My colleague Aiaz Kazi forwarded this to us:
<a href="http://jkobielus.blogspot.com/">James Kobielus' Blog</a>
The piece Aiaz highlighted, was a discussion he had with the blogger who calls the BPX a Process Steward. I've quoted it below as it speaks to the role definition "grappling" we are working through here on this forum.
Your comments about this are welcome.
"I had a discussion on this same topic yesterday with Aiaz Kazi of SAP, here at SAPPHIRE 06 in Orlando. Many of their customers are grappling with the proper definition of the diverse roles in governance of SOA that leverages SAPs Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), which is implemented in its NetWeaver platform components, mySAP applications, and diverse composite, vertical, and horizontal apps and business processes.
What Aiaz was describing is a new SOA governance design-time role that sits halfway between the IT process architects and the business process analysts (i.e., the tech and business wonks who use their respective visual development and flowcharting tools to specify SOA-enabled business processes at various levels). This intermediate role essentially catalyzes consensus between the business process analysts and the IT process analysts concerning the eventual process, but doesnt actually get involved in the fine-grained architecting of the processes.
Instead, this role is more of a process steward (my term) who makes sure, whatever new process emerges, that it reuses existing business processes to the maximum extent feasible. The process steward cracks the whip and just says no when IT process architects and business analysts attempt to create new, end-to-end, stovepipe workflows that overlap with existing processes, either in their entirety or in significant roles, routes, and/or rules.
In other words, the process steward role enforces reuse of existing business processesSOA-stylewhen developing new processes. The process steward oversees the SOA governance processthe design-time workflow or collaborative process--under which business governance structuresas defined by IT process and business process architectsare crafted, revised, and optimized."
with German (or to be more precise Austrian) as my native langugage I seem to fail to assess the full meaning of the term 'steward' and maybe just because of this feel uncomfortable with it.
To me 'process steward' sounds as it were some subordinate role, something like governanvce accountant, someone counting reuse numbers, annoying both the business analyst and the IT architect.
Nevertheless I like the idea of
<i>This intermediate role essentially catalyzes consensus between the business process analysts and the IT process analysts concerning the eventual process, but doesnt actually get involved in the fine-grained architecting of the processes.
Therefore I'd coin this role a <b>process mediator</b>, someone who gets IT, business analysts and users together and helps them to reach a common understanding and if necessary mediates with respect to different perceptions, requirements, levels of knowledge and most notably ontologies.
just my 2 thoughts,
My understanding of a "steward" points to a person who steers and is thereby in a superior role.
However since the BPX is the intermediary between the business analyst and the application architect, its role definitely seems to be more as a mediator.
If the business analyst were to reengineer a business process to provide enhanced value to the business the decision to use existing enterprise services to the maximum extent or chart a new path has to be taken in consensus after doing the cost benefit analysis with the various stakeholders (sponsors) , application architects and the business analyst. This role requires more of consensus building and negotiation skills.
BPX may not be final arbiter or a steward for the same in these cases.