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What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share with you information from our Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE) class.

Roles and Responsibilities:
  • Process Owner – This individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the go-to person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented (check out our free process design templates!). They also ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance.
    • Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs and deliverables. 
    • An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process.
The Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the policies (rules and governance) are defined, measured and continuously improved. An Agile Process Owner applies Agile values and practices to Process Owner responsibilities in an effort to iteratively and incrementally ensure that process strategies align with overall organizational strategies.
  • Process Manager – Ensures that the process activities and procedures are being carried out on a day-to-day basis. This role has oversight over the practitioners to ensure that the work is performed.
    • This role is sometimes combined and is fulfilled by the same individual that is the Process Owner.
    • Example: In a global enterprise you might have one Process Owner and then for each region a Process Manager to ensure the process activities are being carried out.
  • Process Practitioner – This role is the person or team that is assigned to carry out the activities. They are managed by the Process Manager and follow the process as defined by the Process Manager. These are the people that do the work.
    • Example: In our example above the practitioner would be the service desk agent that is following the process activities and procedures to close and incident.
Our ITIL® Generic Roles and Responsibilities Youtube video is another good resource.

For more information click here CPDE

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