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Mastering Your Organization's Processes: A Plain Guide to BPM Hardcover – 19 Jan 2006
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'If you are a manager and new to BPM, and want a serious introduction to the issues involved using BPM in an organization, this is a great way to come up to speed on the key issues. Similarly, if you are a BPM manager and going to be building a case for BPM in your organization, you will also find this book very useful.' Business Process Trends
'This book is a veritable treasure trove of information, every page filled with some fact or factoid of note. … The book is an absolute must read for any business, systems or process analyst in order to make sure that they stay focussed on what is really important - business results. It's non-jargon, non-technical style means that for any Manager it will serve as a great introduction to process management and will prove invaluable to them in the selection of processes to improve, tool selection and technology selection.' www.bpmg.org
This book helps you understand and improve your organization's business processes, taking into account computer software available. Contains detailed case studies, clear diagrams and a minimum of technical language. Ideal for non-technical managers, this book will also appeal to MBA and business studies students.See all Product description
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The book starts with the assumption that the reader has no experience of process management, nor indeed any experience of formal process thinking. This is admirably remedied by the excellent opening chapter that concentrates on teaching how to think about processes and systems. The examples used are idiosyncratic but instructive, giving useful advice even to experienced practitioners on the appreciation of divergent stakeholder viewpoints.
Importantly, the authors emphasise the importance of looking outside corporate boundaries and including in the exercise the management of a company's supply-chain. They nicely summarise both buying and selling activities in using the following sequence of activities:
The authors then give a useful primer on modelling the supply-chain process, based on the simple buy/sell model that is core of all commercial transactions.
One of the longest chapters of the book in entitled "Organisations, People and Systems" and deals with the most important and, often, the most-overlooked part of business process automation - the people within an organisation. This chapter is the most erudite and thought provoking within the book, drawing on ideas (including quantum mechanics!) that led to modern organisational theory. By describing the organisational structure of a fictional company, the authors pinpoint areas that are most suitable for BPM initiatives. They make the valid point that some tenets of organisational theory are very long-lived (decades or even centuries old) while some technological theories have a shelf-life of months.
Many readers will head straight for the chapter that describes the return on investment provided by BPM implementations. The authors do this by firstly giving a specimen investment action guide ("reduced stock-holdings"), then providing a list of motives ("reduced exposure to risk") - noting that a motive based entirely on cost savings is not feasible. Lastly, they give a justification method, ("run pilot project").
The authors also provide useful advice on how to write a BPM business case and importantly, how to integrate this into an overall corporate strategy. They show how a systems' architecture document dovetails into a BPM business case. They also show how to make change happen by listing the possible levels of intervention, starting at the top-most level (challenging assumptions of the current process) through to the lowest level (which performance measures are used). Intervention at a low level is unlikely to be effective if the higher-level measures are unchallenged. The hierarchical list presented will prove a useful checklist to ensure that BPM programmes are addressing the issues at the appropriate level.
Interestingly, the authors make a strong case for implementing a BPM project using an agile approach, in order to ensure that rapid feedback is supplied to the end-users, who decide when the software is good enough to deploy. This is an excellent and thought-provoking book. There are copious case studies and even a chapter on how to go about choosing a BPM product.
The book is much more than simply how to automate your business processes. It also presents all the surrounding factors that need to be understood before a successful BPM implementation can take place. It is aimed at non-technical managers who are faced with a major technical decision. Even if you are not immediately planning to automate your business processes, this book will help you co-ordinate your thoughts as to the current state of your business.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Although this book highlights BPM technological platform, you are not going to find too much jargon-like stuff inside. What's important, not only Business Process Management, but also business process management is stressed there. What I like most is author's skepticism about IT-vendors selling "philosphy" (i.e. first implement, then worry).
YES, this book is a plain guide. It is not a complete BPM guide, nor a cookbook. You won't find there a detailed desription of how to implement business rules or what the (dis)advantages of BPEL are. That makes this book almost splendid for all IT decision-makers.
As to flaws, there is one: syntax and style. I did not like it. It is not what a reader should be charged for.
This book is a veritable treasure trove of information, every page fact with some fact or factoid of note. There will be those in the BPM community who may find aspects of what Jon has to say hard to swallow. But, Jon more than most has the right to state his views and give corrections to the origins of some of the terms. As CTO of Staffware from 1992-2004, potentially the only truly successful vendor of the workflow era, Jon was in effect the father of workflow and by that fact the de facto father of BPMS - not that some would like to acknowledge that fact.
The book although jam packed with information, is a very easy read and, in the opinion of this reviewer at least, is probably the most complete, logical and digestible explanation of what process are and why they are important I have seen.
Full of tips and tricks on what to do and what to watch out for as you - in the name of the title - Master your Organizations Processes. The book does not set out to be a cook book, but instead guides your thinking and provides plenty of checklists to help you on your way. This approach is to be applauded, as all too many a good book on process has been spoiled by the first you do this, then you do this approach. The reality is that one size really does not fit all.
Its nine chapters are strongly focussed on success in business and never do you get the sense of technology for technology's sake - pretty good going for a former CTO! The chapters also contain lots of good case studies which certainly help and are easy to relate to.
If I had one criticism of the book it is that by its definition of BPM as technology it propagates (in my opinion) the lie that BPM is technology rather than using the more widely accepted term BPMS for the technology to support the management philosophy that is BPM.
The book is an absolute must read for any business, systems or process analyst in order to make sure that they stay focussed on what is really important - business results. It's non-jargon, non-technical style means that for any Manager it will serve as a great introduction to process management and will prove invaluable to them in the selection of processes to improve, tool selection and technology selection..
Now of course all we have to do is wait and see where Jon pops up next, it is now 2 years since his departure from Staffware, Jon what are you up to, when we will we be seeing the latest from you in the process space?