The SDN and BPX sessions at SAP Teched in Bangalore, from 7 Nov to 10 Nov 2006, were very interesting and well organized. I would like to take this opportunity in congratulating Mark, Craig, Marilyn and the SDN team for making this happen.
I believe that, informal interactions and sharing of experiences, is a great way for knowledge transfer.
“Successful knowledge transfer involves neither computers nor documents but rather interactions between people.”
(Davenport, T.H. “Think Tank: The Future of Knowledge Management,” CIO, December 15, 1995)
Thanks to Marilyn, I was invited to speak at 2 sessions at the BPX Knowledge Table. We did have very interesting interactions and I would like to summarize some of the key questions raised:
- Is a Business Process Expert the same as a Subject Matter Expert?
- Where do you find Business Process Experts?
- How does one become a Business Process Expert?
- Should a Business Process Expert be generic or have expert knowledge on the processes pertaining to an industry?
At the very outset, to understand the need for Business Process Experts, I think we should understand the problems we face today.
Anyone interested, should read the excellent article written by Mario Herger on:
BPX Part 1 – What is the problem today?
Mario has very clearly highlighted the problems we face today. Thanks Mario, for expressing the reality in todays world.
Given below is my opinion, on some of the questions raised.
Is a Business Process Expert the same as a Subject Matter Expert?
A Subject Matter Expert who understands how technology can be used to make business processes for specific industries, efficient and effective could, in my opinion, become a Business Process Expert.
Where do you find Business Process Experts?
As we all know the BPX community is evolving and to find the ideal candidate is going to be difficult. However, I feel that functional and domain consultants with very good industry knowledge and the relevant technological knowledge, is good way to start.
How does one become a Business Process Expert?
I think we should initially look at ourselves and assess our domain competency. For example if someone has a basic degree in aerospace, has worked in the aerospace industry, knows the business processes in this industry, has worked as a functional consultant in SAPs solution for aerospace and has the adequate technical knowledge, he or she could be an ideal Business Process Expert for the aerospace industry.
Knowing each individuals strength can be the first step to becoming a Business Process Expert, in specific domains.
Should a Business Process Expert be generic or have expert knowledge on the processes pertaining to an industry?
SAP has been a leader in the ERP space because of the rich functionalities provided in their products. SAP solutions are created by domain experts from the relevant industries. For example, retail experts have contributed to the creation of SAP for Retail, Oil industry experts for the creation of IS Oil .etc.
If business experts have created the products, it is only logical that the implementation and configuration of SAP solutions should be done by business process experts from the specific industry, rather than having generic consultants.
This will help organizations benefit from the industry specific functionalities provided in SAP products.
To conclude, I would like to add that high end products like SAP are not bought by organizations to simply create a material master record and print an invoice! It is bought for the rich functionalities that SAP provides and it is getting increasingly apparent that you need Business Process Experts, to extract the best of these functionalities. With the emergence of ESA and products like Visual Composer the need for Business Process Experts will only be increasing and I am sure that communities like BPX will be great enablers in making it happen.
Cheers to SAP for creating the BPX community!