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Seeking Bridge Builders to Help Cross the Business-IT Chasm (Podcast with Jon Reed and Michael Doane)

by Dave Hannon

August 24, 2012

By Dave Hannon

There's a common theme in almost every IT project, no matter the company, the technology or the geography. Business has one set of goals and ideas for a project, and IT has a slightly different understanding of the goals and ideas. Hopefully there is a lot of common ground but inevitably there will be areas of differences. And those differences are what send IT projects into the abyss.

The process itself is outdated and creates nothing but friction in the business, says consultant Michael Doane in a recent podcast here on the Insider Learning Network. "You begin with business identifying a need and then coming forward with the quaint notion of an 'IT work request." If the two don't see eye to eye on the request, the negotiations begin. And continue.

But Doane and independent SAP analyst Jon Reed say there is a solution to this problem. It's called Business Process Expertise and it's not so much a methodology as it is a new role or career path in the enterprise.

Instead of two people -- one business and one IT -- sitting down to work on configuration of an SAP application, imagine if it was one person. A person with the business background and IT expertise to effectively configure an SAP application to meet the business requirements on the first try! A "Business Process Expert" who could serve as that bridge builder to finally cross the gap between business and IT.

While this might sound like a stretch, Reed points out that some SAP module consultants are already becoming "hyphenates" that are beginning to think about process in addition to configuration. In fact, most configuration experts are eager for a more business-focused role.

Reed and Doane have gone so far to begin mapping out a BPX maturity model, which they review in this podcast.

While the concept of BPX is not brand new, it's perhaps never been so needed as it is today, when more companies are investing in IT as a way to optimize business.

So give the podcast a listen and if you've got any experience putting BPX into practice, we'd love to hear about it.

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