The Stewardship of Process Excellence

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Business processes are the backbones to the engine that runs a company. Their effectiveness has a direct impact on the top-line and the bottom-line. As important as it is, not many companies have dedicated resources to ensure that processes are performing optimally.

There are two key reasons why process ownership is necessary:

  • Fragmented solutions. When problems arise, those involved develop solutions which they feel are best for the situation. Despite their good intention, the fix could introduce problems to processes downstream or revert certain work completed upstream. The incremental fixes are fragmented and incongruent.
  • Lack of accountability. Issues fall through the cracks when no one is held accountable. A seemingly minor issue could germinate into a major bottleneck that usurps tremendous resource during crunch time.

In order to build process excellence, businesses need to assign process ownership. There are many benefits. They include:

  • Performance accountability. Ownership leads to accountability. The process owner is the ‘go-to’ person when there are issues. As he is accountable for performance, there is commitment to ensure that problems are addressed.
  • Congruence. As an expert on the process, the process owner has deep knowledge about the critical tasks and interdependencies with other processes. When dealing with changes and issues, a coherent approach would be taken to give objective, due consideration to the options and the overall impacts.
  • Process integrity. A process owner provides continuity in managing process performance. He is the focal point for driving change. The process owner serves as a devil’s advocate to challenge disparate practices and minimize silo thinking. The benefits of the whole is top of mind.
  • Collaboration. Processes cross departmental boundaries. A process owner engages the appropriate resources to tackle problems and ensure that tasks are executed effectively. The objective role of a process owner fosters collaboration, minimizing the undesirable effects from office politics.
  • Vision for better results. By keeping abreast of external and internal changes that have an effect on the process, the process owner looks for opportunities to advance performance. He identifies new ways to accomplish what is needed and seeks to deploy appropriate technology for the envisioned ideal process.

A fragmented approach to process management leads to disparate activities that cause confusion and duplication. The best way to overcome this is to establish process ownership. By formalizing the stewardship for process excellence, businesses would be able to harness consistently the benefits of effective execution.

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