What is a Business Process?
In an “offline conversation” with the BPX content strategist, Audrey Weinland, Audrey proposed I pose this question to the evolving Business Process Expert Community and suggested giving our members the opportunity to weigh in. Afterall, there had been much lively conversation around the topic Who is a BPX?. Being a proponent of the larger group discussion and group decision, but a sometimes coward, I gingerly experimented with some feedback to the idea of asking the question from a smaller community of experts. I got back responses like: “What would be the logistics around posing such a question”? “How could people respond and comment”? “That’s too broad a question without context?”
Then again, how can one speak of a Business Process Expert without understanding what is a business process, really? So, I braved the waters, braced myself for the cold splash of reality from the community and its collective wisdom, and decided to pose the question anyway. Luckily, about the time that I was thinking of posting and was querying, I read a number of community posts including Andre Truong‘s blog, Why Netweaver as Composition Platform matters? Part II which put some SAP context to this question. In his blog Andre discusses an “Enterprise Process Framework” and describes exactly the kind of processes that might be good candidates for a business process expert to wrap hands around, specifically “process(es)that would be a nightmare for IT to software enable because its so unique to your company and prone to changes that itd be pretty much suicidal from an ROI standpoint to code.” (Andre Truong)
Hmmm..that sounded like something an BPexpert would need to deal with …Enterprise Processes.
But before I open this question to the wider community, let’s look at a few glossary definitions:
- Business Process: A set of activities transforming a defined business input into a defined business result.
- Business Process Platform: The combination of SAPs Application Platform with SAPs technology platform, it supports the creation, enhancement, and seamless execution of business processes and business scenarios.
- Business Process Step: A task or an interaction performed by a process component either with or without human interaction and together with other steps forming a business process.
- Application: A collection of business processes required to address specific business needs, implemented via a set of application and software components running on a platform. Example is mySAP CRM 2005
What Phase of the Process Life Cycle Do You Manage?
Not only can BPXers approach the definition of process from the perspective of how they manage them, but also from their touchpoints to the process phases.
How would you define process from your own context of Analytics? Implementation? Design? Organizational Change Management? From a consultant’s perspective?
I wonder how you, the community, will distinguish between the job of the “ordinary” business application consultant, working with traditional applications, software solutions and components and contrast that to the work of the business process expert working with enterprise processes. I mean, aren’t “User Productivity, Innovation, Process Efficiency, and Agility” terms that should apply to leading practices in normal configurations and implementations of software solutions?
These topics can be further discussed and expanded upon in comments or in the /community [original link is broken].