How many times have you sought out current state process documentation in your company only to find either documented processes don’t exist?

Or if they do exist, they are stored on someone’s hard drive and haven’t been updated in several years?

Or, perhaps they are stored in different formats (PowerPoint, Visio, Excel, Word, etc.), exist as a combination of swim lanes, SIPOCs, and procedures, and lack style consistency.

A process governance plan will be a step towards mitigating this situation. Enterprise level benefits of developing and implementing process governance include: 

  • Consistent naming conventions (We suggest leveraging the APQC Process Classification Framework) and mapping techniques.)
  • Protection of your initial investment in building the documents
  • Enterprise level visibility
  • Potential reusability of process flows across the enterprise (especially for shared service like activities – customer service, invoicing, etc.)
  • A central place for storage and one source of truth
  • Facilitating knowledge management
  • Knowing who is on first – who is responsible for identifying changes, designing them, and maintaining them
  • Ensuring that processes stay current and relevant
  • Establishing the basis for continuous improvement and quantifiable measures
  • Helping identify operational risks

If your company lacks a process governance plan, things to consider when designing one include:

People:

  • Define and communicate process owner’s and process steward’s roles and responsibilities
  • Determine who has the authority to make changes and when.
  • Identify the skills that are needed to help people in the organization identify and make process improvement changes. Consider conducting a skills assessment once you have identified those skills.
  • Establish a change management plan that incorporates communication, training (if needed), and stakeholder management.

Process:

  • Will the governance model be centralized or decentralized?
  • What is the change control process?
  • How frequently does the governance team need to meet with business teams to identify needed changes to documentation and make updates?
  • Determine prioritization criteria for any change.
  • How frequently do processes need to be reviewed and updated? This will depend on factors such as the maturity of the process, implementation of new technology or upgrades of existing technology, and changing customer requirements.

Technology:

  • Where will process documentation live? Considerations may include SharePoint, BlueWorksLive or the company Intranet.
  • What mapping tool(s) will be used?
  • What file naming conventions and version control definitions should be applied? 

Using this approach, ideally created at the beginning of new business and/or IT initiative, can help you evaluate, scale and course-correct your governance plan accordingly. By doing so, you will see both hard and soft benefits in your organization.