Next important skills for I T professionals are Functional Skills.
Functional Expertise is knowledge of business processes and related concepts that explains the nature, causes and effects of individual and integrated business activities. Functional Knowledge is the practical, tangible and usable knowledge of a particular business function enabling the possessor capable of performing that activity.
Simply speaking it is the knowledge of
- Business and its processes
- Concepts that tells you the “why” of things that is why someone does a particular task or activity.
- Knowledge of Principles – the rules of the functional area and procedures to perform different tasks.
- Functionalities or capabilities of the application or product or software solution that is being planned to be used for a particular process.
- Best Practices.
Functional Consultants are the experts having knowledge of concepts and business processes with understanding of business flows.
IT Functional Consultants are the experts having knowledge of concepts and business processes with understanding of business flows with added capability to analyze underlying software functionalities in comparison to business expectations.
In IT Implementations two types of knowledge experts are needed, one the business experts who provide the knowledge about the current business process and their expectations of the future automated system. These expectations are converted into software code by technical experts who specialize in various technologies and understand computer terminology and language.
Functional Consultants are generally domain specific like Finance, HR, Manufacturing, and Procure to Pay etc. They have educational background and experience in the relevant business process area, for example you will find a Chartered Accountant working as a General Ledger Functional Expert. They acquire ERP or ”Other Software Product” knowledge by undergoing a short training on ERP Module they are working in. Functional knowledge of business process and software makes a good Functional Consultant.
A good Functional Consultant will have in-depth understanding of the business processes, product features and ability to propose a solution for the business requirements.
Gaining functional knowledge for a technical expert can be challenging, but very rewarding as demand for professionals who have both technical expertise and strong foundation of business process expertise is ever increasing in today’s globalized economies. In the present era of globalization and liberalization, to deliver consistently, technical experts are required to reorient their historical approach of concentration on the technology and code development, and convert their expertise to a professional; who is not only technically sound; but who can understand the language business speaks. Similarly it is becoming important for a functional expert; to gain technical excellence by understanding technical capabilities, development standards; and controls; to recommend good functional design for the business.
Now let us focus on next skill which we are calling as Domain Expertise.
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