Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence


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Metaprocess vs. Governance Process

Mark Linehan commented[1]: Well-run businesses have a formal governance process: a business process for managing changes to other business processes. Defined this way, a governance process is a metaprocess. My reply: There is a governance process in every organization, whether well-run or not. Unfortunately it’s often unstructured and ad hoc. In any case, governance is about “the making and administration of [business] policy in [an organization]”[2]. Yes, the business policies can certainly have the effect of changing (transforming) other organizational processes. But that’s indirect. So I think calling a ‘governance process’ meta- is a bit tenuous.

[1] This series of point/counterpoint replies is a follow-up to my post “Meta Here. Meta There. Meta Everywhere?” (March 31, 2014), which generated a surprising amount of great discussion. (Thanks all!) Refer to: http://www.brsolutions.com/2014/03/31/meta-here-meta-there-meta-everywhere/ The definition I’m using for meta- is from Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary [3b]:

3b: of a higher logical type – in nouns formed from names of disciplines and designating new but related disciplines such as can deal critically with the nature, structure, or behavior of the original ones *metalanguage* *metatheory* *metasystem* 

[2]from Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary [“govern” 1a]

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Ronald G. Ross

Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.

Comments (1)

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    Mark H Linehan


    I do not mean business governance in general. I mean formal processes (in the sense of BPMN) for managing changes to business processes (also as in BPMN). This is why I used the words “well run” and “formal governance process”.

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