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3 Reasons Why You Need BPM Governance

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 12.40.38 PMSometimes I think that BPM governance is just a fancy word that brands business process management as an important part of the enterprise.  Should the organization really add more structure, committees, and meetings for another form of governance—namely business process management governance? And then there are other questions—when should the organization have BPM governance, what will it include, who will be part of it, and where will it reside?  See Process Governance:  Leadership or Management for answers to many of these questions. 

But really the most important question is why is BPM governance necessary?  Here are three big reasons:

1.  Avoid the Loudest Voices

The organization wants to do meaningful process improvement projects that impact business results and support the overall strategy. To accomplish that, it needs to have a mechanism at the organizational level to select which process improvement projects to work on first and next.  And that means there needs to be BPM governance to make that happen. This governance could be a steering committee of three to five executives representing different functions or business units in the company. As a BPM governance committee they will use the company strategy and  specific criteria to select the key processes to work on next.  Otherwise the loudest voices of different leaders will want to do the processes they want for their silo and those processes might not be the best choice for the organization.

2. Ensure BPM Project Success

Each BPM process improvement initiative needs two types of governance: (1) leadership and team resources and (2) a standard methodology.  Without the leadership of an Executive Sponsor, Process Owner, Project Lead, and BPM Team Facilitator the project will not have a clear direction, targets, measures; scope is likely to grow; analysis can turn into analysis paralysis, and improvements can be too small or too grandiose. (See Getting Started with BPM: find the Right Process Owners for more information on BPM leadership.) Without a structured methodology the project will ‘make-up’ its own methodology; instead, the discipline of a standard methodology ensures that critical parts of the project get done and optional parts are put aside—so that the work goes faster and the result is better. 

3. Sustain Process Improvements

The Process Owner is the governance person who is responsible for monitoring the ongoing health of a process.  That means he or she drives the implementation of the new design recommendations, measures early challenges and successes of the process and employee behavior, continues to monitor how the overall health of the process, and watches leading indicators for operational problems that need corrective action.  Without the Process Owner minding the store, and employees monitoring daily metrics, the  process is likely to slip back to former ways of operating.

These are three good reasons for BPM Governance!  

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1 comment to 3 Reasons Why You Need BPM Governance

  • Delia Clark

    I agree with all of the above. In my organization we found that in some cases several leaders thought they owned a particular process. In actuality no one took “ownership” so when the process failed the question arose, “Who do we go to to fix it?” Governance is key to ensuring that feedback can reach the person who can make changes.

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