We've talked in recent posts about the value of Business Process Management (BPM) and how an effective BPM capability provides real value to the business. In this post, we want to look at the importance of governance in the BPM space.
The first thing I will say is that you need to strike the right balance – you do not want to over-govern your processes, but you need to have rules and safeguards in place.
Putting too much governance in place will constrain the business's ability to adapt and be flexible.
But when there is too little governance, you are likely to see increases in duplication of effort, and you will lose the advantage that standardization can bring. You will face increased risk without effective rules because violations are much more likely to occur.
IT Governance and Process Maturity
Improved governance of BPM will come with maturity. Understanding how important it is will evolve as the awareness of business process management continues to grow.
As an organization's BPM matures, it will start to seek out governance in reaction to problems. When a process fails and causes business disruption, there is very likely to be a call for more controls.
As businesses become more aware of the criticality of mature processes, they will grasp the importance of governance. They will then understand that checks and balances must be integral to the BPM capability.
As organizations improve process maturity, they will understand that process governance will quickly produce high value and lower costs. Once they reach this realization, they will see the importance of having oversight for process improvement initiatives.
Process Governance Model
the establishment of a process governance model is an essential part of your business process management initiatives.
An effective process governance model requires you to establish clear process objectives, controls, and metrics when building your processes. This preparation will allow you to measure your processes and identify areas that require improvement.
Business processes are business assets, and if you do not measure the performance of these assets, then governance is challenging.
Use the controls and metrics establined when defining the processes to drive governance. Periodically review each process and ensure controls are being met, and demand proof through evidence of compliance. Various tool exits to help with this effort, check our what should be in your BPM toolbox.
Well-managed practices are not there to add bureaucracy or to stifle innovation. Governance exists to identify weaknesses and to foster process innovation.
A key factor for the success of BPM is where the responsibility for the governance sits. This role shouldn't be solely the domain of IT. The business must share the responsibility for process governance.
Botton Line: without effective governance, your processes will erode over time. This lack of management will lead to diminishing returns and potential process failure.