One Community or Two?
While at a Gartner conference a number of weeks ago, I heard the following: At times the relationship between the IT organization and the business units it supports can be downright hostile. I also heard, in a recent survey of CEOs, there was an indication that IT was perceived as the biggest inhibitor of change. From an IT perspective, I can well imagine: thems fightin words.
I would say that here in SDN, the community has certainly not acted with any out and out hostility to the appearance of the nascent BPX community, nor has there been overtly negative response to the conversations that are evolving in the /community [original link is broken].
But already the question arises as to whether there are two separate communities now housed under the roof of SDN: the Developer Community and the Business Process Expert Community.
One need only look at this What is a SDN topic and what is a BPX topic? to see that the debate is already on.
I’m fairly certain that there exist many successful models out there for how IT and Business collaborate. The interaction between the Business Process Expert Community and the SAP Developer Network could very well serve as one of them.
After interviewing a good number of folks at Sapphire and being at the receiving end of cumulative intelligence gathered by many of my colleagues concerning the role of the business process expert, Id like to share with you some thoughts about this evolving new community, paraphrased from Thomas Volmering, an expert in the Business Process Management arena and Senior Product Manager for SAP NetWeaver BPM (you can check out his many blogs and articles on the subject of Business Process Management, under his contributions, by the way).
He said something like this:
“If our approach is role-based, that doesnt necessarily mean incorporating the entire context of the SAP Developer Network into the Business Process Expert Community. If we wish to create for the Business Process Experts the same kind of community that we have built for the Developers on SDN we probably need to make this clear content delineation:
In the BPX realm we can deliver content for:
- Value Engineering
In the SDN environs we already deliver content concerning:
- Software Engineering
With that thought of Thomas’ in mind, I began to make a checklist of the artifacts that might be useful for our Business Process Experts based on much of what I have heard these last few weeks/months.
Some of my BPX list of community content includes:
- Business case studies
- Process design models
- Discussions of change management, governance, risk, and compliance
- Business and process rules implementation examples
I guess the challenge we now face is how to create active collaboration between the communities while retaining the unique “persona” of each of these communities…(developers and business process experts) all the while providing the appropriate contents to folks who represent very different roles.
I think there’s lots of opportunity here, as well as challenge. If there is an “IT/Business Divide”, what better way to bridge it than by communication, and what better form of communication than collaboration….and collaboration is exactly what you can find on SDN/BPX.
And speaking of collaboration, meet: Audrey Weinland, the content strategist for the Business Process Expert Community Pages. Audrey and I collaborate to bridge the divide between formal content and community-contributed content. Audrey is responsible for gathering articles, white papers, learning objects, and formal content that grace the BPX pages, from internal and external experts and practitioners.