Process Management

From IT Process Wiki

IT Process Management

Process Management and IT Service Management go hand in hand - ITIL states how the IT Service Management processes should be designed, while Process Management supplies the methods to implement and continually improve the processes.


Brief Introduction into Process Management

Imagine you are an entrepreneur and start out small: In this case you are in a good position to monitor the activities of each employee; you can also easily judge whether the quality of their work is adequate for your needs.

Define the Processes

Example Process Chain

If your organization grows, it is soon no longer possible to monitor all activities in detail.

In order to maintain an oversight, you will therefore combine the activities into associated groups (for example retail, production or personnel). Where necessary and within larger businesses with a greater number of employees, a further subdivision is appropriate (e.g.: processing of client requests, processing of orders, execution of deliveries, etc.).

The groups of activities created in this way are called “processes”, and for each process it is exactly deter­mined which activities are to be carried out and how these are sequenced. It is also defined which inputs each process requires and which outputs it produces.

Determine Process Responsibilities

As it would not be efficient for you to guide each individual employee directly, responsibilities must be delegated.

For this purpose it is practical to determine persons who are in charge of the processes previously defined: These ensure that the activities within a process are carried out as intended.

As the owner, you no longer steer your business by communicating with all of the employees directly, but mainly with these Process Owners.

Monitor the Processes

If the number of processes increases or if the business becomes more complex, monitoring success becomes more demanding.

Without specific indicators, it is no longer possible to judge whether a process is being carried out „satisfactori­ly“. Verifiable values are required, as for example the duration between the receipt of an order and its delivery. These values serve as guidelines for the Process Owners, in order to be in a position to detect shortcomings and initiate improvements.

This illustrates the significance of the so-called Process Indicators, which are the basis of Process Monitoring.

Circle of Continuous Improvement

Process Management Circle

This closes the circle: Problems within processes are identified by the Process Owners by means of indicators, resulting in actions aimed at improving the situation. The success of these measures can again be verified looking at the indicators.

This circle of continuous optimization is the single most important characteristic of Process Management. The introduction of ITIL Processes is only then effective and durable if this circle is closed.

As a consequence of this, norms such as the ISO 9000 family, ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 also require the implementation of the Process Management circle, as a means to prove that the organization is committed to continuous improvement.

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Image: Example Process Chain (.JPG)
Author: , IT Process Maps