Sunday, 01 September 2019 05:20

9 tools every that will help in your SAP career

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Introduction

If there are 5 players who have a great offensive game, who would you pick in your team if you had one choice?

Answer: The one who is the best at defence among them!

Get better at things that no one else is paying attention to.

Sure, you need to have great SAP skills to succeed in your SAP job, but there are other skills and tools that help you get noticed as well.

Below are some tools that I have used to make me a great SAP consultant.

1. Stepshot

Let me guess, one of the things that you aren’t fond of in your SAP jobs is, documentation

Your boss asks you to create documents and you cringe and get them in at the last minute. The documentation isn’t great and you hope that there aren’t a lot of these requests.

Every project requires us to create step bystep BPPS or guides for the end users when a project goes live. We need to capture screen shots as part of UAT, upgrades or system testing after an upgrade.

If you are still using Microsoft Word, then you are wasting a lot of time!

With MS word, you have to first take a screenshot, paste it in a document, then scroll down and write some text and then flip back to your SAP screen and then take another screenshot and so on.

If you are like me, you probably have 10 windows open and you might switch to another window rather than the Microsoft Word window which wastes a lot of time.

I have started using this awesome tool called Stepshot, which has made it so easy to document stuff that I actually like it now. ?

Here is how it works.

You can hit a shortcut on your keyboard while you are on the sap screen and Stepshot will take a screenshot of this and insert it in the Stepshot program without you having to do alt/tab and switch between windows

You can then write your text, add annotations, hide sensitive info, all with a few clicks. 

And then publish it as a Word, PowerPoint or pdf document. 

There’s also an option of having the screenshots automatically taken!

If you click on FB03, it will take a screenshot automatically and insert the text “click on FB03”.

If you have tried other apps before where it annoyingly takes a screenshot everytime you click and then you have to delete a bunch of screenshots, then I have further good news.

In Stepshot you can define when a screenshot is taken or not taken, e.g. you can say take a screenshot everytime there is a click + A key, this way you don’t end up taking more screenshots than what is needed.

Give this a try and I promise you will be saving a lot of time. 

2. CloudApp

Do your coworkers or users ask you a question and you send instructions and then they still don’t get it or you end up screen sharing and end up spending 20 minutes on what should have been a quick 5 minute answer?

Here is what you can do instead. Use cloud app to quickly record the steps. It automatically creates a link and copies it to your clipboard.

You simply send them the link and you are done in a minute.

Access these links from your folders and send this to someone who asks you the same question after a week.

For example, if someone asks you how do you filter on document type SA in the transaction code FBL3N, just send them the link below rather than screen sharing and having to do it with multiple people. 

You can also take screenshots and insert the link for people to view.

Rather than creating a Word document and inserting all my screenshot in my SAP OSS incident, I simply paste the links.

If you want to post your error message on a Facebook or LinkedIn group, you don’t need to take a pick of your screen using your phone and insert an ugly picture, just insert the link instead.

Old way

 

New Way

Hey guys are these settings correct? (you can even blur out sensitive info easily) and then send them this link: https://cl.ly/7bc78356ec8c, which opens on their screen:

Image 2019-08-13 at 11.37.38 AM.png

3. Process street

What do McDonland’s, Subway, Starbucks and other chains have in common?

A process!

You get the same taste regardless of which location you visit.

How is that possible?

Everyone follows the exact same steps. They have easy to follow steps, so anyone can follow along and get the same result.

Now compare that to SAP. 

You get a ticket that a payment file has not been sent to the bank. You start looking for which jobs might have failed, check the variants, check the folders and finally figure out what went wrong.

If you get the same error after a month, chances are that you won’t remember each and every step right away. You still spend some time checking a few transactions and finally figure out what the solution is. If you could just follow the exact steps to fix it, this issue would be fixed in minutes.

Now imagine, you were out sick and someone else on your team had to work on this ticket? They would probably be bothering you on your “sick day” while you are at the beach.

Process street is like a checklist with the right screenshots in instruction in each step. Just create a process for every time a file doesn’t go through and follow those steps.

Rather than spending 2 hours on this ticket, you will be done in 20 minutes or less.

Everyone at work thinks I am genius for solving tickets so quickly. All I do is document these steps and follow them. I don’t depend on my memory, but a process.

Create a “recipe” for things like creating a new company code, common error messages, new employee onboarding and any other process your company has. 

Even if you have all the steps saved in a Word document in Sharepoint, it takes ages to get to it and it isn’t easy to follow.

Try out Process street.

4. Meister task

Prioritization – the thing that differentiates  from you being a star at work vs an average worker.

At any time you should know which issues are time sensitive and most crucial to the business. There’s no point fixing 10 issues which are of medium importance and ignoring the other issue which cost your company $10,000 in bank fees.

It’s not easy to organize my priorities in ticket tracking tool, so I just send the email that creates a ticket over to Meistertask. I just have to click the Send to Meistertask option in Outlook.

And it asks me for some details on which bucket to send the task to

And then I can view it in my kanban board in Meistertask.

There are other issues that you might be working on that aren’t created as tickets in the system. It is important to keep track of this as well and have it organized visually.

Due to Meistertask, I remain calm even when I have 50 tasks to work on.

Get your work organized and relax through Meistertask.

5. TimeZone

Whenever I need to set up a call that involves multiple time zones, I am not sure what takes more time, the actual meeting or finding a time that works for the meeting. 

When you have one team member in the UK, another in the US in CST, one in EST, one in India and another one in Angola, how do you quickly know what’s the right time to set up a meeting?

With timezone.io, I have my entire team on it.

I simply drag the time around to see a time that isn’t crazy like 3 am for my coworker and send out an invite. 

When I am talking to someone, I don’t have to ask “So Greg what time is it there?”

I can even have better conversations due to this.

“So what did you have for lunch Greg, you must have just got back.”

“Sorry Jessie, I know it is midnight, but this is the only time that worked for our team in India.”

It’s a free tool, so try it out.

6. Dashlane

You might not realize, but you enter your passwords, credit card info, address and other info numerous times throughout the day.

By using Dashlane, I just have to login once and it fills out all my passwords.

The password is auto generated and tough to crack which makes it very secure as well.

I no longer have my passwords as Welcome! as that’s the only password I could remember.

Not only that, it fills out my shipping address and address info with the click of a button.

It even does it on my mobile phone.

This has easily saved me 20 hours this year.

Get Dashlane. It’s worth every penny.

7. Toggl

On what tasks is your team spending the most time?

Is it on documentation, meetings, tickets, enhancements?

Without knowing this, you won’t know where you can make improvements. For example, if your team spends 70% of its time solving tickets, perhaps you need a knowledgebase where you create a FAQ for your business users or maybe your team isn’t good.

When you create a task toggl lets you choose the project and you can see how you are spending time against these projects.

You can start your time by just clicking a button

Or also enter it manually if you forget to start the timer.

You get a calendar view of how you spent your time. 

Instead of saying “Time flies” on Friday and have no clue where it went, you can look back and see that you spent 50% of your time on unproductive meetings.

Maybe it is time to decline them?

Toggl is an awesome tool. It even has a mobile app that syncs with the desktop app.

8. Smartsheet

Do you still have your project plan on Sharepoint and hire a person who just runs a report to see who hasn’t updated their tasks?

Does it take hours to figure out how many open defects your project has?

Here’s one of my favorite tools – Smartsheet.

By just looking at it for a minute, you can tell who needs to take action and how your project is doing. 

Instead of running multiple reports and then individually emailing everyone asking them for an update.

“Damn it Jack, it’s the 5th time I am asking you to update the damn plan!”

Just set up a trigger

If Jack doesn’t finish his task, he gets an email reminder automatically or alert his manager.

Jack can mark the task as complete from his email, so he is more likely to do it quickly. 

You can attach your project’s documents right within the plan as well.

It has so many other cool features and is becoming the go to project management tool. 

9. Slidebean

What takes more time, creating content for your PowerPoint or formatting it?

Pretty sure it is the formatting part.

Slidebean takes the annoying formatting part out out of the way. You just enter your text and add an icon or a pic.

It has lots of templates that you can use as well.

With the power of AI, you can focus on what actually matters, i.e. your content.

And it will do the design/formatting part for you. If you create a lot of PowerPoints, then use this tool to save an hour a day with slidebean.

Which tools do you like? Check out other ways to be a great sap consultant.


This is a guest post by Zaid Azam.

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