Building a strong Process Framework

Jay Waugh

LinkedIn Profile

It's easy to get so caught up in executing tasks that we forget to look at the bigger picture. This is often the case with business maturity initiatives such as process mapping. We're so focused on drawing out the right information from the right people (which as we all know can be a lengthy process), that by the time we finish we've lost touch with the business objectives.

This pain point shared by many can be resolved by implementing a Process Framework. This is a list of all key processes performed within a business, bundled in a hierarchical fashion to show how they may relate to each other.  

This sounds genius, and you can see how Process Frameworks could form an integral part of any organisation; ensuring quality, accuracy in business models and end-to-end process diagrams. Frameworks implemented with high quality and rigor are the backbone behind creating effective organisation models, managing accountability, and enabling informed decisions to be made based on impact and the performance of an organisation.

I love lists. So here are some key benefits of Process Frameworks: 

Group processes into a logical classification 

Support and drive management accountabilities 

Drive organisational Business Process Management (BPM) maturity 

Focus organisational transformation towards priority areas 

Reduce implementation and sustainment costs of transformation

Drive cross-functional collaboration 

Align to industry standards and best practices 

Establish common terminology throughout the organisation 

Whilst Process Frameworks are easy to implement and maintain, it is important to identify a model that suits your organisation’s strategy. 

Key questions to ask:

Is there an executive member accountable for managing the agreed outcomes of implementing Process Frameworks?

Is there an existing internal Framework that has been agreed upon?  

Will the organisation go with an industry standard like the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) Framework?  

How does the organisational information flow from industry standard into your organisation’s captured process? 

What supporting information needs to be exposed, and who is the target audience for consuming that information? 

Now what does a Process Framework look like?
The Process Framework will typically take the shape of a pyramid, which will represent a set of products or functions at the highest-level cascading down into more detailed information. This base level of information may include process performers, policies and systems involved in delivering a process outcome.  

Time for buy-in and collaboration
Organisations use Process Frameworks to guide the user experience through an easily digestible path from the highest level. This may align with the organisation’s strategy, all the way to the detailed work instructions. This user experience can group process information several ways, including functions or products being delivered by the organisation. 

Engagement in the creation Process Framework can help create buy-in from key champions and rule out variances in information that may lead to poor modelling standards and a decrease in process maturity.  
A structure for continuous improvement
Process Frameworks can help identify common processes used across contrasting functions, driving process improvement initiatives, providing greater governance, and facilitating the efficient response to regulators. 
Assigning accountability and ownership
Defining process ownership and accountabilities is crucial for operational success. Process Frameworks allow for clear identification of process owners and accountability assignment. This creates a flow-on effect to lower levels of the framework.

Implementing a Process Framework can help save time and confusion. When using a clear and articulate Process Framework, teams can 'plug in' their newly created or edited process maps via the appropriate level. Now ask yourself the question, is it time to capture process ownership in a manner that increases business maturity? 

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