To implement a strong and effective Business Process Governance (PBG) framework, strategic alignment, process framework and governance are all necessary steps, as presented in detail in the first three parts of this series. The next step in the BPG implementation process is the enterprise establishing a support model for the BPG program. Since process initiatives can occur throughout an organization, having the right process support in place is necessary for overall success. The support model should also provide guidance on how to identify easily related components that are currently being changed, as it is crucial to ensure updates are synced across all related documentation.
There is a strong interdependency between processes, as the majority of processes at some level cross functional parts of the business. As such, it is critical to have strong support in place for all process initiatives, which may be active throughout an enterprise. Additionally, there should be guidance within the process framework, which makes it easier to change process documentation in a simplified manner, so all related details are consistent.
Typically, there will be a person or small process team dedicated to guiding process work within an organization. This group knows BPM and BPG and has extensive knowledge and experience with an organization’s process and governance frameworks. It provides real-time guidance to any teams actively working on defining or managing processes, and helps to provide just-in-time training as needed. The group is also accountable for the BPG framework and supporting documentation, and will review those processes regularly to ensure they are satisfying the needs of the enterprise. The process team will also review metrics across the various processes, and identify areas that might be in need of more guidance and support.
A good practice is to allow others within the organization to take a “tour of duty” on the process team. There are several benefits to staffing the team in this way. It allows a rotation of strong process knowledgeable staff into delivery teams and, when the tour is completed, will lead to a continued focus on enterprise-wide process improvement. It also helps keep skills and perspectives fresh, as incoming team members move from following processes to guiding processes. They can offer on-the ground experience, which can help improve the overall BPG framework. A strategic rotation of people to and from this team at different intervals maintains a healthy balance across the enterprise.
There are relationships between value streams and supporting processes, and also between processes, and the components of the processes. Documenting and maintaining those relationships can be very complicated. Having a clear naming convention and unique IDs for each task or activity makes it easier to change as the process evolves. Avoid using the short name or description for the ID, as tasks themselves may change, and having a more generic ID for reference will make it easier to update all related documentation.
The process framework should provide an outline to the needed documentation for any given process, and will highlight what components are used in various process deliverables. For instance, a task name might be reflected in the flow chart and on a RACI diagram. By using a unique ID as a reference for those key attributes of process components, it will simplify the process of making updates across all deliverables, including those dependencies in other process documentation. There are tools in the marketplace that may make some, if not all, of these updates easier. If tooling is an option, then supportability is something to consider when choosing the best product to simplify your BPG implementation.
Having a solid support infrastructure for process initiatives and the means to simplify updates to documentation are important criteria for a successful BPM and BPG program.
Look for the final part of this series, which will focus on establishing a BPG program that promotes continuous process improvement.