Process Governance - The Secret Sauce Behind Successful BPM


What is Process Governance?

Let’s assume that you have a brilliant idea in mind about how to improve the cycle time of a business process. You contact your peers and supervisors and discuss the idea with them. Your idea is appreciated and you get a nod from your team for implementing your proposed solution.

Although you are pretty excited about leading this performance improvement initiative, you don’t really have a clue about how to take it forward. You do not have answers to questions such as:-

  • Which are the different businesses/departments that will be affected by this proposed change? Will this process initiative impact the organization structure in some shape, form or manner?
  • Is this proposed change in sync with the organization’s future road-map?
  • Who will own this initiative?
  • Who will be the business sponsor?
  • There needs to be a business case created to implement this initiative. Where will you get the budget from?

That’s where Process Governance comes to rescue. Process Governance addresses how you manage a business process improvement initiative in your organization. It includes the set of rules, standards, roles and strategies that you deploy to implement BPM initiatives.

Process Governance ensures that all process improvement initiatives are fully aligned with the business objectives as well as the organization’s overall business strategy. It also keeps a tab on the success as well as failures of any BPM initiative within the organization.

In short, Process Governance is the lever that enables co-ordination among different process initiatives being run across different business units and eliminates any scop of misalignment between strategy and process ventures.

Why Process Governance?

Process Governance fills the gap between an organization’s strategy and execution. Without Process Governance, there are high chances that your process improvement initiative will not find any takers. Initially, you may be able to woo the higher management to implement the new process improvement initiative but without a proper process governance framework, their interest will start dwindling with the passage of time and there will be a high risk of your initiative going down the drains.

An efficient process governance framework ensures that the organization’s success is based on a set of standardized processes and not on bunch of skilful employees.

How to implement Process Governance?

Companies build their own CoE (Center of Excellence) for Process Governance that comprises of a team of process consultants and analysts who provide leadership, support and training for any BPM initiative across the organization. The core team members of the CoE are responsible to get in touch with business operation teams, understand their pain areas and come up with performance improvement ideas.

As a part of the Process Governance CoE, you not only provide your expert services on niche areas such as process consulting, process modelling using specific tools etc. but you also need to have the business acumen to walk the talk with the business operation teams and understand their business value chain.

The most important factor in implementing a successful Process Governance framework or a CoE is getting the buy-in from the business leads and the executive team. The business leads and executives need to be engaged at the very first stage when you are shaping up your ideas to implement a new process improvement initiative. They need to be involved in building the roadmap for the initiative.

Why do we need process governance, what benefits can the business derive out of it, what’s in for them? The executive team needs to be shown the value behind process governance. If you are able to answer these questions, the executives will get involved and will not only support you but will also act as a sounding board for you, publicizing the benefits of process governance across the organization.