Monday, July 29, 2013

Process Governance Best Practices

Process Governance allows the advantages of standardization, decrease in duplication of effort, and decreased risk of violations that can occur. For large organizations, usually a Global Process Board governs the business processes. Whoever governs, ensure the process is more focused from enterprise and business perspective. What are those process governance best practices?

  • The need for senior management to keep focused. The challenge seems that hype increases for a BPM initiative or process improvement and senior management is heavily engaged. The challenge becomes obtaining that shift in the culture where      continuous improvement is the focus. It's nature evolution in transforming the organization made of functional silos into a process-focused organization. If senior management focus wanes, governance becomes harder. Get senior management focus and ensure that process owners are at a sufficiently senior level in the organization to do more than influence the change, they must be able to drive it. And once the governance is in place, business must measure process performance in order to drive improvement, otherwise how do you know if you are being successful and delivering value? 
  • There are three types of Process governance initiatives that are likely to be aligned with process improvement and change: (1) Efficiency and standardization, (2) customer focus, and (3) innovation. Internal boards for process control [governance] can crush innovation and customer-centric initiatives. Similar to an investment portfolio, you want representative efforts in all three areas, and you should have representatives from all three camps on your council. You want to have the customer-focused experts and innovators involved. Otherwise, you run a risk that you'll invest to improve process governance and find you've made yourself less competitive. 
  • Identify, plan and take governance decisions on the levels that needs to be followed in the system model, organizations go for defining end-to-end processes for system models, such as, Engagement processes and Enabling processes. Usually, the end-to-end system model is under change control. Any change in the processes has to be approved by the management. Business Process Managers (BPM) submits the proposal along with the activity name and description, and justification for change in the process. Look at the granularity to drill down in the process levels. Whether the process levels should drill down to the extent of identifying end-to-end activities (that is without including technological elements) or should it be drilled down to the actions that users perform in the system (that includes technological elements).  
  • Well establish process success metrics. If you are successfully measuring your process success at establish milestones in the process then the metrics captured provide more than anecdotal evidence that a process is in need of improvement or is failing in some manner. Business processes need to be treated as business assets. If you are not measuring the performance of these assets and senior management does not have a long-term strategy to improve and leverage these assets, governance becomes significantly more challenging. 
Thus, well managed governance practices are not just for controlling process or stifling innovation, it's the business discipline to enforce process intelligence and  process innovation as well.


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