Business Process Ownership

Organizations depend upon Business Process Improvement to make changes to the internal operations in order to drive efficiency in the process as well as to impact the business. As the business needs keep changing, the Organizations too need to keep changing at the same speed and frequency to be able to meet up with the new business environment. Apart from the factors that necessitate the process change, new technologies, improved business models and other Organizational situations too can warrant Business Process improvements.

BPI success depends upon several factors. First and foremost, the program initiative and ownership has got to be from the top management and those business unit heads who manage and drive the business operations. When the BPI exercise is sponsored, owned and facilitated by the Business Owners and Senior Management, the program can be implemented effectively. BPI exercise calls for investments as well as resources and time in the designated area of implementation. These Business Unit leaders are best equipped to choose the objectives and the priority areas for implementing BPI program aimed at maximizing the business impact gained.

Most Organizations form the EIT or Executive Implementation Team under or including the Business Unit head as the sponsor. This team owns the responsibility for the implementation of the BPI program.

The next critical element or the factor that figures in the BPI program is that of selection of Business Process Leader or Owner. The effectiveness and the efficiency of the process ultimately depend upon its Process Owner. The Organizations of modern times are not hierarchical and functionally organized like the traditional Organizations.

In an increasingly complex business environment, amidst globalization, the Organizations operate with increasingly complex network of business units with matrix management as well as Functional line management that manage businesses across multiple locations situated in different continents, multiple markets and cultures. Such business operations involve extensive use of technology and software tools that aid and drive the business processes, using thousands of people engaged in business operations. In such situation, any critical process would have linking with several other processes and functions across many departments.

Therefore if a process has got to be improved, implemented and stabilized, it is essential that the process is owned by one single process owner who is able to make that impact across all the intermediaries and mesh all sub processes to ensure the new improved process compliance is maintained one hundred percent.

Choosing the right process owner is very critical and important for the BPI program. The EIT team owns this responsibility of choosing the Process Leader for each of the critical processes that it selects for the project. Selecting the suitable candidate would need examination and ascertaining several key factors with regard to the right candidate.

First and foremost, it is always better to choose the candidate who naturally happens to be the beneficiary of the process. If the sales manager of a business unit stands to gain from the improvement in process of Warranty Management system improvement or Customer Relationship Management process, then the said Sales Manager should own the said process.

The functional leaders of the Warranty Management group or the Customer relationship group can assist the Sales Manager in the implementation as they too are responsible for the process but the overall ownership should lie with the sales manager of the unit.

Secondly, the Process Owner should be able to understand the business trends and initiate the changes to the business process. He would need to initiate discussion with the management for changing the operating policies or the process in order to meet the necessary business requirements.

Needless to mention that the Process Owner would need to be a good leader, a very good motivator, negotiator and be able communicate effective through the teams and lead from the front.

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