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Process Owner

PROCESS MANAGEMENT GLOSSARY

Who is the Process Owner?

The process owner is responsible for organising their business processes.

Process owners are a vital part of process mapping, as they are responsible for managing a process. People who either work on the process themselves or have full knowledge of the tasks suit the role best. Upper management by nature does not participate in the majority of daily working processes.

However, all too often organisations assign ownership of the process change initiative to a project manager who has little or no authority over the actual process. Organisations that are successful ensure that the process owner is capable of inspiring and implementing change.

Process ownership can take the form of a single individual responsible for the process, a cross-functional team of department directors or another type of management. When the burden of success for the initiative is placed on the process owner there is a much higher probability that the process will meet its stated expectations.

This may mean that the process owner has to delegate other responsibilities until the process change has been completed. It may also mean other disruptions to the organisation. When considering the huge benefits gained from a top-down approach to managing the processes of the organisation, the small disruption in daily activities is more than compensated.

What qualities does a process owner need?

This is definitely a high bar to reach. Especially since larger organisations could have dozens to hundreds of process owners. But, it is critical that you find a suitable process owner, as they bring a lot of responsibility and risk.

Specific responsibilities of the Process Owner:

Identifying, assigning and setting up a process owner for success is a difficult challenge. One which has considerable risk, but also large rewards. Fortunately, there are many options for finding the appropriate individual with consultants and training available if you have none who are ready on hand.

Further resources:

How a process owner may help break your internal silos


Source: Business Process Management Common Body of Knowledge (BPM CBOK, 2009), The Association of Business Process Management Professionals

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