Process Management 3 mins read

Process Governance: Stay in control of BPM

What is process governance? Every business process is owned by someone, managed and executed by others, and kept up to date by everybody.

Caspar Jans Caspar Jans

When discussing the topic of process governance with customers, partners, and internal experts, it always boils down to the following questions:

  • What is process governance?
  • Why should we engage in it?
  • Who will be involved?

So, this month I decided to dive a little bit deeper on exactly these questions.

Management of change and process governance

Before I do that, I’ll share with you a blog I wrote about this back in 2014. At that time, I was working for a global manufacturer as manager of the BPM Center of Excellence.

One of the main concepts within process governance is that of ownership. Who “owns” all the different processes? Owning, in this case means to have the accountability for the smooth operation and continuous improvement of said processes. A wonderful example is the Accounts Payable part of the Procure-to-Pay process. Is this part “owned” by Finance or by Procurement?

This might seem like a trivial question, but it becomes relevant once the P2P process is being changed – and review and approval steps are needed. In this blog I explained a little bit more why process governance is critical for an effective organizational change management process.

What is process governance?

Process governance basically defines the distribution of authority around process management and facilitates the continuous improvement and gatekeeping activities that are needed to keep your business processes in tip-top shape. Certainly in the era of business and digital transformation projects or programs, fundamental changes to business processes are inevitable and the question becomes: “How do channel the review and approval of these changes as efficiently as possible and who is taking all the appropriate decisions on the various levels of detail?”

Process governance is not about red tape and formalities. Yes, of course, it has a set of formal procedures, but you can make them as agile as you want if you balance between control and agility. Read this blog to see my point of view on this.

Who are the main players?

Defining a structured and strong process governance practice on paper is a good start, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. It will be the actual people executing this governance practice that are going to make or break the effectiveness of this practice. In other words, it matters a great deal who you give the following roles:

  • Process Owner
  • Process Manager
  • Process Expert

In this blog I go a little bit deeper into the different roles that make up the process governance practice and where in the organization they are typically positioned.

Why do you need process governance?

One of my favorite ways of explaining the need for process governance is to mention that every business process is owned by someone, managed and executed by others, and kept up to date by everybody.

Knowing this, what are the benefits of engaging in process governance? I mention three in this blog:

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

If you want to know more about how Software AG can help your organization with process governance click below. 

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