Management Structure for Process Success

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One of the end goals of any process-based effort (BPM, LSS, CPI, PBM, etc) should be instilling process thinking throughout the organization – But how do you do it?  A key to developing a process-based organization is identifying and implementing a management structure that promotes and supports your process efforts.

Process roles in this management structure are one of the fundamental components that need to be addressed as an organization moves along the journey to becoming process-based. Without these roles in place, the chances of sustaining ongoing process success will be limited.

  • This usually starts with a Process Office (COE, BPE, or whatever you may call it). The Process Office role is to support all the other roles shown on the Management Infrastructure chart below.
  • As you begin to understand and then improve and manage processes, Process Teams and Process Team Leaders are critical to support each specific process.
  • Process Owners need to be assigned to each process; these are senior leaders responsible for guiding and assessing the performance of the process.
  • The Process Council monitors overall process performance and approves process changes. Its role is similar to the Executive Committee in a functional organization.
  • This chart provides some detail on each of the roles:

    Each role evolves as the organization moves from managing individual processes to actually continuously improving and managing the organization’s portfolio of processes on an ongoing basis.  We will address the evolution of roles in future articles.

    We get insight into what organizations are actually doing in practice through the results of Process Strategy Group’s Quick Assessment. We tabulated the responses from all participants who have completed the free Quick Assessment on the question: "Our Management Structure for Process includes:” 

    Responses (as shown in the results chart below) indicate that:

  • 29% have a Process Office, Process Teams and Process owners in place. These organizations are most likely managing and continuously improving their processes.
  • Only 4% have gone to the next step of putting a Process Council in place to oversee process performance and manage the interaction between processes.
  • There is another 26% with a Process Office and Process Teams. These organizations are improving individual processes, but are probably not yet managing them on an ongoing basis. 
  • The majority of the respondents (41%) indicate they have no formal management structure in place for process.
  • Without specific roles in place, any activity would need to be a part of someone's day job, which means not much process work is occurring.  Start by forming process teams to understand and improve specific processes.

    Where would your organization fit into the chart below? 

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