Process Management as a Service

by Grant HEnson

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The "service-based view of the enterprise" is an emerging managerial paradigm that envisions an organization as a collection of decentralized, autonomous, and loosely connected capabilities. This approach parallels the redesign of IT landscapes through Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA). Building upon this concept, this article proposes a Service-Oriented Enterprise (SOE) approach to drive and manage process management.

Transactional vs. Transformational Services

Within an SOE, two types of services exist: transactional services and transformational services. Transactional services are repetitive and predictable, involving tasks such as payroll, procurement, and accounts receivable. These services do not alter the organization's structure or processes. In contrast, transformational services have a significant impact on the organization, reshaping its structure and processes. Process management is a prime example of a transformational service, which can steer change management, project management, and overall process improvement.

Principles Guiding Enterprise Services

The concept of process management as a service adheres to four guiding principles inspired by the world of SOA:

  • Abstraction: Process management as a service should be accessible and consumable without requiring in-depth knowledge of its execution. Consumers of the service, typically senior executives, need not delve into the intricacies of process analysis and improvement methodologies. The service should transcend specific BPM (Business Process Management) methodologies and terminologies, ensuring a clear and unambiguous understanding across the business world.
  • Loose Coupling: In a service-oriented context, process management should operate independently, not tightly coupled to other organizational functions. The service's ability to interact with other services in a modular and flexible manner enhances agility and facilitates seamless integration within the enterprise.
  • Messaging: Effective communication is vital for an enterprise service like process management. By employing messaging techniques, the service can efficiently exchange information, updates, and requirements with its stakeholders, enabling better collaboration and alignment.
  • Composability: Process management as a service should be designed with composability in mind. This means it should be effortlessly combinable with other services, allowing executives to tailor and orchestrate various capabilities to meet specific transformational goals.

Driving Organizational Change with Process Management

Process management, as an enterprise service, plays a pivotal role in guiding organizational change projects. Its capabilities, methods, staff, tools, and methodologies offer senior executives the means to navigate and execute transformations within the enterprise. By adhering to the four guiding principles, the service ensures that process management remains adaptable, transparent, and highly consumable.


The concept of "Process Management as a Service" embraces the service-oriented view of the enterprise, providing a powerful framework for organizational change and improvement. By following the principles of abstraction, loose coupling, messaging, and composability, process management becomes a flexible and accessible service that empowers executives to steer transformations effectively. As organizations increasingly embrace the service-oriented approach, process management stands as a key enabler of progress, driving enterprises towards greater efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness in the dynamic landscape of the Service-Oriented Enterprise.

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