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Now that SAP launched a Community for the Business Process Expert, you might wonder and ask exactly this very question:

What is a Business Process Expert, Really?

What?

Let me counter with this check list:

  • While you regularly deal with IT professionals, developers or programmers, you might not exactly understand, why they love their work so much. But still, you work with them, talk to them on the same level and still feel there is a common ground of understanding?
  • You are in regular contact with end users, listen to what they need to achieve in their daily work, although you wouldn’t like to change places with them?
  • You are familiar with business processes and grab the business needs pretty fast?
  • Your participation in these tasks doesn’t stop at writing documents, but you long for touching the system and model yourself?

If this all sounds familiar and looks like your own job description, then you might already be a Business Process Expert. Then this Community is the right place for you and your desperate search has ended.
In case you hear about these descriptions the first time and still feel interested, then welcome to SAP’s Business Process Expert Community. Here is all the material for you to gather business process expertise.
In a more formal way, a Business Process Expert (BPX) as a new role is a combination of a Business Analyst, an Application Consultant and an Expert with enhanced modelling skills. Our experts in experts came up with the following mathematical formula:

BPX = Business Analyst + Application Consultant + [Enhanced Modelling]

(If the experience from book publishers is true, which says that each formula in a book reduces the number of readers by 50%, I just lost halve of mine. Thank you for staying with me.)

But what are Business Analysts, Applications Consultants and Enhanced Modelling skills?

Business Analyst = traditionally responsible for gathering business requirement and creating process models. Understands well the business unit’s goals and processes, and uses methodologies and tools.
Application Consultant = traditionally responsible for mapping process models to an application (e.g. CRM), identify gaps, configure the application, and transfer requirement for customization to a developer. Has deep application expertise.
[Enhanced Modelling] = Enhanced skill in modelling, including modelling process flows, configuration and adaptation of applications through changing of an application (executable) model. Reflects the changing emphasis for the role, as technology evolves to further empower this role (BPP, modelling tools, etc).

In other words: a BPX is on a permanent diplomatic mission between the different roles and tasks, like end user, IT professional and business requirements. Talk their talk, help them walk their walk.

How?

A BPX, like a software architect, like a manager, is not born or comes out of nowhere, no, BPX candidates have to go through a sometimes painfull but also awarding road of learning and understanding. The following list of skills and background is again a simple checklist. The BPX Professional Background (Skills):

  • High Knowledge of Business unit’s operations and core processes
  • Savvy in methodologies of gathering requirements and modelling business process flows
  • Comfortably using MS Office, Visio, and similar tools. Could be power user of Excel, using basic macros and scripting
  • Expertise (basic, intermediate, or deep) in specific applications/solutions, including their main business objects, services, and processes
  • Knows how to configure an application, also using a configuration language
  • Education: typically a college or graduate degree in information systems, system analysis, and/or business administration
  • No coding skills necessary

What are your duties as BPX?

The BPX Responsibilities and Tasks
Traditional

  • Detailed understanding of functionality needed for a role to complete a business task
  • Gathers requirements and produces process flows and definition of new/ modified business processes
  • Map requirements to an existing application’s and composite’s capabilities.

…and new BPP enabled tasks:

  • Configure and/or modify application using enhanced modelling capabilities, and service-enabled configuration tools
  • Creating and changing simple user interfaces: adding fields, table columns, UI logic, etc.
  • Model light weight composites, such as guided procedures, analytics, creating new views and query screens over transactional and/or analytical data

Why?

The Business Process Expert Community will serve BPX to better adapt Business Process and improve the use of enterprise software in companies to the benefit of users, customers and partners. We believe that the Community for Business Process Experts will not only grow in the next years, but that the number will skyrocket.

The question

The most important question comes at the end: How to pronounce BPX?
[Be:Pe:Eks]?
[eyyyy:B:eeeaaaa:P:eeeeieiei:X:sasasasaaaa]?

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6 Comments

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  1. Abdul Hakim
    Hi Mario,
    Your weblogs cleary explains the Business Process expert(BPE) tool.Basically I am an ABAP Developer.Is it possible for me to  become an Business Process Expert?.Whether we need any Java knowledge also for learning BPE?.
    How can i start learning BPE.Where to practice and what is the future of BPE?
    Plz clarify my above doubts…

    Thanks,
    Abdul Hakim
    SAP ABAP Consultant

    (0) 
    1. Mario Herger Post author
      A BPX does not need Java knowledge (or ABAP or…), that’s the beauty of it. But of course it’s never bad to have this knowledge and being able to do more than expected. It definitely helps to understand technical issues better (and be it only that programmers respect you as a “real
      peer” 😉

      Where to start? There are currently quiet some discussions in the SDN BPX forums going on, also with some people posting links to tools and blogs and articles. Go there and read yourself through the interesting thoughts and definitions.

      Mario

      (0) 
      1. Sam Antony
        Hi Mario
           I am a SAP SCM consultant in SNP. To what extent will the role of a BPX relevant to my field? And also, I understand the roles of a Business Analyst and an Application Consultant, but not really very sure of “Enhanced Modelling”. Your views are highly appreciated.

        Regards
        Sam Antony

        (0) 
        1. The short answer: yes, BPX is highly relevent to to you, as we (SAP and the Community) will gradually expand BPX content and discussion to functinal areas and industry domains. SCM is already getting some coverage, as you can see on the website.

          The formula illustrates the point that BPX’s don’t come from thin air… they extend and develop from real world roles, such as Business Analyst and Application Consultants.  As technology evovles, and modeling, composition, and component re-use become possible and accessible for non-developers. Application consultants would not only configure apps (as they do today), but also build analytic dash boards, create short processes through guided procedures, and other fun stuff.  Consultants and analysts will be empowered to impact their customers in the LOB’s in a way that was not possible before.  The term “enhanced modeling” refer to these new skills. SAP already released capabilities to empower the BPX, and in months to come, you’ll see a lot more.
          Ziv 

          (0) 
  2. Paul Wilson
    Hi,

    I agree with what you have written about the BPX. However I must ask you to consider the importance of Organisational Change Management as part of a BPX role. Especially around working within a communications framework, managing expectations, activities and messages consistant with the sponsor’s vision – these are all part of the change management scope, of which BPX has a very important role.

    Paul
    SAP BPX and OCM specialist (I think 😉

    (0) 
  3. Guido Brune
    Hello Mario,

    you are putting the expectations on BPX real high.

    To my personal opinion BPX should deliver
    promises of IT industry, which haven’t deliver
    yet.

    Can this skill / mind set deliver by one human
    being?

    Regards & Thanks & All the best,

    Guido

    By the way: Have your experts on experts found BPX’s, so far? 

    (0) 

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