What is Business Process Governance?

Governance Processes – Governing and Governed

In a BPM implementation project, how can we determine what elements can or should be considered for BPM governance? 

Tips: In setting up the BPM governance for a BPM project you should always regard the ops or operational aspects, which are involved in the project delivery!

Before knowing about BPM governance, let us see what governance can be in the IT world.

“Simply put it is a structure around how organizations align IT strategy with business strategy, ensuring that companies stay on track to achieve their strategies and goals, and implementing good ways to measure IT’s performance. It makes sure that all stakeholders’ interests are taken into account and that processes provide measurable results. An IT governance framework should answer some key questions, such as how the IT department is functioning overall, what key metrics management needs, and what return IT is giving back to the business from the investment it’s making.” – source CIO.com

If we borrow the same concept in case of delivering BPM projects we can borrow the following key words for our purpose to set up the BPM governance framework, viz. (align to strategy; stay on track to achieve goals; implementing ways to measure performance; stakeholders’ interests are taken care; provide measurable results; key metrics for management; and return from the investment…). Let us see how that can be done.


What is BPM Governance?

Business process governance, also called process governance or business process management (BPM) governance, is the use of rules to manage BPM programs and initiatives.

What should be the approach?

The governance approach related to Business Process Management should define a set of policies, roles, responsibilities and processes that describe how project specific BPM activities are directed, administrated, and controlled. All of these processes should be aligned to a defined standard. The key elements of this governance approach such as the domains and building blocks are further detailed here.

BPM Governance Domains

The BPM Governance Pyramid gives a graphical representation of the three core domains of BPM Governance. The domains are,

  • People: the organizational entities that need to be put in place and their various roles, responsibilities and relationships.
  • Processes: governing and governed processes that are required to be defined in order to facilitate governance.
  • Technology: all the tools and infrastructure that is required to handle Business Process Modelling (BPM). 

BPM Governance Processes Domain

The BPM governance processes can be built around two main domains, namely,

Governing guidelines – which may include,

  • Compliance checks, to ensure that BPM guidelines and standards are adhered to,
  • Communication, to educate, communicate and support the BPM architecture and guidelines and standards across the organization,
  • Quality metrics, define a set of indicators and a dashboard, and report this on a regular basis.

Governed guidelines – which may include,

  • Governance & mgmt. documentation, to ensure that all BPM and related guidelines and standards are documented,
  • Support of the change and release management process, to ensure that all changes and updates to the business processes are handled in a controlled manner.


BPM Governance Guidelines Building Blocks

Based on the identification of the governance domain processes, the governance guidelines can be built. It is these building blocks along with the relevant roles and responsibilities that can be implemented in a BPM project for the project governance.

A proposal of such governance guidelines built in line with the governing and governed guidelines can be as follows:


As you know, any challenge being a spirit of engagement or progress, let us try and see how we challenge our understanding from this knowledge byte on “Business Process Governance”.

  • Can you guess what can be the elements of guiding principles required to set up the governing processes?
  • Again, what do you think can be the areas where compliance can be implemented and how can it be complimentary with dispensation for the governed processes?

If you would like to share your thoughts or ideas in this regard, or if you intend to discuss more in the same lines, please feel free to contact me.