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on 29 October 2010
I had high hopes, after reading all of the favourable reviews that this was going to be a really enlightening read on understanding and implementing strategic business change. I've been hugely disappointed.

It's so, so verbose and bloated, like someone who has spent too long on the conference circuit eating endless courses of rubber chicken. I was looking for the priceless golden nuggets, but instead found nothing more than the very occasional tiny golden fleck.

A picture often paints a thousand words. But the diagrams in the book are amongst the poorest that I've seen, almost to the point of appearing amateurish in presentation. The one case study is just plain weak. And frankly, the large section at the back of the book about different product offering is nothing more than shameless padding.

Save your money - there'll be resources on the net that are far, far better.
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on 9 March 2009
I've used this for a BBA program course in Business Process Re-engineering. It works for that very well. It's fairly clear; covering the main aspects of BPM, BPR, Six Sigma, and TQM. A small problem that one can easily get around is that the order of presentation is somewhat top down, so that a student can get confused very easily if the course followed the book. I'm using it again this semester, but supplemented by Aalst & Hee's book on workflow management. The combination, presented in the correct order, provides a good fundamental course for a second or third year student.
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on 30 March 2012
The first edition of this book is now showing its age and this edition brings the material up to date in a fast-moving field - indeed over half of the material has been re-written.
The sub-title is "A guide for business process managers and BPM and Six-sigma professionals" gives a clue to the changes in the four years since original edition. Interest in business process management and the popularity of implementation techniques such as Six-sigma and Lean, have increased markedly in the time-period and the new edition puts these practices into context of a wider business-change programme.

The enterprise-level section focuses on how organisations can build corporate competitiveness, based on the work of some real business heavyweights:
* Michael Porter's ideas on value chains and competitive strategy;
* Treacy and Wiersema's views how organisations should excel in one of three disciplines;
* Kaplan and Norton's balanced scorecard approach.

The author advises to aim to increase corporate competitiveness by process management and efficiency rather than simply outsourcing, or responding to competitor's latest initiatives, or implementing an ERP vendor's off-the-shelf software modules. Like the first edition, the author advises those contemplating large-scale process redesign to consider alignment with process management frameworks such as SCOR or project management frameworks such as those advocated by PMI.

In addition, the book gives clear exposition of process management compared to functional management, and the combination of both to give matrix management. The author also gives details on how to handle outsourcing within the redesign process and how to run a business-change programme alongside an ERP software implementation.

The modelling notation in the previous edition focussed on Rummler and Brache's process map notation (devised to map Porter's value chains). This edition uses the Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) diagrams, the new de-facto standard for modelling processes. Like their close cousins - UML activity diagrams - BPMN can be ferociously complex, but sticking to the basic notation allows practitioners to communicate with business people using diagrams that look very similar to Rummler and Brache's original process maps - still the most efficient way to communicate process information.

Experienced practitioners will be interested in what the author labels project scoping diagrams. They show four-faceted view of a process or activity:
* inputs: the inputs to the process, in terms of material or information;
* inputs: the results of the process;
* controls: information referenced (but unchanged), methods and rules guiding the process;
* enablers: people assigned, technology and facilities to be used.
These types of diagram have been around for some time in one format or another. It is derived from the software engineering-based IDEF function-box diagrams and, in a simpler form, from the familiar SIPOC [Supplier-Input-Process-Output-Customer] diagrams, used in value stream analysis in Lean approaches.

The book also describes a framework for business-change initiatives - the "BPTrends Process Architecture" method. This high-level approach is a useful guide for those undertaking such an initiative but those wanting more detailed guidance may wish to look at that of Jeston and Nellis.

The implementation-level section also covers modelling tools and Business Process Modelling Suites (BPMS). Modelling tools, used for documenting and storing business processes, are relatively mature. BPMSs, which extend this modelling capability to use workflow and execution engines, are relatively immature and the author rightly advises caution in the face of optimistic sales-talk.

This book gives a thorough up-to-date survey of the business-change landscape - the author even gives a nod to recent OMG initiatives regarding business rules. The advice given is sensible and method- and technology-agnostic. The lists of future reading at the end of each chapter are comprehensive and although the case study is a little brief, it is illustrative. Overall, highly recommended, and worth buying even if the reader has the first edition.
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on 12 March 2015
Paul Harmon is quite accurate and comprehensive in his reviews and analysis of the process improvement approaches. This is a good reference book for all those interested in the business process improvement and reengineering.
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on 16 August 2010
"A must Book for Business Managers and Process Managers to have the clarity of thinking/planning to transform an organisation towards process-centric organisation. This books how how to deal these tasks on three layers."
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on 24 August 2009
This book explains business concepts, models and theories at length. It can get a bit too wordy but all in all it is a good book for anyone wanting to understand business analysis.
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on 4 June 2014
I thought it explained its content quite well but sometimes just got a bit too wordy for me. All in all it was a good book.
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