A couple of comments here:
1. You don't need to pull the knob off the shifter if you leave it in neutral.
2. Removal of the electrical plugs from their sockets on the underside of the top cover of the console is easier if you can slip a thin metal blade in between the plug and the containing socket so that the locking nub (you will see this protruding from a hole on the bottom of the white socket and the back of the blue socket) can slip out easier.
The BMW Diesel, it's not your grandfather's Dieselmobile.