Dan Woods is trying to compose a BPX Book with the help of SAP Community and then having another thought here. See Mark's comment on Intelligent Design Vs. Evolution approach. I wrote about it sometime back Perfection by Design and not Evolution. Is it Practical?
It seems Blogger's bug is catching me which forces you to reference your own old posts, even if it is as much related as Yahoo & Microsoft :)
But why is it 'Interesting'? Have you ever read any book which tries to answer 'Who is an ABAP Developer?' or 'About Java Programmer's Role' or even 'Who is a SAP Consultant' ? I doubt.
[ I hope I won't get a few amazon-links in the comments, telling these books do exist and I should buy one]
The BPX Book is to answer the question - 'Who is a BPX [ Business Process Expert ]?' and not about what is BPM [ Business Process Management ]? One reason for writing a Book about BPX is probably because clarification of the role seems to be equally/more important than the BPM technology available at the moment.
So who exactly is BPX apart from being the coolest super(wo)man of IT's new era. Is S/he real?
I am not trying to answer it, you better read and write ( if you want to ) the BPX Book.
I guess analysts at Gartner are better placed to draw the hype cycle of these SAP Community Buzzwords. However, I think 'Peak of Inflated Expectations' is still not reached for 'BPX'. So 'Trough of Disillusionment' is far away.
I can only write about some of my thoughts on BPX & Geek Gap [ That too might well have been contaminated by me reading a few related blogs / the Book ]:
eSOA & BPX?
May be IT is getting serious about shifting the power to the Business users. And eSOA is another step in the direction of shifting the software power to the Business side. The idea is that developers / consultants/ software makers will only provide the building blocks, in the form of services [ eSOA components ] along with the modelling/mashup tools. Optimists believe that someday these tools will be so
powerful and simple enough that business users will be able to model their complex business scenarios, all by themselves, and the (da-vinci-)code will be generated automatically. Till that time BPX is a stop gap arrangement.
Only issue – that gap could be rather huge.
Also check SAP's announcement at SAPPHIRE® 2008 SAP Ushers In New Era for Business Process Management . Luckily, you don't need a telescope to see this Galaxy.
Geek Gap & BPX
Suddenly you may find that all the problems & failures of IT projects are being attributed to this ‘Geek gap’. To an extent that you might wonder if it is actually a black hole. Till now, bad project management was responsible for most of the failed projects but now it’s Geek gap. For example, see SAP Network Blog: Geek Gap Kills the Handheld Census by the authors of a book called The Geek Gap.
In my opinion, failures due to incompetent requirement determination by Business users or a poor solution provided by unskilled developer/consultant, should not be considered as Geek Gap. It covers only the problems encountered due to difference in the mindset of business users and technology consultants.
For example: A Business user asks for 'Time Display' along side the customer data display of the Interaction Software. The intention being - it will help in greeting their customers [ Good Morning , evening etc. ]. Developer thought it's easy and provided the system time alongside the customer data. Next day, customers in different time zones are amused, if not angry.
That's Geek Gap. BPX is a promise to bridge that Geek Gap.
If the developer would have even slight inclination to understand the business needs, S/he would understand that the time should be displayed as per customer's time zone. At the same time, if users understand that developers may not have the background knowledge then they will take extra care in communicating the requirement.
However, if the business user never really thought about the need of displaying time alongside customer-data and still expects that the specified software will be able to serve the 'Greeting' need then it's a failure to determine the requirement and can't be termed as Geek Gap.
I thought of a few more points but only the headings at the moment:
Difference between (Techno)Functional Consultant & BPX
[ BPX's ability to understand the Business process of an organization (Industry Vertical) while Functional Consultants is more into Horizontals ( across industry ) like Finance , Purchasing etc. ]
Web2.0 ( collaboration ) and BPX
[ I don't see this skill as specific to the BPX role. In the long run everyone will need this. However, BPX can be the initiator for the change ]
BPX - All-rounder or Split Personality [ Sometimes Netweaver is accused of the split personality disorder due to Java & ABAP stacks. But that's technology. People can't assume the personality disorder so easily. They have to be an all-rounder unless they had the disorder even before]
I will probably write a Part II , if required.