General

Personas involved in a Business Automation Project

Since this is a getting started guide about technical aspects of implementing business automation, this section describes roles from the IT point of view. These roles and descriptions are defined in a general way and only the key roles for BA are mentioned here. The business roles are based on BPM CBOK and were spiced with some field tech experience.

File:Infobox info icon.svg - WikipediaBPM CBOK is a guide created by ABPMP – Association of Business Process Professionals. Its objective is to be a reference, a guide for professionals who need detailed information about Business Process Management implementation into organizations. The version 3.0 of the guide can be found at https://www.abpmp.org/page/guide_BPM_CBOK  

Be conscious that different roles can be executed by the same person. Also, they may exist independently of the development method adopted, be it agile or not.

We can split them into two main categories: business team and technology team.

Technology Team

The technology team focuses on providing a proper ground where the implementation and execution of rules and processes will happen.

They will provide additional services and can also participate in business assets implementation when more advanced techniques are required.

The team is mainly divided into Software Architect, Business Automation Specialists, Developers, the Automation Team. Let’s look at these roles in more detail.

Software Architect

Most of the projects are technically guided by one architect. This role is responsible for defining, according to each scenario, an appropriate application design to handle the functional and non-functional requirements. One should define which frameworks and tools will be used on the application implementation.

Persistence strategy, security strategy, authorization and authentication, integration API’s, test automation, monitoring, high availability and best practices are all keywords that architects usually worry about when defining a solution.

One of the core decisions is about the provisioning and delivery strategy: how will continuous integration and continuous deployment be implemented? The architect can execute task with support from the Automation Team.

Architects do not care for technology only, but they also have a special care for people on the project. For the development team, a comfortable and productive environment should be nourished. Another example is, an on-boarding of a new member: the architect is the appropriate person to share knowledge about the project providing a kickstart base and orientation so it is possible to the developer to worry only about their core role.

About the business team, the architect should care to provide a highly available environment and solution. That enables the business team to create, monitor and analyze the business scenario which is being automated.

Business Automation Specialists (BA Specialists)

The BA Specialist is responsible for implementing the executable business assets based on the customer request. BA Specialist should understand and implement using specifications like BPMN, CMMN, and DMN that are supported by the business automation technology, like jBPM or Kogito.

The person in this role feels comfortable deep diving into customer business scenarios, understanding them, developing processes, cases, and rules, and applying best practices. They must also have enough technical knowledge to make decisions and design business assets to be used in highly available environments, where concurrent accesses are common.

Commonly this person will be involved in business meetings and also into technical meetings. Soft skills are essential for the good relationship with both extremes of the project: the team who talks and cares mostly about business, and the team who cares and talks about deep technical aspects.

This will be the person responsible for translating knowledge from the biz team into the binary hearth of the business logic used by the solution.

One or more BA Specialists exists on the team depending on the available resources, time and cost.

Developers

These are core developers of the services which are needed to achieve the main goal. Back-end, front-end, full-stack developers. The services developed by this team will integrate and consume the business assets created by the BA Specialist.

Picture an online software which has seasonal discounts on the products. The developer is the one responsible for creating the store application (front-end and back-end). For example: implementing single sign-on, CRUD of frequent customers, APIs, and so on.

Although, when the final user chooses to confirm a shopping action, a business process, defined by the BA Specialist, is started. It defines the automatic steps and humans tasks required to get the product delivered to this customer. The BA specialist defined the price rules that were displayed by the online store.

Developers will follow the orientation provided by the architect and will deliver the services that will consume the business core logic decoupled service.

Automation/Operations Team

This can be seen as the team who will implement the application infrastructure automation defined by the architect. This role requires an overall knowledge of containers, middleware and platform technologies. Also on automation tools like Ansible and Jenkins.

This will be the team that will implement a delivery pipeline, i.e. if a developer commits a code, it will be automatically built, deployed and made available to be tested by a QA team.

This team will support the implementation of DevOps culture and should be present during the whole project.

Business Team

The business team takes care of recognizing and designing the domain knowledges which will be automated. They are also responsible for testing and refining it, providing all the necessary details for the technology team during the implementation phase. This team consists of Stakeholders, Executor Specialists, and Business Analysts.

Stakeholders

The stakeholders are the owners of the business. This is the person (or group of people) that have the ideas and guidelines for the company. They must be aligned with the culture and automation strategy being adopted as the results may be evaluated by them via advanced dashboards which expose key information for decision making.

This role has a horizontal view of the company and has the power to define the next steps for the organization.

Executor Specialist

People who execute, live or deeply own knowledge about all the details of specific processes or rules being automated by tech. These executors can be considered specialists in the scope they work with.

This role works with the Business Analysts team, providing information about the matter in which they are experts. They can validate the BA Specialist deliveries.

Business Analysts

The Business Analysts breathes BPM. They are responsible for identifying the organization business need and proposing automation solutions along with the project architect and BA specialists.

Most of the times, when neither a Process Designer nor a Process Analyst is available, the Business Analyst will be the one to execute both roles.

File:Infobox info icon.svg - WikipediaProcess Designer and Process Analysts are BPM roles defined on BPM CBOK V3 on chapter 8.4.5 and 8.4.4 respectively. They are responsible for drawing and understanding the business requirements.  

Discovery of processes and documentation using model notations are daily tasks of this team. If the BizDevOps culture -more on this later- can be fully applied, they may also be the ones responsible for directly maintaining the executable processes and rules.


This blog post is part of the first section of the jBPM Getting started series: Welcome to a Business Automation era.

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