What is a Process Architect or Process Architecture?


Understanding processes and how they are created is the foundational element for businesses to increase revenue, effectively manage costs, and ensure customer retention. A process is a series of interrelated steps and decisions required to complete a specific task or achieve a desired outcome. It typically consists of the following components:

  • A triggering event that initiates the process
  • An evaluation step to assess the trigger and validate this application
  • A set of additional inputs, such as data, resources, or information, required to execute the process
  • A work element that represents the core activities or tasks performed within the process
  • A work quality evaluation to verify that the process has been executed correctly and has met the desired standards
  • A reporting element that communicates the process outcomes or generates outputs for further actions or processes

A single triggering event may have multiple triggers, and some of these processes may exist to handle various evaluations and additional inputs. Additionally, the reporting element of one process may serve as the triggering event for another process, creating a chain of interconnected processes.


According to Britannica.com, "Architecture is a passion, a vocation, a calling, a science, and a business. It has been described as a social art and also an artful science. Architecture must be of the highest quality of design, providing 'firmness, commodity, and delight,' as described by Marcus Vitruvius, the great Roman architect and historian."

While architecture is the art and technique of designing and building structures, its role concerning processes requires that the process architect possesses a deep understanding of the process itself and the materials (techniques, management, and methods) used to create or improve it.

Since architecture is an art form, changing the architect in the middle of a project can introduce subjective changes to the design. Just as you would not change the artist midway through creating a painting, it is advisable to carefully select the process architect and wait to change the architect until they have completed their work.

Process architects should be experts in processes, solutions, and applications and capable of defending the processes, methods, and applications of the solutions they propose.

Signs of a Bad Process Architect

  1. Looking for Pre-fabricated Solutions: A poor process architect will apply a one-size-fits-all approach or use the same solution for every scenario. While leveraging existing processes can be beneficial, a skilled architect should be able to selectively use and customize processes based on specific requirements and clearly define boundaries during the evaluation of triggers.
  2. Inflexibility: Processes are designed to handle exceptions. A good process architect understands that exceptions should be the rule, allowing the organization to flex and adapt when strategic opportunities arise or when accommodating the unique needs of key customers.
  3. Identifying as an Engineer: Engineering focuses on the "how" – the technical implementation and execution of a solution. Architecture, conversely, centers on the "what" and "why" – understanding the business needs and objectives that drive the solution. While engineering expertise is valuable, a process architect should prioritize comprehending the organization's needs and the rationale behind the processes.
  4. Unwillingness to Complete the Project: Art is genuinely art once completed. A vendor that changes the process architect mid-project should be avoided. A skilled process architect will strive to complete the project, overcoming obstacles along the way, just as an artist would persist in finishing their work.

By understanding the role of a process architect and recognizing the signs of a skilled professional, organizations can ensure that their processes are designed and implemented effectively, aligning with their business goals and enabling operational excellence.

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