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An interview with author, educator, and lecturer, Andrew Spanyi.
1. How will business process experts (BPX) evolve?

Marilyn: I met briefly with Andrew Spanyi, at ProcessWorld: A Gathering of Business Process Professionals a few weeks ago, where he delivered an afternoon general session describing Business Process Governance (a set of guidelines for administering business process management and an additional acronym to my lexicon: BPG). One of the interesting tenets of the address was that few companies have a process in place to guide business process management efforts, and I learned that: “despite compelling logic that customer and shareholder value is created by means of business processes, leaders at many companies continue to cling to a traditional, functional view of the business.”
Andrew Spanyi has written a number of internationally recognized books on Business Process Management, is a member of the research team at the Babson Process Management Research Center, served as the chair of the education committee for The Association of Business Process Management Professionals, and is an editorial board member with the BPM Institute. Although there are already a significant number of blogs describing the role of a business process expert from a community perspective, on our BPX website and discussions around the role definition appear in numerous forum threads, it might be interesting to hear about the BPX role from one whose practice focuses on assisting executive teams in transforming the traditional way they tend to think about their business. So, Andrew, what does it really mean to be a BPX?

Andrew: At this time, a BPX is typically a senior business analyst (BA) with a strong business process orientation which allows him/her to model solutions to identified business issues and make the bridge to enabling technology. But this role is already evolving and will continue to evolve.

Marilyn: Why do you see this role evolving?

Andrew: There are two reasons. First, an increasing number of organizations are beginning to appreciate the value of supplementing the traditional functional view of business with a process view and the demand for people with the right process expertise is rising. Second, senior BA’s who take a business process view to their role in developing new applications to meet business needs are beginning to recognize the true power of business process management (BPM) principal, practices, and tools.

Marilyn: How will it likely evolve?

Andrew: The more senior BPX’s will be called upon to work with process owners and leadership teams in the development of process models for large, cross-functional business processes (order fulfillment, new product development, supply chain) and even for enterprise business process frameworks. This will require an evolution of the BPX from a translator and interpreter of identified business issues to more of a problem-solving role in the context of enterprise business processes.

Marilyn: What do you mean by an enterprise business process framework?

Andrew: By that I mean a relationship map or model of the key business processes that create value for customers and shareholders. Of course, this is only meaningful to those companies who appreciate the value of BPM as the ‘…collaborative and increasingly technology-aided definition, improvement and management of a firm’s end-to-end enterprise business processes.’

Marilyn: Where can readers get more information on enterprise level BPM?

Andrew: I’ve written 2 books and a number of articles that deal with enterprise level process issues. Information is available at www.spanyi.com . Also, there are a number of useful reference sources that an interested BPX will want to explore.

2. What reference sources are available on enterprise business process models?

Marilyn: What are some further reference sources that a BPX can access in this respect?

Andrew: I’d suggest that readers explore the MIT Process Handbook at http://process.mit.edu/ and APQC’ s Process Classification Framework (PCF) at http://www.apqc.org/portal/apqc/site/? path=/research/pcf/index.html. Then, there is also valuable information available from the Supply Chain Council on their Supply Chain Operations Reference Model at http://www.supply-chain.org/page.ww? section=SCOR+Model&name=SCOR+Model and then there are certain industry models such as eTom (Enhanced Telecom Operations Map) which will be useful for readers in the telecommunications industry at http://www.tmforum.org/browse.aspx?catID=1648 .

Marilyn: What’s the value of exploring these reference sources?

Andrew: A senior BPX may be well served by understanding the history of enterprise process models. These reference sources can provide a thought provoking perspective for viewing the business in a business process context, and the BPX will be better equipped to communicate with and educate managers and executives.

Our next blog-alogue in this series of “The Evolution of a Business Process Expert” with Andrew Spanyi will discuss how Business Process Experts are likely to “evolve in what they do.”

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