In the world of business process management several frameworks exist for ensuring a standard notation and a structure of models to use.
However, very few methods (outlining how to use the framework, when to use which parts of the framework etc.) exist. This leaves many of the projects without a clear and committed governance structure for the processes being specified. Unlike many project management methods, for example in PrinceII where project governance is a central part, the governance is most often missing in regards of the business processes. That is a huge disadvantage because it leads to unmanaged process documentation and business processes that are no longer being paied attention to.
Business processes do change - even after they have been reengineered and optimised. So, how do we keep track on those updates, document them and make sure they and being addressed in terms og process optimisation. The easy answer is: Point out a business process owner for each process and make her responsible for monitoring business process changes and for business process optimisation.
This works fine for simple business process landscapes. But, often the person being responsible for a process is the department manager responsible for the process in the first place and that
will lead to sub-optimisation of the business process.
Following this guideline can ensure a minimum degree of governance:
Establish a governance structure for your business processes and write the decision into the project plan where the business processes are part of the deliverables.It is fine if the governance structure is very simple, but it should answer:
a) Who reviews business process designs (not department managers but e.g. a process board)
b) Who can sign-off on a business process design (not department manager but e.g. a process board) and how is sign-off documented
c) Where are the business process designs documentation stored and how is it versioned (Configuration management). Consider a business process repository
d) Who can suggest business process changes
e) Who is responsible for maintaining the business process design documentation
Why is all this important? well, in todays IT environment the business process design generates competitive advantages and therefore the business processes are an assett and should be treated as an assett.