Continuous Improvement Planning for Business Process Governance

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Process Improvement

For a highly effective and long-lasting Business Process Management (BPM) program, a Business Process Governance (BPG) framework is mandatory. This five-part series has highlighted the various steps to establish an 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 an obsolete process, 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: from 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 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. If the right BPG framework is in place, then impacted processes should be quickly identified, so the required changes can be highlighted and implemented. The process owner typically treats these changes as higher priority than other requests, as they have a direct connection to a desired business outcome.

As changes are made to processes, it is imperative to communicate them to the appropriate individuals. In some cases, training may be required if the differences are significant between the old and new flows. 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, but he or she is responsible that a plan is in place with the appropriate amount of consideration based on the impact.

A common practice is to allow changes, which impact a single team or organizational area, to be made as needed, and then the training or communication is managed within the team itself. In some organizations, process changes are grouped into releases much like software is delivered. Part of the release is to deliver any training or communications, so no one is surprised by the updates. If there is a new process or significant changes are made to a process, then organizational change management practices should be followed to prepare multiple areas for the required changes within each department or team. The key element is to ensure that all parties involved with a process have clear knowledge of what is changing, why it is changing and how they are specifically impacted.

Continuous improvement is necessary for any strong business process program. It actually 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 have the capability to continue to evolve and remain relevant to satisfy the ever-changing needs of the business. It is a mandatory element of BPG, which supports a successful BPM program.

This ends the series of BPG implementation. 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 strong BPG model.


David Mainville

David Mainville, CEO and co-founder of Navvia, is a passionate advocate of Service Management and a frequent presenter, blogger and well known member of the ITSM community. With over 35 years of experience, David has held progressively senior technical and management roles allowing him to "connect the dots" between the Business and IT. At Navvia, David leads the charge to bring innovative ITSM solutions to market focusing on Product Development, Marketing and Operations.

• Posted by David Mainville on Aug 01, 2017
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