Business Process Expert Education and Certification: Part I
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Home » Business Process Expert Education and Certification: Part I
Business Process Expert Education and Certification: Part I
In the first part of a two-part discussion, we cover the business environment that has given the role of the business process expert much greater visibility than ever. We then define an education and development strategy that leads to a three-tiered approach to certification.
In the upcoming second part of this discussion, we will focus on the prerequisite and required skills and education for each certification level. Then we provide a list of actual and proposed courses from SAP, professional organizations, and higher education institutions.
Institutions of higher learning may offer courses that support SAP's certification plans for business process experts. Going a step further, Widener University's Institute for Business Process Innovation (BPI) collaborates with businesses and organizations to focus on process-centric innovation. As a center of excellence for business process innovation, Widener offers education workshops, seminars, and programs, in addition to a certification program for business process innovation. For more information, go to the BPI home.
In today's competitive environment, organizations are focusing their attention on improving business processes that can help generate revenue and reduce costs. For IT departments, this renewed focus on business processes requires that they partner with line-of-business managers in new ways, primarily by understanding business needs, mapping business processes, determining overlaps with other departments, leveraging existing applications when possible, and purchasing or developing innovative services that enable greater competitiveness and efficiency.
As a result, a new role is emerging in IT departments, called the business process expert. A business process expert is a business-savvy and IT-savvy expert who understands business processes and the best practices to improve, change, deploy, and execute them in real time. Business process experts have the ability to bridge the gap between business and technology and may have the following areas of expertise: domain knowledge, understanding of the functionality needed to complete the business task, enhanced modeling capabilities, and skills to modify user interfaces.
The path to becoming a business process expert can be confusing because professionals who are entering this field have diverse experience, skills, and educational backgrounds. In addition, the role of business process experts will continue to change as the industry evolves and new requirements and opportunities are presented with enterprise services-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA). Determining the appropriate career-enabling education, development path, and certification programs can be overwhelming, and many organizations and educational institutions are struggling to determine priorities.
Certification Profiles for Business Process Experts
The tiered profiles include the business process expert, the senior business process expert, and the principle business process expert.
Certified SAP Business Process Expert
At the first level, the core responsibilities of a business process expert are identified. The certified business process expert will have the basic business process knowledge and fundamental understanding of a business process platform and enterprise SOA. Each professional can work with a team of business process experts under the mentorship of a certified senior business process expert or above and is responsible for modeling and implementing the business processes in accordance with predefined project objectives and project plan.
A certified business process expert will have knowledge and skills in the following categories:
Business process and application knowledge
User experience analysis
Enterprise SOA and services consumption
Certified SAP Senior Business Process Expert
The next step on the business process expert career ladder would be the certified SAP senior business process expert. With this level of certification, a business process expert moves on to assume responsibility for the leadership of a team, a mentoring role, and project planning. At this level, a business process expert focuses on analytical qualities to assume primary responsibility for the definition of a project plan and design an enterprise SOA road map.
In addition to the knowledge required of a certified business process expert (see above), a certified senior business process expert will have knowledge and skills in the following areas:
Process architecture, strategy, and governance
Cross-industry and industry-specific solution maps
Business configuration models
Master data management and business intelligence
The certified SAP senior business process expert career path requires advanced knowledge of business process analysis as well as design and implementation strategy and services. Project Management Information certification is also desirable, as is in-depth industry business process expertise.
Certified SAP Principal Business Process Expert
As the role of a business process expert evolves, the SAP certification and education program will also develop further into the ultimate mastery certification as a certified SAP principal business process expert. The ultimate certification level for a business process expert requires the demonstration of several years of related experience, most recently as a certified SAP senior business process expert.
The certified SAP principal business process expert will have the necessary experience, skills, and knowledge to be able to drive the business process-oriented strategy into the future for the customer. The skills acquired will comprehensively cover areas as business process strategy and innovation.