What is a Process Owner? Definition & Responsibilities

Elmeri Palokangas
January 12, 2023
min read
September 19, 2023
Photo credit
A process owner is responsible for the overall success of a process. But what does that mean, and what are the specific responsibilities?
Generate SOPs!


If you've heard the phrase "process owner" before but weren't quite sure what it meant or who holds that role within an organization, you're in luck!

In this blog post, we'll dive deep into answering the question "What is a process owner' as well as looking into who usually takes on these responsibilities and what exactly they do.

If you've been considering becoming or hiring one - or are simply curious to find out more about them – then read on!

But before we dive too deep, let's first start with the basics and discuss what and who the process owner exactly is!

What (& who) is a process owner?

At its core, a process owner is a person or group responsible for a specific business process or procedure.

This could mean anything from the product development cycle to customer onboarding or any other routine activity that happens in an organization.

Generally speaking, this role includes creating and managing procedures, identifying areas of improvement, and monitoring performance.

Process owners are essential in ensuring that a business runs efficiently and smoothly, as they make sure all processes are up-to-date and optimized for success.

In addition, they can act as a single point of contact for any specific process-related questions or issues.

Why is it important?

Having a process owner is essential for any organization to ensure that processes are running smoothly, compliant with regulations and standards, and optimized for success.

It’s their job to create the structure needed to achieve the desired results in an efficient way.

Some of the biggest benefits of having a process owner include the following:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity: Process owners are responsible for making sure procedures and processes align with the company's goals and objectives, leading to improved efficiency.
  • Improved collaboration: Process owners create and manage processes that everyone involved follows, allowing teams to collaborate more effectively.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: By having a streamlined process, you can identify where customer issues may arise, helping you to address and resolve them faster.
  • Increased compliance: By adhering to regulations and standards, you can avoid potential issues and fines.

Additionally, process owners can be invaluable in identifying areas for improvement and adapting processes to changing environments.

The breakdown of processes & identifying owners

When it comes to processes and procedures, taking the time to identify who will be responsible for them is essential. Not only does this help ensure the process is well-defined, but it also prevents confusion and overlap.

In some cases, the same person may be responsible for several processes. For example, a product manager may be responsible for both the product development cycle and customer onboarding.

On the other hand, some processes might require certain expertise and thus need to be assigned to specific individuals. For example, the process of deploying software may require IT personnel or developers with experience in that area.

It's also possible that one person is responsible for all of the processes within a company. This is usually the case for smaller organizations where there's not a large enough team to manage individual processes.

The role of the process owner (from ideation to auditing)

The process owner is essential for the entire life cycle of a process, from its initial ideation to its auditing and review. At each stage, the process owner is responsible for making sure that it meets the company's goals and objectives.

Some essential roles of the process owner include:

1. Ideation phase

The process owner's role in the ideation phase is to develop the procedure and document it. This can include researching the best practices, crafting the process steps, and creating any supporting documents.

They should also identify any potential risks or issues that could arise and create a plan to address them.

2. Set objectives & mission statements for processes

One of the primary duties of a process owner is setting objectives for their process.

Objectives are the end goal that you want to achieve in a given time frame. For example, if your product development cycle is to release a new version of your software every six months, then the objective would be to launch it within that timeframe.

Similarly, mission statements are guidelines for how you want to go about achieving that objective. It can include things like methods of collaboration, communication protocols, and specific tasks or steps that need to be taken.

3. Monitor & document progress

The process owner is also responsible for keeping track of the process's progress. They should be monitoring the performance of all involved, documenting any issues and successes, and providing feedback to all members of the team.

If they encounter any problems, the process owner is responsible for troubleshooting and coming up with solutions.

4. Ensure processes comply with regulations or standards

Processes must comply with any relevant laws and regulations, as well as internal standards. The process owner is responsible for making sure that the procedures being used are in line with any applicable standards.

Each industry has specific rules and regulations that need to be met, so it is important for the process owner to stay up-to-date with any changes.

5. Auditing & review

The process owner is also responsible for auditing and reviewing processes.

This is an important step to ensure that the process is still relevant and effective. The process owner should review the process frequently and make changes as needed.

This process of evaluation should include getting feedback from all members of the team, including customers and clients. This feedback can help identify areas of improvement and ensure that the process remains successful.

How to maintain & strengthen processes

Once processes have been established and assigned to the right people, they should be constantly evaluated and improved upon. Here are some tips that can help you maintain and strengthen your processes:

1. Update processes & documents regularly

The process owner should ensure that all processes and documents are up-to-date. This includes any changes to rules or regulations, as well as any new best practices and technologies. It should also include any changes in team roles or objectives. Make sure to share any updates with the entire team.

2. Update company goals & objectives

The process owner should ensure that all processes are in line with the company's current goals and objectives. This can involve changes in team structure, customer requirements, or even industry trends. If the process no longer matches the company's objectives, it should be reviewed and updated accordingly.

3. Use the right tools

The process owner can also use tools like dashboards, analytics, and process documentation to streamline and improve processes. Using the right tools can make a process more efficient and effective, ultimately saving time and money.

Tools like Scribe can be used to document processes and turn them into step-by-step guides instantly, which will help to create consistency and understanding of different processes across the company.

These created guides can also be used as an internal training system for new employees.

4. Provide feedback & training

The process owner should provide regular feedback to everyone involved in the process. This can help identify areas of improvement and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

It can also be beneficial to provide training for team members if there are changes to the process.

Again, Scribe can be useful when creating training materials, as it allows you to create step-by-step guides by simply recording a process. These guides can be accompanied by videos and screenshots to make the training even more effective.

5. Monitor performance & KPIs

The process owner should also monitor performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that the process is working as intended. This includes tracking metrics such as cycle time, return on investment, and product quality.

The most important KPIs differ for each process, so it’s important to determine which KPIs are most relevant and track them accordingly.

By monitoring the performance of the process, it’s possible to identify areas of improvement and make sure that the process remains successful.


Process owners play a critical role in the success of a business. They are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining processes in order to achieve successful outcomes.

They take on many responsibilities throughout the life cycle of a process and should be familiar with relevant regulations and standards. The process owner is also responsible for auditing and reviewing the process regularly in order to ensure it remains effective and successful.

Being a process owner comes with a lot of challenges, making the use of the right tools essential. Using Scribe, process owners can document any processes with just a click of a button and turn them into step-by-step guides. Scribe comes with a free plan, which enables you to get started documenting processes right away.

Ready to try Scribe?

Scribe automatically generates how-to guides and serves them to your team when they need them most. Save time, stay focused, help others.