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The still evolving and never ending SDN story, which is written by you and me, right here and now, on this site, is opening a new chapter this week. There is a whole new area home page, /community [original link is broken], 3 new weblog topics focusing on the Business Process Expert, the person or team in the corporation or at the consulting company responsible for defining and improving processes within a company.

When thinking about change and this post I remembered a story that Georg Danzer an Austrian musician once told on stage:

The man who wanted to stop the time.
There once was a man who wanted to stop the time.
He went to a little hill in front of the town and shouted:
'Time stand still'.
A knight came along the way and said:
'If this is your wish, it will come true.'
He pulled his sword and stabbed him.
And to the death man he said:
'There is only one time, your time.
And its essence is change.
If you don't want change, you don't want life.'

It is very powerful. Even rereading it, I personally feel the pang. It is something very deep and human to hold on to things and to want them to stay like they were, like we know and love them. We want them to stay that way forever. But we are living in a world of Accelerating Change. I know this well, as after all, I helped organize two conferences around this very theme. We need to learn to see great opportunities that lay ahead, we should learn how to better embrace change.

In early 2004 Huge de Groot started a now famous thread in the SDN Suggestion Forum that he titled SDN is too nerdy! Please add a more functional, business-oriented perspecti. He was voicing his frustration that there is not enough content and community around SAP applications and their implementation on SDN. Some folks pointed out that the "D" in SDN stands for Developer and that SDN is just fine as it is, thank you, please don't change. But others were very interested in expanding the content in this direction. A funny thing is I once worked together with Hugo implementing SAP at a Bay Area company. Hi Hugo. The SAP world is often smaller than one thinks.

What have we done in that regard since 2004? ESA, which is focusing more on the functional business side of things got it's own area. We created a Business Solutions blog topic as well as a whole category for /community [original link is broken] in the forums that is very active with thousands of posts already.

Until now there was no editorial focus on it on SDN, no homepage and no content that addressed the future of the profession. The world for application consultants and process owners in corporations is changing. Modeling is getting more powerful. Once you are able to model processes and these models directly change the underlying business system, the opportunities and flexibility of the people that design and implement these processes changes dramatically.

We think that this change is so fundamental, that we are creating a community around it: The Business Process Expert Community. We know that many of these process experts are already on SDN. Hugo is one of them. That is why we are creating it within SDN and depending on what the consensus is in the community, we may split it or keep one repository and continue to have two views/filters on it.

If you implement new software in a company, old processes need to be changed. One of the key success factors is how you manage that change. How do you get beyond the inertia of the organization? People and communication skills are needed. There will be case studies and stories from the people in the field about that theme in The Business Process Expert Community.

There is another element of managing change, right here on SDN. We had long discussions on whether and if and which areas of SDN should fall under the new umbrella of Business Process Expert. We decided against forcing facts on the community and moving things over from the beginning. Rather we want to start the dialog around retagging what makes sense and where, but we will pick up that thread in a different post.

For now embrace change and welcome The Business Process Expert Community.