Thursday, 26 July 2007

Book Review – Mastering Your Organization’s Processes

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Mastering Your Organization's Processes: A Plain Guide to BPM


by Jon Pyke, John O'Connell, Roger Whitehead

Edition: Hardcover

Price: $47.50


This is the book that most people thought would never be written. So many people have been urging Jon Pyke for so many years to get down on paper what he really thinks. Of all the people in the process space, Jon is probably the most widely misquoted! It has been all too easy for people to say "Well, what Jon actually meant was!" and then turn it to suit their own purpose, now we can all get to find out what Jon actually thought!

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?

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