Best Practices of Process Management: The Top Ten Principles (Part 5)

Roger T.  Burlton
Roger T. Burlton President and Managing Partner, Process Renewal Group Read Author Bio || Read All Articles by Roger T. Burlton

Years of successful and not-so-successful process management experience have led to a set of best practices -- a number of fundamental principles that must be honored in order to optimize returns to the company, the delivery of business results to customers, and to satisfy the needs of the organization's other stakeholders.  

In this series, I outline the ten principles that underlie the methods of business process operation and change.  In this column, I discuss the fifth principle.

Principle 5:  Business Processes Must Be Managed Holistically

It's becoming more and more prevalent to appoint a full process steward, for each process of the organization.

The steward acts as advocate on behalf of the process, taking responsibility for the process's performance for stakeholders.  The steward works not only to deliver improvements in process projects but also to remain in the role subsequent to completion of these projects.  This means staying on top of process and stakeholder performance metrics and reviewing current performance against the best in the business.

Primarily, the steward makes certain that the process continues to perform to requirements for its stakeholders.  Corrective or anticipatory action is taken, as needed, to either continuously improve or to introduce radical change.  

Process stewards must be effective in using influence even though they might have no direct control over the resources involved in the execution and management of the daily work being performed.  Clearly, this offers a significant organizational challenge -- especially with a mixed function-and-process approach wherein day-to-day control rests with functional line management, but monitoring and improvement responsibility goes to process stewards.

The critical mechanism that must be in place for ongoing process management to be effective is a forum within which processes are discussed, their performance vetted, and the incentive for process outcomes is shared among all involved managers.  Staff involved in the day-to-day process also must see feedback on the ultimate results of the process.  They must have incentives to support overall stakeholder value creation and not to do just what's convenient for them.

References

[1]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 1)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b269.html  

[2]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 2)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Feb. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b273.html  

[3]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 3)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Mar. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b278.html  

[4]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 4)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Apr. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b285.html  

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Standard citation for this article:


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Roger T. Burlton , "Best Practices of Process Management: The Top Ten Principles (Part 5)" Business Rules Journal Vol. 7, No. 5, (May 2006)
URL: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2006/b291.html

About our Contributor:


Roger  T. Burlton
Roger T. Burlton President and Managing Partner, Process Renewal Group

Roger is a respected pioneer in the introduction of innovative approaches for Business Management. He is a world leader in the field of Business Process Management, having authored one of the most read and followed books on the topic early in BPM's growth as well as the Business Process Manifesto. Roger's leadership is also witnessed by his position as chair of several of the most influential conferences each year on BPM and Business Architecture and by his role as chair of the BPTrends.com Advisory Board. The insights he brings to PRG's consulting clients are thoughtful and pragmatic.

Read All Articles by Roger T. Burlton

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