The last months we hired quite some new people including four Junior Developers that we are training to become JD Edwards developers. How do you fit this process into daily operations and into the fast moving train of a company, of which most employees are already over the top of their heads?
One of Cadran’s three managing directors once aptly called this phenomenon “the cannibalization of the consultant”. By this he is referring to the struggle between 1. deploying a consultant as full-time as possible at a client to maximize billable hours, versus 2. having someone develop, study, work on internal projects or train new employees. It is of great importance that there is sufficient time for the second topic. After all, a good consultant becomes a better consultant if there is time to develop and to keep up with the fast-growing new innovations.
This is also the case with new employees. Of course we want to send them out into the field as quickly as possible in order to become billable on projects at customers. But they will first have to get a good foundation and education. This immediately places a double burden on the organization. First of all, we invest time to give these people their studies, but it also requires coaching capacity by an experienced person, who is then not billable at a client.
Our four new colleagues are fresh from a Full Stack Development course. For them the world of ERP, JD Edwards, international companies, huge implementation projects, change management, the tool-set, and professional jargon is a new continent to discover, explore and experience. It is a beautiful journey.
It is a challenge of finding a good balance between education, training, coaching and granting them independent study time, so that they can quickly get started with practical assignments. A wise man once said to me: “You cannot transfer experience. You can only gain experience.” It is a path for everyone to travel at their own pace. But through intensive coaching and guidance and giving the right resources, we can provide them with a spread bed that is as good and comfortable as possible.
Author: Rick Brobbel, BI Consultant at Cadran Analytics