The official definition of an ITIL process owner is the role that is responsible for ensuring that an ITIL process is fit for purpose. An ITIL process has inputs and outputs. Based on predefined triggers and inputs, an ITIL process owner follows a set of activities that generates outcomes.The outcomes are generally beneficial to the organization’s success as a business and it is usually critical that the process runs smoothly and improves on a continuous basis.

ITIL Process owner

An ITIL process owner is responsible for ensuring that the ITIL process generates the desired outcomes in such a way that it serves in the best interest of the organization. If an ITIL process does not fit to its purpose, corrective actions should be triggered in order to get the desired results. The ITIL process owner must ensure that these corrective actions are taken by the individual in the relevant role. The ITIL process owner is one of the key roles to make sure that an ITIL process runs smoothly and efficiently. The incumbent in this role takes accountability and responsibility for the successful operation of the ITIL process.

Responsibilities of an ITIL process owner of an ITIL process

The ITIL process owner’s responsibilities include:

ITIL Process owner

Sponsorship

Sponsorship means to take total ownership of a process and to be the spokesperson of the process in the organization.

Design

When there will be a redesign of an ITIL process or changes brought about to a process, these fall under the main responsibilities of the process owner.

Change management

Any changes that need to be made to a process must be planned and managed by the ITIL process owner. Change management includes making sure that the team members involved with the process are on board with the changes that will occur.

Continuous improvement and its metrics

For ongoing improvement in an IT service provider, continuous improvement of services and processes should be planned and implemented by the process owner. If the metrics and measurements of ITIL processes needs to be improved, these should be handled under the control of the process owner.

The ITIL Process owners are often process managers within an organization, but if there are several ITIL processes and if the organization is very large, then the process manager and the process owner may not be the same person.

Tasks of an ITIL process owner

As the individual who takes sponsorship for the process, there are several tasks that the process owner is responsible for:

Achieving process goals

The process owner must assure the the ITIL process achieves its goals. Processes have predefined triggers and based on these inputs and triggers, a process must follow a set of activities so that the planned output can be received in the end. The process owner must ensure that the process meets the requirements and goals for a ITIL process.

Recording documents and materials

All documents and materials about the process must be recorded. In order to plan improvements and archive the history of a process, all regarding documents must be prepared and published regularly.

Measuring of success of a process according to key performance indicators (KPI’s)

The success of an ITIL process is measured by KPI’s. In order to measure whether a process is successful in meeting its goals and objectives, the process owner must define KPI’s for the process. During the operation of the process, these KPI’s must be measured and reviewed to check whether the process operates as planned. Improvement plans are prepared and corrective actions are taken by the process owner in order to improve the process performance over time.

Assuring that personnel are properly trained and know their roles

The triggers that sets of a set of activities in a process might be initiated by people. Therefore, personnel in an IT service provider must be properly trained and employees must know their roles. If roles and responsibilities are ill-defined, there may be severe outcomes in the IT services operations.

Conducting regular reviews

The process owner also regularly conducts audits and reviews to be sure that personnel are competent in their roles and responsibilities.

Improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of the process

Effectiveness and efficiency of an ITIL process can always be improved upon. The process owner defines metrics or KPI’s for the proces. Once these metrics, goals and objectives of the process are achieved, a new target for meeting an improved level of performance must be determined and plans for improvement should be prepared and implemented. Otherwise, you cannot compete with your competitors in the market, which can cause you to lose business over time.

Supporting the service improvement plan

Just like with processes, services has to be improved upon as well. A process owner must support service improvement plans in order to have better service operation throughout the organization.

Cooperation with line management

A process owner must be in cooperation with the line management. Line management is the management of people or personnel serving in a specific domain in the organization. For instance, service desk is a line and people working under service desk are personnel of this line and report to the service desk manager, who, in turn, is the line manager for this function. Since people are one of the aspects of processes, process owners must cooperate with line management.

The ITIL process owner plays a crucial role in ensuring that the ITIL process runs effectively

ITIL Process owner

ITIL process owners have to oversee all the aspects of the process, from the first trigger to the quality of the outputs. This role does not only look at the mechanics of the process, but is also involved with the people who need to make the process happen. If the process owner does not fulfil his tasks correctly, the ITIL process is likely to be unsuccessful and to deliver poor results, ultimately causing the organization to fall behind its competitors. Having a competent process owner allocated to the ITIL process will ensure that the process runs smoothly and that it will improve in its efficiency and effectiveness over time.

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ITIL Process owner