Caspar Jans's picture

In the last two blogs I’ve shared my thoughts on #processgovernance, what it is and who should lead it. The topic that I should not forget and that I will talk about today is why process governance is needed in the first place. I could say that it is quite obvious why you should manage and govern the status of your business processes (and related artifacts) but then again, why is not every company doing it?

Maybe needless to repeat but process governance is all about making sure that every business process is owned by someone, managed and executed by others and kept up to date by everybody in the organization. Based on these three sub-topics let me delve in a little bit deeper in the rest of my blog.

(1) Owned by someone

Every business process should be “owned” by someone and ideally this is a member of senior or executive management. So, for example, the procurement processes are typically owned by the CPO, the finance processes by the CFO, etc. The reason for this being reasonably simple: there will be a point in time where tough decisions about these business processes need to taken and this cannot take place if the owner is not positioned high enough up in the organization’s hierarchy.

Another point here is that “someone” is single, not plural. A process cannot be owned by more than one person due to ambiguity reasons. It’s need to be crystal clear who is the Accountable person. Who can you ultimately turn to if and when needed.

(2) Managed and executed by others

First, let’s tackle the “executed” part. Business process execution takes place on the work floor (regardless if this is in factory, in an office or on-site at the customer). This is where the people transform something into a product or a service and they need to be able to rely on the fact that the process they are executing is stable, efficient and up to date. This last part is one of the major tasks that process governance enables.

Second, the “managed” part. Global process owners are very often supported by process champions or process leads, which are typically middle to senior management roles that are able to connect to both the executive level owner and the work floor level process executioners. In turn, these champions/leads are often supported by process experts, people that are experts in the matter that is at the heart of the processes they support. These roles are vital at the moment that smaller and larger changes present themselves, they are able to translate what a change might mean to the organization and assess the impact a change might have. And this brings me to the third point:

(3) Kept up to date by everybody

Keeping a documented business process up to date is one of the most underrated endeavors (I’ve written very often about this, because the topic is very close to my heart), sometimes also referred to as Management of Change (MoC). I will not repeat all the things I’ve written before (I’ve included some links at the bottom of this blog) but will point out that all of the roles I’ve described earlier play an important role in the MoC process.

What is even more important is to realize that without having a MoC process in place the organization runs the risk (and it is quite a high risk as well) that within a time frame of 6-9 months, business process documentation will be outdated, with all of the known and negative consequences.

Summarizing, the main reasons for investing in process governance are:

  1. More transparency around business process ownership
  2. The increased likelihood of keeping your business processes up to date
  3. More clarity around the way business processes are managed, executed and optimized.

Knowing this, it really is a no-brainer, right?

Happy reading and have a good weekend,

Ciao, Caspar

Earlier posts on MoC:

Tags: ARIS 10 BPM