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“First, the “IN THE PAST” part of the graphic is wrong in that the Business Analyst really did not exist (depending on the time the authors intend). The so-called Business Analyst primarily did Systems Analyst work in most companies. In the old days we had Systems Analysts that worked with programmers and there was virtually no push towards a process orientation. Process consultants were scarcely used. Instead, the so-called Business Analyst (or Systems Analyst) focused on task optimization or basic automation. Don’t forget, what most people call a process is really only sub process or task – not a true process. As time passed, some companies tried to fix the gap between Systems Analysts and Programmers using combined programmer/analysts. This had mixed results. But regardless, Process Analyst’s did little or nothing to improve core processes in most companies. The limitation was both technology and business thinking. The “TODAY” portion of the graphic is not today in most companies. Business Analysts are now common and we have transformed Programmers into Application Developers, but few companies use Enterprise Architects, Process Consultants, and Services Developers. If they do, they do not do things that affect end-to-end processes. The graphic also describes SOA as part of the “TODAY” yet SOA is not active in most companies although some have roadmaps and have started some basic web services moving toward SOA and eventually enterprise SOA (ESA). But with regard to a process orientation, today, we are still limping along with most “Business Analysts” acting a lot like Systems Analysts working mostly with functional users and doing config with little focus on end-to-end processes. Business thinking is STILL the limitation in most companies and even ERP does not do enough to foster true BPM and the new process enterprise. The “IMPORTANT GROWING ROLE” portion of the graphic is quite good. This shows the Business Analyst, Process Consultant, Enterprise Architect, and Application Developer being merged into a Business Process Expert Role. We are talking here about enterprise architecture, SOA, BPM and the like working synergistically as enablers of agility. The new roles for those affected in IT – Business Analysts and Application Developers – will be much different than ever before. How? We will move toward a focus on business strategy, governance and core processes, the enterprise process model, and the business model of the company as the objective of our transformation. This is then all enabled by SOA, enterprise architecture, BI, and BPM. This is much more than the simply collection of user requirements and then delivering.” Description of a Business Process Expert Role
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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    Hi GO!
    Thanks for your thoughts here.
    If you would like to link to the image for the graphic, you can find it here:
    Description of a Business Process Expert Role
    If you embed this back into your blog, it would help!
  2. Former Member
    Isn’t the time period of “in the past” highly dependent on the company’s size, industry, location, posture (aggressively innovative versus slow to change based on factors like risk-aversion, commoditization of its products/services, etc.), and other factors?  I think that’s why it’s a vague statement of “in the past” … because it may be the recent past of 3-5 years for some or not-yet-the-past for others (i.e., present). 

    In that sense, maybe “today” is actually the hoped-for near future for some companies.  Your comments on the Enterprise Architect are interesting … note that ASUG has spun-up an Enterprise Architect SIG, they had a strong showing at Sapphire in Orlando this year, they are being led by people like Peter Loop of Intel and Paul Kurchina with supporters inside SAP…  So I think EAs are on the rise. 

    I’m most glad you found the “important growing role” portion compelling and accurate.  That’s the piece I care about most, in that it validates what we think and believe is going on in the market, and validates the need for a BPX community to be identified, fostered, supported. To my mind, regardless of where we came from or are presently (“in the past” and “today”), it’s most important that we know where we’re going (“important growing role”).  

    I appreciate those comments and deep analysis and discussion on the topic.  We want to get it right, and your insights and the community’s will help us do so. 

    Best regards,

    Mark Y.

  3. Former Member
    I think that enterprise architecture (EA), as it defines today, is what you’re defining as BPX. The core logic that stands in the base of EA is aligning IT to the business.

    This alignment starts with understanding of the business (Business principles and constrains, Business concept, business capabilities map and … business processes).

    Continue with understanding of enterprise Information (Conceptual, services, security and logical views), systems(systems, system services, system usage and system location views) and technology(infrastructure, communication, cost and standards views).

    And end with clear migration plan in the form of time-lined projects

    This is the common definition of EA by leading consultant, vendors and integrators:

    By the way, your arrow indicate that every EA work should start from the business, but in reality EA work can also start from Technology, Systems or Information domains of the enterprise. There are several examples of technology that enables business changes and advantage. The wisdom is to keep a repository describing all of the EA domains and relations between them and to know what the impacts when touching any EA domain are.

    1. Marilyn Pratt
      Actually the EA arrow (look at the center diagram) is situated between IT and Business…
      It isn’t the EA that starts from the Business, but rather the BPX in the rightmost diagram.
      I think you will find folks who will passionately disagree with you that an Enterprise Architect and a Business Process Expert are one and the same role.
      I would also look at wikipedia’s definition of a Business Analyst and compare to EA.
      In a recent discussion with a leading Process Management guru, we heard the definition of a BA, which seems closer, to be:
      “A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems.  The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.”
      Let’s see how the community weighs in for that discussion….Enterprise Architect->Business Analyst->Business Process Expert
      Are they collapsed?

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