At Mendix, we find that our customers appoint a particular kind of person to work with our products. Sometimes they’re from IT, sometimes they’re a business analyst or project manager – in any case, they practice the skills of both fields. Times are changing, departmental lines are blurring, and a new breed of business superhero has risen: the BE.
The ‘Business Engineer’ – who are they, what do they do, and why you want to know them.
Until now, these men and women of myth have appeared under the guise of your organizational boundaries – half business and half IT. As champions of business modeling, they dance between the ranks of geeks and suits in companies everywhere, aptly increasing business agility at every collaborative junction. With a flash drive dangling from their sports car keychain and first place positions in both Online Poker and Fantasy Baseball, they are what we believe to be the future of the modern business analyst. In this series of blog posts, we attempt to uncover the true nature of this evolved employee…
The title of ‘business engineer’ is not completely novel, as it has been used in the past to describe a role similar to that of a business development manager. Under a new light of enterprise software modeling, this term refers to the business analyst on technical steroids – or the IT whiz with a knack for client relations. These skills, once segregated at a basic level of undergraduate education, have merged into a hybrid force of human capital with more creative power than either part could ever fathom.
These collaborative powers can push companies into unchartered profits, as they attribute to the resiliency of a company’s technology. Agility, as readers of this blog know, affords an organization the ability to change with its business environment. The more easily technological change can occur, the faster and more decisive an organization becomes. Charles Darwin says it best: “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
The business engineer is not a mythical entity – they may even be sitting in the room as you read this post. Finding them and harnessing their abilities should be a primary goal of any manager. In terms of organizational behavior, they are the ‘central connector.’ In terms of organizational culture, they are the ‘go-to guy.’ And in terms of business agility, they are the binding force between business users and technical experts that have never been able to see eye to eye.
The reasons why you’d want business engineers in your company are significant. They make the technology that your company uses easier to use, more intuitive, and they do so faster and with minimal adversity. With the adoption of visual business modeling, and agile development methodologies, these unsung heroes of the enterprise era are here to stay. Do you know the business engineer at your organization? If not, it just might be you.