone focus on what is project critical vs. a relatively minor problem with not much impact on the project, yet receives major attention.

I joint a project way back and looked at the roll out strategy. What they had planned you can't do with SAP and I told them that. Since such things get are critical, I got ignored. 6 month later they saw it didn't work and had to restructure the entire project.

I guess I expect from the PM and higher ups to listen to advise, be cause that is what consultants are supposed to do. Give advise. Then I can handle a PM who doesn't have SAP specific knowledge. Someone who just wants a status update and holds the weekly stomp speech isn't very helpful.
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Re: UK Agency Advise : Progressive

Postby Al. » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:04 am

Martin_US wrote:I guess I expect from the PM and higher ups to listen to advise, be cause that is what consultants are supposed to do.


Amen to that!
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