Sunday, February 11, 2007

New roles in our projects

I would like to start a discussion on the new roles in our SAP projects. With the roles I explicitly mean the content-roles like developers, architects and module consultants. In this post nothing about project managers or account managers, sorry, maybe next time.
Why new roles? With E-SOA things are going to change, not only on the SAP content or project goals but also on the essential roles that you and your colleagues want to fulfil in a E-SOA play.

Let’s first have a look at the ‘old-days’.

There is an architect, a module consultant and a developer and - hopefully - they work together towards the best solution for the customer. But as we all know, it is very well possible that all three roles live on separate islands. Despite this a proper solution for the customer will be delivered, but if it is the best … I don't know.

Now with E-SOA and the changing world that business is demanding more flexibility and speed from IT, roles will have to change. A close collaboration to start with.

This is the way I see it, and please share your ideas in a comment to this post, we all have to grow into solution architects. We cannot live on islands anymore, if we want to deliver the best solution to our customer (and of course we do want that) we will have to make sure that these new roles are available in the project team.

A business process expert is more than just a module consultant. The business process comes first and the module is only the tool to realize the customers wishes. As the BPX is very well capable of understanding the architecture, he/she will advise the architect from a business perspective how the enterprise architecture will have to look like.
The software architect is supported by the BPX with a clear and well described functional design on the customer requirements. In fact they will both deliver the input for the specifications after a discussion on the best solution. From the development perspective the software architect will advise the architect on the enterprise architecture. So, besides the development skills that a software architect quite obviously needs to have, he/she must also be capable in setting out the direction of the solution that will best fulfil the customer requirements.