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Process governance do's and don'ts

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What are some of the best practices you've learned from implementing real-world process governance and what are some of the biggest pitfalls to avoid?

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  • In my experience working with customers, process governance and individual business process improvement must become the same thing. The most workable approach for mid-sized businesses and departments in large enterprises seems to be:

    1) get absolute support from the process owner, IT, and a figurehead executive on the need and approach to process improvement in the organization - in simple terms

    2) educate the business in the best-practices and benefits for ongoing process improvement

    3) ensure that the business is ready to take ownership of the solution, its continuous improvement and extension to new processes in a controlled and organized fashion

    Saying it another way: ensure constant communication, education and ownership at every level.

    In a company where this is completely new, add a quick win or two to reinforce the benefit of business improvement and good governance. Otherwise governance will be put on the same level as audit: just another chore to be done when I'm busy already.

  • Business Process professionals can learn a lot from their IT colleagues about governance, as my blog explains

    For some industries governance is not optional for everyone governance is a good discipline. No, it is more than that. It is Competitive Advantage when implemented elegantly and in a way that doesn't inhibit process improvement and agility.

    What are the implications
    - Governance covers the entire change cycle (suggested change, review, sign-off, implementation, audit trail, acknowledgement)
    - It covers ALL process assets; end to end flows, training materials, policies documents, SOP, video, forms, automated applications
    - MSOffice (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio) do not have rich enough governance and when teamed with Sharepoint become an expensive time-suck to administer
    - SocialBPM needs to be integrated into the governance cycle not be seen as a shortcut around process

  • The first thing we do is we set up a process change control process. Once the project starts there are numerous suggestions and corrections that come into the team. Keeping track of them is critical and ensuring that only approved changes are made is a vital governance requirement. Establishing this as a best practice from the beginning is essential and sets the right tone for the project from the outset.

  • Considering governance to be ensuring standards of practice are met, real-world issues emerge the more you depend on human actions. This can be as benign as remembering to initiate a request to more contentious issues that might occur in “self-policing”. Automated routines are essential to ensure comprehensive adherence to standards, particularly when you need to update standards or identify exceptions. Paper systems really do not work in that they invariably fail at the human point. A common pitfall in introducing or automating standards occurs in fleshing out the allowable permutations. There is often (usually) more variation in practice than in policy.

  • Process governance, or any governance, is not a "one size fits all" proposition. There are cultural aspects that must be considered before implementing any governance program. Some organizations will do the right thing when persuaded. Others will need a more command-and-control type approach to make it happen. Recommendation: approach any governance effort with wide collaboration and iterate frequently. That way, folks will not feel like something is being "done to them".

  • Here is the real case that I called "The Ultimate Process Governance".

    A joint venture manufacturing company approves its business processes by the Board of Directors. Any proposed change to a business process must be translated into English, Russian and Chineese and scheduled for the consideration at the next Board meeting.

    This procedure is specified at the company's Charter.

  • It's possible to write a PHD thesis around the subject, but to keep it simple:

    What are some of the best practices?

    - Strong sponsorship, from a person that can connect the siloed mind managers that are members of the governance unit. A company can be have a multidisciplinary governance center but people who belong to it have their personal agenda. Without a strong sponsor who can engage people - socialize them around the strategic benefits the company want to achieve, it's difficult to avoid that decisions are taken according to the balance of influences that each member can achieve.

    What are some of the biggest pitfalls to avoid?

    - Choosing weak leaders. These will take infinite time to make a decision or obtain consensus. Sometimes people are chosen according to their position in the company (C something level), but practice demonstrates that is preferable to choose champions (those who want change to happen) and who are not afraid to make the decision needed to enable adaptation.

  • One of the major pitfalls lies in nominally setting up some form of governance and then either neglecting or forgetting to set up the mechanisms to exercise that governance. Result: It exists on paper only and achieves nothing.

    Second pitfall I've come across is the failure to embrace the existing corporate culture. Some companies already have an implicit working governance which stems from their (process) organisation - most attempts to formalize it and make it explicit tend to fail. Likewise, there are organisations without a developed culture which need the more explicit and visible (as well as enforced) governance.


  • I AM looking for this Business Process Governance service and I found that the great one I am sure about the quality or the origin of their offering. Has anyone have looked into this before? If you have any other options you know are worth the time to check out, please post them here. Thanks!

  • Business Process Governance

    I AM looking for this Business Process Governance service and I found that the great one I am sure about the quality or the origin of their offering. Has anyone have looked into this before? If you have any other options you know are worth the time to check out, please post them here. Thanks!

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