What Is Process Governance? Models, Benefits, and How to Implement

Business processes help ensure organizations perform tasks correctly while also creating a consistent user experience. However, team members must adhere to those processes to realize these advantages.

Building and documenting efficient workflows is only the first step in optimizing operations, as organizations must also manage and control these processes. This guide provides vital information on process governance, including its models, benefits, and implementation.

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What is process governance?

Process governance oversees all aspects of creating, implementing, and managing processes. Its end goal is to ensure that an organization performs processes efficiently and consistently, while still meeting organizational goals and complying with relevant regulatory requirements.

Assume, for this example, that stakeholders want to introduce a new process to a company. They need to document the steps to implement that process while ensuring the implementation team adheres to company guidelines. Process governance provides the rules, standards and strategies for accomplishing these goals. It also assigns roles and responsibilities to team members, in addition to monitoring and reporting on process performance.

Difference between process governance and process management

Process governance and process management are quite similar disciplines and are both vital to an organization’s process strategy. However, they also have key differences, as process management is a subdivision of process governance.

Process management is typically the responsibility of individual managers who ensure their teams follow their processes. Process governance, on the other hand, ensures that all processes align with organizational goals, are implemented correctly and are used by the right teams.

Key components of process governance

Process governance consists of the following five components:

  • KPIs
  • Roles
  • Policies
  • Communication 
  • Continuous improvement


Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential for ensuring that processes align with organizational goals. Setting benchmarks for these metrics allows organizations to assess the effectiveness of their process governance, improve process adoption and identify areas of improvement.

They should also track and analyze KPIs with business process management (BPM) software to obtain insights into processes and make informed decisions about them.

This capability can drive process improvements and ensure processes remain aligned with new requirements. KPIs also allow organizations to take a data-driven approach to process governance, driving them to their overarching business goals.


Process governance teams should rely on the expertise of their members, who then collaborate with each other to share knowledge. As a result, all team members should possess a thorough understanding of their unique role and responsibilities, along with their relationship to other team members.

Process governance should also strongly emphasize effective communication between team members in optimizing their efforts to achieve the desired outcome. Promoting this cooperation and establishing clear expectations allows a process governance team to maximize its effectiveness and drive the continuous improvement that’s a core feature of effective process governance.


Standard operating procedures (SOPs) and policies are crucial for maintaining a process governance team’s efficiency. They serve as a road map for team members, minimizing confusion and ensuring process consistency.

SOPs and policies also streamline workflows and establish accountability, allowing members to effectively address challenges as they occur. Process managers should review guidelines regularly and update them as needed to keep them relevant and aligned with changing business needs.


A strategy for sharing information effectively is a critical aspect of process governance. This strategy should include an outline for communicating changes and future plans to both stakeholders and other team members that provides the transparency needed to engage everyone involved.

Proactive communication is also important for communicating important updates, reducing misunderstandings and encouraging collaboration, all of which are essential for improving process governance.

Continuous improvement

The strong control and validation mechanisms that are promoted by process governance allow organizations to maintain processes with high standards and consistency. They establish a solid foundation for team members to follow, allowing them to effectively monitor, evaluate, and modify processes for better performance.

This practice also helps members to quickly detect process deviations and inefficiencies, enabling a cycle of continuous improvement that results in higher customer satisfaction and process efficiency.

Process governance models

Process governance models include centralized, decentralized, and hybrid approaches.


A centralized model of process governance uses a single team to plan, implement, and oversee process governance. It uses a top-down strategy in which a leader at the top makes decisions that trickle down to team members. This model clearly defines decision-making authority, which promotes consistent decisions. The biggest risk of a centralized model is making decisions without crucial knowledge.


A decentralized model of process governance distributes authority throughout the organization. An entire team collaborates in raising and addressing problems, instead of allowing an individual to make decisions. This model involves the whole organization in the governance process, but the lack of clear decision-making authority can also create confusion.


A hybrid model of process governance delegates some responsibility to team members, while still making a leader or group of leaders ultimately responsible for making decisions.

As a result, it empowers teams to make their own decisions, but also maintains a clear decision-making structure that ensures consistency. A hybrid model can provide the advantages of both centralized and decentralized models.

Benefits of process governance

The most significant benefits of process governance include the following:

  • Risk mitigation.
  • Better process efficiency.
  • Improved decision-making.
  • Enhanced change management.
  • Greater stakeholder communication.

Improved decision-making

Strong process governance promotes transparency, providing team members with a thorough understanding of the reasons behind decisions. The open environment it creates allows leaders to clearly communicate and document their decisions, creating member support for those decisions. In addition, process governance provides members with valuable insight into data that helps them make better decisions.

Better process efficiency

An organization’s members can only be as efficient as its processes. Process governance helps them create better processes, thus increasing productivity. In addition, process governance reduces the time and cost of fixing mistakes due to human error.

Risk mitigation

Process governance mitigates risk by consistently adhering to the right processes and allowing teams to take a proactive approach towards eliminating inconsistencies and inefficiencies. This benefit is especially true in IT process governance, where security breaches can result in fines and other penalties.

A process governance framework also protects an organization from potential risks by providing controls, guidelines, and policies that ensure its compliance with industry best practices and regulatory requirements.

Diligent adherence to process governance can thus promote a culture of proactive risk management that protects an organization’s reputation and reduces its financial liabilities.

Enhanced change management

An organization’s processes should always contribute towards its overall goals. Process governance ensures that team members keep those goals in mind when managing change, promoting continuous improvement, and innovation in processes as they evolve to meet changing goals.

Greater stakeholder communication

Maintaining open communication with stakeholders is crucial to success for any business. Process governance keeps stakeholders informed of important decisions by creating a structured communications framework.

This practice builds trust between stakeholders, promotes their collaboration, and ensures their interests remain aligned with overall business goals. As a result, process governance keeps everyone on the same page for meeting an organization’s objectives.

How to implement process governance

Implementing process governance consists of the following steps:

  1. Understand the current state
  2. Define goals and KPIs
  3. Design the governance structure and documentation
  4. Implement the process governance
  5. Communicate and train stakeholders

1. Understand the current state

Begin the implementation by performing a gap analysis between your current process governance and where you want to be with it before making any changes.

Organizations that already have some type of process governance in place need to determine which areas can stay the same and which ones need to improve. If you’re starting your process governance from scratch, you’ll need to identify long-term goals and the milestones needed to achieve them.

2. Define goals and KPIs

Implementing process governance requires you to clearly define your end goals and milestones, which requires the use of KPIs. You need to carefully choose the KPIs that will best measure your success in reaching these objectives.

3. Design the governance structure and documentation

This phase of implementation focuses on choosing the structure that best aligns with your long-term goals for process governance. Consider the differences in the structure types discussed earlier and how they’ll work for your team, especially the interaction of the process governance team with the rest of your organization.

You also need to document governance processes during this phase, just like any other organizational process. Documentation should include an outline of the steps needed to implement process governance, as well as the tasks and responsibilities of each team member.

Furthermore, these documents need to be stored in a central location, where all team members can easily access them. Process documentation or centralization tools are highly useful for managing these documents.

4. Implement the process governance

Implement new processes gradually, so you don’t overwhelm your team. Phased implementation is standard practice in process governance, as it allows team members to integrate changes step by step.

Breaking the implementation down into smaller stages also provides members with time to become comfortable with each change before moving on to the next one.

This practice minimizes resistance to change and provides adequate learning opportunities, thus ensuring a smooth transition to the new process governance plan. In addition, it promotes the continuity this discipline requires and helps maintain productivity during the transition.

5. Communicate with and train stakeholders

Team members need to get up to speed on new processes and procedures if process governance is to succeed in the long run. It’s therefore essential to develop a clear plan for communicating your expectations of them. You also need to outline training opportunities and communicate them to your team.

Process governance challenges and how to overcome them

Common challenges in process governance include poor communication, resistance to change, and lack of long-term planning.

Poor communication

Clear communication about the benefits of adhering to processes and the consequences of failing to do so is essential for promoting a culture of process adoption. Employees are often tempted to take shortcuts when performing tasks, especially when it helps expedite their work.

As a result of this tendency, convincing employees to fully adopt new processes is often a challenge. The best solution is to prioritize formal education, on-the-job training, and process management to provide employees with an understanding of the value of consistently following procedures.

Resistance to change

Team members often exhibit a reluctance to implement change, especially when they don’t understand the reasons for changes.

Reducing this resistance requires an effective plan for communicating the benefits of change that clearly explains the rationale behind it. Promoting buy-in from stakeholders also involves alleviating their concerns and describing how the changes align with the organization’s broader goals.

Lack of long-term planning

An organization’s process governance should scale with its operations, but achieving this capability is easier said than done. Keeping up with an increase in operations can be difficult for a process governance team, especially during periods of rapid growth.

The best approach to addressing this issue is to build scalability into process governance early in the design phase.

Tips to improve process governance

By improving process governance, audits, stakeholder feedback, and continuous training can become more effective. Here’s how. 


Process governance requires the consistent monitoring and management of processes, especially when they’re evolving rapidly. Governance systems must adapt to these changes by regularly auditing process performance to identify areas of improvement.

Audits enable a proactive approach to improving efficiency and outcomes of processes, while still maintaining their alignment with evolving business needs. In addition, they also drive an organization’s continuous improvement.

An internal audit process can help you plan your company’s internal audits.

Stakeholder feedback

Engaging stakeholders is a crucial aspect of process governance, as it allows new opportunities for improvement. Their regular involvement provides valuable guidance for keeping processes aligned with business goals and encourages a collaborative approach based on a shared commitment to continuous improvement. Leveraging stakeholder perspectives also drives innovation in process governance.

An automated customer feedback process collects feedback in a standardized manner that maintains full visibility of stakeholder feedback. It also enables communication with stakeholders without leaving the platform or chasing after updates.

Continuous training

Process governance teams require ongoing training to remain current with evolving processes, whether it’s a refresher of existing knowledge or acquisition of new skills. Team members need on-demand access to training, such as a self-help support portal that allows them to find answers to their questions about processes.

Pipefy, for example, provides a free service called Pipefy Academy which  teaches process management best practices, so you can train your team at scale. 

Better process governance with Pipefy

New technologies are constantly emerging in business. Their implementation helps future-proof process governance by ensuring it remains capable in the face of evolving needs.

Technologies like Pipefy help team members work more efficiently by automating tasks, streamlining workflows and facilitating collaboration. They can also help optimize process governance frameworks and improve outcomes, positioning your organization for continued success.

Process governance also requires consistent adherence to government regulations and industry standards. Remaining current with these changing expectations includes keeping your process governance framework aligned with best practices through continuous monitoring. A proactive approach is particularly important to addressing new compliance requirements that mitigate emerging security risks. It also demonstrates a commitment to excellence in process management. 

Pipefy’s automation capabilities makes continuous monitoring possible with automated alerts and notifications when deadlines are approaching, past due, or when additional information is required. This brings a layer of end-to-end transparency to your processes to simplify compliance or regulatory maintenance.Pipefy complies with information security best practices with a security team dedicated to protecting your data through regular training and audits, both internal and external.

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