When a High Performance Team changes to a High Performance Operating Team it will need a Process Owner. The process owner is responsible for coordinating activities between all the teams that support a single process. The role of the process owner is to nurture and develop the team as well as to represent the team with external organizations. The Process Owner is responsible for procuring the resources (time, space, hardware, etc.) that the team requires in order to be successful. The process owner attends meetings and reports to the team on organizational activities and changes that may impact the teams workload or performance. The process owner is also a coach who teaches and encourages high performance team behavior and concepts. Depending on the number of people on the High Performance Operating Team, the Sub-Process Owners with similar responsibilities may be needed in addition to Process Owners.
One critical role of the process owner is to clearly articulate the team's shared vision of the future. To achieve a high performance state a team needs to have a vision about what work will be like and what meaning such work will have, once the team achieves the vision. It is the responsibility of the Process Owner to explain the team's vision to outside organizations and to help shape the team's vision to keep it consistent with the overall organization's vision.
The Process Owner must be responsible for measuring the process performance as well as for rewarding the team. This keeps the team focused and prevents the inevitable conflicts and distractions that result when functional managers retain measurement or reward responsibility for different parts of teams.
Selection of a Process Owner with the above skills is critical to the ongoing success of a High Performance Operating Team. The best Process Owners are often interviewed and nominated for selection by the team members themselves. A Process Owner who is selected by the team it will support can progress much faster than a team coached by an assigned Process Owner. In fact a team selected process owner can start with a very special relationship and authority with the team that an assigned process owner can only hope to achieve.
Copyright (C) 1996-2002, Donald J. Bodwell. All rights reserved.