Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes here at RKLeSolutions? What exactly is a solution architect? Hopefully if you made your way to this post, it's because you have curiosity in the life of a consultant at RKL. Here is my attempt to walk you through it.
First, let me just be frank (no not Frank the Solution Architect), but what I’m about to explain is purely based on my experiences and roles and may be completely different from the next consultant, even Frank himself. That’s the first thing about being a consultant – there is no one way, no standard operating procedure (and if there were, I never got a copy). Consultants are constantly trying to find their way every day in this continually evolving and growing role. So are you ready to learn the untold life of an ERP consultant??
Let’s skip over the usual suspects that appear in just about any career, like meetings and emails, those are a given. When it comes to the meat and potatoes of an RKL consultant, I’d have to say it’s having conversations with clients and really understanding what they do. I am most successful when I understand the reasons for the actions in the client’s business. That’s where the issues are truly uncovered. Once issues are uncovered (regardless of how big or small they are), that’s when I can dig in and do my job. Drafting up a solution to your problem and actually seeing it come to fruition is the ideal goal of the solution architect. So how does one person do this? Well actually it’s usually a team of talent that generally gets it done.
Let’s talk about how consultants might get attached to your project. In my experience there’s a couple ways. First, expertise in the subject. The expert consultant needs to either have a background in the proposed solution or the technical knowledge. Second, proximity to the client. Since RKL has grown so much over the last couple years, there’s a good chance we have a consultant that lives within decent travelling distance from you (it’s nice to not have to travel over multiple time-zones). What I personally love about being tied to a project merely for proximity is that sometimes it works as a cross training effort and training is valuable for a knowledge sponge like me.
At this point we have identified a problem, a solution, and a team. The final step is to execute the project. This is where it truly becomes a partnership with the client. We’re all working toward the same goal, and if there was ever a challenge in the process, likely this is the stage it will be seen. Every project is a learning experience for the consultant and the companies alike, and no two projects are the same. In order for us to support the most crucial part of this process, we’ve adapted tools like SmartSheet to keep us on task and moving forward. Smartsheets allows us to focus on any areas of risk. While Project Management is completely new to me, some consultants are veterans in that area. As time allows, I’ve been reading “Project Management That Works” by Morris, Sember. It’s a simple book to read, and has given me some pretty good insight to learn from other’s mistakes (as opposed to making them myself).
Now that you’ve peeked into a day in my life, what questions do you have for our team? We are always eager to help you find solutions to your business management challenges.