What it Means to Be Functional vs Technical

One of the questions that I’ve always hated is “Are you technical or functional?”  I started with an MBA, so I started functional, but damn I spent a lot of hours to make sure that my technical skills are there as well.

What I’ve slowly come to realize is that there are very few people that are both.  It’s understandable; most people find one path that they like and stick with it.  There’s a certain amount of 20th century thinking to this.  My father stressed the idea of going to work at one company and staying there until retirement.  I have clients where people who have been on the job a decade are short timers.  Unfortunately, this is now a rare luxury.  Being multi-faceted and keeping your skills sharp is a necessity.

Back to the topic.  Which skills does it take for a successful implementation?

Use financial professionals.  Look for a consultant who has a finance background before they went into the tech side.  If you have a big implementation (which be definition won’t be fast), hire an advocate that’s independent of your main implementation. Clients should be suspicious if they are offered many resources at a low rate.  Look for a few good ones that can really work the project well.

Why not just hire the first Hyperion programmer you come across?  Understanding the nature of the problems you’re trying to solve and knowing what the software can do have to be united.  Communication can bridge some of the gap, but the best blending happens in one mind.

There are excellent programmers out there, and for complex implementations they are absolutely necessary.  What you don’t want is no one who understands what a balance sheet is.  While this will be apparent eventually, unfortunately it doesn’t show itself until much later in the process.  You will end up spending far more in the long run if you don’t have both sides represented for an EPM implementation.

​Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  This is my favorite holiday and I would ask everyone to take a moment out of their day to remember what you’re thankful for.  I’ll be back with another posting after the holiday.