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What are the Competencies Required for a Global Process Owner (GPO)?

We are all familiar with terms such as business owner and homeowner. But what about process owner? More specifically, a Global Process Owner. In the world of Shared Services, Global Process Owners (GPO) are individuals who own the end-to-end process across functional and geographic boundaries.

What exactly does a GPO do?

The role of a GPO mainly focuses on ensuring standardization, globally enforced policies and controls, metrices that benchmark against world class performance standards and technology that drives improved processes. The GPO is responsible to transform the current operating model to be truly ‘global’ where there are:

◉ Standardized processes, tools and governance

◉ Established framework for performance measurement

◉ Continuous efforts to optimize and deliver greater productivity results in the organization.

What competencies are required to achieve all that?

To drive the standardization and transformation agenda successfully, here are some important competencies required for a GPO:

𝟏) 𝐒𝐮𝐛𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐞

It is important for the GPO to have strong process knowledge, including upstream and downstream dependencies, in order to be able to make informed decisions on changes or process improvements that might affect the business.

𝟐) 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭

With any process change, this will impact all those who are part of the process. The GPO is an advocate of behavioral change – to engage and bring people along in the change journey. The key to changing behavior is to involve people in the process, constantly communicating and empowering them to be part of the solution.

𝟑) 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭

As the GPO’s scope may span across different functions, GPO must know who their key stakeholders and business partners are and build strong partnerships with them. This is to ease securing buy-in and to enable effective collaboration on a common purpose or strategic direction.

𝟒) 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬

Given the nature of the GPO’s role in transforming processes, they are required to strategize and communicate the vision with the wider organization and also to break through any existing functional silos that may exist. It is important to be able to communicate clearly, concisely and in a manner that appeals to the stakeholders.

𝟓) 𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲 𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬

Having awareness of new technology solutions or industry best practices will help the GPO address issues/concerns in the process or achieve improved efficiencies.


By having GPOs who are equipped with the right skills and competencies, organizations are able to drive effective change and advancements; end-to-end processes are delivered faster, more cost effectively and with higher satisfaction both internally and externally. In today’s world, as companies strive to leverage on global operating models more than ever, the GPO’s role to keep processes efficient enables business processes to thrive even when employees, business partners, vendors and customers are working remotely.


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