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A Pragmatic Guide to Business Process Modelling (2nd Ed) Paperback – 21 Jul 2009

3.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: BCS; New edition (21 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906124124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906124120
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.3 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 699,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Jon Holt's clear and engaging style makes a potentially difficult subject highly accessible and the reader's progress is helped along by the mixture of good examples, humour and flair for explanation that we have come to expect from this author. -- Paul McNeillis

About the Author

Jon Holt is the founding director of Brass Bullet Ltd, a systems engineering consultancy and training company based in the UK. He is an award-winning author and public speaker, specialising in all aspects of systems, process and competency modelling. Jon's other work interests include Enterprise Architecture, standards and education, and he has previously held a variety of positions at universities in the UK and USA. Jon is a Fellow of the IET and BCS, and currently lives in Swansea, South Wales, with this wife and three children.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this while studying for the British Computer Society exam on process modelling - expecting a good practical book like many other BCS publications. Instead what the book provides is a somewhat esoteric / academic mediation on the nature of business process models, expressed (sometimes in a rather contrived way) through UML.

It might be interesting, I may come back to it - but it certainly wasn't going to help me though my exam so it went on the bookshelf. If you are looking for a practical hands on guide - as the title implies - look elsewhere.

To join in the mini-debate here of course you can use ULM for business process modeling. I have been doing so for 10 years, and no business users don't run a mile - they find use case and activity diagrams immensely useful and practical tools in expresing busines process.

I just don't think this is a particulalry helpful book on using UML with business people, try UML Xtra-Light by Milan Kratochvil and Barry McGibbon instead.
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Format: Paperback
I think the debate about using UML v. other notations or methods should be considered from the point of view of what is the purpose and objectives of your modelling. If you are developing process models for a process improvement type initiative, where diagrams need to be shared and reviewed by a large audience of non-technical business users, then UML, in my experience, is probably not the right approach.

UML is an excellent approach when it comes to systems / software engineering, system architecture design and requirements management; but not as a method for sharing and communicating business process models across the organisation.
A more easy to understand notation will be much more effective, and it seems that BPMN has now become a well established approach for this purpose. Additionally, I think that the fact that the OMG chose to develop the BPMN standard in addition to UML speaks for itself (as you may know, the Object Management Group - OMG, is responsible for the development of both standards). Therefore, in my opinion the approach offered in the book is more suitable for technical analysts not for people running a business focused process modelling initiative.

However, I do agree with the author's key point about the fact that in order to fully understand the process complexities there is a need to document more then just the process flow (conduct a 360 modelling, but which comes more under the domain of Enterprise Architecture not purely process modelling).

Furthermore, various process modelling tools today do offer the ability to easily capture many additional dimensions then just simple flow diagrams. I found the approach advocated by Ian Gotts in his book "Common Approach, Uncommon results" highly effective for getting organisations to document their processes and gain the benefits from doing so.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book seems to follow in the same vein as the BCS "Business Analysis" book and suffers from the same formatting styles and content style. As such it meanders around subjects with no clear function for many of the paragraphs. I found it disjointed and wearisome, covering subjects in a bland waffle that managed to hide information.
As with the Business Analysis book, the use of references to "later in another chapter" proved annoying. Whole pages are given over to generalisation that could been succinct and included with the appropriate chapter. Examples were often more confusing and vague than the textural point they supported.
A simple example of poor textural content, which is by no means an isolated occurrence, is a description of "The Activity Diagram" (p.30). This is supporting a figure showing the graphical notation of activity diagrams. The description states, "An activity invocation is represented graphically by a soft box (a rectangle with four straight edges but for rounded corners) or, to put it another way, a sausage shape."
This is a horrible misuse of English. After showing the object graphically, the author has then wasted text trying firstly to describe the shape as a rectangle with 4 straight edges, but rounded corners! and then as a sausage shape. Such belabouring of a simple graphical object simply amazes me, and this style of description permeates the whole book. I remain unimpressed by the authors writing capabilities but assume that he is good at his daytime job!
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Format: Paperback
John Holt has presented thoroughly all that surrounds the notion of business process modelling. The first two chapters of the book smoothly introduce the reader to a range of basic concepts for business process modelling. The remaining chapters are solely dedicated in detailed descriptions of UML and its different process views.

There are numerous diagrams which clearly depict the level of detail to which process modelling should be done. The sixth and final chapter of the book describes a case study applying the material presented throughout the book. I believe that was a great idea from the author's point of view, since process modelling is not an art that can be tought without practical examples at hand. It made things a lot easier to understand.

I would highly recommend the book to all IT professionals involved with process modelling activities within their organisation.
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