A process manager is commonly found in the manufacturing or information technology industry. He or she is responsible for the design, review, administration and performance of a specific process. The work of a process manager can be divided into three primary sectors: documentation, measurement, and operational improvement. Process management often includes re-engineering or redesigning a project.
The process manager typically is responsible for an entire production process or workflow. Employee supervision, equipment management and human resources tasks are often part of the responsibilities of a process manager. In some companies, this manager also fulfills the role of line manager.
Process documentation is used to create a manual of the actual steps required to complete a specific task. This manual is used by employees and managers as part of business operations. The documentation must be updated every time new equipment is used or changes are made to the operation. In many ways, process documentation is similar to developing a recipe or cookbook. Ideally, the documentation should be written so that anyone can understand the basic process quickly and easily.
The collection of data is a large part of what this type of manager does. He or she often is responsible for recording the time necessary to complete each step of a process. These metrics can be used to track efficiency and the effect of any changes in the process. There are multiple ways to collect this data, depending on the tools used to manage the process. For example, a shipping company can collect data on the time required to move packages from the loading dock to the individual trucks through bar code scanners or related tools.
The process manager is responsible for reviewing the data and implementing any necessary changes. He or she uses the information to design changes to the current procedures and to provide a forecast of the expected outcome. Once the changes are implemented, the results are reviewed and compared with the expected results. Positive or negative variances are analyzed, and further adjustments are made. This type of work is ongoing, because new technology and methods are continuously being developed.
In order to become a process manager, post-secondary education in business administration or information technology is required. In many cases, additional courses in statistics, management theory and data management are required. In the manufacturing sector, engineering training or related experience can be very helpful, because the processes can be primarily mechanical in nature.