Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Process Owners – Architects Of ITIL Project Success
A critical role for process implementation is the creation and empowerment of a single, accountable Process Owner whose management activities and scope of governance span across the great divide between organizational silos. The Process Owner plays the important role of champion, visionary, protector and advocate – without whom the process has absolutely no chance of survival.
The Role Of the Process Owner
The initial planning phase of any ITIL project must include establishing the key role of Process Owner. Typically, a Process Owner should be a senior level manager with credibility, influence and authority across the various areas impacted by the activities of the process.
A Process Owner’s job is not necessarily to do the hands-on process re-engineering and improvement, but to ensure that it gets done. He or she typically assembles the project team, obtains the resources that the team requires, protects the team from internal politics, and works to gain cooperation of the other executives and managers whose functional groups are involved in the process. Once the new process is successfully embedded, the Process Owner remains responsible for the integrity, communication, functionality, performance, compliance and business relevance of the process.
The three major activities of the Process Owner are Process Design, Organizational Awareness, and Advocacy.
The Process Owner is accountable for the ongoing business value and integrity of the process design across the functional and organizational boundaries the process crosses:
- Processes, policies and procedures
- Process roles
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Process automation requirements
- Process integrations
The Process Owner is accountable for planning and implementing practices, orientation and training to ensure organizational understanding and adoption of the process activities:
- Internal and external training
- New employee on-boarding and orientation
- One-on-one mentoring
- Teambuilding exercises
- Conflict facilitation
- Communication and feedback forums
The Process Owner is accountable for protecting, measuring and reporting on process compliance across organizational silos:
- Dealing with political issues
- Promoting a culture of process collaboration
- Breaking down strong silo or functional mindsets
- Verifying process compliance on an ongoing basis
- Representing IT processes to business
- Managing process exceptions
- Promoting integration with other processes
While design and organizational learning can be delegated to other process roles, it is not advisable to ever delegate advocacy.
Since most organizations are not able to dedicate full time people to each process we will continue the next post with a look at typical combinations and paring of process ownership.
Troy’s thoughts what are yours?