The Responsibilities of the Process Owner

There is no doubt that the process owner is a key role within business process management. But what are the exact responsibilities of the process owner? A recent study by Danilova (2019) addressed this topic by conducting a systematic literature review including 100 academic papers and 10 books on business process management.

As a result, the paper divides the process owner’s responsibilities into five categories: planning and organizing, process performance management, process improvement and innovation, team leadership, and stakeholder management and advocacy.

Planning and organizing:

  • Design the process
  • Define subprocesses and process boundaries (process map)
  • Ensure standardization and documentation of processes
  • Advocate compliance with the process
  • Approve variations when necessary
  • Provide guidance as to handling exceptions and errors
  • Coordinate activities
  • Ensure alignment with strategy and execute strategies
  • Influence resource allocation
  • Ensure process compliance with external obligations

Process performance management:

Process improvement and innovation:

  • Follow the competitive environment, technological progress and changing customer requirements
  • Detect and evaluate needs and opportunities for incremental process improvement and innovation
  • Receive change suggestions from the organization
  • Check for possible suboptimization
  • Initiate process change
  • Coordinate and lead change project
  • Promote the process design

Team leadership:

  • Lead a process team

Stakeholder management and advocacy:

  • Create process awareness
  • Represent and promote the process
  • Communicate with stakeholders
  • Maintain and promote a strong customer focus
  • Collaborate with other process owners
  • Collaborate with functional managers
  • Maintain contact with suppliers
  • Promote and facilitate teamwork in the organization
  • Secure feeling of ownership among process employees

The full paper can be found here: Danilova, K.B. (2019), “Process owners in business process management: a systematic literature review”, Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 1377-1412.

Further interesting articles on the role of the process owner are found here:

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