Deliverable Basics
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Deliverable: Basics

Purpose of a business processes

Business processes are the organisation’s mechanism of creating and delivering value to its stakeholders. Inputs, processing and outputs are functions of business processes. Increasingly, business processes are being automated and integrated with complex and highly efficient IT systems. These processes must also be robustly defined to prevent the situations that gave rise to fraud, reputation damage or collusion.

A process thus involves the participation of a number of participants across the business. For it to be effective in practice (converse to in theory), acceptance must be agreed from all participants that they will fulfil their responsibility to the process.

The way this is achieved is by agreeing ownership as early in the process as possible.

What Process and Ownership deliverable must achieve

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The deliverable, and hence its supporting template will need to satisfy the following:

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To give the project sponsors a formal record that ownership has been agreed

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To give process owner an understanding of the impact of what they are signing off is

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To anticipate any SOX/Audit requirements by assigning responsibility appropriately and assigning controls to mitigate key risk areas.

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To present information in a concise and consistent way and thus give assurance that stakeholders can understand and agree process and ownership

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To provide clarity as such documents must be understood by 3rd party

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To focus on agreement of “what” not “how” (i.e. keep conceptual)

But not:

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To present the sub-process in detailed way as this duplicates any later process design.

But note that:

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SOX is not the only driver to the template. It must still be a useful tool to satisfy the client’s understanding of the process.

Relationship to other deliverables

The following context model shows how the owner and process document relates to the further deliverables. The impact of SOX can generally be considered to increase as the programme enters into the more detailed phases.

Figure 1: Context

The work instruction deliverable can thus be considered as the process design – describing the “how” as apposed to the process and owner deliverable’s “what”. As well as describing the steps the process will follow in a SOX compliant manner, it must also describe in detail the design of the controls, the impacted roles responsibility and any informational needs. There will be a separate template to cover how this is to be set out.

Audience of deliverable

It must be assumed that the signed off document will be read by a wider audience. This is why it is important that it should be written so that a 3rd party could understand it. Reviewers might include:

bulletProject sponsor who will keep a record of ownership and escalate any deviations through an established governance structure
bulletInternal auditors who will use this as an early identification of controls and SOX compliance
bulletExternal auditors who will use this as evidence of above
bulletManagement (Process group owners) who review documentation prepared by tester
bulletProject team who assess the test results
bulletOthers such as any advisors or specialists engaged by the auditors

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© 2002-2007 Codel Services Ltd

This paper has been prepared by Codel Services Ltd to illustrate how structured business modelling can help your organisation. Codel Services Ltd is an IT Consultancy specialising in business modelling. If you would like further information, please contact us at: Deryck Brailsford, Codel Services Ltd, Dale Hill Cottage, Kirby-Le-Soken, Essex CO13 0EN,United Kingdom. Telephone: +44 (0)1255 862354/Mobile: + 44 (0)7710 435227/e-mail: info@codel-services.com