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Continuous Improvement and a Business Process Governance Framework

by Chief Navvian on

A business process governance framework is essential for creating a healthy and long-lasting Business Process Management (BPM) program.  

This five-part series has highlighted the various steps to establish a BPG framework, including alignment to strategic objectives, establishing a process framework, creating a governance model, and managing a support model. This final part focuses on sustaining the BPG framework. A static process will soon be obsolete, so it is critical to have a program that promotes continuous improvement for all processes within an organization.

Continuous Improvement

Process changes may originate from various sources within the organization: business sponsors and leaders, staff following the process, or any others interacting with the process. It is beneficial to encourage feedback from all sources, as any process, by its nature, should continue to evolve and mature.  

The process owner is responsible for tracking all feedback and working with business sponsors and stakeholders to maintain a prioritized backlog for the process. The process owner should establish a simplified means of accepting comments and change requests for a process to increase the likelihood of continued insight from those actively involved.

Business leaders are continually aware of what is happening in the marketplace and seek opportunities to gain a competitive advantage. As new information becomes available, leaders want to be able to react quickly and establish new strategic goals or objectives or modify existing ones.  

A BPG framework will quickly identify impacted processes, so the required changes can be highlighted and implemented.  

The process owner treats these changes as a higher priority than other requests, as they directly connect to the desired business outcome.

The human aspect of process change cannot be ignored. People tend to feel uneasy and resistant to alterations in their work practices. Engaging your employees in the change is crucial for success. For expert tips in this area, take a look at the Business Process Change Management article. It is vital to communicate all changes to the relevant individuals and provide training if the differences between the old and new processes are significant.

The process owner works with those involved in the initiative, business sponsors, and stakeholders to ensure there is a plan for the required organizational changes for a seamless implementation. 

The process owner is typically not responsible for delivering the communication or training. Still, they are responsible that a plan is in place with the appropriate amount of consideration based on the impact. A common practice is to manage communication and training at the level of the impacted team.  

Some organizations group process changes into a release, much like how software is delivered. Part of the release is to provide training or communications, so no one is surprised by the updates.  

Suppose there is a new process or significant changes to an existing process. Then adopt organizational change management practices to prepare multiple areas for the required changes within each department or team. The critical element is ensuring that all impacted parties involved with a process have explicit knowledge of what is and why it is changing.

Continuous improvement is necessary for any substantial business process program. It enables all people within an organization to have a voice about their work and provides a mechanism to improve the everyday functions of an organization. Well-designed and -planned changes increase morale and produce a culture of awareness and improvement, which leads to higher quality outcomes for the business. Processes must continue to evolve and remain relevant to satisfy the company's ever-changing needs. It is a mandatory element of BPG, which supports a successful BPM program.

This post ends the series of BPG implementation articles. Everyone at Navvia is confident that it has provided a good starting point for any organization that wants to enhance its BPM functionality by implementing a robust BPG model.

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Originally published Aug 1, 2017 13:43, updated May 27, 2022

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