Determining the Organization’s Support Business Processes

Background: What is a Support Process?

On Page 3, we discussed Core Processes that establish the set of “to dos” that every business must have in order to function at a minimum level, such as a Business Plan. Support Processes are defines as those that add value to the Core Processes beyond the bare minimum for example:

  • Stakeholder Consultation, where you consult with those who have a stake in the success of your business;
  • Project Management, where you are able to conduct time and resource limited tasks in support of your Business Plan;
  • Program Management, by which the organization delivers services on an ongoing basis, such as a Resource Centre;
  • Quality Management, where you ensure that your products and services are the best that they can be at all times;
  • Life Cycle Management, where you set up the means to create and deliver the products or services of your organization;
  • Business Development, where you establish the marketing and sales processes to ensure the success of your business in its selected market place;
  • Risk Management, where you ensure that you have taken into account all manner of risks to your enterprise;
  • Change Management, by which you watch for and select those changes that will keep your organization fresh and successful;
  • Policy Management, where you manage the policies and procedures related to your organization, including those related to Governance.
  • Process management, where you ensure that you have linked together all of your management processes.

Whereas Core Processes are pretty well universal, Support Processes are more unique to your particular organization. For example, an organization of agrologists may wish to have Project Management as one of its prime Support Processes while an organization that issues information as its key service may only do projects on an exceptional basis. Such an organization may choose to place Program Management in its Support Processes because what the people of the organization do is continuous and ongoing. So, Support Processes are identified by some facilitated group work, where representatives from different parts of the organization, including Board members come together and discuss the different ways in which the organization does things (or should do things). This discussion is extremely productive, since it often highlights which of the Support Processes are working well, which need fixing and which need to be replaced with one that responds better to current realities.


  1. Collect and compile the support processes of the organization

Working in a facilitated Board work session, identify those management processes that are already part of the organization or should be.


  1. Define each of the support processes

Ensure that each of the Support Processes of the organization is well defined in terms of what it is supposed to do. As much as possible, name one person as the owner of the process, i.e. who is the person accountable for making sure that the process is working as it should.


  1. Provide the overall process to be used in each of the Support Processes

Lay out the steps of each of the processes as the way that the organization will do things.

  • For how to consult with stakeholders, see Tool 17;
    • For how to manage projects, see Tool 18;
    • For how to manage programs, see Tool 19;
    • For how ensure quality, see Tool 20;
    • For how to manage the life cycle of products and services, see Tool 21;
    • For how to develop the business of the organization, see Tool 22;
    • For how to manage risks to the organization, see Tool 23;
    • For how to manage change, see Tool 24;
    • For how to develop and manage policy, see Tool 25a Collaborative Policy Development; 25b Governance Policy Guide Sample; 25c Knowledge Management Policy Sample;
    • For how to manage business processes, see Tool 26.

If you have identified a Support Process that is different than the ones above, kindly consult with the RANA Governance Hotline, whose staff or subject matter experts will provide you with the steps for that process.