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I have 12 - 13 years experience being a very hands-on manager leading medium and larger projects in Web Technologies. I suddenly was forced to move into senior roles which involved leading projects in various technologies and just as suddenly found myself leading an SAP support project.

I feel I am now at the crossroads of my career since a functional overview across modules makes me feel half baked. The project is going well, but I feel handicapped because I am not able to add value technically/functionally. What is the quickest way to scale up, or should I just go back to Web Technologies?

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I think the problem you are running into is that different companies have different ideas about how "hands-on" their managerial roles are. You say in your question you are "hands-on," but in fact it seems like you are not getting strong technical or functional experience in this management role. I would suggest seeing this particular project through to a successful milestone. Prove yourself in this area, and ask your company what the prospects are for more of a hands-on managerial role in SAP. If it doesn't look promising, then you'll have a clearer idea of your options.

If you're determined to get further under the hood of SAP, then at that point, you may want to apply to other companies until you find one where the managers are more hands-on in SAP. Smaller companies running on SAP may offer more opportunities for this.

This was first published in July 2007

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